Verve Coffee Limited Roast Gesha Cans

12.28

For the second year in a row, Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz have wrapped their limited Gesha offerings in lovely cans that reflect just how special these coffees are. While I won’t be reviewing the coffees, which Verve was kind enough to send all the way to Sweden, but I will say that they were two of the finest I’ve tasted in 2012.

Gesha (or Geisha) coffee is a variety of coffee cultivar that is known among coffee connoisseurs as one of the most unique and complex coffees available. Excluding the immoral and over-hyped coffees that are extracted from animal poop, Gesha coffee is the most expensive in the world. In 2010, Gesha from La Hacienda Esmeralda set a new record at auction with a price of $170/lb. for green, unroasted beans.

Last year’s cans were dressed in black, but this year they’ve taken on a lighter tone, adding a new level of elegance to the industry common theme of black-on-craft aesthetic. The labeled cans are letter pressed, foil-stamped and hand numbered, but are beautifully simple and refined, contrasting the complexity of Verve’s standard bags.

The cans remind me of whiskey bottles that often come packed in elegant tubes to better protect the luxurious products inside. When you’re paying $45 to $65 for half a pound of the world’s finest coffee beans, the buyer may expect more than just a different sticker on a standard coffee bag. While others have used glass jars in equally elegant ways, these cans create the same impact without greatly affecting the shipping weight.

Investing in design to better communicate the value of your product is a great way to change the perceptions of those who see coffee as a cheap commodity with no difference in quality, no matter where it comes from. If specialty coffee truly is special, it should begin to look and feel that way more often than it does now.

Finca Los Lajones Gesha Natural – 8oz – $45
Panama Elida Green-Tip Gesha – 8oz – $65 (Sold Out)

posted by on 12.28.2012, under Design, Recommended Roasters

Darth Vader & His Moka Pot

12.26

Darth Vader, a moka pot and Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport are combined with the dark side of coffee brewing and stop motion animation in the latest video from Coffee Circle.

Using the Force to bring a bit of light (and quality) to one of the evilest of brew methods, the moka pot, this video will make Star Wars fans and coffee lovers alike grab their AeroPress Lightsabers to protect the Empire from terrible coffee.

posted by on 12.26.2012, under Brew Methods, Videos

The Great Coffee Wave Of Vilnius

12.20

Hopefully you’re reading this and a great wave hasn’t destroyed our coastal cities and the world hasn’t come to an end. But if it does, I hope you had a great cup of coffee this morning, the Mayans never even had the chance to taste it.

However, one civilization that does have a taste for coffee are Lithuanians, who I had the tremendous pleasure of meeting several this past weekend. Coffee Inn, Lithuania’s largest specialty coffee chain, has over 20 locations throughout the country and plans for many more. While I’ve yet to visit one, they roast their own single origin coffees and brew them with Hario V60s alongside a full espresso menu.

Last month, the company released this great ad, inspired by Hokusai’s famous woodblock print “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa,” for a campaign introducing the flat white to Lithuania. A quite poetic way of illustrating the message of “less milk, more coffee” to woo latte drinkers away from so much dairy.

The campaign was created by the agency Not Perfect in Vilnius and the epic coffee bean wave was crafted by the illustrator Karolis Strautniekas.

Coffee Inn

posted by on 12.20.2012, under Design, Misc.

Irukaya Coffee Shop: A Principled Sanctuary

12.03

CNN Travel recently published a story about a unique (and surely controversial) coffee bar in Japan that is either too new or too elusive to have made Oliver Stand’s Tokyo list. Irukaya Coffee Shop (Google translated to Dolphin?) is a windowless, 4 seat, reservation only shop run by Hiroshi Kiyota.

The shop maintains a strict set of rules on its Japanese Excite blog that include:

- Please refrain from lingering on one order—order again within 1 hour.
- No groups larger than 2 people
- No pictures
- No Smoking
- No mobile phones
- No take-away
- No children
- Reservation only during open hours
- Rule breakers are asked to leave 

The article details the writer, Nicholas Coldicott‘s  visits to Irukaya, including Kitoya’s humble demeanor, the competition-worthy signature beverages on the menu and the extensive list of rare whiskeys that can only be ordered alongside coffee.

Finally, he poured the brew into two cups, alternating so each shared the top, middle and tail of the coffee. He tasted one cup, then served me the other. “Yubisaki,” he said. “Drink it as you would a whisky. It should take around 20 minutes … On paper, the rules look forbidding, but the longer you spend in Irukaya, the more they make sense. It’s not a place you go for a caffeine fix. It’s a sanctuary that happens to serve java. Most of the rules are in place to keep things tranquil. – CNN Travel

While this is sure to ruffle some feathers as being pretentious and off-putting, it sounds like an incredible experience. Where Penny University meets the Soup Nazi, wrapped in Japanese tranquility—sign me up.

Read the full article on CNN Travel

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Irukaya
5-7-39 Inokashira
Mitaka-shi
+81 (0) 90 3042 4145
open 2 p.m.-midnight, closed Wednesday

Photos: Julen Esteban-Pretel for CNN

posted by on 12.03.2012, under Coffee Touring

Three Thankful Years of DCILY

12.02

Today marks three years of loving coffee publicly and sharing my affection for it with people all around the world. This site and the support from everyone who reads it has driven me to continue learning about coffee and searching for anything coffee-related worth sharing. As the specialty coffee industry continues to grow and more people fall in love with it, the number of inspiring projects, products and companies grow too. I love watching the progression of the industry and having the opportunity to share some of the best people, places, and things in the world of coffee with others.

Since last year’s anniversary, DCILY has been to origin in Colombia, organized the Swedish AeroPress Championship, traveled to the SCAA Event in Portland and the World Baristas Championship in Vienna, filmed both the Nordic Barista Cup and Nordic Roasters Forum and helped a couple fantastic coffee companies re-brand (Workshop, G&B). Coffee Common, sadly came to an end, but has left more time for me to join with other organizations like the SCAA to help share even more knowledge.

As much as I love great coffee myself, I also enjoy helping other people discover how great it can be. I continue to do this because you continue coming back.

Thank you all. Love coffee, live well, give back & inspire others.

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A few year-end stats for DCILY
105 New Posts
215,000 Unique Visitors
174 Countries
60,000 Facebook Fans
5750 Twitter Followers
1800+ Referring Websites
80% of mobile on iOS

Top 10 Posts
Love Keurig? Nope.
High Speed Coffe Splash
Awakening To A New Coffee Mural
ZP Machines Kickstarting Better Home Espresso
The Steampunk A Curious Contrapulation
Brew Method: The Bialetti Moka Express
Best Coffee in Stockholm (Pt. 2)
Brew Method: The Chemex
Damn Thy Disposable
The Able Kone

Top 10 Countries
United States
United Kingdom
Canada
Australia
Sweden
Norway
Netherlands
Germany
Singapore
Finland

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posted by on 12.02.2012, under Misc.