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.
My good friends at Koppi Coffee in Helsingborg, Sweden have teamed up with local tattoo hero Jonas Pedersen at Crooked Moon to bring us this fantastic t-shirt. Jonas has several unique styles, but his Cherokee inspired mandalas and native indian art have always been personal favorites (she’s crying because she ran out of coffee).
Koppi is taking pre-orders to cut down on excess inventory and to try and deliver before the holidays. If I were to add one more item to the DCILY Coffee Lover Gift Guide, it would be this t-shirt and a few bags of Koppi coffee. These shirts are un-branded, 100% cotton, and delightfully soft. Sizes run small (think American Apparel fitted).
Price includes shipping from Sweden: 220sek ($33 or 21£ or 25 €)
Orders must be in by 5 December
If you’d like to order one, send an email with subject “T-shirt” to firstname.lastname@example.org
Another day, another beautiful video from Coffee Circle. This one takes a look at espresso, one simple step at a time. Very zen. I think I’ll have another.
The perfect shot of espresso is one of the greatest gifts you can enjoy in your day. It’s hard to describe unless you taste it. However, in this video you find the most important steps of preparation to follow on your way to achieve a great espresso. Enjoy! - Coffee Circle
Dear Coffee, I Love You is approaching its three year anniversary [crazy!] of discovering and writing about the greatest things in the world of specialty coffee. With all the hours spent discovering, learning about and sharing new things, I’ve developed a growing wish list along with suggestions for upgrading and improving your own coffee experience. As a follow-up to the last two years 2010 & 2011 DCILY gift guides, I’m happy to share a new list of holiday gift suggestions for the coffee lovers in your life.
1. Hario V60 Drip Scale -$65- A gift for the trendsetting barista. I recently reviewed the new drip scale from Hario, which includes a timer built in to the display. It comes at a premium price, but was designed to work with an optional, drip tray and pour over stand (not included). It accurately measures up to 2000g and looks much better than the competition—sure to impress. Shop for Hario Drip Scale
2. Craft Coffee -$30 to $240- A gift for coffee curious connoisseurs. Craft Coffee began just over a year ago selling monthly subscriptions that include three 4oz bags of coffee from various specialty coffee roasters around the US (first-look review). It’s a great way to try coffee from several roasters and to learn about new ones before buying more than you can drink. Shop for Craft Coffee
3. Able Kone Filter v.3 -$60- A gift for paper-conscious Chemex lovers. The Kone was listed on the very first Gift Guide, but since then, some changes have been made for the better. Version 3 of the popular Kone filter is safer, more rigid and brews a much cleaner cup. Read a full review including comparisons with past versions. Shop for Kone
4. Porlex Mini Mill -$75- A gift for the traveling barista. The Porlex Mini is a hand crank, ceramic burr grinder thats better then pretty much every electric burr grinder for the same price. It’s well made and fits perfectly inside an AeroPress for compact packing. It’s the ultimate grinder for any nomad’s traveling coffee kit. Shop Porlex Mini
5. Organic Cotton V60 Filter -$10- A gift for the v60 loyalist. The Hario V60 is a well-trusted brew method that’s been put to the test by countless cups of coffee over the years. For someone looking to experiment more with cup quality but has no interest in giving up their beloved cone, these organic cotton filters from American Coffee Trader add a whole new dimension and clarity to the cup. Shop Cotton Filters
6. DCILY KeepCup -$15 to $17- A gift for coffee drinkers on-the-go. The KeepCup is a reusable replacement for disposable paper cups–it’s not a thermos. They are perfect for brewing directly into while traveling, especially with an AeroPress. I’ve happily used mine in trains, planes, automobiles and boats. Shop for KeepCup
7. NotNeutral Lino Cups -$15 to $40- A gift for design-minded homebodies. There’s nothing better than a proper ceramic cup to enjoy your coffee from. I’ve yet to find another cup that I enjoy holding and drinking from as much as the Lino. Co-designed with Intelligenstia Coffee, these uniquely shaped cups properly elevate the at-home coffee experience. Shop for NotNeutral Cups
8. Bonavita Variable Kettle -$90- A gift for the technical perfectionist. As the search for the perfect cup of coffee expands, so does the myriad of technical details you can control in an attempt to improve your coffee. This flagship kettle from Bonavita combines the pouring control of many other gooseneck kettles with electric boiling and variable temperature control within 1 to 2°. Shop for a Bonavita Kettle
9. The Coffee Story -$10- A gift for the caffeinated bookworm. Peter Salmon’s debut novel will not teach you anything about coffee, but as the lead character Teddy, heir to his family’s coffee company lies dying in a hospital bed, you’ll learn all about his father, his wives and his treasonous ways. From Teddy’s travels in Ethiopia, England and New York, this book is heavily styled, vulgar, and hilarious. Shop for The Coffee Story
10. Trip to Melbourne & WBC2013 -$2500- A gift that won’t be forgotten. At the top of my list and anyone else’s’ who is just as abnormally excited about the coffee industry, a trip to the 2013 World Barista Championship in Melbourne is the ultimate gift. The chance to experience the countries massive café culture and witness the world’s best baristas compete live is a stocking stuffer to remember. WBC 2013 in Melbourne
*Buying from local shops is highly encouraged, but for those without the luxury of well-stocked businesses nearby, shopping through DCILY’s curated Amazon Store and sponsors help support this site and the content you enjoy.*
The team behind KeepCup, the environmentally friendly and reusable take-away cup, are offering two talented Instagrammers a chance to win a more environmentally friendly way to get to their favorite café.
To enter, just share your best photos of you and your favorite KeepCup on Instagram and tag with #keepcupstyle before November 30th. A panel of judges will select two of the best photos, whose lucky photographers will win a customized ride from Mojo Bikes.
Don’t have a KeepCup (read my thoughts on them here)? Lucky for you the latest shipment of DCILY KeepCups have just arrived in 8oz & 12oz sizes. So get yourself a KeepCup, fill it with your favorite coffee and start snapping photos of it around town. Next time you’re out and about, it could be on a fancy new set of wheels.
Visit KeepCup Style for more details and to browse your competition.
Prima Coffee (a DCILY sponsor) has just unveiled an innovative take on a standard tool of the barista trade—the tamper. With an attempt to aid better tamping technique and reduce strain due to of awkward positioning, this adjustable angle tamper allows those who have been searching for a better way to try something new.
The Prima Tamp is our answer to the challenges of everyday espresso prep: fatigue and form. Proper tamping technique allows the barista to compress coffee evenly and comfortably over and over again, but this is tough to achieve with an ordinary tamper. A handle that sits perpendicular to the base either forces one’s wrist and arm off center or requires a specific posture that’s just unnatural. With a tilted handle, a barista can easily take a position that encourages improved technique. -Prima Coffee
I haven’t worked regularly on a bar in years and have never considered any other way of tamping, but I can understand the potential benefits of this and would be interested to hear feedback from anyone who’s given it a try. This beaut is made in the USA using Indiana black walnut and Kentucky stainless steel ($140).
At every coffee event I attended this year, the Hario booth always had some of the most lust-worthy products on display. The highlight of their product line was always the newly released V60 Drip Scale. In a departure from Hario’s specialization in glass, this scale represents the companies continued focus on the growing coffee market. The scale includes the simple but brilliant addition of a built-in timer, which may not be new, but it’s the first time I’ve seen one specifically made for coffee brewing.
The scale is beautifully designed and upon its release became one of the nicest looking available on the market. It has a small footprint (140mmX190mm), but is still large enough for a Chemex. Its clean lines, touch sensitive buttons and unique shape are finished in a lovely matte black that looks great, but emphasizes finger prints.
The scale has a 2kg (2000g) maximum capacity with 0.1g increments up to 200g and 0.5g increments up to 500g. After you reach 500g, the scale only measures in 1g increments. Powered by two AAA-batteries, the scale automatically turns off after 5 minutes of inactivity, so a mid-pour shut-down should never be an issue. The display is clear the scale measures accurately, but it’s not as fast as I’d expect for the price ($70).
What makes this scale different than others available, is that it was specifically designed with coffee brewing in mind and includes a timer right beside the weight display. This may seem like a trivial addition, but once you’ve used it, you’ll wish every scale had this feature. Best of all, you no longer need to lay your smartphone below a stream of water (freeing it up to take photos for Instagram).
Hario also designed a clear acrylic pourover stand and drip tray that pairs perfectly with the scale. While it’s obviously designed with the V60 in mind, any pourover cone from Kalita to Melitta would work just as well.
The scale and stand are sold separately from each other, and the stand isn’t necessary to enjoy the scale. The clear acrylic is easily scratched with cleaning and also costs nearly as much as the already pricey scale ($65). However, if money isn’t an issue and you feel the need to brew with a stand, go all in like Petraeus.
I’ve always been a fan of Hario’s design and the quality of their products. The new scale and drip stand are no exception, however I do believe they’re priced too high when compared to other quality scales on the market (i.e. Jennings CJ4000). That said, once design is factored into the equation the new Hario scale has little competition and will look better on your counter than most options available.
What do transexuals, exotic bird lovers, lake monster hunters, historic reenactors and a railway brass band have in common? They get lonely—and in this case they’re Swedish.
Löfbergs, following a recent rebrand, have launched a new ad campaign to celebrate the numerous and unique associations in Sweden that bring people together—and as a result drink a lot of coffee. The campaign features: The Association for Transsexuals (Free Personality Expression) in Malmö, The Great Lake Monster Association in Östersund, The Gothenburg Tropical Bird Association, The Swedish Railways Band Association and the Historical Society of King Gustaf’s Toast.
Along with video and print advertisements, Löfbergs launched a National Register of Associations where you can find other like-minded enthusiasts or create your own organization and fight loneliness in the company of others—over coffee. Memberships in associations have been declining in recent years and Löfbergs would like to reverse that, because associations contribute to less loneliness.
The new ads were created by, Volontaire, the same firm who developed the brilliant idea for @Sweden, the world’s first democratized national voice on Twitter—sparking the worldwide phenomenon of rotation curation.
Löfbergs, formerly known as Löfbergs Lila, is the largest family-owned coffee roaster in Sweden and are well-known throughout the country by their trademarked purple color (lila). Founded in 1906, it’s the coffee of choice at the Swedish Royal families gatherings and they’re also one of the world’s largest buyers of ecological and Fair Trade coffee.
I know Löfbergs as the purple bags in the grocery store filled with dark-roasted coffee. But they would like you to think less about their coffee and more about why we drink it—to be with others. No matter what’s in your cup, that’s a great gesture of humanity.
Taking their love for cycling, sustainability and espresso to a new level, Amos Reid and Lasse Oiva, two product design students from the Royal College of Art in London have built a belt driven, mobile espresso bar dubbed “Velopresso.”
The three wheeled bike uses a carbon belt drive system (grease free) to not only power the bike, but also a custom made grinder that shares a slight resemblance to the HG-1 hand grinder. With the change of a gear, five seconds of pedaling will grind enough coffee for a double shot—three if you’re doping.
Currently the Velopresso uses a camp stove to heat water and steam to power its leva espresso machine, but the designers have been experimenting with various ways of creating their own fuel from spent coffee grounds. The goal of making it even less dependent on carbon fuels—aside from the belts used everywhere else—would add to its sustainable caché. The project was recently bestowed the 2012 Deutsche Bank Award in Design and the creators are currently looking for ways to produce them commercially.
“Velopresso was conceived against the backdrop of a global renaissance in cycling culture that is being driven by the desire for more sustainable cities and lifestyles,” says co-creator Amos Field Reid, pictured below kneeling behind the machine. “The urban coffee scene is also expanding and diversifying, including a convergence with cycling culture. Velopresso engages directly with these cutting-edge urban cultures.” -Carbon Drive
Velopresso isn’t the first coffee bike that’s been featured on DCILY (Trailhead, Kickstand Coffee), but this is the first that takes advantage of the bicycles efficiency for powering heavy-duty equipment. This would be an appreciated addition to bike paths everywhere.
There’s a new coffee brewer vying for attention on the internet, but without an $11,000 price tag, this one has received much less fanfare. The Impress, a stainless steel AeroPress-like contraption, is the latest coffee product to raise production costs through pre-orders on Kickstarter. The campaign will have most likely reached its $50,000 goal by the time you read this post—with 25 days remaining.
This latest attempt to improve how we brew coffee comes from Raleigh-based Gamil Design. The husband and wife led design team have taken elements from several brew methods to create a simple and streamlined product with curiosity inducing potential.
The primary concept is based on full immersion brewers like the French press and Eva Solo—pour in hot water, ground coffee and steep—but the Impress utilizes a new way of separating the grounds from the water. It uses a plunger like contraption resembling one from an AeroPress, with an inverted portafilter basket attached to the bottom. After the proper amount of time has passed (3-4 min), pushing down on the plunger will draw the coffee through the microfilter, while trapping the grounds at the bottom.
The tight seal of the plunger combined with the more precise holes in the metal filter, are designed to allow far less sediment through than a French press (an AeroPress using a Disk filter comes to mind). Once the plunger has been pressed all the way down, the Impress becomes a 12oz travel mug that carries your freshly brewed coffee.
While my immediate thought was the over extraction that would occur from continuous steeping, the designers claim that it’s virtually nonexistent because of a much more prominent barrier created between the coffee and extracted grounds than what you find in a French press—if nothing else, the affect is most likely reduced a fair amount.
The double-walled exterior, combined with the steel plunger create 3 walls of insulation that’s sure to keep your coffee temperature stable and offers an attractive new coffee brewing option for traveling and camping (although its current design can’t be used to boil water). The designers experimented with a version that worked with interchangeable filter baskets, including VST baskets, but ultimately decided to use a proprietary filter design that screws in place for added durability while plunging.
Without having tested the Impress, it’s hard to say how well it brews a cup of coffee, but the idea was intriguing enough to support and I look forward to giving it a try.