Last night, 200 of the coffee industries finest gathered together in Copenhagen, Denmark to welcome the next 3 days of inspiring speakers, cuppings, Nordic barista team competitions and enough delicious coffee to satisfy all our discerning palates.
I am on-site with my colleague Tim Styles from Workshop Coffee to capture all the action. We will be uploading videos of the speakers at the end of each day, blogging and tweeting the highlights on behalf of the Nordic Barista Cup for those who can’t be here.
I’m a fervent believer that Seinfeld is and will be the greatest television show of all time. Every situation in life relates back to one of the 180 magnificent episodes—even if most could now be prevented with a simple text message. There is something so realistic, yet hilarious about those conversations about nothing that took place over a cup of coffee.
On July 19th, Seinfeld will be back on screen having coffee with his comedian friends. Only this time he’ll be driving around in a selection of shiny classic cars with a GoPro camera mounted on the dash to capture the hilarity or Larry David-esque awkwardness.
The show, called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, will include appearances by Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Ed O’neill and Michael Richards (Kramer!) to name a few. Let’s just hope their candid conversations are just as memorable as the scripted ones.
Mark Youd is an artist based in Caerphilly, near Cardiff, South Wales. Before Mark gets to work on his paintings, he starts the day with coffee, which inspired this creative series of photography called “Caffeine Planets.” I asked Mark to describe the process:
It’s a simple, fun project based on the patterns that develop in the crema on my morning coffee…I use Nespresso from a Krups Pixie machine topped up with hot water, by varying the angle of the mug when the coffee is being pumped and/or the speed the hot water is poured, I can influence the pattern that is created in the crema. I take a photo (with nothing more special than an iPhone) very soon after pouring. I then crop the images in photoshop and apply very basic contrast and colour filters (and a healthy dose of imagination) to them while I drink the coffee. -Mark Youd
This fascinating video from “The Coffee Brewing Institute,” circa 1961, takes a look at the simple joy of brewing coffee. Over the years, research and experimentation has made much of this information out of date (like their insistence on using fully boiling water), however there are some gems of wisdom that are still just as relevant today.
How, then, do we make the perfect cup of coffee to our taste? Success lies in a single word: Care. Three simple ingredients go into the brewing process: water, coffee, time. Care will produce a perfect result every time.
Brew yourself a fresh cup, take a break and enjoy this trip down coffee lane.
The Juggler is a new milk delivery system for coffee bars from Sydney, Australia based company Six Simple Machines. The system employs sensor activated taps that are connected to 10 liter milk bladders stored in refrigerators below.
The system is designed to minimize bottle waste and the time spent taking milk cartons in and out of the fridge. The sensors allow for proper hands-free milk dosing that minimize milk waste from over-pouring and frees up a barista to pull their shots and engage with customers, while an integrated pitcher rinser streamlines the whole routine.
There are many details that baristas and shop managers must keep in order to maintain drink consistency and prevent slowdowns during a rush (or in high volume shops—throughout the day). Efficiency improves the workflow of a barista and ideally it will help them produce more consistent drinks all day long.
The delivery of milk is an overlooked part of the bar workflow and this is an interesting exploration in how to improve it. One of the more time consuming efforts during Coffee Common events I worked at, have been keeping baristas stocked with milk—a system like this would definitely free up time for other things.
In April I had the pleasure of touring some of Baltimore’s finest coffee establishments, including the city’s newest addition, LaMill—a transplant from LA. This sparkling new shop opened last November by the water’s edge at the Four Seasons in Harbor East.
As I approached, there were plenty of suits passing by as well as an Audi R8 parked out front—environmental features you rarely find in the neighborhoods of most independent coffee shops, but a good sign of the specialty coffee market’s growth.
The open space greets you with a standard bar layout, a pour over stand up front, alongside a custom painted La Marzocco Strada and several Mazzer Robur grinders. I ordered an espresso and a syphon of Guatemala at the bar to share with my companions and was handed a number for my table.
The coffee was delivered to my table by the barista along with a heavy cloth napkin, which added a simple but incredibly valuable detail to the experience. The espresso itself had an earthy Italian profile and was roasted a bit dark for my preference, but the Guatemala from the syphon was sweet, clean and quite enjoyable.
While I was admiring the space, Kris Fulton (manager) came out with a plate of the shop’s other specialty—fresh cut beignets from Michael Mina. Kris admitted to recognizing me and wanted to be sure we didn’t leave without trying them.
The plate was decorated with an assortment of sauces including a meyer lemon curd, Valrhona chocolate and a luscious butterscotch made with Macallan whiskey. They were the perfect compliment to our coffee and may have even outshone it.
Kris was fantastic as he spoke with us about LaMill and the business relationships that brought them to Baltimore to help develop this Four Seasons location. He also talked about their Saturday morning coffee clinics that teach customers about coffee brewing and appreciation in a comfortable atmosphere—pastries included.
The space is connected with two other restaurants (Wit & Wisdom and Pabu) in the sprawling rear lobby of the hotel which blend together nicely while maintaining their individual character. LaMill is clean-lined and modern, while providing a warm atmosphere through it’s unique lighting and dark wood textures.
If you’re visiting Baltimore, you don’t have to be staying in the Four Seasons to stop by this beautiful shop for a treat. There’s outdoor seating in the summer and it’s a great starting point to walk along the harbor and take in one of the city’s nicer views. LaMill is a welcome addition to the Baltimore coffee scene, which currently includes staples Spro and Woodberry Kitchen—and soon to be joined by Artifact Coffee.
Last December, Albanian artist Saimir Strati set a world record with his mosaic made from 308 lbs of coffee beans. But last week, Russian artist Arkady Kim set a new record with his mural, “Awakening” using 397 lbs of coffee.
Kim’s mural, which spans 30 square meters in Moscow’s Gorky Central Park, took 12 days to piece together with the help of 5 assistants. Over one million beans were used to create the dramatic portrait of a woman’s face indulging in coffee’s powerful aroma.
While I’m not terribly interested in the image itself, the patience and vision required to turn various shades of roasted coffee beans into a mural this large is impressive. The mural was on display until yesterday, before the work of art was donated to a Russian freeze-dried coffee company. Hopefully they won’t be turning it into their product.
Introducing Coffee Crazy, the brand new EP from Helsinki-based musician Fanu. The new 5-track album is inspired by the musician’s love of coffee and the creative fuel it provides to so many artists of every talent. DCILY is excited to be the first to share this album with Fanu listeners, new and old. So grab a fresh cup and dive into the beats.
Perky Percolator Jam – kicks off the jam with playful vibes, rolling breaks, and a double bass line, making you feel as perky as if you had just gulped down good sips of that percolator brew.
Above Waters – describes the ethereal vibe you have while on a coffee high, making you feel like you’re floating above the sea.
Bad Coffee – got its name from a bad coffee experience Fanu had at St. Petersburgtrain station. Fanu had to put the horror into some kind of form to get it out of his system, and this is the result.
Espresso Deluxe – a sweet combination of rich yet smooth elements that lets you savor the subtlety and intricacy you might find in a classy cup of good-quality coffee.
Mocca Overdose – another case of putting bad experiences into musical form. Fanu downed two percolators worth of mocca + a few cups of filter coffee in a few hours (true story!), and the result was very heavy and brooding that seemed to last a little too long – just like this track. Enjoy with caution!
Fanu is originally from the north of Finland where much of the year it’s dark, cold and the people drink more coffee than anywhere else in the world. Now based in Helsinki, Fanu has continued his musical explorations stemming from his love for breakbeat and electronic music that began as a teenager, while being inspired by The Future Sound of London, DJ Shadow, Source Direct, Photek and Amon Tobin.
This album integrates coarse ground layers beneath the smooth flowing beats of a double bass that capture the joy in a great cup of coffee as well as the dark brooding moods that make you need one. I truly hope the EP finds further definition in a full length.
Download the full Coffee Crazy EP on NoiseTrade. If you enjoy it, be sure to tip!
I’ve mentioned before how terrible I think the moka pot is for brewing coffee, but it still remains one of the most iconic symbols of home coffee brewing. It’s a lovely object, albeit one that I’d never recommend anyone use to actually make coffee.
This beautiful blueprint illustration of the Bialetti Moka Express captures its steely geometric form in a truly fantastic way. I continue seeing it show up around the web, but I can’t verify the original artist. If someone knows the illustrator, please share!
Flipboard has been my favorite app to read content on the iPhone and iPad since discovering it last summer. In December, DCILY became a part of Flipboard’s featured content listings—making it the only coffee blog in the collection. Flipboard was finally released for Android devices on Friday, making it available to a lot more smart phones.
So if you’d like a new way to keep up with DCILY as well as other great content, you can find and add DCILY in the “Living” section of the Flipboard directory.