Two years. I wasn’t sure what this project would become when it began. I just wanted a way to stay in touch with the coffee world I left behind in college and help my friends and family understand what they were missing by drinking Maxwell House and Starbucks. I’m thankful to have achieved both things and made many new friends to share coffee knowledge with along the way.
In the past year, DCILY has begun expanding past the boundaries of a blog with exciting results. Last spring, I joined a team of other passionate coffee professionals to create Coffee Common, a company that organizes exceptional coffee experiences for the masses. I’ve also covered several fantastic coffee events from the ground and competed in my first. Last week a new merch store launched, featuring DCILY’s fall line of shirts and limited edition designs were contributed to both the 2011 Nordic Barista Cup and World AeroPress Championship. And because of your continued support and DCILY’s pledge to give back, nearly $500 from sales were donated to Coffee Kids this year.
None of this would have happened without the awesome people who visit this site every day and encourage me to continue devoting the time it takes to keep it going. Heres’s to another year of learning about and experiencing great coffee. Thank you all.
Love coffee, live well, give back & inspire others.
This poster was created with the same intention as the others I’ve designed—to simply express my own frustration with certain habits and trends within the coffee industry. While the first one (the dreaded x) was self explanatory, some of these need a bit more explanation. So let this be the first.
Bold: adj \’bōld\ 1) Fearless before danger. Daring. Adventurous. See ‘bold’ type.
I know that coffee fearlessly takes on each morning like an undefeated champion and gives us the courage to face the day. But there are many other ways to describe this revelation—and the taste of your coffee—than with a hollow descriptor that Starbucks practically own the rights to:
What Makes a Coffee Bold? At Starbucks we will call a coffee bold based on its flavor intensity. Bold can come from a combination of roast, flavor intensity or the complexity due to where is it grown. Some examples are the grapefruit notes in Kenya or the full body of the earthy and spicy Komodo Dragon Blend®. –Starbucks
By this definition, any coffee that exhibits “complexity, ” whether it’s a citrusy Kenyan or a spicy Indonesian constitutes being described as “bold.” Coffee by its very nature is an intense (some might say bold) beverage. The flavors, the aromatics, the body, the complexity, the caffeine—all create a unique beverage experience unlike anything else.
However, the word “bold” has been hijacked by marketing and used to describe everything from darker roasts, to higher brew ratios, to even implying there is more caffeine in bold coffee (which there isn’t). This creates confusion among customers, frustration among baristas, and puts pressure on roasters to participate in the erroneous descriptor circus, just to sell coffee to an indoctrinated market.
The industry is full of metaphor and sometimes rather curious coffee descriptions:
Sweet, just bracing enough, the coffee recalls nothing so much as getting out of the subway at Lincoln Center on an icy winter day with three dollars in your pocket, and saying “Yes. Today is the day I buy those honey-roasted cashews from the guy with the nut cart.” –Blue Bottle Coffee
But creative and indiscernible is better than vague and ambiguous. My suggestion, remove “bold” from your coffee vocabulary. Boycott bold. Begin to notice more specific characteristics of your coffee—do you like sweet, fruity, floral, citrus, spicy, smokey, nutty, earthy, chocolaty? These are some of the basic coffee flavors that can help you pick out what you enjoy about your coffee. You don’t need to discern Satsuma orange and rosewater to order a coffee you’ll like, but everyone will benefit if you avoid using bold.
One year ago, this website began with a single post that read, “You, me, and a pot of coffee. We will change the world.” Since that inaugural post, there have been 174 more of them, all of which are meant to inspire, educate, and make you smile. The goal here at DCILY, is to help strengthen your relationship with quality coffee, so that it continues to inspire you and fuel the innovative and hard working among us all. As the third most popular beverage in the world, a lot of life happens around coffee and a lot of great ideas have developed over a cup of it—here’s to many more cups (and ideas) to come!
I’ve had a lot of requests for prints of the Dear Coffee, I Love You posters that I’ve designed. Now, thanks to Society6, you can order your favorite prints! They are gallery quality Giclée prints on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. This is the real deal. They’ll look great and last as long as the Mona Lisa.
If you order thru this Sunday, Society6 is offering free shipping on all orders! So skip the mall on Black Friday and order some prints for your coffee loving loved ones. If you have a color request that’s not in the store, I will take custom orders.
This is my latest print in an attempt to shine light on some of the common misconceptions that surround espresso. However, this one is questionable. I’ve read many studies that suggest that a shot of espresso has less caffeine than an 8oz cup of drip/pour-over coffee and others that state the opposite, depending on how it’s measured. I tend to think a 1oz shot is going to have significantly less caffeine, does anyone out there know otherwise? Please let me know!
After posting my last print, I decided to make a series of them that address many of the errors I encounter daily in the world of coffee. These are things I find annoying or just plain wrong, yet are continually perpetuated by marketers, and the uninformed. So think of these as Espresso 101 flash cards. There will be a test, so find a partner and study up!
I have a long list of coffee related agitations, but number one on that list developed during my years as a barista. The dreaded X that so many people use while confidently ordering their espresso makes me cringe every time. I can’t explain the severity of my reaction other than it’s such an obvious mispronunciation that’s too often repeated.
Recently at my local market, I heard a woman condescendingly attempt to school an employee about espresso, while continually referring to it as expresso. I stood quietly behind her biting my lip. I’ve designed this in response to eventually offer as a print for interested parties to proudly display wherever their shots are pulled.
I stopped by McCarren park this weekend to meet the guys behind Kickstand Coffee, Brooklyn’s newest—and only—bike powered, mobile coffee bar. The founders Peter Castelein, Neal Olson and Aaron Davis—who have all worked with Gimme! Coffee—just finished their third weekend in business, but have already created quite the buzz.
Their open air coffee theatrics have been providing delicious Chemex brewed coffee, from local roasters, to the sun soaking folks in McCarren Park and local craft fairs. However, once Kickstand get’s cleared for a vendor license, there’s a good chance you’ll see their mobile, transforming bar—which was brilliantly engineered by Neal’s roommate Ben Schleif—showing up in other places around the city.
The idea combines the founders’ passion for bikes with their passion for coffee and has created a unique and intimate experience that allows the customer the opportunity to fully engage with the person making your coffee. It also give’s Kickstand a chance to educate customers about the differences in quality coffees and the brewing process while it takes place right in front of them. Good luck guys, you’ve got a successful summer ahead of you.