Oliver Strand does Japan

12.18

Oliver Strand published a great new article on Ristretto, his column for the New York Times, about his recent travels to Japan. Strand shares a bit about the history of Japanese coffee shops, called kissaten, and reveals where you can experience the next generation of coffee on your next trip to Tokyo—map included.

When I tell people that I went to Tokyo to check out the coffee, I get two reactions. One is bewilderment — as if I went to Denver for the surfing. The other is fascination: those who pay attention to coffee know that Japan is the world’s third-largest importer (after the United States and Germany), with obsessive buyers who regularly land the winning bids at Cup of Excellence auctions, and that it produces the coffee gear everybody wants. –Oliver Strand

Full article and interactive map at New York Times.

[ Photo: Oliver Strand]

posted by on 12.18.2011, under Coffee Touring

Stumptown Hasn’t Sold Out

06.02

After days of rampant internet speculation regarding Stumptowns ownership, a reputable publication did some real journalism to finally uncover some answers. Rumors began after the owner of an east coast coffee roaster, irresponsibly claimed that Stumptown’s owner Duane Sorenson had “sold his life’s work to the highest bidder,” in an “article” for Escquire.com.

Oliver Strand waded through the hysteria, and spoke with Duane to learn more.

“I still own Stumptown,” Mr. Sorenson said in a telephone interview. “I’m still in control of Stumptown, the only thing that’s changed is that I brought in an investor, a buddy of mine, who brought in some money so that I can do the things I want to do.” -NYTimes

While this may not appease all of the doubters calling him a sell-out, there are also people who will never believe President Obama was born in the US. Considering the state of the economy and the costs required to scale from a regional business to a national one, I completely understand the need for investment capital. While they aren’t disclosing the structure of the investment, there’s currently no reason not to take Duane at his word. There seems to be a lot on the horizon for Stumptown, and if they continue supporting farmers and selling great coffee, we should be thanking Alexander Panos and TSG Partners.

[Stumptown] plans to open two coffee bars in Brooklyn, add a bottling facility to its roaster in Red Hook for its cold-brewed coffee and, Duane Sorenson, Stumptown’s founder, says the company will try to open roasters in Chicago and San Francisco. -NYTimes

Read the full article at the New York Times Diner’s Journal. An updated article with some new and developing information has also been published.

[Photo by Todd Stadler]

posted by on 06.02.2011, under Misc., Recommended Roasters

Coffee, Conversation, and Liberty

03.02

Today the New York Times ran an article about Annabel Park’s exploding movement, the Coffee Party. My heart almost exploded. Not just because many of us have joked about starting the same—just to spite the Tea Party—but also because this party actually aligns with my thoughts and feelings towards the former. We need conversation and solutions, not fear mongering and militias. Coffee has always been a catalyst for great ideas, so why shouldn’t there be a political party named after it? I say hell yes, sign me up.

From the New York Times article:

The slogan is “Wake Up and Stand Up.” The mission statement declares that the federal government is “not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.”

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posted by on 03.02.2010, under Misc.