Cartel Coffee Lab: A Desert Oasis In A Coffee Desert

11.27

I’ve never been to Arizona, but I’ve recently noticed an increase in Twitter followers from the Grand Canyon state that may signify the growing interest in Specialty Coffee there, which I’d previously been ignorant to.  After seeing this video made by Ah Dios for Cartel Coffee Lab—it looks like they’ve played a big part in that growing interest.

Founded in 2007, Cartel Coffee Lab now has 4 locations in Arizona (Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix & Tucson) and roast their own coffee in a lovely San Franciscan roaster at the Tempe shop. They are active in organizing educational classes—and based on this video—have a humble, but principled approach to serving great coffee.

This video is great for blending commentary from the founder with high-def coffee porn and incredible facial hair cameos. Bonus points for the “Stranger Than Fiction” style annotations and their future expansion into beer brewing.

Cartel Coffee Lab


Below is a clip of outtakes with Greg Tidrow, the man with incredible facial hair slurping an espresso—made without sound to emphasize the visual greatness. Look at that wink!

posted by on 11.27.2011, under Recommended Roasters, Videos

DripLA’s Hypnotic Syphon Video

11.10

Beautiful film made by dripLA, brewing up some Coava Coffee in a syphon. Enjoy.

[via @nickcho]

posted by on 11.10.2011, under Misc., Videos

Michael Phillips Super Talks Coffee in Korea

11.10

Michael Phillips, the 2010 World Barista Champion and 1/3 of Handsome Roasters, recently gave a Super Talk about coffee at a TED-like event in Korea called Super Series.

The talk, named “Cultural Coffee & Artistic Barista” begins with a brief definition of Specialty Coffee before Mike goes on to share his passions for coffee and being a barista. As the talk progresses, he discusses important changes taking place in the world of coffee guided by cultural interest in the process and origin of the things we consume and a desire for authenticity in our every-day experiences.

After briefly explaining barista competitions, Mike elaborates on why they are good for baristas and the positive innovations they have led to in the industry, which results in better coffee for the consumer and inspired new ways to look at coffee.

Things like this have caused coffee to be reborn, re-examined, and challenged in entirely new ways.

This video is an approachable explanation of the changes people have begun seeing in their local coffee shops, read about online and heard about from their friends. There’s a lot of great information delivered without pretension and a handsome face.

When you get a chance to watch it, I highly recommend it.
Super Series [via @alexanderruas]

posted by on 11.10.2011, under Coffee 101, Recommended Roasters, Videos

Epic Cup Stacking at Café in Iran

11.08

Technically this is tea, but it’s amazing no matter what he’s pouring into the cups.

[via wokinabox on Facebook]

posted by on 11.08.2011, under Videos

Crop to Cup with JJ Bean

09.09

I’ve posted a lot of videos lately, but they’re all fantastic and serve as great reminders of how complex coffee is—not only in taste—but the effort it takes to fill your cup.

This latest video from JJ Bean Coffee Roasters in Vancouver begins with a montage of beautiful b&w photos from an origin trip to Guatemala earlier this year. After returning home, it follows the green beans to the cupping table, through roasting and into a cup.

From the JJ Bean website:

Relatively few people in North America have any knowledge about where or how coffee is made. It is easy to think of coffee as simply a tasty drink made from ground “beans”. However, there is much more to coffee than that, and we wouldn’t even have those beans (which are actually the seeds of coffee cherries) if it were not for the hard work of farmers and workers on coffee farms around the world, as well as the tasters, roasters, and baristas who transform the green beans into the drink we know as coffee. At JJ Bean, we wish to honour the entire “journey of coffee”, from crop to cup, as well as the many people who work tirelessly to bring us that coffee.

I couldn’t agree more. Enjoy.

posted by on 09.09.2011, under Misc., Recommended Roasters, Videos

World AeroPress Record at 20,000ft

09.08

To follow yesterdays re-announcement of the World AeroPress Championship, I’d like to say I’ve found my new training regiment. I’m ready to don an oxygen mask and start making inverted AeroPresses at 20,000ft! Who’s with me?

Last week, while flying 60km/h and geared up to stay warm in the -20°c air, three coffee lovers in Lithuania set a new world record for preparing coffee in a hot air balloon above 20,000ft. Barista Nidas Kiuberis from Coffee Inn, roaster Grazvydas Vilcinskas from Kavos Bankas and pilot Vytautas Samarinas from Orobalionai took to the skies with a thermos of hot water, an AeroPress and fresh roasted coffee from Kavos Bankas (which they ground while on the ground) up into the Troposphere to make history.

After brewing, they each took turns removing their oxygen masks to taste their epic cup of coffee, which sadly was only “as tasty as it is on earth.”

Congrats on the achievement! I think we’ve got our new WAC venue for 2012.

posted by on 09.08.2011, under Misc., Videos

Olympia Coffee Roasting Video

09.05

Another visually stunning look into the world of coffee bars and roasteries made by Charley Voorhis for Olympia Coffee Roasters in Washington. I never get tired of watching these. Take a coffee break and enjoy!

If you haven’t seen the others, check out the videos from MadCap & Doma.

[via Sprudge]

posted by on 09.05.2011, under Recommended Roasters, Videos

Deep, Dark, Delicious Yuban & Coffee Seasonality

08.19

After reading an article about coffee & seasonality on Nordic Coffee Culture recently, some of what the article discussed reminded me of the entertaining marketing spin used in this 1950′s commercial for Yuban Coffee.

(Yuban is) Richest because it is blended with rare, aged coffee beans…Yuban adds to its blend, beans that are aged to peak flavor; like vintage wine, the choicest cheese, the finest steak…well worth the few extra pennies you’ll spend.

Who wouldn’t want to buy a coffee that’s compared to the finest wines? That technique is sometimes still used today to try and differentiate “third wave” coffee from the rest. Ironically, that strategy is 60 years old and was once used to sell canned coffee from God-knows-where. While Yuban may compare their rich tasting “aged coffee” with vintage wine, Tim Wendelboe compares the technique to defects in corked wine.

The problem with storing unroasted coffee is that after a certain time, (depending on how the coffee is dried, packaged, shipped and stored) the coffee will start loosing moisture and taste more bitter and woody after roasting (almost like corked wine).

If you haven’t read the article, it’s worth checking out. It will give you a better understanding of the seasonal direction many progressive coffee roasters are moving in, as they strive to offer the freshest and highest quality coffee experience possible.

Coffee and Seasonality – Nordic Coffee Culture

posted by on 08.19.2011, under Misc., Videos

MadCrazy MadCap Latte Art

08.16

From the same people who created “Green Bean,” a beautiful video I posted back in April, comes another equally as stunning video featuring the team at MadCap Coffee. Showing off their latte art skills and their custom MadCap tampers, combined with the talented video work of Hybrid Media Co. make this some of the best coffee porn online.

Just like last time, turn up the speakers, watch it fullscreen and enjoy.

posted by on 08.16.2011, under Recommended Roasters, Videos

A Video About Caffeine (Not Coffee)

06.29

I’ve been sent this video by roughly 20 people and it’s been making rounds on the internet so hard that even Gizmodo has posted it. The video is interesting, and though not necessarily incorrect, I find it really annoying. Describing it as “everything you need to know about coffee in less than five minutes,” while only spending 8 seconds on the actual process from crop to cup, overlooks all of the work it actually takes to produce coffee. The rest of the video is little more than a 4-minute ramble about the effects of caffeine. There’s far more to coffee than caffeine. If that’s the only reason you drink it, you’re missing out on so much more. Just sayin.

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posted by on 06.29.2011, under Misc., Videos