Intelligentsia tour video

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BoingBoing TV has fun video of a recent tour of Intelligentsia

Barcelona Coffee?

Related entries in Coffee Experiences, Coffee around the world

We’re heading to Spain for 2 weeks. We’ll be in the Barcelona area, and in Sitges, so if anyone has a good cafe to recommend (for coffee, tea, or hot chocolate), drop it as a comment.

We’ll take photos and do mini reviews along the way.

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Starbucks vs. Tim Hortons on Parliament Hill

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Tories are up in arms because the House of Commons has chosen Starbucks as the “premium” coffee served in the West Block cafeteria. Other brands that were considered were Tim Hortons, Second Cup and Timothy’s, but they all required purchasing a franchise.

Multatuli Coffee, an Ontario coffee roaster that supplies coffee to all of Parliament’s cafeterias, is also not happy that Starbucks is considered a step above them.

Read the whole story, with some amusing quotes from MPs, here.

Simon Law’s frothy art

Related entries in Coffee Culture, Coffee around the world, Fun with coffee

Simon Law is a barista in Australia at Cottesloe’s John Street café, and he’s in line as an artist of his own right, using some interesting techniques to turn coffee into art:

From the post:

Simon uses the tip of an oven thermometer to flick away fragments of surface froth, exposing the coffee colour underneath.

"The customers love it," he says. "But when we’re busy I get frowned at by the boss for taking too long."

He has no formal art training other than high school, where he didn’t take to painting but loved sculpture and metalwork.

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Lavazza ad offends Swedes

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A coffee advertisement by Lavazza has been deemed as too risque by Swedish authorities. The ad was criticized as using a sexualized photo of a woman to sell a product completely disassociated from the image.

"Coffee brand Lavazza has received a rap on the knuckles for its Swedish ad campaign after the Trade Ethical Council against Sexism in Advertising (ERK) judged it to be discriminatory.

“Intercoffe marketed Lavazza coffee. The pictures showed a woman lying on a bed drinking coffee, wearing a flight captain’s cap and a uniform shirt. The shirt is unbuttoned and the woman’s bra is visible,” according to ERK’s description of the offending campaign…

Sweden’s Ethical Council has a lower tolerance for the use of scantily clad women to advertise products than comparable regulatory bodies in other countries.

“Throughout Europe there is a big difference. If you just go over the bridge to Denmark you see that they accept a lot more,” ERK Secretary Jan Fager…

And regarding the Lavazza campaign ERK considers “that the woman is used as an eye catcher without any connection to the advertised products, and that it is insulting towards women.”

In its defence Lavazza wrote that the 2006 calendar from which the images were taken used humour and irony to recreate a 1950s feel. The company claimed that the images depicted glamour, style and a lust for life and were in no way discriminatory…"

Can you see how it would offend?

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Dominican coffee exports growing

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Coffee Exports from the Dominican Republic grew 196% between 2005 and 2006:

Dominican coffee exports, which registered a meager 54 thousand quintals last year, increased to 160 thousand quintals in the period 2005-2006, representing a recuperation in the order of 196.2 percent, which means that the sub-sector is certainly recovering from the crisis suffered between 2000-2003, when international prices declined to the lowest levels of the century.

Coffee sales abroad increased from 54,000 quintals during 2004-2005, to some 160 quintals during the coffee year 2005-2006.

Coffee is the 2nd greatest agricultural product that contributes to the country’s GDP.

Via Dominican Today ; Image Source ; Tags: , , ,

Mortar shell coffee makers

Related entries in Coffee Machines, Coffee around the world

Azmeraw Zeleke, an Ethiopian machinist, has started a business recycling mortar shells into coffee machines. Turning weapons into safe, effective cylinders used in household coffee machines and an innovative business.

From the BBC:

"The shells were dropped in Ethiopia during the war with Eritrea. They were dropped so people hid them in their homes and now they sell them," Mr Azmeraw says.

… He then transforms the cylinder to channel the water, coffee and milk…

He uses old mortar shells, which stand about one metre high, to make his coffee machines.

He cuts off the pointed ends, seals them and puts holes into the aluminium cylinder. The cylinder channels the water, coffee and milk…

"Sometimes I think about the fact they were used for war but I want to change them to do something good. They could be a symbol of war but I am doing something good out of the bad."

Since he started production five or six years ago, Mr Azmeraw has sold hundreds of machines - he cannot remember exactly how many.

Each one costs about $1,300. Most of them have been sold to people in the Mekele area.

Via boing boing ; Tags: , , , , , ,

The Year of Coffee Blog, the video

Related entries in Coffee around the world, Fun with coffee

It all started on January 1st, 2005 when Lloyd Asato decided to document every cup of coffee he would drink that year:

"The year is 2005 and it is time to reflect upon my life and there is no better accomplement than a freshly brewed cup of Peets. Thus begins The Year of Coffee, an honest look through the lense of Major Dickason. I secretly hope that I live something heroic or tragic though I suspect it may be a fluffy romantic comedy. Whatever is revealed will be shared here. It begins as an unflinching search for truth, but may end up as just a photo album of mugs of coffee."

And Lloyd did just that. Every day he would a picture (or two) of a cup of coffee, along with some quick comment, a glipse of the events in Lloyd’s day. On December 31, 2020 he posted the 1000th picture:

"I did not achieve enlightenment, but it did warm me up. My one-thousandth cup of 2005 was a latte from that place at the end of Mill Avenue. It was yummy, though the pastry sucked."

On Sunday he posted a video of the first 1000 cups, it takes less than 2 minutes to see them all.

And The Year of Coffee Blog continues, 1235 cups and counting.

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Buy Kopi Luwak Online

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You can now buy "Kopi Luwak" coffee online.

What is Kopi Luwak?

Kopi Luwak coffee, also known as Civet coffee or Kape Alamid, is coffee made from the poop of a Palm Civet. Kopi = coffee, Luwak = Palm Civet.

Yep, that’s right, it’s coffee that has passed through the digestive tract of the cat-sized mammal common in the Philippines & Vietnam. The Palm Civet will eat the coffee berries, and the beans pass through undigested.

The inner bean of the berry is not digested, but it is believed that enzymes in the stomach of the civet add to the coffee’s flavor by breaking down the proteins that give coffee its bitter taste. The beans are excreted still covered in some inner layers of the cherry, and locals then gather them and sell them to dealers. The beans are washed, and given only a light roast so as to not destroy the complex flavors which develop through the whole process. - Wikipedia

Why would anyone drink Kopi Luwak?

That I cannot answer. And yet, it is the single most expensive coffee in the world, selling at $75 USD per quarter pound.

The coffee is popular in the US and Japan, and is now available online. I’ve no personal interest in trying it, but if you do - go for it.

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Indonesia Flores Coffee

Related entries in Coffee Opinion, Coffee Reviews, Coffee around the world

Today we are drinking Indonesia Flores, roasted on February 27th. I am a fan of Indonesian coffees. Find them very pleasing from the first drop to the last.

The last batch of coffee, which we unfortunately didn’t write about, wasn’t as good. It started well right after roasting but didn’t last well as we continued to finish our half pound. Since we don’t get fresh coffee every day, it’s good to have one that can last a week.

The flavour of the coffee is not very strong. Perhaps it’s a little on the more flat side as opposed to many others we have tried that have distinct flavours.

About Flores:

The island of Flores was never really part of the Dutch East Indies. It was discovered by the Portuguese in the mid 15th century and was settled by them soon after. The Portuguese influence lasted for over 100 years before the Dutch drove them out. However Portuguese missionaries remained and today most of the population is Christian, unlike the rest of the country which is predominately Muslim. The island itself is a fantastic place- from the Komodo dragons in the east, to the volcanic lakes of Kelimutu and the friendly port city of Larantuka…vast jungles cover the island and many of the roads are narrow and allow limited access to the hinterland. The arabica produced on the island displays mellowness reminiscent of that found in Java.. Several large plantations produce beans for export, however again the small hold producers grow beans with unusual and very favorable qualities. - Source

San Francisco Coffee

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I have taken a bit of a tour of San Francisco a couple of years ago, but at that time wasn’t the coffee fan I am now, so I cannot offer personal insight into cafes or coffee there. However, Om Malik has compiled a list of good cafes that we should all take note of for our travels.

His list includes Ritual Coffee Roasters on Valencia St and Quetzal Internet Cafe on Polk Street.

Check out the full set of recommendations.

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A taste of things to come

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A bunch of our Vancouver friends headed off to Torino for the Olympics and to support 2010 in Vancouver & the move to Web 2.0. While there, they’ve been camera happy and I’ve been watching their adventures - including those culinary.

Boris Mann gives us a preview of lovely coffee experiences to expect from Italy:

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Coffee in Europe?

Related entries in Coffee Experiences, Coffee around the world

So, Ianiv & I have booked a 1 month honeymoon to Europe. We’ll be backpacking from Amsterdam through Belgium and France down to Italy, over through Switzerland and Germany (most likely) back to Amsterdam. The longest stay will be in Italy.

So, never having been to Europe, and wanting good coffee… any suggestions?

Do you know of good cafes we should seek out? Any advice is welcome.

Of course, we’re going to keep a coffee diary of all the places we go to and our coffee experiences. Looking forward to it!

This is why we drink coffee?

Related entries in Coffee around the world

I cannot even imagine a time when an ad like this would be necessary. To actually have to tell people to drink coffee. Well, perhaps before Starbucks covered the earth. Then, maybe ;)

Video info from the contributor, brengibble:

Digitized from a 1984 VHS tape. This is one of the famous Coffee Achievers tv spots, meant to encourage people to DRINK COFFEE. You can see how we here in the 21st Century have to laugh ourselves senseless at the idea that paid ads were necessary, and not even for a particular brand of coffee, just the product in general. Appearing in this ad: David Bowie (Jay Leno in 1985: “Come on! To David Bowie, a cup of coffee is merely a sedative at this point.”), Kenny Anderson, Kurt Vonnegut, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson of the band Heart, and Cicely Tyson.

From YouTube

Unhappy baristas quit Blenz

Related entries in Coffee around the world

Over at BeyondRobson there is a picture of a note posted on the window of a Blenz on Hastings St. Four employees, tired of the way they were being treated by their manager, decided to just quit at the same time. I don’t know any other details other than what you can find on that post.

But it goes to show, if you don’t respect your employees you can’t expect any loyalty from them. And if your employees don’t care about and don’t enjoy their job your customers will probably not have a very good experience. It’s just bad for business.