Monthly Archives

May 2018

The Knockbox Is Coffee’s New Satire Website

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You like to laugh and you like coffee and sometimes you even like to laugh at coffee. That’s why you are going to want to check out The Knockbox, a new satirical website written by and for the specialty coffee community, at least the portion of it that recognizes how ridiculous we all are.

The Knockbox is the newest creation of RJ Joseph, the creator of the Queer Cup, contributor at Barista Magazine, and staff writer here at Sprudge. It is here we would like to note that The Knockbox is a wholly independent coffee publication from that of Sprudge, so separate in fact that I wasn’t even asked to write for it and I’m hilarious. Not that I’m upset about that or anything. I’m funny, right? Right?! Oh god, someone please tell me I’m funny. This is my worst nightmare coming true.

When reached for comment, Joseph had this to say about her newest endeavor:

In the coffee industry, we often take ourselves way too seriously, and I just want us to be able to have fun and laugh at ourselves and our very real challenges. Comedy is a great way to explore real issues that people on all sides of the bar face.

Written in the vein of The Onion or The Borowitz Report, The Knockbox has come out of the gate blazing, turning a smarmy eye towards Yelp reviewers, roasters, and all manner of barista folly. “Too soon!” will be the cry of the barista who feels personally attacked, seeing themselves in the harsh light of satire.

But the rest of us—the ones who have already come to terms with our ludicrous existence—we can all have a good laugh at those who can’t (until they start writing about coffee writers, that is. In which case, TOO SOON!). So go check out The Knockbox, it’s all gold. And be on the lookout for a Kickstarter campaign launching soon. Laughs aren’t free, so cough up the coin, chuckleheads.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

*top image via The Knockbox

The post The Knockbox Is Coffee’s New Satire Website appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Eco-Clothing And Coffee At The United By Blue Flagship In Philadelphia

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United by Blue Philadelphia Camping Outdoor Gear Espresso Bar Reanimator Coffee Sprudge Eric Grimm

United by Blue Philadelphia Camping Outdoor Gear Espresso Bar Reanimator Coffee Sprudge Eric Grimm

I had just given notice at my day job when United By Blue, a Philly-based eco-clothier, invited me to a preview of their new flagship store in Philly’s Old City neighborhood. With just three weeks left of financial security, I had no real plan for my next move, and the opportunity to see an ambitious 3,300-square-foot concept clothing store/cafe come alive during soft opening seemed a good place to find myself. They sold me on an adventure. They’d bus me from New York  to Philly and put me up for the night. There would be drinks and food in the evening on Thursday, when they’d tell me all about their ocean conservation initiatives. Most tantalizing was the promise of a campfire-inspired breakfast on Friday morning.

United by Blue Philadelphia Camping Outdoor Gear Espresso Bar Reanimator Coffee Sprudge Eric Grimm

I filled in the rest of the blanks. When I arrived, I would find strangers who would immediately seem like lifelong friends. We would swaddle each other in flannel and share our dreams of roaming a greener urban jungle while outfitted in sustainable clothing. After telling ghost stories over evening coffee, we’d mummify ourselves in sleeping bags and wake up the next morning for our “campfire-inspired breakfast.” There’d be a fire pit. An actual fire pit inside this store that would somehow not violate the fire code. Over locally sourced eggs and bacon, we’d make a plan to save the ocean and then we’d all do ayahuasca and throw up the fears that we brought into the store the previous evening. There was no way I was leaving this clothing store without certainty about my life’s path.

On the bus ride down, I received word that the “campfire-inspired breakfast” had been cancelled due to unexpected problems getting the kitchen ready. Ever optimistic in spite of the extinguishing of my Friday morning enlightenment, I put all my hopes on becoming one eco-savior entity with the other attendees of the Thursday event. I checked into my hotel, which I figured was a contingency for those not dedicated enough to the cause to get into those sleeping bags at the end of the night, and walked a few blocks over to the site where I would shed the skin of my previous life and emerge eco-conscious and lighter than air.

United by Blue Philadelphia Camping Outdoor Gear Espresso Bar Reanimator Coffee Sprudge Eric Grimm

When I stepped inside to find my new friends, I discovered only polite strangers. They were warm, for sure, but not ready to bump chests with me and intertwine our hearts in a shared mission. The store had attractive displays of flannel shirts, tents, and industrial coolers that would survive the apocalypse. I also counted no fewer than six campfire-safe enamel coffee mugs sprinkled throughout with messages telling me to take a road trip and leave the world better. One told me “The Mountains Are Calling,” and, surrounded by reclaimed wood and many pairs of soft looking, but durable hemp socks, I believed the cup. I had to.

United by Blue Philadelphia Camping Outdoor Gear Espresso Bar Reanimator Coffee Sprudge Eric Grimm

There were no psychedelics present, but there was whiskey, and maybe if I drank enough and ate enough of the pulled pork and catfish sliders going around, I’d get to where I wanted to be emotionally and spiritually. While I was trying to find myself, I found Lisa Brayda, the manager of the store’s coffee shop, the occasion for my dispatch from points north, located just feet away from the flannel. She made me a lovely shot of ReAnimator’s Keystone Blend from a Synesso Hydra, and told me about her hopes for the shop’s coffee program. She extolled the virtues of a well-executed FETCO drip coffee while expressing a desire to build a solid brew-by-cup offering. She was most excited about seeing people drink coffee at the communal table that sat directly in front of the coffee bar. Here was a coffee nerd who wanted to be accessible to any outdoorsperson who wandered over for that “campfire-inspired breakfast” I would never have.

I liked Lisa. She stood before me knowing what she wanted out of life and her career for the time being and didn’t need my imagined kumbaya soul awakening to reach her conclusions. She’d teach people how to serve coffee, foster a sense of community, and occasionally ring up a $300 Yeti cooler. Other team members from United By Blue put forth polished messaging about their commitment to picking up a pound of trash for every product sold across the nation. Their mission was clear, so how come mine wasn’t?

With some sliders, whiskey, and coffee swirling around my yet undiscovered spirit, I moved to go find an actual meal somewhere out in the world and was directed to pick up a swag bag on the way out. I checked the bag’s contents just outside and discovered those impossibly soft hemp socks and the mug that told me, “The Mountains Are Calling.” Was this mug telling me that my journey wasn’t over, but just beginning? I pulled out my brand new unsustainably produced iPhone X, held it up close to me, and said, “Hey, Siri, find me a fire pit.”

United by Blue is located at 205 Race Street, Philadelphia. Visit their official website and follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Eric J. Grimm (@ericjgrimm) writes about pop culture and coffee for Sprudge Media Network, and lives in Manhattan. Read more Eric J. Grimm on Sprudge.

Photographs courtesy of United by Blue.

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Source: Coffee News

Scientists Have Found A New Method For Detecting Coffee Tree Parasites

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Microscopic worms present a serious threat to coffee trees. Two species of nematode have been wreaking havoc on coffee trees by boring into their roots, causing an estimated loss of 15 percent coffee production. But researchers from the University of Leeds have created a new detection method to help identify the devastating pest.

According to Science Daily, the nematodes live in the soil and feast on the roots of coffee trees but leave “no specific symptoms” of their presence, making their detection all the more difficult. To compound things, the miscroscopic worms also feed on the roots of banana and black pepper trees, which are often interspersed with coffee plants to diversify a farm’s income source.

Working with Nestlé agronomists, the University of Leeds researchers took soil samples from 28 coffee plantations in Brazil, Vietnam, and Indonesia—six, 14, and eight, respectively—to test for the presence of the nematodes. When analyzing the samples for nematode DNA, they found “damaging levels wherever they looked.” In short, the test involves wetting soil samples, running them through a sieve and a centrifuge to find the prevalence of the parasite (but if you want the real deal methodology, it can be found here).

This new test may go a long way in helping to identify how widespread the nematode problem is, which according to Peter Urwin, a professor of plant nematology and the University of Leeds, is significant: “We found widespread evidence of these parasites. The exact species vary by country and looking at soil samples, I can tell the difference between Vietnam and Brazil or Indonesia. The sad fact is that wherever we take samples, we find plant-parasitic nematodes, which are hugely damaging to coffee crops.”

After identification, the next step is to find a way of dealing with the nematode infestation. This new method offers no solution, but is a step toward finding one. With nearly an 18 percent increase in production on the line, finding a solution may prove necessary for the economic health and future of coffee farms.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

*top image from “Always An Exception”: Inside The Rising Tide Of Indonesian Coffee by Evan Gilman.

The post Scientists Have Found A New Method For Detecting Coffee Tree Parasites appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

In Chiapas, Frontera Cafe Keeps Some Of Mexico’s Quality Coffee At Home

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frontera cafe chiapas mexico

frontera cafe chiapas mexico

Nestled high in the misty central highlands of Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas is a feast for the eyes. The red-tiled buildings of its historic center are laid out in a classic colonial grid, radiating out from the town’s central plaza, the Zocalo. Tourists rove the adjacent streets, making their way past street sellers and buskers. There’s a chill in the air. In contrast to many of the more-touristed parts of Mexico, Sancris, as the locals call it, can get downright cold, a nasty surprise for tourists expecting Coronas and palm trees. 

frontera cafe chiapas mexico

These days, Sancris has a bit of a hippie vibe going on. The backpacking crowd here trends older, and dreadlocked. Once outside the impeccably clean, UNESCO-protected city center, wheatpastes and other street art gradually emerge along walls and side streets. The town now boasts more than one green juice bar. It was along one of these decorated lanes that Paul Perezgrovas, owner and proprietor of Frontera Cafe, grew up.

frontera cafe chiapas mexico

Frontera Cafe occupies the northeastern corner of a square-shaped building at the northern end of Avenida Belisario Dominguez. It’s a beautiful building. Meter-thick whitewashed walls draped in charmingly warped tiles surround a courtyard built around an ancient well. Small flowerpots and garden patches add color. An awning around the interior edge of the courtyard is supported by beautifully carved wooden pillars, all original.

frontera cafe chiapas mexico

When I visit the cafe one frosty morning, Perezgrovas explains to me how the building was built as a stable more than 300 years ago, pointing out details as he goes: ancient straps of donkey skin holding the roof’s venerable timber beams together, the uneven flagstones underneath the retrofitted wooden floors. “When I saw this building was available, I knew I had to do something with it,” Perezgrovas explains.

frontera cafe chiapas mexico

Three years ago, Perezgrovas returned to his native Sancris after 15 years living abroad and working as a coffee buyer with Root Capital, Cafe Direct, and others. But after all that time, he was tired. Tired of flying all over the place in search of the newest coffee. As he prepared a pour-over for me, he explained he was ready to reconnect with San Cristobal again, and hoped to bring a little bit of what he had learned in his years away back to the city.

frontera cafe chiapas mexico

Photo courtesy of Frontera Cafe

Perezgrovas’ method is intensely terroir-forward: when ordering, you select a specific coffee and your brewing method of choice, choosing between the usual suspects: French press, AeroPress, and Chemex. On my visit I select one called Reserva del Triunfo, grown in the hills near Jaltenango, Chiapas, in the southern part of the state. The pour-over was bracing, sweet-scented, and nutty. Each coffee is served with a small card with quick facts about the coffee you’re drinking, detailing information about the coffee’s producer, altitude, process, and variety.

frontera cafe chiapas mexico

A perennial tragedy of many coffee-producing regions is that the best coffees tend to be exported, leaving the locals with whatever is left. Perezgrovas was never comfortable with this paradigm and set out to change it. To that end, almost all the coffees on offer at Frontera are grown in Chiapas by growers that Perezgrovas knows personally (one selection, Finca Las Nieves, is grown by a friend in the neighboring state of Oaxaca). He visits the farms directly and roasts all the beans here in San Cristobal. It’s important to Perezgrovas that he maintains a personal connection with his suppliers.

frontera cafe chiapas mexico

Photo courtesy of Frontera Cafe

As I sipped my second cup, another pour-over, this time a buttery light roast called Tacana Sierra Madre, Perezgrovas talked about future goals. He’s working to expand Frontera’s reach. Recently, he started supplying coffee to a few cafes in Mexico City and heavily-touristed Puerto Escondido. He has his sights set on Oaxaca City as a next venue for expansion. But he maintains that it’s important not to lose sight of the details.

frontera cafe chiapas mexico

“In the end, Frontera Cafe is about community,” he says. Taking in the quietly buzzing courtyard, I’m inclined to agree. Children play around the area’s central well, young people tap at phones or laptops and talk quietly. A music event was scheduled for later the same evening, hosted by one of Frontera’s neighboring shops. Each of the doors on the courtyard leads to a different local business: a craft beer bar, a small-label designer, an art gallery, a bar specializing in mezcal as well as the local Chiapan firewater, Pox. “There’s no way Frontera could occupy all this space on its own,” he says, gesturing at the assemblage, “plus, it feels good to have neighbors.”

Frontera Cafe is located at Avenida Belisario Domínguez 35, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Conor O’Rourke is a freelance journalist based in Berlin. His work has appeared in publications such as ExBerlinerMatadorThe Hustle, and many more. Read more Conor O’Rourke on Sprudge.

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Source: Coffee News

After A Bad Review, Four O’Clock Is Now Hip Hop Hour At Portland’s Either/Or

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I feel like I’ve spent considerably more time that I have ever wanted to (read: none) writing about customers not liking hip hop in cafes. After putting pen to pad for multiple stories about two Joe Van Gogh baristas being fired from the Duke University location over a song that offended one particular member in line—as well as the subsequent withdrawal of JVG from the Duke campus—I figured that would be the end of it. But here we are again.

On a recent afternoon in Portland, Oregon, a customer came into the brand new (and very beautiful) Either/Or cafe of N. Williams to find some 4:00pm-ish hip hop playing on the stereo. They were not fond of it. But instead of firing anyone, Either/Or has swung in the opposite direction: 4:00pm is now hip hop hour.

According to a screenshot of a comment left on a Square receipt by “Christopher” (as the post calls him), the problem was not that the music was offensive, just that he doesn’t like it: “the problem with hiphop [sic] (or whatever this stuff was at 4pmish [sic]) is that if you don’t like it, it’s like repetitive, stupid noise.” Because of this, Christopher is unlikely to return.

In honor of Christopher’s considered commentary, the ownership at Either/Or has decided to make the four o’clock hour of each weekday “Hip Hop Hour.” From their Facebook post:

Sometimes exposure to new music, and ideas for that matter, can ruffle ones feathers but these are the joys we can all experience on this journey we call human life. Something that often helps us when we encounter an idea, taste, or sound that is unfamiliar to us is to educate ourselves about the subject at hand. We at Either/Or wanted to help you on your journey so we did a bit of research about Hip Hop as a musical form with a rich historical context.

Either / Or also included links to articles explaining the cultural significance of the art form. Read the full response below.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v3.0’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

*We value your feedback, see our response below and feel free to comment with any hip hop album requests you’d like to…

Posted by Either/Or on Monday, May 28, 2018

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

The post After A Bad Review, Four O’Clock Is Now Hip Hop Hour At Portland’s Either/Or appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Mexican Coffee A Step Beyond At Atla In New York City

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When you’re making Mexican food as high-caliber and inventive as award-winning chefs Enrique Olvera and Daniela Soto-Innes in New York City (and soon Los Angeles), it’s essential that anything served alongside be equally well thought-out. This high standard is the fire behind the encyclopedic mezcal list at Atla, Olvera’s second and more casual NYC restaurant after Cosme, and—as Atla is a true day-to-night joint—it burns at the heart of one of the city’s most unique coffee programs as well.

From the fishbowl of windows surrounding Atla’s sunny NoHo corner to its intimate, downtown-crowded tables and vine-climbed walls, the energy at Atla is convivial, organic. Sure, it’s got the slate-grey tones and clean lines of Cosme, but it’s also open at 9:00am daily, ready to serve chilaquiles, chia bowls, and yes, even, ahem, guacamole toast. And it all goes down with a full line of Mexican—in both preparation and provenance—coffees, to boot.

Yana Volfson

Coffee here, like Atla’s other beverage programs, is guided assertively by beverage director Yana Volfson. Volfson comes from the wine and spirits world, but she also comes from the Bronx, and immediately knew that practical but delicious coffee would be a necessary focal point of Atla’s drinks program. The restaurant selected Mexico City’s Buna for their coffee roaster of record, working closely with Buna owner Lalo Perez, and bringing in barista Andrew Yee—who cut his NYC coffee teeth at Joe Coffee—to help tailor a coffee setup that would shape the restaurant’s daylight hours.

Coffee at Atla is meant to have “an extroverted tone,” Volfson tells me over a signature coffee drink called the Pollenizer, a cacao-infused cold brew coffee cut with coconut water and honey. The drink was part of a short-run menu in celebration of a Buna collaboration with coffee magazine Drift at Atla this April, an event which further highlighted Atla’s commitment to bringing Mexican coffee to the fore.

“We wanted to use Atla as a place to start talking about coffee and about what we’re designing as a Latin American, Mexican-driven program,” explains Volfson. In putting Atla’s two-group La Marzocco Linea directly behind the bar, coffee became not only a feature of the restaurant’s service—not relegated to a behind-the-scenes part of the restaurant—but also part of the bar program, she says.

“Without question, you wake up in the morning and coffee is part of many people’s daytime rituals if not all-day rituals,” says Volfson. “For us, [coffee] was always going to be a day into night conversation. But I think we took that conversation a little bit further given we’re also a full-time bar. There’s also a conversation to be had about coffee and mezcal, which I think are wonderful pairings.”

You’ll find coffee on the cocktail list, indeed, in a Oaxacan Coffee cocktail with Koch Olla de Barro mezcal, piloncillo sugar, and fleur de cacao cream. But for more traditional coffee service, Atla offers espresso, hot, iced, or con leche spiced cafe de olla—or a traditional café con leche with either cow’s milk or rotating in-house milks, like coconut, cashew, or pecan.

Photo courtesy Atla.

“We sat down to figure out where we were at with coffee culture,” says Volfson, “to determine what would give a barista the confidence to say they know what’s going to taste good. And that seemed to fall more into the element of milk. We started to talk about what a cafe con leche is, given that there’s not much of a difference left between what one would call a cappuccino and what one would call a latte in terms of the NYC experience,” she pauses. “You’re always going for this elevated signature,” says Volfson. The team at Atla was inspired to differentiate its coffee service through these own unique house milks, and Buna’s coffees—which are otherwise unavailable in NYC.

And Buna’s ethos fits perfectly with what Olvera and his team are trying to accomplish in the north, says Volfson.

“Lalo’s brand is really beautiful because for them, biodiversity and cross-farming is something that’s really important, both for the sustainability of the small families that they work with as well as the actual soil of nutrients and of the crop,” says Volfson.

“When it comes to the mezcal that we’re looking for, it’s brands that are sustainable and understanding of a relationship between nature and production, as well as this element of milpa—which is—if we’re going to support small businesses and small farms we need to make sure we’re not just taking from them, but are supporting them in ways that they can sustain for themselves,” Volfson says, adding that Perez works with hundreds of smallholder families in Mexico to source Buna’s coffee—many of whom own less than one hectare of land.

“We’re trying to bring these conversations to the forefront,” says Volfson, adding that pop-up collaborations like the Atla x Buna x Drift Mag event “forces people to ask questions and creates a conversation.”

“I don’t think [only] within the topic of coffee, the topic of cocktails, the topic of wine,” says Volfson. “I think we’re talking about a bigger conversation overall. We’re talking about sustainable farming, small production, the understanding of being a responsible consumer, and the understanding of demand in a supply chain that we completely affect. We’re not in any denial about that,” she says.

“I think we’re just trying to showcase things that are delicious and make us happy and invite us every once in awhile into a conversation that might change us when we leave,” she pauses. “I think that’s what Atla is about, it’s about being able to give people good things so that they come back and ask us what is it about that that made it so special.”

Atla is located at 372 Lafayette Street, New York. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Liz Clayton is the associate editor at Sprudge Media Network. Her world coffee guide with Avidan Ross, Where to Drink Coffee, is out now on Phaidon Press. Read more Liz Clayton on Sprudge.

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Source: Coffee News

Breaking: The SCA Pulls Coffee Competitions From Dubai

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This article is now open for comments. 

This story is updating—come back for more news as it breaks. 

Breaking via SCA this morning, the international organization has reached an agreement with Dubai World Trade Center to move the 2018 World Brewers Cup, World Cup Tasters Championship and World Coffee Roasting Championship events from Dubai in September 2018. This comes as part of a new agreement with DWTC and GulfHost, Dubai’s annual food and beverage trade show, to bring SCA educational and awards programming to the region as part of an annual partnership with GulfHost beginning in 2020.

A new site for the 2018 events is forthcoming from the SCA. Here’s the exact language on 2018 events changes from today’s SCA press release:

As a result of these new directions in partnership, the SCA, World Coffee Events, and DWTC have mutually agreed not to host any World Coffee Championships at GulfHost in September 2018. World Coffee Events will share more details about the location of these competitions this Friday, May 25th.

Here’s the complete text from today’s press release:

World Of Coffee Dubai Taking Place at GulfHost Show March 2020 

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has partnered with the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) to launch an annual World of Coffee Dubai trade show within the GulfHost Show beginning March 2020. This event will run in addition to the SCA’s annual World of Coffee show in Europe.

This will be the premium coffee show in the region, attracting coffee producers, manufacturers, retailers, traders, baristas, roasters and the broader industry. Designed to meet the specific needs and interests of the region’s coffee communities, the show will include the addition of SCA trade show features such as education from their Coffee Skills Program, Best New Product Awards, Design Lab Exhibits, lectures and workshops.

Coffee originated in Africa and spread to the rest of the world through the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Hosting a World of Coffee show in Dubai, a common gateway to the Middle East and Africa, represents an exciting opportunity to engage a market that ranges from coffee producing countries like Kenya and Yemen, to the many Arab cities where coffee serves as a key social drink, evident in the presence of a dallah coffee brewer on the dirham coin in UAE.

In recent years, the MENA region has seen strong growth in specialty coffee, driven by a historic coffee culture that’s woven into everyday life, as well as a diverse and international community of consumers.

GulfHost has partnered with SCA on three occasions to host the Cezve/Ibrik Championships, and as part of SCA’s purpose to foster local coffee communities, launching World of Coffee Dubai represents a significant step towards increasing engagement in the region.

As a result of these new directions in partnership, the SCA, World Coffee Events, and DWTC have mutually agreed not to host any World Coffee Championships at GulfHost in September 2018. World Coffee Events will share more details about the location of these competitions this Friday, May 25th.

Sprudge Media Network has reached out to representatives of the Speciality Coffee Association for comment and will update this story as quotes come in.

This story is developing…

Update #1 12:05 PM PST

To learn more about today’s decision, Sprudge co-founder Zachary Carlsen spoke by phone from London with SCA Director of Communications Vicente Partida.  “We’ve been talking to our partners for some time and we’ve wanted to come to an agreement that was mutually beneficial and good for the community,” explains Partida. On the call with Partida, we learned that the grassroots community reaction to the Dubai decision and initial deferred candidacy announcement played a significant role in today’s decision to move the competitions out of Dubai. “Quite a lot I would say, because from the very beginning we were hearing from members and people in our community—not just the United States and Europe, but the Middle East and North Africa as well,” Partida told Sprudge.

Partida credits the months of work that the volunteers of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) Task Force and Deferred Candidacy Policy (DCP) Ad Hoc Committee put in to address the decision to host world competitions in Dubai. Partida tells Sprudge they listened to “LGBTQ members about where we were holding events, compulsory events, like the coffee championships—quite a lot of input from our community has gone into this.”

“I would of course also credit the hard work of the Events Site Criteria ad hoc committee and our partners at the Dubai World Trade Center who have been incredibly gracious throughout this whole process,” says Partida. “They, just like everyone on staff and in our volunteer leadership groups, wanted to make sure that the SCA could continue supporting the local coffee community in the MENA region at GulfHost. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with them.”

Update #2 2:45 PM PST

For additional comment, Sprudge Media Network with Liz S. Dean, an active coffee professional whose work includes roles at the The Wing, the Barista Guild of America, and on multiple committees at the Speciality Coffee Association. (Dean is also a Sprudge Media Network editorial advisory board member.) “Last week I was in Raeliehg to part of a meeting of advisory councils for the SCA, including the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force,” Dean tells Sprudge. “It was really interesting to see how this work happened, and how these conversations have become so necessary. Talking to the folks on the SCA event council, it was clear that what had transpired from the initial decision to host these events in Dubai was not okay. People get that this is not okay, and that people can’t just make these decisions without thought about the impact. I find this really, really encouraging.”

“Everyone I’ve talked to and interacted with have understood the gravity of this,” Dean continues. “That’s what’s been great about this work. The announcement today has shown that a there are a lot of people who get that this needs to change, and we need to make up for missteps.

From my perspective I thought the Dubai decision was set and done, so I’m excited to see that today’s message isn’t just, “we’ll do better in the future”—it acknowledges that these are things we need to talk about here and now, but also that there are actions we can take as well to change things. It’s proof that there are no excuses for inaction.”

We’ll continue to update this post as more information becomes available. 

This article is now open for comments. 

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The post Breaking: The SCA Pulls Coffee Competitions From Dubai appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

This Can Is Self-Chilling, But Is It Cool?

By | Coffee, News

In today’s edition of Is This A Thing I Should Think Is Cool?, 7-Eleven has announced the release of Fizzics, their new line of sparkling cold brew. But that’s not what is questionably cool (sparkling cold brew is objectively cool. Don’t @ me), it’s the can in which it is served. According to an article in The Takeout, cans of Fizzics Sparkling Cold Brew Coffee are self-chilling. Cool?

According to The Takeout’s Kate Bernot—who called me out by name in her Stircle article, not that I even care or am holding a grudge or whatever—the cans for the new ready-to-drink coffee beverage were developed by The Joseph Company International, whose previous attempt at a self-chilling can got squashed after the refrigerant used “caused concerns over its potential to speed global warming,” which sounds like some sort of Faustian equal exchange. “Sure, we can chill your drink, but it’s gonna heat up the planet. Bet you’re happy you have the now-cold drink, huh?”

But now, some 25 years in the making, the self-chilling can comes without worries of ripping a new hole in the ozone layer. To chill the 8.4 ounce can, one simply has to turn a knob at the bottom of the can, which then releases CO2 into the beverage and is said to cool the drink by 30 degrees over the course of a minute and a half. Is it cool yet?

Fizzics Sparkling Cold Brew Coffee is currently being rolled out to 15 7-Eleven stores in the L.A. area, but as the article notes, given that they spent a quarter century and god knows how much money developing the self-chilling can (solving a problem that didn’t really exist), “expect… a much wider rollout in the future.”

So the question remains: should I think the self-chilling can is cool? I feel like maybe I should, but I kinda don’t. But a new question has arisen thanks to this now-two-sided now-feud with my now-nemesis Kate Bernot: is a self-chilling can cooler than the Stircle? Now that’s a dilly of a pickle.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

*top image via The Joseph Company International

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Source: Coffee News

Coffee Sprudgecast Episode 053: The One With Jay Stevens

By | Coffee, News

Welcome to episode 53 of the Coffee Sprudgecast! For this week’s episode we talk about our annual reader survey (take it here!), discuss our Build-Outs of Summer series (submit your build-out here!), fight over the Laurel/Yanni nonsense, and Robyn Brems reads the news.

The episode also includes the very special “Build-Outs of Summer” theme song composed by musician Jay Stevens.

Check out The Coffee Sprudgecast on iTunes or download the episode hereThe Coffee Sprudgecast is sponsored KitchenAid craft coffee equipment, Swiss Water Decaf, Hario, and Urnex Brands.

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Download the episode here. Thanks for listening!

The post Coffee Sprudgecast Episode 053: The One With Jay Stevens appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Coffee Design: Peaks Coffee Company In Cazenovia, NY

By | Coffee, News

About 7,000 people call Cazenovia, New York home including Sam Bender and Kelsey Ball, founders of Peaks Coffee Company. Peaks Coffee Co. opened in the Summer of 2015 and last October debuted a fresh new look for their coffee offerings. They worked with designer Lottie Caiella to give the branding an Upstate New York camp vibe. We talked to Sam Bender to learn more.

Tell us a bit about Peaks Coffee Co.

Our company was founded in July 2015 between myself (Sam Bender) and Kelsey Ball (my now wife as of this past fall). Both Kelsey and I suffer from anxiety and depression. It was so challenging for Kelsey in her senior year of high school, that she had to be placed on homebound learning. One day when her mental health was at an all-time low, her dad told her a phrase we’d both come to lean on; that life is about enjoying the peaks and enduring the valleys.

Having been shaped by both our peaks and valleys, our goal of this company began as a desire to create a place where people of any and all backgrounds can enjoy a great cup of coffee with a friend.

We wanted to fill a hole in the market with roasting as well. Over the past few years we have started working with a roasting consultant, and establishing partner producers in Colombia through Campesino Specialty Coffee. Our goal is to source seasonally and roast fresh.

When did the coffee package design debut?

We spent roughly a year (from concept to execution) working towards our rebranding. We launched our rebrand on our second birthday, October 3rd, 2017.

Who designed the package?
 
Our rebrand was done by our good friend and self-taught graphic designer, Lottie Caiella (@thecaiellas). She is based out of Upstate herself and in spending time in both Washington state as well as LA, she is as equally passionate about delicious coffee as we are. She’s been known to infuse most of her designs with a classic Upstate NY feel; pine trees and the like, and as our passions have always been in alignment she was a logical choice to help us translate our vision for the rebrand into something truly us.

What coffee information do you share on the package? 

You can find the basics (our logo and information specific to each coffee) as well as our standard brew recipe and our mantra across each box (with no shortage of pine trees too, of course). We do our best to customize our labels to match each coffee’s vibe (color-wise), and they display the tasting notes, origin, producer, process, varietal, and altitude of each coffee. To keep things fun, we continued our branding on the inside of the box which is a sweet little surprise when folks crack the box open after they’ve taken it home.

What’s the motivation behind that?

By nature (excuse the pun) we are a product of Upstate, NY— therefore we inherently have a somewhat camp-y vibe. However, we are still working every day to advocate for our product and industry in this part of the country as a legitimate product. When we rebranded, we wanted our product to evoke our modern camp vibes while representing quality and care.

What are some of the improvements made in the packaging?

When we started out, we were a tiny roasting company. This meant we were hand stamping all of our bags and could afford to do so. We used brown Biotrē bags, stamped, and printed our labels in house. We were small enough to do a few packages and distribute them around town.

Our old packaging was relatively fragile and did a poor job communicating who we are as a company or perhaps more importantly, what sort of flavors and experiences lied inside. Not only did we overhaul the visual components, but we wanted our new package to withstand being tossed into your backpack for a drive up to Maine.

As we transitioned into becoming primarily a wholesale business, we needed to streamline our production. We now use custom professionally printed boxes and labels.

We wanted to create a product for consumer and business alike that when they looked at a package from Peaks, they knew what our aesthetic and mission was right away without having to be in our shop.

Why are aesthetics in coffee packaging so important?

Since prioritizing communicating our brand via our packaging, we’ve seen across the board an overwhelmingly positive response from customers both in our shop as well as at stockists’ businesses. We always felt like aesthetics were important to us, but have truly learned a great deal in what that actually looks like in this year since rebranding. If we neglect putting as much care into the visual representation of our product as we do in actually sourcing and roasting amazing coffee, we’ve failed to do a complete job.

Where is the box manufactured?

The box is currently printed by The Mid-York Press in Sherburne, NY. All of the board comes from GP Mills in Baton Rouge.

For package nerds, what type of package is it?

The boxes are on .018 SBS (Solid Bleached Sulphate). They are PEFC, SFI, FSC certified. These cartons were coated with a Matte Coating which provided the flat finish and the textured surface.  The carton was printed on our Xerox Igen 150 using Matte Dry Ink which is FDA approved for consumable goods.

Is the package recyclable/compostable?

The packaging is 100% recyclable.

Where is it currently available?

Our packaging is currently available at our retail location in Cazenovia and around the Syracuse region with our partners. Soleil Cafe (@soleil_cafe) and Flour and Salt Bakery (@flourandsalt) are two well known retailers in the local area. We also work with multi-roasters out of state and they will pick up some cases to sell. You can also buy online at www.peakscoffeeco.com.

Company: Peaks Coffee Co.
Location: Cazenovia, NY
Country: United States
Design Release: October, 2017
Designer: Lottie Caiella 

Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.

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Source: Coffee News