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Coffee

Which Democratic Candidate’s Coffee Order Are You?

By | Coffee | No Comments

After Round Two of the second Democratic Presidential Primary debate, we’ve now seen what all the candidates… we think, there would really be no way of knowing; things get a little fuzzy in the “nondescript white guy” section of the group. A sum total of 25 candidates—TWENTY. FIVE—have taken the stage to give their best talking points on why they should be the one most likely to beat Donald Trump in the 2020 general election.

There are a litany of issues upon which you, an informed voter, can decide which candidate’s ideas most closely align with your own, but we here at Sprudge are a single-issue voting bloc. And that issue is coffee. For us it’s simple. What coffee do they drink? Do I like that coffee? Does another candidate drink a coffee I like more? 

That’s why we here at Sprudge have created this handy dandy quiz to help you figure out what Democratic candidate coffee order you truly are, deep down in your very soul, thus revealing your one true hopeful. Sure, we all want to be an Elizabeth Warren of a Julian Castro, but somebody’s gotta Buttigieg. Maybe that someone is you. Take the quiz and find out!

Top image via NBC News

The post Which Democratic Candidate’s Coffee Order Are You? appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Build-Outs Of Summer: Prototype Coffee In Vancouver, Canada

By | Coffee | No Comments

prototype coffee vancouver canada

prototype coffee vancouver canada

We’re in the thick of it now. As July turns to August, ratcheting up the heat index, so too do we here at Sprudge ratchet up the heat on our annual series, the Build-Outs of Summer. And today, we’re heading back north to Vancouver to check in with Prototype Coffee.

Operating for years now as a wholesale roaster, Prototype is opening their first-ever store front to showcase their “continual pursuit of excellence.” And at their cafe, Prototype is doing something a little different. Instead of roasting on a single commercial-sized roaster, Prototype will instead use three Aillio Bullet R1s, one kilogram roasters. This, according to Prototype’s Matt Johnson, will give them the flexibility to roast as little as one bag at a time while allowing guests to see the roasting process firsthand, from green to brown.

It’s an ambitious plan, and it’s in its soft opening phase now. So let’s get a sneak peak at the brand new cafe for Prototype Coffee in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The 2019 Build-Outs of Summer is presented by Pacific Barista SeriesnotNeutralKeepCup, and Mill City Roasters.

As told to Sprudge by Matt Johnson.

prototype coffee vancouver canada

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

Prototype has been operating as a small batch specialty roaster in Vancouver for a couple years now but has only been offering coffee wholesale and for sale in an online store. We like to source a wide variety of coffees all at once, but they all have to be exceptional. We give sourcing preference to small unique lots sourced through our importing partners who build healthy and long term relationships with the producers at origin.

Here’s our mission statement: “Prototype exists to source, roast, and serve top quality coffees to consumers in a way that strives for continual improvement, innovation, and excellence and respects each participant in the supply chain, the product itself, and the customer. In all spheres, Prototype prioritizes the continual pursuit of excellence. This means working toward constant improvements in the quality of our products, in the efficiency and efficacy of operations, and in our relationships and service to customers. We are also guided by curiosity, always searching for new and better techniques and flavors.”

Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

We’re opening a coffee roastery and tasting room in Vancouver designed to showcase a wide range of coffees all roasted on site in tiny batches.

We’re paying a lot of attention to the design of the space on both sides of the bar in order to create a unique coffee tasting experience that is striking and memorable, and we think it’s going to be something really special. At the same time, it’s important to us that the tasting room is welcoming and not alienating to anyone, so while we will be rigorous in our coffee program, we will also aim to be thoughtful and accommodating in our communication.

The design itself will play with light and shadows, contrasting clean lines and angles, and a monochrome palette with green accents (using preserved moss installations). The idea is to create an immersive background that makes the color of the coffee itself stand out. The layout is a little unusual—the lines and the angles are designed to hide and reveal different parts of the space depending on where you’re standing, so just walking through the front door over to the coffee bar should feel almost like you’re discovering something surprising.

What’s your approach to coffee?

We’ll be implementing an unusual approach for our production roasting that involves three Aillio Bullet R1 roasters operating right behind the bar. The system will have the flexibility to roast as small as a single bag at a time but with a relatively high per hour production capacity. Customers will also be able to see the roasting process take place from green coffee to finished product.

In terms of roasting style, Prototype uses a medium-light roasting style. Because we feel like each coffee has its own story to tell, we tailor each profile to enhance and showcase what we think the coffee has to say. For us, that means trying to maximize sweetness, balance, and versatility across brew methods while trying to avoid roasty notes. The goal is to use roasting as a way to give the coffee a voice without getting in the way too much. We don’t want to flavor the coffee; we want to let it speak.

prototype coffee vancouver canada

Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

Yes! We’ve got a really exciting lineup of equipment.
Aillio Bullet R1 roasters: we’ll be lining up three right behind the bar for all of our roasting.
Modbar AV: The new AV has a gravimetric function with scales built into the drip trays, so every shot comes out at the exact weight you want. This makes for fast, consistent precision.
Nuova Simonelli Mythos II: We’re going to be running the gravimetric Mythos II as our primary espresso grinder. The gravimetric feature will allow us to be really precise in our shots every time, especially in combination with the Modbar AV.
Lyn Weber Workshops EG-1 grinder: This single dose grinder is a game changer. We’re going to be using it on our espresso bar for alternative espresso options. The build quality on these things is just insane—such a well designed piece of equipment. It’ll add some really exciting flexibility to the espresso bar.
Gina drippers by Goat Story: We’ll be using these brewers for a hybrid immersion/pour-over recipe. Elegant and versatile design on these.
Marco UC8 undercounter hot water tower: We chose this not only for its its sleek and minimalist profile on the counter, but also for its multi-temperature versatility. It’ll give us the flexibility to brew at multiple temperatures as needed for both coffee and tea.
Mahlkönig EK43S: Our brew bar and batch brew will run through this grinder.

How is your project considering sustainability?

One of the most important aspects to us about coffee sourcing is ensuring that the supply chain is ethical and economically sustainable. To us, this is even more important than how the coffee tastes (which means it’s super important because taste is key for us!). We only buy from importers who pay significantly above the C market price for the coffee they source and who care about investing in long term and economically healthy relationships. So sustainability is one of the central considerations in our coffee buying decisions.

In the roastery, our production roasting model is an attempt to optimize the roasting system by reducing waste. By using three small roasters, there’s no risk of having to throw away large quantities of coffee while trying to get the profile just right—our sample size is essentially the same as the production batch size. This approach allows us to really treat the coffee with respect and extra care. We’re applying this sense of respect and care to every aspect of our bar. Our gravimetric espresso systems and our single dose grinders minimize the amount of coffee that is just thrown out while dialing in.

We’ll also be using an energy efficient electrostatic precipitator for our smoke elimination system, which will reduce our roasting emissions basically to zero without huge energy costs.

prototype coffee vancouver canada

What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?

July 15

Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

Definitely. I’ve got some really great people on this project.

Bill Uhrich and Liina Pikk from Simcic + Uhrich Architects: I met with Bill at the beginning of all this and pitched him some of my ideas, but I was blown away by the fresh take he brought back in his first design proposal. Bill is an incredibly gifted interior designer and architect and a joy to work with.
Evan Creedon from Milltown Contracting: I’ve been so impressed with the quality of Milltown’s work on this project. When they build things, they build them perfectly with no compromises. The project is in great hands.
Sarah Annand and Cody Allmin from Boxset Designs: They’ve done some incredible work to give Prototype’s brand a facelift. We’re going to be launching a new bag design soon, and we’ve got some really exciting new branding that we’ll be rolling out when the new location opens.
Kat Pino Ceramics: We’ve been working with Kat to develop a line of custom ceramic cups for espresso drinks. After four rounds of prototypes, we’ve arrived at a cup design that will look and feel incredible with coffee in it. It’s been really exciting developing this design with Kat and has taken a lot of work and patience to get to this final stage.
ByNature Designs: We’ve got some really interesting preserved moss installations coming in from ByNature that I think will give the space a lot of character.

Thank you!

Thanks!

prototype coffee vancouver canada

Prototype Coffee is located at 883 E Hastings, Vancouver. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

The Build-Outs Of Summer is an annual series on Sprudge. Live the thrill of the build all summer long in our Build-Outs feature hub.

The post Build-Outs Of Summer: Prototype Coffee In Vancouver, Canada appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

It’s Time To Regulate The Coffee Market

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sitio santa rita brazil coffee farm

sitio santa rita brazil coffee farm

As of writing this, the price of Arabica coffee on the commodities market has dipped back under a dollar. There was a time not so long ago that the price of coffee being less than 100 pennies per pound felt like earth-shattering news; now, for us not in producing countries, those disconnected from the true hardships these numbers represent, this once nadir feels more like, “yep, that still sucks.” We’ve become used to it, like the no-longer-shocking racist tweets of a certain leader of the free world; it’s par for the course at this point.

As the first world becomes inured with finding new depths, the immediacy of the pricing crisis remains on the front of mind for those experiencing the devastating effects. And now, leaders of some of the world’s largest producing countries are banding together to protest at the next United Nations general assembly to “demand higher prices from the world’s coffee roasters.”

According to Bloomberg, the next UN general assembly takes place in September. There, per the head of Colombia’s coffee growing federation Roberto Velez, Brazilian president Jair Bolsanaro will join Colombia’s president Iván Duque to seek higher prices for their countries’ farmers.

“It is not just farmers but also their governments that are complaining to the coffee-roasting industry,” Velez said in an interview in his Bogota office.

Pleas for higher coffee prices are not new at this point, but what is new is that this appears to be the first comment from high-level officials directed at coffee roasting companies. In the past, statements have been made about the unsustainability of the coffee price in general, or there have been calls for enforcing a minimum per-pound amount. This, as best we can tell, is the first time a specific sector of the coffee industry has been targeted as the problem.

And Velez et al. aren’t wrong. Many coffee companies, especially the larger ones focused on commodities, aren’t paying a sustainable price for coffee. But this is more calling out the symptom rather than going after the disease. The real issue here, and it’s a big one, is global capitalism of the more unfettered ilk, plain and simple.

So long as coffee is treated like a commodity and traded on the futures market, things won’t get better. Without some sort of regulation—the free market capitalist’s bogeyman—to rectify the artificially low price, the bottom will continue to bottom out, and our tragedy of the commons will continue unfettered, to the detriment of millions invested in the coffee trade worldwide.

In general, meritocracies—which capitalism is supposed to be—don’t always work for those in need; folks who are starving can’t sit around wait for the free market to pay them what they are worth. If they stick to their principles, they will be buried underneath them. In the Bloomberg article, Starbucks states they pay growers “above and beyond the commodity market price.” Which they do, though it is still generally below what would be considered a sustainable amount. Thus, Starbucks has shielded themselves, at least partially, from criticism. So long as they’ve got someone or something else to point to as the problem, they’ve got plausible deniability.

In a request for comment from Bloomberg, Nestle stated “the present period of historically low Arabica prices due to a record Brazilian crop is causing hardship for many coffee farmers. It is not sustainable for the coffee sector in the medium term. We strongly believe that coffee farmers should earn a sufficient income to cover production costs and maintain a decent standard of living.” This is probably a statement that Nestle believes, but unless someone makes them act upon it, the company is not going to pay a fair price and cut into their own profits. If they were, they’d just, you know, pay more.

But Nestle and Starbucks can’t lose market share, or they’re beholden to stockholders, or any other number of businessy-sounding reasons for why they will continue to exploit immoral prices while releasing statements about how they vehemently disagree with them. No one commodity coffee buyer is going to put their neck out for the little guy, either in fear of it getting lopped off by the great golden axe of capitalism or because they simply don’t want to. All these scaled companies will have pay more or none of them will, starting with the biggest commodity purchasers. And the only way to make them act in a way counter to their financial interests—a way they claim to agree with—is to make them.

And that means regulation.

Those with money and/or power are not quick to give up either. Change is going to have to come from the top down, and consumers will need to understand why this is happening as it happens through measured, non-partisan reporting and analysis. Make coffee drinkers understand that either we regulate coffee now, or in 50 years—perhaps sooner—the coffee trade will be incalculably fucked. Stuff like this transparency pledge and voluntary paying of higher rates and institutional fair practices are a good start. Not for nothing, it honestly says a whole lot about the soul and purpose of specialty coffee as a cultural phenomenon that comparatively tiny companies like Counter Culture, Onyx Coffee Lab, Coffee Collective, Tim Wendelboe, Junior’s Roasted Coffee, and Seven Seeds are leading the charge.

But it’s only a start. The presidents of Brazil and Colombia aren’t wrong to blame coffee roasters. But don’t just blame them, make them change. Regulate the coffee market.

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

Top image by Bruno Lavorato in Using Fermentation To Take Coffee To New Heights At Sítio Santa Rita In Brazil

The post It’s Time To Regulate The Coffee Market appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

In Los Angeles, Cold Cocked Is A Signature Beverage Focused Coffee Bar

By | Coffee | No Comments

cold cocked los angeles california

cold cocked los angeles california

Cold Cocked is a surprising punch in the face—the bright white of the space it inhabits is jarring after the dirty chaos of Wilshire Boulevard, and the neon boxing glove displayed above the bar is alternately a challenge and a welcome. Instead of a standalone cafe, Cold Cocked is part of Platform 35, a food market hall in Koreatown. Its neighbors include LA staples like Guisados, and seating is a picnic-inspired cafeteria-style setup, with constructed leafy trees and an enormous wall of windows that let in plenty of sunlight. More obviously: It’s a coffee shop that serves a very specific style of coffee.

You can’t get standards like a cappuccino, though there is a nitro cold brew and a drip coffee option. There’s an espresso machine, but don’t ask for a shot in a cup, and you can barely get anything to go. Owner Adam Fleischman is serious about getting people to stay, to enjoy their drinks in chilled stemware with metal straws. He admits that he can get “combative” about this, but his passion comes from an honest place: Like all the best cocktails, his drinks are best enjoyed immediately.

cold cocked los angeles california

So what is Fleischman serving up? Imagine a collection of all the best signature beverages you’ve seen at coffee championships, all the ones that sparkle with thoughtful consideration and challenge your palate to experience coffee in a slightly different way. This menu is full of such drinks. Each one begins with a cold liquid base that steeps for three days (Fleischman is secretive about the recipe beyond that). A double-shot of espresso goes on top of that base, returning to the one-two punch theme: it’s a lot of caffeine. Each drink is shaken in an electric cocktail shaker to ensure it’s at frothy perfection, and then the options veer in exciting, different directions from there—like the Denmark, a drink made with a powdered licorice root that’s not readily available in the US. And on a secret menu is a drink Fleischman claims will get you high, based on an herb he was playing around with while making cocktails at home.

Fleischman, left, and The Denmark, right.

All the ingredients in the cafe are organic. Salt plays a big role, but Fleischman aims for “much more subtle” flavors, with both experimentation and balance the driving force behind every drink. Most are served cold, though a coconut cortado and a Mexican hot chocolate have each made the cut. The menu also features tea, including a lavender-infused Yerba mate. There aren’t decaf options, though Fleischman plans to create decaf drinks if there’s demand for them. For now, Cold Cocked is meant to be an afternoon pick-me-up, something a little different to get you ready to go back to work or to have as an aperitif before a night out.

cold cocked los angeles california

Hibiscus Tea

Great cocktails come with a side of philosophy when Fleischman is on bar. The all-white decor includes plaster busts of Socrates, Voltaire, and Minerva, and one single question can launch him into expounding on any number of topics. Though most of Platform 35’s seating is spread out, Cold Cocked has barstools where customers can sit at the counter to chat with the baristas like any good neighborhood bar. It’s part of what makes this concept stand out from other LA cafes.

cold cocked los angeles california

“Our coffee punches you harder,” Fleischman says with pride. Each drink is a process, hand-crafted in a way that slows down the pace of service. But the wait is worth it. Fleischman hopes his style of beverages catches on and wants Cold Cocked to be scalable to several locations like his previous projects. Until then, head to Koreatown to experience the new way Cold Cocked is punching up the coffee scene.  

Cold Cocked is located at 3500 Wilshire Blvd Fl 2, Los Angeles. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Valorie Clark (@TheValorieClark) is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles. Read more Valorie Clark on Sprudge.

The post In Los Angeles, Cold Cocked Is A Signature Beverage Focused Coffee Bar appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Biggby Coffee Wants To Put A Coffee Shop On The Moon

By | Coffee | No Comments

The coffee chain market is getting crowded, and complicated. Mergers and acquisitions, expansions, and monopolizations dominate the industry. Everywhere you look, there’s a Starbucks or a Tim Horton’s, a Luckin or a Costa, a Caffe Bene or a Java House.

It’s getting so that a mid-level regional player like Biggby Coffee can’t hope to compete. At least, not on a terrestrial playing field.

So, in an attempt to gain a competitive edge, Biggby has announced plans to expand to the last place left without a drive-thru coffee shop: the moon.

The announcement, as reported by MLive and in no way timed to coincide with (and piggyback off) the 50th anniversary of Ryan Gosling’s first steps on the moon, laid it on thicker than one of Biggby’s Moonboot lattes.

“Shooting for the moon has always been in Biggby Coffe’s (sic) DNA, and now with the private and public sectors making advances in this direction, we are making it our goal,” the company said in a statement that managed to spell its own name wrong. “The Co-CEOs often quote Buzz Lightyear’s ‘to infinity and beyond.’

“This sentiment guides our company, from our corporate culture focused on employee advancement to our bottom-line goals focused on sustainability and growth. And, we are taking preliminary steps to substantiate this slogan by being the first coffee company on the moon.”

The company has apparently made “initial contact with Amazon brass” as well as Michigan Senator Gary Peters to discuss their totally serious and achievable goals. Maybe they could collaborate with President Trump’s Space Force?

Sprudge looks forward to reporting on other chains’ similarly lofty plans, as Peet’s races to be the first company to colonize Mars and Krispy Kreme announces plans to escape the ravages of climate change by launching a donut-shaped space ark. Tickets will be available via a giveaway by an Instagram influencer.

Fionn Pooler is a journalist based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the publisher of The PouroverRead more Fionn Pooler on Sprudge.

Top image via NASA

The post Biggby Coffee Wants To Put A Coffee Shop On The Moon appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Build-Outs Of Summer: Living Room Coffee Craft In Campbell, CA

By | Coffee | No Comments

“I pretty much think that every specialty coffee roaster provides an à la carte menu and makes you buy from that à la carte menu, and if we just think about it like that, there’s nothing really specialty about that,”

“I pretty much think that every specialty coffee roaster provides an à la carte menu and makes you buy from that à la carte menu, and if we just think about it like that, there’s nothing really specialty about that,”

Who doesn’t a nice cozy cafe? A place where you can go grab a coffee with a friend and feel like you have a quiet space all to yourself. A place you feel comfortable staying in for multiple rounds caffeinated delights as you slog your way through a work day. It’s a difficult balance to strike: if the shop is too big and open it may lose a sense of intimacy; too small and it loses and loud and it loses privacy.

Wanting to have the best of both worlds, Living Room Coffee Craft in Campbell, California took its newly-remodeled big, open cafe space and added a few partitions, or living rooms, to allow for a more private setting in an otherwise public place. Fire places, puffy couches, padded chairs, the home vibe is very strong at Living Room. So let’s grab a nook and check out the brand new Living Room Coffee Craft in Campbell, California.

The 2019 Build-Outs of Summer is presented by Pacific Barista SeriesnotNeutralKeepCup, and Mill City Roasters.

As told to Sprudge by Dean Lucas.

“I pretty much think that every specialty coffee roaster provides an à la carte menu and makes you buy from that à la carte menu, and if we just think about it like that, there’s nothing really specialty about that,”

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

Living Room Coffee Craft focused on the craft of coffee, using high quality beans and building drinks from scratch to let the natural flavors of the coffee shine. Our syrups are made in-house and we use local organic dairy. In addition to espresso drinks, we also offer batch brews, pour-overs, cold brew, and loose leaf and iced teas.

All our pastries are baked in-house each morning by our pastry chef who came from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc restaurant. We offer sweet and savory pastries with gluten-free options. Our signature food item is a herbed pão de queijo waffle, which pairs perfectly with our coffee. All other pastries are seasonal.

We are focused on social impact; as a non-profit we donate proceeds to local and global charities.

“I pretty much think that every specialty coffee roaster provides an à la carte menu and makes you buy from that à la carte menu, and if we just think about it like that, there’s nothing really specialty about that,”

Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

We have a very spacious seating area designed to be modern and cozy, inviting people to connect with each other and stay awhile. Our seating is arranged into living room areas, with a fireplace, couches and padded chairs, family tables, counter seating, and smaller tables for two or four people. The space is open with lots of natural light. We have a stage and audio system for live music and other events.

What’s your approach to coffee?

We treat coffee the way a chef approaches food, focusing on quality of ingredients and their preparation. Every cup is created with precision, using exact measurements for weight, temperature, and timing. We feature single origin coffees and use brewing methods and ingredients designed to bring out the flavor notes of each origin or blend. We currently use Counter Culture coffee exclusively. We chose this roaster because it is local, and they are committed to sustainability and, like us, focus on social impact.

Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

We chose a two-group La Marzocco Linea espresso machine with Mazzer Major grinders. For pour-over and drip coffee, we use a Mahlkönig EK43, Hario servers, ceramic Kalita 185 flat bottom with flat bottom filters. We use digital scales and timers from Acaia. We also use Rhinogear spin-jet rinsers.

“I pretty much think that every specialty coffee roaster provides an à la carte menu and makes you buy from that à la carte menu, and if we just think about it like that, there’s nothing really specialty about that,”

“I pretty much think that every specialty coffee roaster provides an à la carte menu and makes you buy from that à la carte menu, and if we just think about it like that, there’s nothing really specialty about that,”

How is your project considering sustainability?

We chose our coffee roasting partner, Counter Culture, because of quality and commitment to sustainability. Counter Culture also partnered with La Marzocco to support a sustainability project, Hands for Songwa. A portion of our purchase for the espresso machine will go to this farm sustainability project in Africa.

Additionally, we use organic dairy from Clover in Sonoma, California, a local farm that is also dedicated to sustainability. We also made the decision to serve our food and drinks with glass and ceramic in order to minimize the use of disposable paper.

What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?

Our grand opening was on June 9th, 2019.

“I pretty much think that every specialty coffee roaster provides an à la carte menu and makes you buy from that à la carte menu, and if we just think about it like that, there’s nothing really specialty about that,”

Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

We worked with Kuehne Construction for the remodel. We hired a local artist, Pat Sunseri, to turn our vision into renderings that were then used by interior designer, Mary Merrill, to bring to reality.

Thank you!

“I pretty much think that every specialty coffee roaster provides an à la carte menu and makes you buy from that à la carte menu, and if we just think about it like that, there’s nothing really specialty about that,”

Living Room Coffee Craft is located at 1711 Winchester Blvd, Campbell. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

The Build-Outs Of Summer is an annual series on Sprudge. Live the thrill of the build all summer long in our Build-Outs feature hub.

The post Build-Outs Of Summer: Living Room Coffee Craft In Campbell, CA appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Kickstart Your Weekend With These Coffee Crowdfunders

By | Coffee | No Comments

It’s Friday. We did it, y’all, we made it to yet another weekend mostly unscathed by work and entirely unexploded by a maniac with a nuclear football, which means it’s time to start thinking about our bounty: the weekend and what it will have in store. For some, this means getting out into the world, seeing new sights and having new experiences. For others, it means staying in the city but looking oh so good doing it. Whatever the weekend holds for you, there’s a coffee Kickstarter to help you, well, kickstart it. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites—all of whom have made their funding goals so you’re essentially just buying at a discount at this point—to help you treat yourself this weekend. You’ve earned it.

Pakt Coffee Kit

As anyone serious about good coffee no matter where they may find themselves can attest, travel coffee setups can be clunky and consume a lot of space, something that comes at a premium when trying to pack light. Enter Pakt, a (mostly) all-in-one coffee brewing system. Using Russian nesting doll technology, Pakt includes an electric kettle, conical pour-over brewer a la v60, mug, reusable filter, and coffee storage canister that all collapse together into a space no larger than a pair of shoes. Weighing in at a total 3.76lb, Pakt measures just 12.5” long and 4.5” wide, making it a pretty ideal travel companion. My only beef is that there is no grinder, meaning you’ll have to bring pre-ground coffee. There certainly seems like there would be room in the nested coffee canister to fit a portable Porlex-type grinder, alas there is none.

The Pakt Coffee Kit has already blown through its $25,000 goal with a whopping $135,000 in funding, which means all the really, really good deals have been scooped up. But you can still grab your own Pakt for $139, 26% off the $189 MSRP. Backer rewards have an expected delivery of December 2019.

Voyager Kettle

Maybe you don’t need an entire travel coffee kit. Maybe you are like me and are only missing one component—and the clunkiest one at that—the kettle. For we coffee sojourners there is the new Voyager Kettle, a portable electronic variable temperature kettle. With its collapsible design, the food-grade silicone kettle can be compressed down to a slim 2” when packed and then popped up to 6” in height. The Voyager can heat 20 ounces of water at a time to a user-set temperature and can hold it at that temp for 30 minutes. The only drawback—and one that kinda gets downplayed in all the campaign photos—is that the kettle requires electricity; there’s no battery-powered option, which limits its outdoor/camping utility. But, if you’re super serious about making it work, this limitation can be overcome with a travel solar-powered battery.

There are only two days left on the campaign, and the Voyager Kettle has met its $25,000 funding goal; it’s only $9,000 away from its $50,000 stretch goal and with it two new kettle colors—light blue and navy—which is great for those who aren’t fans of lime green. Retailing at $130, all interested parties can still get their hands on a Voyager at a discounted price of $109. Expected delivery for all backers is June 2020.

Rens Recycled Coffee Shoes

Maybe your weekend warrioring doesn’t involve leaving the cozy confines of the city. For you, the Kickstarter gods have offered up Rens, waterproof—and admitted pretty decent looking—shoes made from recycled coffee grounds. Lightweight, odor proof, antibacterial, UV blocking, and quick-drying, Rens use some sort of magic called “AquaScreen Tech™” that keeps water from passing through the material while still letting air through. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Each pair of the 100% vegan shoe is made of “300g of coffee waste and six recycled plastic bottles.” Currently, Rens come in a total of nine different colorways.

Their Kickstarter has already raised an astounding $308,000, which is roughly a million times their $19,000 goal. Nonetheless, there are still good backer rewards available. You can grab your own pair of Rens (in any size and color) for $99, 50% the $149 MSRP, with free shipping worldwide. Expected delivery for backers is November 2019.

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

The post Kickstart Your Weekend With These Coffee Crowdfunders appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Coffee At The Movies: The Lion King

By | Coffee | No Comments

Nants ingonyama, y’all! It’s been a minute since I last snuck coffee and booze into a movie but the call of photorealistic animals singing the songs of my youth was too much to resist. Sprudge may have slightly ruined a few filmgoers’ Saturday afternoons by sending T. Ben Fischer and me to get caffeinated and a little sloppy at a matinee of the reanimated The Lion King, but like an even gayer Statler and Waldorf, we ventured into the Cobble Hill Cinemas in Brooklyn, NY armed with Stumptown cold brew stubbies and rosé and ready to work out all of our emotions while we watched with different expectations. I’m a hardcore modern Disney skeptic while T. Ben’s favorite movie is Frozen and his Disney shareholder certificate hangs proudly in our apartment. What follows is a conversation we had after we sobered up:

ERIC J. GRIMM: Well, T. Ben, I told you you couldn’t possibly get me to see this flick and now you’ve gotten your wish. Are you happy?

T. BEN FISCHER: NO! It was horrrrrible! I’m so angry we watched it!

EJG: But my Disney princess, it had all of your favorite songs! Mind you, with the exception of Beyoncé’s, they were all sung terribly…

TBF: Ter-rib-ly. I wanted to throw my coffee at the screen during “Be Prepared.” Who was Scar? He was the worst.

EJG: Chiwetel Ejiofor. He was nominated for an Oscar.

TBF: For this?!?

EJG: No, you can’t be nominated for an Oscar until the year is over. He was nominated in 2014.

TBF: Can he be un-nominated and never nominated for anything else ever?

EJG: I’ll make some calls. He definitely took Scar to the most boring depths imaginable. Jeremy Irons was so deliciously evil and campy!

TBF: I don’t know who Jeremy is but the old Scar is fabulous. All of the old characters are fabulous. Why were the new ones all so boring?

EJG: That definitely bugged me the whole time. It was as if they were mostly directed to tone it down so it wouldn’t sound the same as the original even though the script is almost identical. John Oliver (Zazu), Billy Eichner (Timon), and Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) all sounded like they had someone whispering into their ear while they were recording, “Don’t have fun. Pleeeeeease don’t have fun with this.”

TBF: They should’ve just reused the voices from the old movie. They would have saved so much money!

EJG: It definitely would’ve accomplished the same goal. But then you wouldn’t have Beyoncé as Nala or Donald Glover as Simba!

TBF: That new Beyoncé song was the only good part. Can we talk about how ugly the movie looked?

EJG: Wha– sure. So ugly. The original is so pretty and the musical numbers all have cute gags and some dancing. This one just has animals kind of running around while they badly sing our faves.

TBF: Badly? Try, ter-rib-ly.

EJG: Pretty much the same thing, but go on.

TBF: “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” was an abomination. Young Simba [JD McCrary] was totally off-key. I sound better in kara’oke.

EJG: Well, you’re probably both equally… alternative in your understanding of musicality. That number definitely stuck out as a low point. Nothing like dead-eyed animals to take the joy out of the most exciting musical number in the movie. A lot of people think the movie looks technically amazing.

TBF: IT LOOKS TECHNICALLY TERRIBLE. Why would I want to see real animals just do the same movie when I could watch the old one? It just looks like they put the Snapchat puppy filter on all the animals!

EJG: The real animal concept doesn’t even make sense. Real lions don’t conspire to overthrow their kings with hyenas or befriend warthogs and meerkats and abandon their carnivore instincts.

TBF: They just did all the same things from the first one. The only thing I can think that they changed was that the women lions got to be hunters and fighters.

EJG: Which is cool, I guess, except when you realize that the plot of the movie hinges on a pride of all female lions who need their stoner estranged prince to save them from the sloppiest and most easily overthrown dictator.

TBF: They should have had Beyoncé just murder Scar and all of the hyenas. Why couldn’t we just get a Beyoncé Lion King?

EJG: Well, we kinda did! She recorded a whole Lion King inspired album. It’s pretty tight!

TBF: She did?!? Did she record all the songs?!?!

EJG: No, she made a bunch of new ones. It’s basically Lionade!

TBF: Okay, I’m done talking about the stupid movie. Let’s listen to Beyoncé.

EJG: You got it.

TBF: Oh, and you’re taking me to see Frozen 2 at least five times to make up for this.

EJG: Yes, dear.

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.

T. Ben Fischer is a coffee professional, US Barista Championship Finalists, and creator of Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp. This is T. Ben Fischer’s first feature for Sprudge.

The post Coffee At The Movies: The Lion King appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Introducing Building: A Co-Roasting Space In Ho Chi Minh City By Will Frith

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Back in April, we announced the inaugural class of the Sprudge Twenty, a score of coffee professionals from around the world who are progressing specialty coffee in new and exciting ways. One of those individuals is Will Frith. Frith is perhaps best known in the United States for his time with Modbar, but has since moved to Ho Chi Minh City to be a part of the exciting coffee scene exploding in Vietnam right now. And on July 20th, Frith announced what part that will be. Introducing Building, a roaster and co-roasting space in Ho Chi Minh City.

Made public via his personal website, Frith has teamed up folks from The Workshop (as well as his wife) for the creation of Building. Modeled after Buckman Coffee Factory, Pulley Collective, and Bay Area CoRoasters, Frith’s new venture is a co-roasting facility that wants “homegrown brands to be born here, to grow here, and to go out into this gigantic city and get bigger and be cooler than anything [he] could ever do.” Per the post, the new space, officially open as of July 22nd, holds “three coffee roasters, four espresso machines, proper green coffee storage, a training lab, two cupping labs, and a production space.”

More than just a space for others, Building is also a coffee roasting company in their own right. Currently they toll roast for customers in Vietnam.

Per Frith’s post, more details will be forthcoming in the days and weeks to follow. But for now, more information on Building can be found on their official website, Facebook page, and Frith’s personal website.

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

The post Introducing Building: A Co-Roasting Space In Ho Chi Minh City By Will Frith appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Build-Outs Of Summer: Tenfold Coffee Company In Houston, TX

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tenfold coffee houston texas

tenfold coffee houston texas

Though Austin is the easy answer to “best coffee scene in Texas,” Houston has quietly been very, very good for some time now. This is due, in part, to the fact that it is a coffee scene that largely keeps to itself; you won’t find cafes from Dallas, Austin, or San Antonio trying to make moves inside H-town, nor will you find Houston cafes looking to expand across city lines either. But don’t let the city’s insular nature fool you, Houston is home to a handful of cafes that would excel just about anywhere in the United States but nonetheless feel the most at home right where they are.

Adding to the menagerie that is the coffee scene in Texas’s largest city is a brand new outfit, Tenfold Coffee Company. After spending well over a decade as a coffee professional in Seattle and Melbourne, owner Jacob Ibarra opted to head down south and break ground on a coffee company of his own. Building off his time in big name coffee markets, Ibarra states his goal is to increase coffee education and accessibility in ways that haven’t yet been done in Houston. This will come via a completely refinished 3,000-square-foot warehouse expected to open some time in September. To learn more about Tenfold Coffee, we spoke with Jacob Ibarra digitally.

The 2019 Build-Outs of Summer is presented by Pacific Barista SeriesnotNeutralKeepCup, and Mill City Roasters.

As told to Sprudge by Jacob Ibarra.

tenfold coffee houston texas

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

At the heart of it all, what we are trying to do is build better supply chains. We want to be advocates and great partners for the producers we step into relationships with, but believe to make it sustainable and profitable for all involved there has to be some strategy behind it. Practically, we understand that if we want the good we hope to do to be long lasting and profitable we need the consuming side to buy in. Thus, as our first step we are building a cafe/roastery that is more akin to a craft brewery. In Houston, there are just a few who readily invite people into the craft of coffee making and we believe no one has stepped into education and making coffee accessible like we plan. The hope is that with all this we begin to build an audience and customer base that is committed to the craft and genuinely curious about coffee at large. From here we hope this helps us take them on a coffee journey that leads to Tenfold creating better supply chains and more hopeful producer relationships.

Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

Our warehouse is within a three building development in a great, inner-city Houston neighborhood, the Heights. Currently there is an existing craft cocktail bar and in construction are a gym and barber shop in another building. We have the third building which is a 3,000-square-foot warehouse that has been ‘”re-skinned”. We will be taking over the interior and plan to finish it in a modern, yet fun way—taking many cues from the many years I spent in the Australian cafe scene. We have lots of natural light—nearly three whole walls—which gives the space warmth and great perspective. Also, we have a side room attached to the main space that is being converted into a lab. The lab and the main cafe/roastery space is attached by a deck, which will have a very clean yet artistic pergola and seating area that welcomes the neighborhood from the street and invites consumers to enjoy the outdoors.

What’s your approach to coffee?

Wow. Big question but as I have been hiring I have been sharing these three words a lot: quality, sustainability, and hospitality. We have named the company Tenfold because we believe it speaks to excellence. We want everything we produce, including those experiences we give a customer, to speak quality. Quality is a leading way we can distinguish ourselves from the rest of the coffee market. Regarding sustainability, I’d say that Houston is generally behind the curve from the cities I have been in over the last 15 years—Seattle and Melbourne. But, I come at it from a procurement perspective and it would clearly be ironic for me to tell farmers to take care of their land and then trash it with improper practices and culture on the consuming side. Thus, we are taking steps to have a sustainable lens in all the we do and am excited to see how we will grow in this. As for hospitality, I have witnessed too many specialty coffee shops forget the notion that we actually exist in the hospitality industry. At the core of it, we are called to be hospitable and if we can do this well, I fully believe we can progress our vision and aims within specialty coffee.

tenfold coffee houston texas

Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

On the main bar we will have a Marco Uber Boiler, two Nuova Simonelli Mythos Two grinders, a Mahlkönig EK43 grinder, Curtis G4 batch brewer, and the new La Marzocco KB90. The lab will have a Uber Boiler, La Marzocco Linea PB, Mythos One, two Baratza Settes, and an Ikawa sample roaster.

How is your project considering sustainability?

As mentioned previously, this is one of the bigger lens we are trying to look through. Also, we are trying to do this quite holistically. We are soon to start the B Corp “Pending” process, which is geared toward early stage businesses. We have a lot of respect for the B Corp community and know it will help shape our business practices. On the roastery/production side, we have picked up some newer technology called a VortX. Via this machine we will reduce our roasting production gas usage by more than half. The VortX uses water to cleanse exhaust from the roaster instead of a traditional natural gas burning afterburner. In the cafe we will heavily promote and incentivize customers to buy and utilize reusable cups. We are in discussion with Huskee and Frank Green to use and sell in the cafe and retail shelves. Both of these products do a tremendous job of blending beauty with function and in the cafe we will discount orders from those customers who utilize a reusable cup. Also, if you buy a reusable cup from our retail shelves we will grant the customer a free cup of coffee with that purchase. The last thing I will mention is that we will be exploring a “Greater Heights” series of merchandise where all proceeds go to a sustainable endeavor at origin and within one of the coffee communities we work with. I am quite close to the Long Miles Project of Burundi, and Ben Carlson is one my investors and strategic leaders at Tenfold. Ben is leading a new 50 year project to plants trees and re-flourish the Kibira National Forest. The Kibira forest is losing trees at an alarming rate and will change the environmental landscape for coffee farmers so dramatically that production might cease to exist in the province. We want to help and thus for the foreseeable future the proceeds from the the Greater Heights series will head to Burundi and the Trees for Kibira project.

tenfold coffee houston texas

What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?

Late September

Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

Yes, Swerdt Design Group was my architect. Fly Wheel Co collaborated on my brand identity and packaging. Vanessa Farris (who is actually also training to be our roaster) is a woodworker and building a number of our larger more communal tables.

Thank you!

Thank you!

Tenfold Coffee Company is located at 101 Aurora St, Houston. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Build-Outs Of Summer is an annual series on Sprudge. Live the thrill of the build all summer long in our Build-Outs feature hub.

Photos by Vincent Mercer Jr

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Source: Coffee News