In Seoul, Anthracite Coffee Fuels The Hapjeong Neighborhood

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anthracite coffee seoul south korea michelle hwang

anthracite coffee seoul south korea michelle hwang

Anthracite is hard coal—the mineral’s purest form, containing little filler, it burns as clean as coal burns, and built the world in the wake of civilization’s transition from primarily using wood for fuel at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. It makes sense, then, that the Seoul-based Anthracite Coffee was founded in a factory, in the city’s Hapjeong neighborhood.

In total, Anthracite has three locations within metropolitan Seoul, as well as a fourth on Jeju Island, all catering to a mix of tourists and locals.

Formerly a shoe factory, the original Hapjeong space is marked by concrete walls, stone floors, and exposed beams. Its ample seating allows for patrons to soak in a kind of moody, industrialness that stands in stark contrast to the newer cafe and roasting space in the Hannam neighborhood, for instance.

anthracite coffee seoul south korea michelle hwang

anthracite coffee seoul south korea michelle hwang

There, each floor is replete with massive windows that lend themselves to the light outside, and you can clearly see the roasting process on display in the back, as well as enjoy an indoor pseudo-green space.

Regardless of which location a person visits, however, every Anthrocite features the same selection of coffees, all roasted by Anthrocite, whose bags bear the images of stark, angular pieces of coal and names like William Blake and Pablo Neruda. Anthrocite’s lattes are at once smooth and assertive, with a nutty, spicy, almost chocolatey flavor that goes well with one of the many primarily French-inspired baked goods on offer.

anthracite coffee seoul south korea michelle hwang

Anthracite is serious not only about providing excellent coffee drinking experiences, but also about educating folks on what they are imbibing. To this end, public cuppings are offered weekly on Tuesday evenings. Additionally, for patrons who are interested in diving deeper into the art of coffee brewing, Anthracite offers home barista courses throughout the year. From the information available on the webpage, the course provides instruction on a variety of coffee related subjects, from coffee history and varieties, sensory evaluations of coffee, and an array of extraction and brewing methods. At Anthracite, not only can you have your cup of coffee, but you can learn more about it, too.

Anthracite has multiple locations in South Korea. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook.

Michelle Hwang is a writer who splits her time between California, Paris, and Seoul. Read more Michelle Hwang for Sprudge.

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Source: Coffee News

Trace Your Coffee Using Blockchain

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That blockchain is so hot right now. Blockchain. It is, without question, the word I’ve heard the most recently without having any idea what it means. It generally goes along the lines of, “something something Bitcoin something something blockchain something something.” It’s very technical. But now, a coffee company is using blockchain technology to bring more transparency to each cup of coffee. Put another way, “something something coffee something something blockchain.”

In its most uncomplicated form, blockchain is just a cloud-based ledger that records transactions. According to the Wall Street Journal, Denver’s Coda Coffee is applying this new fangled record-keeping to tracking coffee from the farm to the coffee shop. Each coffee they sell is given a QR code that customers can scan to “see the date and location of every transaction—from collection at the farm to washing and drying, milling, export, roasting and retail.”

For this traceability to work, new processes have to be put in place at origin. To catalog new coffees, farmers in Eastern Uganda put their crop through a machine that “analyzes the beans and assigns them a lot number that customers can trace.” Called the “bextmachine,” that analyzer was created by Denver startup Bext360 and is intended to be a useful tool for more than just the end user.

The bextmachine also furnishes better information to the businesses along the supply chain, like Coda, by conducting a three-dimensional scan of the outer fruit of each bean. In providing more detail on quality and characteristics of the coffee beans at the farm level, the machine helps wholesalers and roasters learn which attributes produce certain tastes—helping them adjust future sourcing decisions.

Listen, I’m not sure if this whole Bitcoin blockchain thing will be around in 10 years or if it will go the way of the pet rock, but like, a pet rock that you can use as currency on the dark web. But nonetheless, transparency in coffee is a good thing and trying to use new technologies—whether ultimately successful or not—to increase traceability is worth attempting. So yeah, I’m willing to take my coffee with a side of blockchain. I’m still not sure if I’m using that right.

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 Trace Your Coffee Using Blockchain appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Coffee Beer: Brew By Numbers x Roundhill Roastery’s Coffee Pale Ale

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The tastiest tipple we tasted at the London Coffee Festival? A coffee beer that doesn’t taste like a coffee beer.

Brew By Numbers, celebrating its fifth year in 2018, was founded by Dave Seymour and Tom Hutchings. From humble beginnings home-brewing in a basement on London’s Southwark Bridge Road, the two have built a strong brewing company with a loyal beer geek following. Brew By Numbers worked with Round Hill Roastery, located near Bath, to develop a coffee pale for the London Coffee Festival.

Sprudge spoke with Dale Seymour at the festival to learn more.

Brew By Numbers beers are all numbered. What number is this one?

The name of the coffee beer is 21:16. Just pale ale with coffee. So the first two numbers we have in all of our beers is the style, so in this case, 21 represents pale ale. And then the second two represent the recipe within that style. So this is the 16th unique pale ale that we’ve brewed.

How did you approach this coffee beer?

Well we’ve brewed quite a few coffee porters, and dark beers in the past, but we’re checking with Oli [Bradshaw] from Round Hill about doing something a little different, so we wanted to bring something lighter, the pale ale made a lot of sense because you can find balances between hops and the coffee in terms of the flavors. We decided with Oli we were going to use the Kochere filter, so I went through the tasting notes on that, picked out the different flavors and aromas that the coffee displays, and then found hops that would match those flavors. And then we brewed the pale ale pretty much as normal, and then add the whole bean coffee to the finished beer. Leave it to steep for about 12 hours.

You have a coffee background, yeah?

I do yeah, I’ve worked previously at the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs for a few months, and a few other places as well, including Fernandez and Wells. At the same time I was working in coffee I was also starting the brewery with my friend Tom, and the brewery won in a sense in terms of the actual career. But I still love coffee. I love making coffee, I love drinking coffee, and finding the way to bring those two things together was something I really wanted to maintain.

Brew By Numbers has been known to split batches at different stages to create variations of each brew—did this happen in the making of this beer?

Not this one. Something we’ve done before, but we do less these days, is to run some [of the beer] off into like a pilot fermenter, but a lot of the time we design a beer and we brew that one beer as an entire batch, on the clean side at least. For the sort of sour and funky beers, it’s a whole different story. There’s a lot of blending and splitting there. But for this one, basically I was taking small samples—like a little bit, roundabout a liter—and adding some coffee to it, and doing some different temperature trials, and dosage trials, and some steep time trials.

How has the response been here at the Festival?

It’s been amazing. It’s been really good. Lots of people are relieved that it doesn’t just taste like coffee. I think that seems to be the way coffee beers are approached. The dosage rates are often crazy high. We’ve always tried to maintain the fact that it’s a beer first, and it’s showing coffee. And for this one especially. You know, our coffee porters are usually a bit more coffee forward, but for this one I was really trying to find that balance where it’s a pale ale and you can taste coffee in there.

Is it available outside of the London Coffee Festival?

Yes. I think it’s on sale now, I think we might’ve launched it this weekend at the tap room, so it will be on general sale from this week I believe.

Will it be available in stores?

Yes! We’ll be sending out directly to customers and also to our distributors. So it should be available in the coming days, and on our online shop as well.

Do you ship internationally?

We do, yeah. I think about 20 or 30 percent of our beer is sent abroad.

How has the London beer scene changed in the last five years?

It’s changed a lot. In the early, early days there was quite a tight-knit group of people who were at all the beer events, and they were the conversation for beer. But it has certainly broadened a lot these days and you know, Instagram has been a big factor. As you know very much, you know marketing on Instagram and on social media is building hype and then there’s lots of conversations going around about certain beers, and people getting excited about the release of particular beers. Whereas before it felt very much like we could brew whatever we wanted to brew and people were excited to be introduced to new beers, or to be given the chance to try beers they might not otherwise.

But the market’s very much going towards like hazy, hoppy beers at the moment. That’s a huge thing. But you know, it will be interesting to see how it develops in the next few years and if it carries on this way or in this course, or if people move towards other styles or not. It’s going to be interesting to see.

Thanks for your time!

Visit Brew By Numbers in London at their Taproom on 75 Enid St and online.

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

Chug-a-lug! There’s heaps more coffee beer coverage in our archives.

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Source: Coffee News

Using Cannabis Technology To Grow Coffee Plants

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Today is 420, so we ask for but a small portion of your time spent dabbin’ your doobies to bring you some coffee news. But SURPRISE! It’s really cannabis and coffee news. A coffee company that is using cannabis tech to grow coffee plants in Southern California.

According to Wired, Boulder, Colorado’s Front Range Biosciences—a producer of “marijuana plants free of viruses and bacteria”—is expanding their crop diversity to include coffee plants and have agreed to give 3 million plants over the next four years to Frinj Coffee. Much like coffee trees, cannabis plants are susceptible to bacteria and diseases that drastically affect their output. To combat this, Front Range Biosciences has created a “clean stock” system of cloning plants that uses tissue grafts to ensure that just the plants themselves get duplicated, not any of the nasty diseases they may carry.

And Front Range is now using the same process for cloning coffee plants. These lab-cloned plants provide a secondary benefit of allowing Frinj to know exactly what coffee variety they are growing. According to the article wind-pollinated coffee trees often lead to wild hybridization, making it difficult to know the exact genetic makeup of each new plant. But because everything is controlled in the lab, spontaneous hybrids aren’t an issue.

Front Range will also keep a tissue repository of the different coffee varieties—including Geisha, what Frinj is growing. Because a farm full of cloned single variety plant lack genetic diversity—an important factor in keeping entire crops from being wiped out by disease—having this stockpile they can easily replicate is crucial.

“That’s the tradeoff you get,” says [Front Range CEO Jon] Vaught. “There is some risk associated with just having lots of the same one, but at the same time it’s worth it. We can keep tens, hundreds, thousands of unique varieties safe and sound, so that if you did have something that got wiped out, you could go back and deploy it.”

Front Range Biosciences has plans to do the same cloning for bananas, sugar, and hops some time in the future. But right now they’re bread and butter are coffee and cannabis. Which begs the question, can these cannabinerds hybridize coffee and cannabis to create a THC-rich coffee cherry? It would be really nice to stop having to put all that butter in my coffee.

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 Front Range Biosciences

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Source: Coffee News

Coffee As A Queer Space, Past And Present

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queer coffeehouses rj joseph

queer coffeehouses rj joseph

When people think of spaces for queer communities to congregate, collaborate, and enjoy each other’s company, bars and clubs are usually the first thing that comes to mind. This assumption—that an openly  gay or queer space must inherently be a bar—is beholden to its own history and fraught with prejudice. It’s also only part of the story.

Queer coffeehouses have for centuries been vital to queer culture past and present, presenting valuable spaces for organizing, finding community, and freely inhabiting queer identity. While many tend to associate queer culture with nightlife—a direct result of the criminalization of queer identity over the course of history—queer coffeehouses occupy their own essential cultural space, sometimes operating as part of the nightlife scene, and sometimes acting as a valuable counterpoint.

As the legality of various queer identities and expressions has fluctuated over time, the culture around where and how queer people congregate has shifted alongside it; while the queer coffeehouses of the past were often spaces where expressing queer identity was an act of open (and sometimes illegal) rebellion, queer coffeehouses of the present are able to inhabit queer space in marvelously myriad ways. With a nod to the past, today’s queer coffee bars show us the stunning diversity of what it means to be queer in the 21st century, where the fight for respect and inclusivity continues.  

queer coffeehouses rj joseph

Photo by Leslie Foster.

Queer Coffeehouses Go Way Back

Today’s queer coffee bars are as modern as they come—more on that later—but the coffee house’s role as a popular space for queer folks to get together go way back: all the way back to the Ottoman Empire, in fact, when coffee made its way from Yemen to Turkey. As coffee became a popular beverage for royalty, the majority of the general public met coffee through the establishment of coffeehouses. Coffeehouses quickly became an integral part of Istanbul social culture, where people would congregate to discuss poetry and literature, play chess and backgammon, and read.

As coffeehouses were a center for intellectual and social progress, it’s only natural that they also became hubs for queer people, specifically queer men. At that time in Turkish culture, male beauty was lauded and homoerotic romance was not criminalized. Over time, the culture shifted, and the prevalence of queer activity in coffeehouses actually contributed to periodic attempts by the Turkish government to prohibit coffeehouses, the most drastic being Murad IV’s 1622 law mandating execution of coffee drinkers (and tobacco smokers); during that period in Istanbul, religious leaders preached on street corners that coffee would “inspire indecent behavior.”

Stewart Allen, author of The Devil’s Cup: Coffee, the Driving Force in History, told the story of an Ottoman Grand Vizier secretly visited a coffeehouse in Istanbul. “He observed that the people drinking alcohol would just get drunk and sing and be jolly, whereas the people drinking coffee remained sober and plotted against the government,” said Allen. The link between coffeehouses as spaces for intellectual activity, queer activity, and revolutionary activity repeats throughout history, and the criminalization of coffeehouses and criminalization of queerness are similarly linked; once we acknowledge the role of coffee in revolution, it’s not surprising that the idea of queer people meeting in coffeehouses was at times even more threatening to governments than queer people meeting in taverns. Today nothing has really changed.

That’s not to say that queer coffeehouses didn’t partake in their fair share of revelry. In 18th century England, molly houses provided a popular venue for queer men to get together. While many molly houses were taverns, the famous Mother Clap’s was a coffeehouse that also served spirits; a center for dancing, cross-dressing, and sex, it was one of the most popular and successful molly houses of the time. Mother Clap’s was raided in 1726, leading to the arrest of 40 attendees, most of whom were released on “lack of evidence” (read: not being caught in the act of queer sex), but many were fined and three were hanged. Mother Clap herself, the proprietress, was fined, pilloried, and imprisoned for two years for “keeping a disorderly house.” Nevertheless, the queer subculture continued, and shutting down individual molly houses didn’t stop people from getting their queer culture elsewhere.

queer coffeehouses rj joseph

Photo courtesy of Squirrel Chops, a women-owned cafe in Seattle.

The Modern Era: Compton’s Cafeteria and the Queer Civil Rights Movement

When the US established independence after the Revolution, crimes like “sodomy” and “buggery” were capital offenses in many states, and cross-dressing was a felony punishable by imprisonment or corporal punishment. For a long time, since no queer activity was legal in the US, all expression of queer identity was forced underground. By the 1960s, queer communities had had enough of police and state oppression of queer identities and fought back; unsurprisingly, there was coffee involved. While the 1969 Stonewall riots are commonly thought of as the beginning of the queer civil rights movement in the US, the Compton’s Cafeteria riot, which predated it by three years, started with a cup of coffee thrown in a police officer’s face in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District.

Compton’s Cafeteria acted as a gathering place for trans women, drag queens, and crossdressers—who, as a result of transphobia in the gay community, were often not allowed in gay bars—to congregate. Because crossdressing was illegal at the time, police could use the presence of trans people as a pretext to raid the establishment and close it down. According to The Advocate, “The “screaming queens” erupted one night after one of their own was being hauled away from the cafeteria. After she emptied her steaming cup in the police officer’s face, all hell broke loose. Chairs, dishes, and sugar shakers went airborne and the restaurant’s dirty windows were smashed; outside, queers broke the windows of a squad car and lit a newsstand on fire. Immediately following the chaos, restaurant owners banned trans women and drag queens. The community picketed against the decision the following night.”

The riot, aided in part by coffee, marked a turning point for the local queer rights movement: after the riot and protests, a network of transgender social, psychological, and medical support services was established, which culminated in 1968 with the creation of the National Transsexual Counseling Unit, the first peer-run support and advocacy organization in the world. By 1974, the anti-crossdressing law was repealed, and today San Francisco remains a hub for trans and gender-nonconforming individuals, who enjoy greater legal protection in SF than in most regions across the country.  

queer coffeehouses rj joseph

Photo by Johnny Gallagher.

Queer Cafes Today

Queer rights are nowhere near comprehensive in the US, and although the right to legal gay marriage was established at a federal level in the US in 2015, politicians and civilians on both the right and the left continue to rally around criminalizing or simply not legalizing specific elements of queer identity. In the US today, trans individuals are not legally protected against discrimination at a federal level, and nonbinary gender identities are only acknowledged in a few states. Nevertheless, we’ve come a long way from a full criminalization of all queerness, and it shows in the diversity of queer coffeehouses and companies today. I reached out to several queer coffee companies and found them each wholly unique expressions of queer culture in the US today. I couldn’t possibly fit all their stories into one article, but below are just a few.

queer coffeehouses rj joseph

Photo by Johnny Gallagher.

Founded in 2009 by Ryan Galiotto, San Francisco’s Wicked Grounds provides the community with a full-service cafe, kink boutique, and community hub for the LGBTQ, polyamorous, and kink communities. “Think about the community aspects of your local leather bar, then envision that happening in a full service and sober cafe,” said current owner Mir Bilodeau. “We host about 50 events each month, including Kink 101 classes, munches for specific kink subcultures, activism groups, polyamory socials, and more.” In addition to their own events, they sponsor a wide variety of local queer organizations and events, like SF and Oakland Pride, the Trans March, Folsom Street Fair, and International Ms. Leather. They also partner with other queer organizations to offer everything from STI testing to prisoner letter writing days to give back to their community. In a region with so many queer bars, providing a queer space for sober folks and families is crucial, and the mission of education and activism speaks to a long tradition of queer coffeehouses in the SF region.

queer coffeehouses rj joseph

Michelle Barber of Queer Coffee. Photo courtesy QC.

Michelle Barber’s online coffee retailer Queer Coffee represents a different facet of queer culture. Launched in May 2017, Queer Coffee sells whole bean, fair trade, organic coffee online and donates $2 from every bag sold to an LGBTQ+ nonprofit—currently, they’re supporting the Campaign for Southern Equality. “The idea is that this is a high-quality bag of beans you’d be proud to have in your cupboard or give to a friend, all while supporting our own community. I’m passionate about coffee and I wanted to find a bigger way to support LGBTQ+ nonprofits,” says Barber. “I hope we can grow that support over the years to have a bigger and bigger impact. I have big goals for Queer Coffee, like organizing meetups and sponsoring events, but we’re small and new right now.”

queer coffeehouses rj joseph

Virginia Bauman (left) and Iris Bainum-Houle (right). Photo by Leslie Foster.

Cuties Coffee, launched through crowd-funding less than a year ago in East Hollywood, has already done so much to provide queer-centered community space for their local community. “We wanted a space that anchors the community, open during the daytime so that all ages could attend. We wanted a space for folx who don’t find a home in the queer nightlife scene. We wanted a space that was casual. There was a gap we saw that a coffee shop could fill,” said co-founder Virginia Bauman. Cuties hosts community events like the Friday Flirt!, craft nights, and queer movie nights, as well as casual coffee and donuts socials. They also put out a newsletter with events from other groups in the area, as well as media to enjoy from home for those who aren’t up for being out of the house for any number of reasons.

In addition to this valuable work, Cuties have recently launched a community tab program to ensure that no one who wants to enjoy the safe, affirming space they provide is turned away for lack of funds. Look for more on this community program in a coming feature here on Sprudge in early May.

In Charlotte, NC, Comic Girl Coffee is a queer-led co-op selling coffee with vegan milk options and queer/POC-centered books. They work to create a safe space for community-building and activism for Charlotte’s marginalized. One of their main goals is to make the space accessible to people of every income using a Pay it Forward board populated by magnets purchased by other customers and a section of donated books for which customers can pay what they want. They also donate 10% of profits to Trans.formation House, a healing space for homeless transgender people.

These are just a tiny handful of the beautifully diverse queer coffee companies carrying the tradition of coffeehouses as spaces for queerness, thought, and progressive society.

queer coffeehouses rj joseph

Photo by Leslie Foster.

Queer Coffeehouses, Past and Present

From the beginnings of coffee to the present day, coffeehouses have always been hubs for queer collaboration and activism. As coffee culture moved across the world, queerness moved from a non-criminalized subculture in Ottoman Turkey, to a heavily-criminalized underground scene in Europe and the US, to the open-yet-threatened status many queer people inhabit in the US today. Throughout that history, coffeehouses have always been exactly what the queer community needed them to be at any given time and place. So many different queer subcultures thrive across the US and alongside them, a rich spread of coffee shops prioritizes different groups, missions, and needs.

While the queer coffee scene in the US continues to thrive and diversify, queer civil rights in the US and across the world are still under attack. Many coffee companies and coffee professionals wish to remain apolitical in such a polarized climate, but coffee has always been political, a space to brew revolution. In honor of that history, coffee drinkers and coffee professionals alike should salute the companies who continue that legacy with the courage to boldly create and protect the space their community needs to survive and thrive. Visit and donate to these spaces, and respect those who risk so much to champion these causes. It’s easier to look away, but coffee’s history points us in a different direction. 

queer coffeehouses rj joseph

Photo by Leslie Foster.

RJ Joseph is a staff writer for Sprudge Media Network. Read more RJ Joseph on Sprudge.

Top photo by Sunnie Townsend. 

Featured establishments:

Cuties is located at 710 N Heliotrope Dr in Los Angeles, California. Follow Cuties on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Wicked Grounds is located at 289 8th St in San Francisco, California. Follow Wicked Grounds on Twitter and Facebook.

Comic Girl Coffee is located at 1224 Commercial Ave in Charlotte, North Carolina. Follow Comic Girl Coffee on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Queer Coffee is a digital platform supporting LGBTQ+ causes. Follow Queer Coffee on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Squirrel Chops is a women-owned coffee house and salon in Seattle, Washington. Follow Squirrel Chops on Facebook and Instagram.

The post Coffee As A Queer Space, Past And Present appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Meet The New Mazzer Robur S Grinder

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mazzer robur s london coffee festival

mazzer robur s london coffee festival

The London Coffee Festival 2018 has come and gone, but the memories remain—and so does all the hot new gear we tested at the show. One product we were excited to hear more about is Mazzer Robur S, a high performance coffee grinder that follows, yet completely re-invents, the current Robur model.

Mazzer are hardly newcomers to the coffee world.  Founded by Luigi Mazzer in 1948, the now 70-year-old historic Italian brand the brand exports more than 70% of its production nearly a hundred countries around the world. Mazzer grinders are used and loved by top baristas and roasters around the world, and often paired with espresso machines by La Marzocco through a longstanding partnership.

mazzer robur s london coffee festival

The new Robur S presented at LCF 2018 is an electronic grinder-doser (available in two versions, both automatic and electronic on demand) with conical grinding blades and slow speed rotation (420 RPM – 50 Hz). The ideal home for Robur S is a busy coffee shop with high consumption.

What’s new? The new grinder improves dose consistency and reduces coffee retention by 52% compared to the previous model. It is capable of operating at high speed, grinding five grams of coffee per second without over-heating. A special cooling system with double fan keeps the coffee safe from temperature exposure, preserving maximum aroma.

mazzer robur s london coffee festival

Robur S makes it easier to set the grinder to your preferred grinding size with stepless micrometrical grinding adjustment and a new system for the disk, called Memory Track. The system allows users to rotate the disk to the preferred number and lock it in place to index grind setting. Additionally, Robur S features an easy system for changing out the burrs, allowing for quick and easy cleaning of the grind chamber without losing your grind setting.

A new digital control panel allows users to set the grinder and access data stored in the software. Time settings include single, double, and triple doses; dose countdowns to monitor the stocks; a programmable pre-tap pause function to level down the coffee in the portafilter, stats on grinding output data; and maintenance alerts (for example, when the burrs are due to be changed). All this data can be easily viewed on the display or on the connected apps.

mazzer robur s london coffee festival

Indeed, one of the most interesting innovations of the Robur S is its inbuilt Wi-Fi connection, which allows baristas, roasters, and service teams to access grinder data remotely and store it in a cloud database. The Robur S app will be unveiled in the next few months.

Robur S is a major example of the ongoing renewal at Mazzer. In 2016 the company expanded its facilities, nearly doubling the production area to meet with market demand. They’ve also heavily invested in innovation and R&D, hiring young engineers, developers, and support staff in a bid to keep the brand at the forefront of the coffee industry.

High performance, attention to detail, and product reliability are at the core of Mazzer’s operations. “We are involved in the whole production process. Every single metal component we use goes through our quality control process,” says Cristina Scarpa, Marketing Manager at Mazzer Italy, who I spoke with at length during the London Coffee Festival.

mazzer robur s london coffee festival

Mazzer has also made a commitment to investing in green energy: about 40% of appliances are produced using renewable energy sources (saving 307 tons of CO2 yearly) thanks to a photovoltaic system installed at the Mazzer factory near Venice.

Do you want to know more about the new Mazzer Robur S grinder? You will find Mazzer at coffee trade shows worldwide in the coming months, ahead of the global release of Robur S at the end of October 2018.

Giulia Mule is a contributor based in London. Read more Giulia Mule on Sprudge

Mazzer is an advertising partner on Sprudge Media Network. 

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Source: Coffee News

Many Take Away Cups Are Recyclable, So Why Do They End Up In Landfills?

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Waste from disposable coffee cups are an issue. We all know this; it isn’t news. But perhaps what is most perplexing about this problem is that many of these cups are actually recyclable. A new article from BBC News breaks down how the problem isn’t necessarily the cup itself, but how it is disposed of.

The article notes that a staggering 99.75% of the estimated 2.5 billion (in 2011. That number is believed to be higher now) disposable cups in the UK end up in a landfill. But many of the biggest producers of these cups—including Starbucks and Costa—have cups that actually are recyclable. So what’s the problem then? The snag comes in where these cups are thrown away.

Because disposable cups are a mix of paper and plastic, it takes a specialized facility to properly dispose of them. So if you throw away a cup in recycling at Starbucks or Costa (which doesn’t really make sense; take away cups are for taking your coffee away from the coffee shop), they will be taken to the appropriate recycling plant. But, if you throw your cup away in a bin at home or on the street or just about any place that isn’t where the coffee was purchased, it will most likely end up in a landfill.

To combat this, many companies are creating compostable cups, but this comes with its own set of challenges. If, for instance, a compostable cup ends up in the recycling, it could contaminate, rendering the entire batch of recycling useless and destining it to a landfill.

So what can we as consumers do? The easiest solution is to bring your own reusable cups, like this lovely Sprudge KeepCup. The article notes that many coffee shops even offer discounts for those bringing in their own cups, so not only are they better for the environment, they will eventually pay for themselves. Short of that, we can all be more mindful about making sure our waste is appropriately disposed of; put recyclables in the recycling bin and waste in the waste bin. Mixing the two can undo the work of other mindful disposers.

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

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Source: Coffee News

Black Coffee Is Coming April 24th

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We’re just a few short days from Black Coffee, a new live podcast event from creative director Michelle Johnson in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available here, and today we’ve got some exciting additions to the programming to announce!

The event takes place on Tuesday, April 24th from 6-9pm at the Clinton Street Theater, a classic cinema and live theater venue in the heart of Southeast Portland, Oregon. Ticket pre-sale is now available. Hosted by Michelle Johnson, Ian Williams (Deadstock Coffee), and Gio Fillari (Coffee Feed PDX), this event centers the voices and experiences of Black coffee professionals and enthusiasts alike, all with unique perspectives that span intersectional identities and roles on the retail end of the value chain. Special guests include D’Onna Stubblefield (Counter Culture Coffee), JUST ADDED Ezra Baker (Share Coffee Roasters), Zael Ogwaro (Never Coffee), Adam JacksonBey (The Potter’s House), and Cameron Heath (Revelator Coffee Company). The main event at Clinton Street Theater will feature a live DJ performance by |Fritzwa|.

We’re excited to partner up with several sponsors for this event, including La Marzocco USA, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Oatly, and The Ace Hotel Portland. Ticket proceeds will be donated to our charitable partners, Sankofa Collective and Brown Girl Rise. We are thrilled to have this event supported by NXT LVL, Portland’s partiers for social justice—read more about their involvement with the event here.

Black Coffee tickets are $10 pre-sale, $15 at the door. We’re offering a limited number of VIP tickets that include an invite to the after party, and a special “come down” event the following morning. A little update regarding the afterparty: due to demand this event has been moved to the Society Hotel, featuring DJ VNPRT, natural wine selections by Sprudge Wine, and dessert catering from Kee’s Loaded Kitchen.

We hope you can join us April 24th in Portland! But if you can’t make it, don’t worry—we’re planning on creating wall to wall coverage of the event, including a special podcast presentation to follow. Follow Sprudge for more details.


Read Michelle Johnson’s statement of intent for the event here

Read more about NXT LVL’s partnership with the event here.

Original poster art by Taylor McManus (@tmcmanusillustration)

The post Black Coffee Is Coming April 24th appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

New Gear Watch: The Rancilio Specialty Launches At London Coffee Festival

By Coffee, News No Comments

rancilio specialty london coffee festival england

rancilio specialty london coffee festival england

Over the long weekend of April 12th-15th, the international coffee industry and tens of thousands of its biggest fans gathered in Shoreditch, London for the 2018 London Coffee Festival. A four-day event now in its eighth year, the festival brings together established companies and smaller independent brands alike to present their products to more than 30,000 baristas, roasters, CEOs, entrepreneurs, associated media, craftspeople and coffee lovers of all stripes. I was on the ground at the London Coffee Festival to check out the hottest new tech coming on the market later this year.

Rancilio Group has been producing traditional espresso machines and grinders at their factory in Parabiago near Milan, Italy for over 90 years. The London Coffee Festival 2018 marked their official debut into the specialty coffee market with the new Rancilio Specialty.

rancilio specialty london coffee festival england

Rancilio Specialty is a stainless steel espresso machine featuring three independent groupheads with dedicated displays, an insulated service boiler with programmable water change, and steam levers each with two powers levels for different jug sizes. Thanks to a multi-boiler system and “Rancilio LAB patented technology,” baristas can accurately manage water temperature profiles during the shot brewing process, which, according to Rancilio, affords them the ability to control acidity and bitterness. What they call “Thermal Stability technology” allows baristas to program bespoke brewing profiles using a range of 5°C to precisely dial in the flavour characteristics of coffee blends and single origins—if one coffee tastes great at 86°C, whilst another prefers a flat 90°C, the Rancilio Speciality can handle it no problem.

The most interesting feature of Rancilio Specialty, one that I’m sure baristas will be most excited about, is the touch screen interface. The screen allows users to regulate the machine, program groups and steam levers settings, save recipes, add notes, and set up cleaning operations. Rancilio Specialty also stores all the details of last 30 cups of coffee brewed, hence allowing users to easily monitor the machine’s performance and helping support training for new baristas.

rancilio specialty london coffee festival england

rancilio specialty london coffee festival england

The decision to delve into the specialty coffee market came after the launch of Rancilio’s Classe 11 machine a few years ago. “About a year and a half ago, we gathered a team of top baristas from the specialty sector and started working on creating an espresso machine for them,” says Valerio Locati, R&D Engineer at Rancilio Group. “One of the things they asked for was to make the interface easy to use by reducing the number of clicks required to find the main functions.” And so because of this, the most important settings such as group settings and preset recipes can be found on the first page of the display.

Rancilio Group also took care to address sustainability as part of their machine design; it’s an increasingly large focus in the specialty coffee industry here in London and around the world. The Rancilio Speciality’s main boiler is insulated to reduce energy consumption; the micro-boilers for individual units can be switched off manually or programmed to switch off automatically. Equally important was the R&D team’s goal to create a user-friendly and ergonomic machine. To that end, the design of the brewing units, the positioning of the steam levers, and the ample working area guarantee the barista supreme comfort, precision, and operating speed to optimize the work flow.

rancilio specialty london coffee festival england

Rancilio Specialty is full of other cool functionalities, such as an LED illuminated work surface, a USB port for recharging smartphones and scales, cool touch steam wands, a control panel with back-lit icons, and a removable drip tray with height adjustment for all cup sizes (80, 100, or 120mm). Under the machine is a 90mm deep compartment that can be used to store the filter holders, scales, and other working tools. The cup tray can be set up to five different temperature levels to guarantee stable and even heat in any season and environment inside and outside the cafe.

What may seem like small things can really make a difference in improving the day-to-day workflow and performance of a coffee shop, making for an impressive, barista-focused first entry from Rancilio into the specialty coffee market.

Rancilio Specialty was first presented at Host 2017 in Milan, but the machine’s official launch took place at the 2018 The London Coffee Festival. Rancilio Group will take the new machine to other coffee shows this year, but you saw it here first on Sprudge.

rancilio specialty london coffee festival england

Giulia Mule is a contributor based in London. Read more Giulia Mule on Sprudge

The post New Gear Watch: The Rancilio Specialty Launches At London Coffee Festival appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Introducing The Sprudge Editorial Advisory Board

By Coffee, News

Hey there Sprudge reader! Thanks for clicking this link, and thank you, as always, for reading our website. A good 95% of what we report about on Sprudge takes place far outside our own organizational sphere, but from time to time we’ll keep you posted about what we’re up to as a media network, and today is one of those days. If internal talk of #SprudgeLife is not your jam, we understand fully—you might instead prefer this emotional treatise on the state of the Americano, or an interview with Jerry Seinfeld, or a coffee guide to Kyoto—but if you’re still with us, thank you, let’s get down to it.

Sprudge Media Network is excited to announce our 2018-2019 editorial advisory board. It is a broad, wide-reaching, and highly informed group of individuals that come from all steps of the coffee chain, from producers to entrepreneurs to working baristas, roasters and educators, encompassing a diverse spectrum of experiences and viewpoints across the industry. It leans young; there aren’t a lot of suits. It’s a group that has graciously agreed to help better inform our small independent media company over the next year, and we are really over the moon about it (if you’re wondering).

So let’s meet them! This is your 2018-2019 Sprudge Media Network editorial advisory board.

David Buehrer (Greenway Coffee, Houston)

Jenn Chen (Acaia Coffee + independent consultancy, San Francisco)

Marta Dalton (Coffee Bird, Guatemala+London)

Liz S. Dean (The Wing, New York City)

Gilbert Gatali (Independent, Rwanda)

Michelle Johnson (Chocolate Barista + Barista Hustle, Melbourne)

Tony Konecny (Yes Plz, Los Angeles)

Tymika Lawrence (Genuine Origin, New York City)

Joe Marrocco (Cafe Imports, Minneapolis)

Diana Mnatsakanyan-Sapp (Undercurrent Coffee, Charlotte, NC)

Hugo Neuproler (Independent, Vancouver BC)

Becky Reeves (Oatly, Austin TX)

Trish Rothgeb (CQI + Wrecking Ball Coffee, San Francisco)

Akaash Saini (Equator Coffees, San Francisco Bay Area)

Bronwen Serna (The New Black, Singapore)

In the coming weeks you’ll get a chance to learn more about our board as we update and feature each of them on our “About” page—look for more soon, watch this space. We’re working every day to make Sprudge the best coffee website it can be, and today’s announcement is a public part of that process. We hope it makes our website better and we thank you for your time and readership.

-Zachary Carlsen and Jordan Michelman

The post Introducing The Sprudge Editorial Advisory Board appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News