Bean vs. Bux
What happens when a landlord evicts a neighborhood coffee shop to make way for a Starbucks? The story of East Village favorite the Bean is told by Jim Dwyer in today’s New York Times, with plenty of dramatic moment like this one: Standing in the crowd awaiting ritual squirts of caffeine and soy chai and medium foam was a middle-aged man with a briefcase, a roll of drawings under his arm,...
Fashion Week Only
It’s a Fashion Week special: Blue Bottle Coffee is a part of a popup on the ground floor of Milk Studios. Read the details here. - Oliver Strand
Two Heads Better than One
Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea names a new Co-CEO to share duties with Doug Zell. Read the full story on the Diner’s Journal. - Oliver Strand
Get a coffee for free, or buy one for a stranger: no, it’s not the now-scuttled Jonathan’s Card, it’s Berlin’s fliegender kaffe, or “flying coffee.” As reported by Nadja Sayej in the New York Times: Go into any one of the 12 participating cafes (distinguished by a sticker depicting a cup with wings and a halo), order a flying coffee, and it’s on the house, no...
Eight Coffees from 7 x 7
San Francisco’s 7 x7 weighs in on “the Bay Area’s Finest Coffees” with a blind taste test of eight local roasters. The winner (spoiler here) juuuust edged out second place, and the judges seemed surprised by the dark horse that came in third. - Oliver Strand
Only a Nobody Crawls in LA
The latest Ristretto goes on a Los Angeles coffee crawl (coffee drive?), with pit stops at Cognoscenti Coffee, Coffee Commissary and Paper or Plastik, to name a few. - Oliver Strand
The J. M. Smucker Co., owner of Folgers and Dunkin’ Donuts, announced today that the price of bagged coffee will be lowered by 6%, reflecting a decline in the green coffee futures market. While many of the factors that led to higher prices - such as low production, increased demand and a weak dollar - still apply, it will be interesting to see how the specialty market responds. - Stephen...
The latest Ristretto takes a look at Sightglass Coffee Roasters, which recently opened after two years of construction. There’s a Probat in the front, a coffee bar in the back and a distinct focus on brewed coffee (though you can get your espresso and drink it too). There’s good reason why San Francisco is known for its coffee. - Oliver Strand
Jonathan's Card: Viral, or Infected?
Spied on Sprudge.com: Andrew Hetzel’s takedown of Jonathan’s Card, a cheerful social experiment where Jonathan Stark threw his Starbucks card up on the web for the whole world to use - download it to buy coffee, or add cash and “enjoy some serious good karma.” Techcrunch.com loved it, as did Eater.com. Stark describes it as a “take a penny, leave a penny”...
Giorgio Milos is back in the Atlantic, musing once again on the current state of American coffee. He now believes American coffee is just as good as the coffee in Italy…one hundred years ago. - Mike White
Curious About Cold Brew
In Harold McGee’s latest column for the New York Times, the Curious Cook takes on cold brew coffee. (Also: tea.) - Oliver Strand
Made in China
The Financial Times reports that Starbucks entered into an agreement with Ai Ni Group to start growing coffee in China. This is the first time Starbucks will get into the business of farming. Soon Chinese coffee could become a “brand.” According to the article, “The joint venture will operate a coffee mill that will enable it to export roasted as well as raw coffee beans,...
The Feast’s Matt Duckor rounds up his 15 favorite iced coffees in New York City. They’re listed according to Feast Rank, which puts Stumptown Coffee Roasters on top. Seems to be shaping up into the summer of iced coffee. - Oliver Strand
One, Two, Three
In the New Yorker’s “Book Bench,” Macy Halford praises Stumptown’s stubbies, reviews “Coffee Philosophy for Everyone: Grounds for Debate” and muses on how well some coffee heavies and financial giants are getting along. She writes, “many think this could mark the end of the high-philosophy coffee third wave.” Which leads her to pose a question that...
Out of the Closet and into the Tweets
A new installment in the Brown Coffee Co. saga dropped today. In a blog post titled “He Smiles,” Brown Coffee owner Aaron Blanco states the coffee shop was packed with supportive customers. He writes: “I haven’t checked yet, but I think we had our second biggest sales day ever, second only to the last day before Christmas last year. And so I want to say thank you. Thanks...
Copenhagen and Oslo Now in the East Village
A quickie Ristretto on Vandaag’s new coffee setup, and the all-star cast that will introduce it this Thursday at 2 pm: Stephen Morrissey, Casper Rasmussen, Tim Varney and Tim Wendelboe will all be making coffee, raising the drip bar. - Oliver Strand
In the latest Ristretto, I take the advice of Peter Giuliano and George Howell, try the Japanese iced method. - Oliver Strand
Stumptown Coffee Roaster’s Duane Sorenson gets the last word. - Oliver Strand
Spied on Eater.com, a book on Joe (the coffee shops) by Jonathan Rubinstein, Gabrielle Rubinstein and writer Judith Choate to be titled JOE: It’s All About Coffee. It will be published by Lyons Press next year. - Oliver Strand
Campéon de Campeones
Despite the hoopla over Stumptown this past week, the real news in the barista world was the World Barista Championship in Bogotá. The victory went to Alejandro Mendez of El Salvador, and coverage can be found here, here, and here. The full archives of video is also available for your viewing pleasure here. - Mike White
Stumptown in the News
An aggregate of stories on Stumptown and TSG Consumer Partners. New York Times: Yesterday’s post in the Diner’s Journal looks at TSG’s interest in Blue Bottle, la Colombe, Counter Culture and Joe, and that TSG might have taken a 90% stake in Stumptown; it’s an update of last week’s post. Wilamette Week: First posted the news that TSG might have taken 90% stake in...
Stumptown's Investor Shows Interest in Other...
TSG Consumer Partners, Stumptown’s investor, also approached Blue Bottle, la Colombe, Counter Culture, Joe. Read about it on the Diner’s Journal. - Oliver Strand
Stumptown To Expand
There’s more on Stumptown over on the Diner’s Journal, and what the coffee company is going to do with the recent investment from TSG Consumer Partners, the private equity group: open a pair of coffee bars in Brooklyn; add a bottling facility for Stumptown “stubbies” in Red Hook; and look to open a roaster in Chicago and another in San Francisco. - Oliver Strand
He Said, They Said
The internets are burning up with the rumor that Stumptown was sold to a private equity firm a private equity firm bought a stake in Stumptown. Earlier today Todd Carmichael, the man behind la Colombe, wrote in a blog post for Esiqure.com titled “The End of Stumptown, America’s Hippest Coffee Brand,” that Duane Sorenson, Stumptown’s founder, “sold his life’s...
New York's Coldest
Eater.com’s Devin Briski posted this guide to New York’s cold-brew coffee scene. It’s a solid list, eleven in all - Abraço, Joe, Third Rail amake the cut. And as Eater.com says, “HAS MAP!” - Oliver Strand
Queens of Coffee
It’s a big week for the Queens Kickshaw in Astoria, Queens. In today’s New York Times, Julia Moskin finds a “coffee bar[s] with reclaimed wood floors and elaborately sourced snacks.” And in the latest New York Magazine, Robin Raisfeld and Rob Raisfeld flip for the coffee (by Coffee Labs Roasters), the decor (salvaged, raw) and the Baroque grilled cheese sandwiches (prune...
World Cup of Excellence
According to Diego Maradona, the Argentine national soccer team drank coffee spiked with performance-enhancing drugs leading up to the 1994 World Cup. The Associated Press quoted the soccer legend as saying: “What happened is that to play against Australia we were given a speedy coffee. They put something in the coffee and that’s why we ran more.” - Oliver Strand
The New York Daily News named Qathra Cafe in Ditmas Park the “best coffee shop in New York City.” Runner up? Peter Pan Bakery in Greenpoint. - Oliver Strand
When in Philadelphia
The latest Ristretto is a mash note on Philadelphia coffee, and a short must-visit list for René Redzepi. - Oliver Strand
Dear Coffee I Love You has this interview with the recently crowned United States Barista Champion, Pete Licata, just weeks before he goes global at the WBC in Bogota. One of the talents that Licata claims to possess relates not to coffee, but to “consuming really tasty beer.” - Mike White
Kava: Bigger, and More
The New York Post reports that Kava Cafe in the Meatpacking District “is expanding its 750 square-foot space at 803 Washington St. with a 1,000 square-foot garden” and now has a liquor license; Gothamist adds that more Kavas might appear soon in other cities; and both publications take note of boldface regulars such as Amar’e Stoudemire and Ed Burns. - Oliver Strand
Bluebird Sold, Will Reopen
A post on the Diner’s Journal confirms that Bluebird Coffee Shop was sold, will reopen later this week under new ownership and with a new staff. - Oliver Strand
You're the Chicken in My Coffee
Chicken brined overnight in coffee with fresh oranges and star anise? Why yes, according Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs over on Food52. The two cook and photograph a recipe submitted by gingerroot and fall for the taste. “The spiced coffee and orange brine infuses the meat with a smoky fragance,” Hesser and Stubbs write. “The flavor is subtle but discernable, and unlike...
Today in Houston, Tex., Pete Licata of Honolulu Coffee Company won the 2011 United States Barista Championship. Check here for 2010 champ Michael Phillips’s account of the events. No word on when Licata will produce a certificate of live birth and prove that he’s eligible to represent the United States at the World Barista Championship in Bogotá, Colombia, this June. - Oliver...
The Selby Is in Your Cortado
T goes full-tilt-boogie on James Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee, with beautiful photos and a three minute interview as a part of the magazine’s Edible Selby series with star photographer The Selby. - Mike White
Spotted on Eater.com: ”No Dogs Allowed,” a photo essay on the dogs tied up outside Ninth Street Espresso. (Looks like the location on East 10th Street, across from Tompkins Square Park.) According to the post, the project will become a book. Once again, a health department rule inspires New Yorkers to create art. - Oliver Strand
City of Sprudgerly Love
Sprudge.com goes to Philadelphia, digs the TNT. - Oliver Strand
Flat Whites, Climbing Profits
The UKPA reports that conglomerate Whitbread posted a 20% rise in annual profits “following a strong performance from its Premier Inns and Costa coffee brands.” Last year, Costa introduced the flat white to its menu, and the drink was credited with stabilizing the financial outlook for the parent company. This year, according to the report, Costa plans to add another 300 locations to...
EV Grieve reports that the original location of Ninth Street Espresso is closed for renovations. There’s no word yet on what exactly is being done. This is the second time in recent history that the location will be transformed. The Ninth Street Espresso close by on East 10th Street remains open. - Mike White UPDATE: Ninth Street Espresso owner Ken Nye emailed that the location will...
Cafe Pedlar: Shorter Days
Is the Stumptown-driven Cafe Pedlar on Clinton Street curbing coffee service? Bowery Boogie seems to think so, posting this email from a reader who reports that the adjoining Frankies 17 restaurant is cutting its hours and restricting service to dinner and brunch - and taking the coffee with it. - Mike White
Congratulations to Hideyuki Kono of Crafted Coffee Company, the newly-crowned Barista Champion of New Zealand. Hideyuki is now eligible to represent New Zealand at the World Championships in Bogota. - Mike White
The nascent project from Chris Owens, Michael Phillips and Tyler Wells has a name - Handsome Coffee Roasters - a website, a manifesto and a Tumblr. There’s a Twitter account, but it’s protected. [Update: Twitter account is no longer protected.] The Handsome home page contains this tantalizing detail: “Est. 2011 Los Angeles.” And while details are sketchy, it looks like...
Wire Service AFP checks in at the Frog Fight in Paris, and files this video segment. Looking good, David Flynn. - Oliver Strand
Congratulations to Wolfram Sorg, the new Barista Champion of Germany. Wolfram is now eligible to represent Germany at the World Championship in Bogota. - Mike White
Coffee Maker Picks Winners
White goods giant Krups announced its “Cup O’ Joe Awards,” a city-by-city list of what it deems are the country’s best coffee shops. The company picked winners in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco , Seattle and Washington D. C. Independent shops get their due - just look at the winner for for the City of Brotherly...
Looking for the best coffee in Chelsea? Liz Clayton has you covered for this over at Serious Eats. - Mike White
Eater.com posts the ultimate guide to coffee snobbery in New York City, which includes definitions of various brewing devices, descriptions of some of the city’s best cafes, and the identification of Oliver Strand as New York’s biggest coffee dork. - Mike White
Honey, Smoked Sea Salt, Grapefruit Peel
Over on the Diner’s Journal, Philip Search, the Northeast Regional Barista Champion, explains what went into those champagne flutes on Sunday. - Oliver Strand
POW: World Barista Champion Leaves Intelli
Sprudge.com broke the news that reigning World Barista Champion Michael Phillips has left Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea along with senior employees Chris Owens and Tyler Wells. No news on what endeavor the three plan to undertake, but the peanut gallery is already suggesting what to call it. Maybe POW! - Oliver Strand