• The cool kids at Barismo do a deft take on a David Letterman style top-ten list with 10 Reasons Coffee Doesn’t Taste Like the Bag Descriptions.

    Number 10 – Juan Valdez is dead. Get over it.
    Number 9 – The marketing team ran out of ways to say, “tastes just like coffee, but better.”
    Number 8 –  Two words: cat poo.

    Okay…  none of these are actually on Barismo’s list, I’m just feelin’ punchy.

  • Despite the fact that it gets a lot of the salient facts about coffee and health right on the money, I got a beef with the recent NY Times’ health article — Sorting Out Coffee’s Contradictions — for perpetuating the myth that Howie Schultz was the founder of Starbucks…

    When Howard D. Schultz in 1985 founded the company that would become the wildly successful Starbucks chain, no financial adviser had to tell him that coffee was America’s leading beverage and caffeine its most widely used drug. The millions of customers who flock to Starbucks to order a double espresso, latte or coffee grande attest daily to his assessment of American passions.

    To set the record straight, Schultz *left* Starbucks — the company founded in 1971 by Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker  — to start his own coffee company, Il Giornale, in 1985. Two years later Howie bought out the original Starbucks’ stakeholders with the profits from his new company and the help of a few investor friends, and bundled everything under the name of the coffee company that made its bones on Pike Place… Starbucks. So there.

  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation plans to help coffee farmers in Africa boost their agronomy skills and coffee processing capabilities in an big dollar effort directed by the good people of Technoserve. Which is a very cool thing to do, and all the more remarkable as it allows me to additionally note that Bill Gates — not that Bill, his *dad* Bill Gates, Sr. — was was of the original investor friends that allowed Howie Schultz to buy out Starbucks from its original founders in 1987.Small world, huh?

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