Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.

Mark Twain

Barista Bloggers

Submitted for your approval, yet more evidence that baristas make great bloggers. I dont’ know if it’s the craft, the caffeine, or just the exposure to so much espresso...

Intelligentsia Coffee Gets Direct

Frustrated with the foibles and shortcomings of Fair Trade certification — among them Fair Trade’s failure to address coffee quality, and its inability to contract with family farms or estates but only coffee growing coops — a number of boutique...

Starbucks’ Soul Search

The Siren searches for a new song to sing. Something with soul. So the leaked Valentine’s Day memo from Starbucks’ chair, Howard Schultz, has been authenticated. The memo reads as a frank and candid assessment of the coffee behemoth… and offers a few...

How to Destroy the Earth with a Coffee Can

…and other remaindered links. As if you needed another reason not to drink canned coffee: It’s not as easy to destroy the Earth as you might think; evil geniuses everywhere have been trying for years. The problem lies with the fact that the Earth is pretty...

It’s Fat Tuesday, Again.

Five years ago I wrote this homage to New Orleans’ coffee traditions… and I’ve reposted it every year as something of a Mardis Gras tradition. Clearly, it speaks to more carefree days in the Big Easy. Today, even these many months after the...

Green Mountain Special Reserve Ethiopian Sidamo

Rating: [rating:4.5/5] An extraordinary, and extraordinarily fruited, dry process Ethiopian Sidamo. I’ll warn you right up front that this is one of those coffees that’s simply unavailable at any price. I’ll tell you why in a moment or two, but...

Tasting: Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend

There are hoards of Peetniks up and down the Left Coast, but how will Peet’s signature deep-as-night roast style play in New England? Time will tell. Meanwhile, I spied one of their displays in the neighborhood grocery this week, and thought I’d give...

Forbidden Fruit? Coffee in the Garden of Eden.

Imagine, if you will, an afternoon in the Garden of Eden. You’re kicked back on a La-Z-Boy-shaped hunk of moss trying to collect your thoughts after a hard day’s work naming animals. There are so many, after all, and having spent the better part of a day...

Those Pesky Scientists Again

Scientists in Spain have worked out the precise chemical conditions for the perfect cup of espresso. The verdict? Maximum satisfaction was obtained with 6.5g of coffee per 40mL of water for Arabica beans, the espresso variety that accounts for about 60% of world...

He was kidding?

VDB notes that Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is now the official java of the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate. Made my day. Turns out Baruth was toying with my emotions. Update: Turns out he wasn’t...

Tasting: Two for the Small Cup

Despite my aspirations I have yet to get my espresso machine — A.K.A. Miss Silvia — tuned up and ready to claim her long-coveted counter space. I suspect my claim of eminent kitchen counter domain is still in the appellate court of domestic bliss, and...

Tasting: Ecco Caffe’s Colombia La Virginia

Rating: [rating:4.5/5] I’ve recently written about my new-found appreciation for Colombian coffee — a growing region I’d long written off as an example of style over substance; marketing over matter. The past few weeks I’ve had not only...

On the Tasting Table…

When we cupped the Colombia First Harvest Cup of Excellence coffees in April, the number 3 lot — La Virginia — wasn’t on the table. It was, at 48 bags of coffee, quite a large offering as as auction lots go, and far more than we could offer through...

Tasting: Coffee Emergency’s Kenya AA Mtaro

Rating: [rating:4/5] Jason Anderson and Sharon Grossman, husband and wife co-proprietors of Coffee Emergency, launched into the specialty coffee trade a scant two years ago and quickly made a splash. Code Brown — their signature espresso blend — wowed the...

Tasting… when you can’t taste a thing.

Over the weekend I found myself with an awful head cold, every bit as severe as it proved — thankfully — short-lived. Now a cold most any time is an inconvenience. This time it was distressing. The coffee delivery man had just left some excellent beans on...

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