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

Mark Twain

It’s a tiny, connected world…

A few days ago I posted a brief link to a Flikr photo set… a gallery of fab latte art. Turns out that the shutterbug — Tonx — is also a coffee roaster, barista and resident web guy at Victrola Coffee in Seattle, as well as a fellow coffee blogger. Read his...

Beverage Containment Device

My inner geek mightily covets this tech-lookin’ travel tumbler… 20 ounce double-walled plastic transparent travel mug with removable top and a futuristic binary imprint on it. The binary, when translated, reveals its ascii equivalent of ‘beverage...

The Senseo Crema Mystery

The Mystery: What’s up with the Senseo, Anyway? The machine produced by Philips and Douwe Egberts has been rather aggressively marketed as the “coffee machine with the delicious crema layer”. I have been asked more times than I can count [and I count...

Nepal the new Brazil?

There’s momentum gaining for specialty coffee in Nepal, which is more widely known for its Darjeeling-like teas. This isn’t news for some, of course, as rare Nepali coffee has been spotted at Gillies from time to time. [Maybe I need to learn...

A new image for the mermaid…

That’s gotta hurt. Starbucks dumps its PR firm after a survey of 8,000 consumers says the coffee behemoth is “arrogant, intrusive and self-centred.” Here’s hoping that Starbucks’ efforts to recast itself as a more socially and...

A little bit of history…

This is going to be really spiffy. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ Foundation is now a major contributor to the effort to rehab and refit the train station that I see out my office window. When completed, it will house a new cafe and visitors’ center. Ride...

Finca Dos Marias

Dos Marias, a family estate founded in 1870, is a two hour journey up a twisty, treacherous track, above the San Marcos village of Coatepeque. On the shoulders of a volcanic mountain range known as the Ring of Fire, the distinctive steeples of Finca Dos Marias...

A Brief Interlude

I’m still sorting through photos from the next leg of my Guatemalan adventure… a visit to the cloudforest coffee growing region of San Marcos. Meanwhile, here’s a couple snapshots I really like… Guatemala is a geologically active place, with...

A Fair Trade Success Story

La Voz, on the shore of lake Atitlan, feels a world apart from the colonial-style finca of Pastores near Antigua. La Voz is a Fair Trade cooperative. It’s owned by its members, and their pride is very much evident. The people of La Voz had a hard time of it in...

Little charmers…

Moments after seeing my camera, these little girls ran up with empty baskets and charmed the men working the wash-station to filling them with coffee cherries so they could pose. Too...

Solid State Depulper

How’s this for a depulper? Throw a stream of water and coffee cherries at a wall of evil-looking rocks and let them tumble round till the pulp and skins separate. Fiendishly clever, cheap, and nothing to...

Picky, picky, picky…

Picking leaves and stems from the cherries before they’re pulped. While it looks like there’s a lot of underripe coffee cherry in that pila [or, wash station] it’s actually a catui variety that ripens to a bright...

Ol’ Reliable

In this rugged land there’s places trucks can’t go. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean there isn’t reliable transportation for fresh-picked...

Double Certified

Up the hill from San Juan to the wet mill for the La Voz coop. Along the way a drying patio… That’s Fair Trade Organic coffee, which you could probably discern even if it weren’t writ large on the bags… just look for the clip-boards of...

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