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

Mark Twain

Espresso Cocktail

Sometimes you want coffee. Sometimes you want a cocktail. Why not have both? It should be made abundantly clear this cocktail calls for a freshly pulled shot of espresso… and no, there really isn’t a substitute. Sorry.

The knowledge of how to fight Roya, and the money for fungicide, the labor to treat it, and to cut back the trees deals a huge blow to the income and profits of the coffee farm. The real impact is on organic farms,  whether certified farms or organic-by-default farms, on casual coffee farmers who have little technical knowledge, and on smallholder farms in general. In a couple crop cycles, Roya unmanaged is the death of the coffee farm.

–Tom Owen

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Roya — coffee leaf rust — is an increasingly clear marker of the climate change crisis. And it’s devastating.

From Tom’s “How Can a Leaf Rust? Roya in Guatemala” which I humbly suggest should be required reading for folks in the specialty coffee trade.

Today’s Favorite Thing: Cuissential’s SlickDrip

This dripper does what your typical plastic or ceramic pour-over cone should do — namely, hold a #2 cone paper filter while you brew coffee with it — but this one collapses into a disk about an inch deep when you’re not using it to brew your precious, needful cup.

Tasting: Costa Rica Cafetalera Herbazu

…lovely, very intense, salted caramel sort of fragrance that I used to associate with great Indonesian lots years ago before they all started to taste like mulch and wood moss.

O, Coffee. Is There Nothing You Can’t Do?

Coffee has been a frequent subject of scrutiny by the medical community… perhaps because it’s so widely consumed, yet offers no apparent nutritive value. Or, maybe doctors are just looking for a really good cup of coffee.

Three Cups, Three Origins, One Winner

There’s learning to be done here. If the roasts weren’t everything I hoped they might be, at least I might try to figure out why. And — to keep things interesting and to keep myself honest — I included a control: the latest batch of beans from Tony Konecny’s spiffy flash-sale like bean business at

Zombie Coffee is for Zombies

Let’s examine for a moment the typical conference attendee: bleary-eyed, having stayed up too late the night before catching up on the day’s accumulated email (which stacked up at an alarming rate when the conference’s wireless connection foundered under load); discomfited by foods foreign to his constitution, containing both carbohydrates in abundance, mostly fried, and perhaps one more glass of wine than was truly necessary; made grumpy by lines, queues and coveys of slow-walkers, chaffed by the lanyard that his credentials pendulum from, and bent from days of sitting in straight-backed chairs.

Hotel Coffee: Just Brew It

Unless you’re staying at Portland’s Ace Hotel and thus have a Stumptown Coffee bar in your über hip, bohemian lobby, when you’re in some far off place hoteling in a name-brand tower or a teensy, boutique inn, you’re entirely at the whim of...

Coffee Notes from All Over

With a travel week ahead I need to be well-stocked for the road… because as we know, conference hotels are constitutionally proscribed from serving palatable coffee. To the roaster! Meanwhile: In an impressive array of review and ratings carnage, Consumer Reports...

Insert Groundless Starbucks Reference Here

If you could get past its provocative title — Is Stumptown the New Starbucks — or Better? — you might think Time’s Josh Ozersky has penned a decent enough article on the leading edge of specialty coffee today. But… damn, the phrasing here is...

Make Mine a Mokha

It’s unreliable, unaccountable, frequently unattainable, and I love it so. It, in this case, is Yemen Mokha, the stuff of heirloom varietals grown in village gardens and courtyards and tiny greenspaces carved out of the walls and warrens of ancient Arabian...

Hello, Vancouver, Goodbye

Herself and I had a too abbreviated experience in Vancouver, owing to a increasingly typical SNAFU on the part of United Airlines — %&#$!%, United! — which left us in Chicago for, oh, some 24 hours longer than we’d planned. (Chicago, you know I...

Still Crazy About Seattle

Despite the rain, and the blustery breezes. Despite the strep throat, and bronchitis. Despite the fact it would appear the city of my birth might see me catch my death, I love Seattle, still. Seattle remains a guiding star for coffee. From Vivace to Zoka, Trabant to...

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