Today, the city of Louisville is being hit with what the meteorologists are predicting will be four to six inches of snow, which, when translated into practical terms, means many of the area's schools and some businesses are closed for the day. It also means that more than a few folks are snowed in and unable -- or unwilling -- to get out of their driveways. Thus, I feel honor-bound to produce something of interest for those of you who are in need of some sort of coffee-themed delight, and therefore have compiled another list of links for you to peruse and ruminate over.
Over the past decade, Intelligentsia and Stumptown positioned themselves at the front of specialty coffee in America. This post, written by and from the perspective of Doug Zell, Intelligentsia's head honcho, shares some insight into what it was like to share a meal with Duane Sorenson, Zell's counterpart at Stumptown.
Flickr photos usually aren't the first place coffee-centric web-heads turn to while scouring the internet for information, but in this case, I would urge you espresso-junkies to change that tendency and read the comments found here. Then, when you're done, take a gander at the video that's linked to in those comments. Read the commentary on the video, too!
If you've ever found yourself at a loss in describing what you're tasting in a cup of coffee, know that there are others out there who may not understand you at all. At least, that's the impression David Walsh, writing from Ireland, might leave with you after reading his article. Regarding tasting itself, Intelligentsia's Australian transplant Deaton Pigot gives a tiny taste of what sweetness is.
The ever-thoughtful and well-spoken Sam Lewontin stirs the proverbial demitasse a bit with this post on the worth and pricing of coffee. I know that many of you have or are considering careers in the specialty coffee industry, and the thoughts he presents have a direct bearing on whether or not the idea of a "career in coffee" becomes a widely viable one or not. A day later, Doug Zell gave his views on the topic. The pricing of coffee has widespread effects, not only because it determines the degree to which a career dealing with coffee is possible, but because, in a more subtle way, it reflects the public opinion of coffee as a well-crafted and desirable -- yet still affordable -- culinary luxury, rather than just a commodity.
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Compak is a company dedicated to quality and craft. Their newest endeavor is a line of espresso grinders that raises the bar on control and efficiency. Aptly named "Fresh" for its innovative design and functionality, these grinders were created from conversations with baristas around the world and from the experience of a company that has been around for over 50 years. The K-10 Fresh offers a number of innovative features including: the ability to pre-set the the dosing time for a single and double shot to within a tenth of a second, manual push-button doser that keeps time of amount dosed on the digital display, and a completely new dosing system, electronics and control system. Also, the electronic display shows the selected grinding point, a configurable warning to change the burrs, promotional message with your logo, shot counter, and multi-language display.
$1,687.00(For a guest barista review, click here.) Anfim's Super Caimano espresso grinder, upon its initial release, was a solid addition to any high-end coffee house. It featured a 75mm flat burr set that helped to give a very consistent grind, allowing baristas to rely upon it for excellent shot-to-shot uniformity. When dialing in a coffee, the Super Caimano had 70 holes in its adjustment collar to allow for tinkering between shots. Now, however, Anfim has added an additional 20 spots for a total of 90 holes in the adjustment collar. The benefit of this? When dialing in and finding the sweet spot for any coffee being used to pull shots of espresso, a key factor the barista must take into consideration is the size of the grind particles. Yes, uniformity and consistency of those grind particles is also key, but the ability to make tiny, incremental adjustments is always helpful when striving to find the right balance of all a coffee's characteristics when pulled as espresso.
The TACKY Inlay Station is a wood pour-over stand beautifully designed for your viewing and brewing pleasure. The seamless "inlay" design gives the stand its name and also a unique look that anyone who appreciates fine wood craftsmanship will admire. The Inlay stand is available as a one, two, or three hole station and in a variety of woods. Pourover brewing is both delicious and artistic - the Inlay adds to the whole experience.