Sunday, December 31, 2006

   from AndyS

In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

Just got back from a trip visiting family in New York, and managed to sneak away to visit some of the city's rockin' new cafes. It is incredible how the scene continues to evolve. The espresso I was served, at five different cafes, was consistently high in quality. This is a far cry from the way it was just a few years ago.

Grumpy was using Ecco's Espresso Reserve, and it was the sweetest and fruitiest. Gimme! served their own Leftist blend, which was deep, smoky and tangy. Ninth Street used Counter Culture's Toscano, which, on Day 10, was tasting really smooth. And Joe poured Barrington Coffee Roasters espresso blend with its thick, "touch of robusta" crema.

The flavors varied but the espressos were consistently unbitter and delicious. The textures didn't vary much at all: heavy and rich. This result wasn't too surprising, because the cafes were all using the most modern espresso machines: Synessos or LM GB5s.

Flavorwise, the stainless groups in these machines are easier than ever to keep clean. This, and their good temperature stability helps avoid the bitters.

Texturewise, the consistency from shop to shop may be due to the Synesso/GB5's similar extraction parameters, as well as the fact that they all served pretty short espressos.

And let me not forget that there were some DAMN FINE BARISTAS pouring the shots! As Rickie Lee Jones might have said, they all live on the "Ristretto Side of Life."

Thanks to the crew at all these cafes; your grace and hospitality touched my heart. I hope to return soon!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

   from Nick

Podcast 58 - "Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, Harrar... oh my!"

A straight-from-the-horse's-mouth interview with Getachew Mengistie, Director General of the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office in Addis Ababa, regarding the Ethiopian coffee origin names issue that's been in the press and on the blogs. It was an absolute honor and privilege to have the gentleman at the core of the issue on the microphone, and to have coffee with him.

1 hour 35 minutes and 39 seconds - MP3 format, 43.8 MB

See the sidebar to the right for more information and how to subscribe or download.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

   from AndyS

The new coolness: Grinder?

2006 was supposed to be the Year of the Grinder. So much for that prediction. Versalab didn't become the It product: too slow, too inconvenient for commercial use, too much attitude.

There have been, however, various reports of Things in the Works. John E, for instance, posted a photo of the prototype LM grinder on his Flickr site.

Meanwhile, John has his own grinder project do a few other folks who may, at this point, prefer to remain nameless.

So, people in the biz, what do you know? Will 2007 be the lucky year?

P.S. Nick, I'm trying to, as you might have said, 'unblow' my wad. :-)

Monday, December 18, 2006

   from Nick

Follow up post . . .

"If someone say that he can build a grand building on a small stone of size 1 cm3, we can do nothing, say nothing, but laughing."

This and more HERE. (I swear, I didn't make this)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

   from Nick

Podcast 57 - Portafilter DriveCast

With Katie Carguilo in the back seat, Nick and Jay are P.W.D. (podcasting while driving). Topics include: Visit with Lindsay and Matt from Canada, Aida Batlle, the unnerving world of espresso blend development, a rant on coffee-blogs, and a non-update on PF2007.

1 hour 21 minutes and 20 seconds - MP3 format, 37.3 MB

See the sidebar to the right for more information and how to subscribe or download.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

   from Nick

. . .

Can I just tell you how much I love this f*cking guy?!?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

   from Nick


Monday, December 04, 2006

   from ThaRiddla

'Tis the Season

I'm sure a lot of folks here read just about all the coffee sites, so this may not be news, but has their annual Holiday Gift List. Additionally, there is a charity auction for CoffeeKids...I'd just like to point out that there are some items that are interesting, and just insane. is also having a Holiday Marketplace where many, many industry leaders have donated products and specials to be interactively raffled off on

Wherever you go, whatever you do this month...check out these opportunities to give back. It's the season (if you believe in that kind of thing).