Vienna has a long history with coffee. Legend has it the first coffee house in Vienna was opened with coffee the Ottoman army left behind at the Battle of Vienna. Whether or not that’s true, the city is still famous for its grandiose coffee houses, many of which remain relatively unchanged since the 19th century….
If it weren’t for the hoards of tourists, Innsbruck might be the perfect Alpine city. But places that are popular are popular for a reason. And Innsbruck’s stunning natural beauty, quaint architecture, and top-tier winter sports make it a travel destination like few others, even if you probably will find that tour group of American college students to be unreasonably loud.
But Innsbruck is more than just the home of the 1976 Winter Olympics. It’s also a pretty good place to get a cup of coffee. Honestly, any cup of coffee tastes pretty good when you’re staring at the Alps, but two places we had coffee in Innsbruck were a step above….
As someone with a penchant for geography, I was embarrassed by how little I knew about the Slovak Republic when I boarded a bus for Bratislava– Slovakia’s capital and largest city. I knew Slovakia has a burgeoning natural wine seen. I knew about the so-called Velvet Divorce with the Czech Republic. And I had learned from our friends at European Coffee Trip that the city has a thriving specialty coffee scene. Even so, I was surprised and impressed by the depth, diversity, and quality of the café scene in what’s a relatively small city. Sadly, my limited time and caffeine tolerance kept my experience to three cafés, but if you’re looking for more, I’m sure the baristas at these beautiful cafés can point you in the right direction….
Walking down Josefstrasse, it’s easy to see why Zurich repeatedly tops lists of the world’s most livable cities. The brightly colored apartment blocs– an eclectic array of modern and neoclassical architectural styles– are flanked by wide sidewalks with plenty of trees and park benches. Impeccably-dressed cyclists constitute the majority of traffic, and the occasional motorist doesn’t hesitate to yield the right of way to pedestrians.
But what’s a neighborhood without a coffee shop? And Josefstrasse just happens to have one of the best in the world: MAME….
Istanbul is truly enormous. It’s so big, it’s hard to measure, though some counts list it as the fourth largest city in the world. As the city sprawled out over the the twentieth century, it engulfed several ancient communities, including the modern district of Kadıköy, known as Chalcedon in ancient times. Today, Kadıköy is the main cultural hub for Istanbul’s Asian half, and is home to a dense array of cafés and coffee roasters, including the new headquarters for Story Coffee….
Does the world need another pour-over dripper? If you asked us yesterday, we would have said no. Between the Kalita Wave (our daily go-to), the Hario V60 (the device that started it all for us), and the million other conical and flat bottom drippers out there, there’s enough brewing devices to keep coffee bloggers such as ourselves gainfully employed writing reviews and tutorials that explore each gloriously subtle difference. And if you, say, wanted to crowd-fund a new pour-over device? Forget it. That shipped sailed years ago.
Well, that’s what we would have said right up until the point we watched the video for the Miir Pourigami, a collapsable brewer currently being crowd-funded on Kickstarter….
Specialty coffee is often compared to wine, although the two beverages might have less in common than many coffee professionals might wish. For one example, the top wines of the world are usually vinified in a cellar located on or near the vineyard where the grapes were grown. Coffee, on the other hand, is usually roasted thousands of miles from the land that produced it. Although practically all specialty coffee drinkers have had coffee from Colombia, Brazil, or Kenya, how many have had coffee from a craft roaster in one of those countries? Yonder Coffee is trying to change that. The rather unconventional coffee subscription program aims to connect specialty coffee consumers with specialty roasters in coffee producing countries. We caught up with Yonder’s founder Caleb Durham to learn more about their new initiative.
You’ve been running a very unique coffee subscription with Yonder Coffee for a while now. How did that come about?
Yeah, it’s been a wild ride so far! I’ll give a little backstory. I’ve been traveling pretty much full-time since 2012. Most of those years, I have worked with a charity that rescues children from different forms of trafficking and abuse and places them in safe homes. My background is in design, video, and storytelling, so for me, working overseas means short, whirlwind trips to gather and tell stories to help raise funds and awareness. I feel really lucky to have gotten to see so much of the world (over 70 countries so far!), but the intensity of the type of work that I do can really get you down. Coffee shops were my space to recenter and process….
Du Jianing of Nanjing, China won the World Brewers Cup Championship in Boston at SCA Expo 2019. Du’s winning routine was remarkable in many ways. The Chinese champion utilized different pouring speeds at different points of the brewing process to highlight certain flavor attributes, and used a tablet linked to her scales to allow the judges to check her technique in real time. Perhaps what was most remarkable, though, was how Du choose to roast her coffee.
The coffee had been roasted in an Ikawa coffee roaster in small batches, 4 days prior to the competition. The Ikawa, which fits in a carry-on sized suitcase, is a bluetooth-enabled coffee roaster that’s controlled with a smartphone app, allowing the user to plot the coffee’s exact profile.
After years of being the favorite scapegoat of baristas everywhere, coffee professionals are recognizing anew that automatic consumer coffee makers are not that bad. In fact, when it comes to the class of SCA-certified brewers, like the Bonavita 1901 series or the iconic Techivorm Moccamaster, you would be hard pressed to get better results with a pour-over.
That being said, even with the right equipment, getting the most out of your coffee maker requires a little care. That’s why we’ve compiled a surefire guide on how to get the most out of your coffee maker….
Almost every major player in the Istanbul coffee scene has a Nişantaşı outpost now, but the upscale neighborhood on the city’s European side continues to welcome new coffee shops into its fold. In the year since I wrote a neighborhood guide for Sprudge, Nişantaşı has seen half a dozen new shops open. The latest is Habitude Artisan Patisserie & Cafe, a multi-roaster shop focusing on house-made pastries….