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….
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….
I heard a professor say once that if you only read one scholar, you’ll be a mimic. If you read two scholars, you’ll be confused. But if you read widely enough, you can make your own conclusions. Coffee roasters haven’t had that luxury. There’s really only two current books on coffee roasting: Scott Rao’s The Coffee Raoster’s Companion and Rob Hoos’s Modulating the Flavor Profile of Coffee. If you roast coffee for a living (or even a hobby), these books are required reading.
But a new book from veteran Estonian roaster Raimond Feil aims to add to the conversation. After 12 years of coffee experience, Feil has published his first book, Coffee Roasting Made Simple…
Ales Pospisil has been to a lot of coffee shops. The cofounder of the website European Coffee Trip has compiled the most extensive regional catalogue of specialty coffee shops we’ve seen anywhere. But the Czech-native’s latest project is even more ambitious. Pospisil recently produced Aeropress Movie, a medium-length documentary about the cult brewing device. We viewed a screening of the film and were impressed by its engaging story, uncovering surprisingly bits of information about one of our favorite brewing devices. We caught up with Pospisil to ask him what it was like to meet legendary inventor Alan Adler, and, of course, how does he brew an Aeropress….
Indianapolis, like most Midwestern cities, is modest but proud. Proud of its history, its speedway, Peyton Manning. I think the same could be said about the city’s coffee community, especially the roasters. None of Indy’s roasters are nationally known, but they don’t need to be. They’re content to roll up their shirtsleeves, put their hands to the plow, and get to work. A growing part of the Indy roasting scene is husband and wife duo Andy and Sarah Hassler, who roast coffee out of their garage under the name of Blue Mind Roasting. I know Andy through a mutual friend (and occasional Coffee Compass contributor), and have been watching their business grow from a distance these last few years. I caught up with Andy over email to hear about their recent expansion.
I think a lot of people dream of roasting coffee in their garage, but you’re actually doing it. What inspired you to start Blue Mind?
Well, interestingly, it was never really a dream of mine. I kind of stumbled into coffee roasting. I always loved drinking it and learning about it, but I never thought I’d be roasting it, let alone roasting it for a living. But after trying it as a hobby, I was hooked. And when other career plans seemed to be taking a turn, it felt like the right time to take a leap of faith and start the business….
The Aeropress enjoys a cult following around the globe, and Turkey is no exception. We recently were on hand for the 2018 Turkish Aeropress Championship in Istanbul, which attracted baristas from as far afield as Ankara and Izmir to see who was the best at making coffee with a plastic tube. …