Latest Posts

  1. The Holidays are Here...Like NOW.

    The Holidays are Here...Like NOW.

    ...like for reals.

    Read More
  2. Oct. 27th. Two Bay Area Coffee Demos in One Day.

    Oct. 27th. Two Bay Area Coffee Demos in One Day.

    Join us in Oakland or Berkeley on 10/27.

    Read More
  3. Another kind of coffee filter

    Another kind of coffee filter

    We are talking about our website filter that will help you select the best green coffee.

    Read More
  4. Our 5 Year Partnership with Girls Gotta Run

    Our 5 Year Partnership with Girls Gotta Run

    5 Years of Change with GGR

    Read More
  5. Video: Our Probat B3 Sample Roaster

    Video: Our Probat B3 Sample Roaster

    Cleaning Our Sample Roaster

    Read More
  6. Video: Coffee Leaf Tea - ቁጢ , Kuti, Keti, Koti

    Video: Coffee Leaf Tea - ቁጢ , Kuti, Keti, Koti

    Brewing coffee leaf tea

    Read More
  7. The Flores Factor

    The Flores Factor

    Crowd pleasing coffee from a promising origin.

    Read More
  8. New Products from Flair, Fresh Roast, Bonmac and Airscape

    New Products from Flair, Fresh Roast, Bonmac and Airscape

    If coffee products were movies, these would be great sequels

    Read More
  9. Video: Guatemala 2019 Coffee Clips

    Video: Guatemala 2019 Coffee Clips

    A few fairly low tech clips and some thoughts on coffee processing and coffee buying in Guatemala.

    Read More
  10. Aillio Bullet Roasters. Sold Out...Again. Why!?!?!

    Aillio Bullet Roasters. Sold Out...Again. Why!?!?!

    Sometimes you don't want to dodge a Bullet

    Read More
  11. A Symbol Of Sweet Maria's Past

    A Symbol Of Sweet Maria's Past

    The original sign from our original storefront.

    Read More
  12. Sweet Maria's Emailer 12/13/2018

    Sweet Maria's Emailer 12/13/2018

    Read More

Small Quality-Obsessed Coffee Roasters On the Rise!

Small Quality-Obsessed Coffee Roasters On the Rise!

Totally Unrelated to Anything. Captain Scarlet.What coffee would the Mysterons drink?Yawn. Double Yawn. I feel like it's groundhog day, except this never-ending story is about exciting and fresh-faced coffee roasters who are obsessed with quality and decide to open up shop in NYC, or SF, or some other glamorous place. Never Kokomo, Indiana or Dayton, Ohio. Search "coffee" on the New York Times web site and read the same story, rewritten, over and over. It's the basic premise of "God in a Cup" the gawd-awful book about personality-driven business. Without any substantial information about coffee itself, these stories are just a new type of consumer fetishism, but instead of being on the scale of the grand corporation they are the "humble neighborhood small-batch roaster" makes good and grows, but darn if  they don't do  it in their own anachronistic quality-driven way. No matter how you wrap it, it's a story about conspicuous consumption, about "where do you get yours?" as if it is a triumph of personal character to know which is the best shop to walk into and ask for coffee. If we substitute "coffee" for "perfume" or "Rolex" or typical, highly fetishized luxury goods, does it take on a new aire? And yet it is the same conversation, but with coffee brands. I am only peeved because each time I see a coffee headline, I hope that it contains some small bit of good information, planting some seed in consumer consciousness to change the way they think about coffee a bit. But I fear what we get, repeatedly in the cast of the NYT, is a basic shopping guide for those who want to be "in the know". Unfortunately, they miss that coffee itself is more interesting than the business about business, even if you dress it up in trendy fashion. That's too bad, I think. The odd thing is that these are some really good roasters too, offering good coffee. The roasters they reference and others are worth writing real coffee stories about. Not fluff. -Tom