Latest Posts

  1. Roasting Fundamentals: Getting Started with Decaf Coffee

    Roasting Fundamentals: Getting Started with Decaf Coffee

    Tricky to roast but better tasting than ever.

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  2. Sweet Maria's Staff Picks: Featuring Ryan

    Sweet Maria's Staff Picks: Featuring Ryan

    ...because we have our favorites too.

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  3. Behmor  Roaster: Video Primer on Cleaning and Maintenance

    Behmor Roaster: Video Primer on Cleaning and Maintenance

    Clean your roaster. Clean your roaster. Clean your roaster.

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  4. Six Under Six

    Six Under Six

    Six Super Coffees...all under six bucks.

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  5. Thomas Meeks' DIY Flour Sifter Coffee Roaster

    Thomas Meeks' DIY Flour Sifter Coffee Roaster

    Another awesome sifter/heat gun roaster

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  6. David Almond's DIY Flour Sifter Coffee Roaster

    David Almond's DIY Flour Sifter Coffee Roaster

    Great results from a roaster that only costs a few bucks.

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  7. Holidays are Here...Like NOW.

    Holidays are Here...Like NOW.

    ...like for reals.

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  8. 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.

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  9. 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.

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  10. Our 5 Year Partnership with Girls Gotta Run

    Our 5 Year Partnership with Girls Gotta Run

    5 Years of Change with GGR

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  11. Video: Our Probat B3 Sample Roaster

    Video: Our Probat B3 Sample Roaster

    Cleaning Our Sample Roaster

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

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

    Brewing coffee leaf tea

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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