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2018-06-24T03:15:39.921Z
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Coffee is good for you, a meta-study has already proven as much. But beyond its inherent healthful properties, scientists are now figuring out ways to use coffee to combat medical conditions. Still in its early stages of research, scientists have successfully treated type 2 diabetes in lab mice with coffee.

As explained by a recent Ars Technica article, a team of researchers led by Dr. Martin Fussenegger of ETH Zurich in Basel is using caffeine to trigger responses from synthetic genetic systems. To do this, the researchers needed to find a molecule that would respond to caffeine, and they found one. In camels. Using an antibody generated in camelids—camels and llamas—they now had a means of detecting caffeine molecules that would then trigger the gene response.

To treat the mice—who all had “diet-induced type 2 diabetes”—researchers inserted a permeable capsule filled with insulin-producing stem cells into the mouse’s body cavity. Thanks to the camelid antibodies, these cells were trained to recognize and respond to the presence of caffeine. So whenever the mice were given a sip of coffee, it triggered their bodies to produce insulin. The result was that the diabetic mice “had blood sugar level similar to normal, wild-type mice” and “had much higher levels of insulin in...

Less than an hour’s drive from San Cristobal de Las Casas, near Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, is Los Altos de Chiapas. San Cristobal, a small, romantic town, is beloved by tourists to the greater Chiapas region for its food as much as the colors of its buildings, but Jesus Salazar loves it for a different reason.

Salazar, who runs coffee hotel Casa Cafeòlogo, is here for the weather, altitude, and soil.

Los Altos de Chiapas began producing coffee only 70 years ago, which, relatively speaking, makes the growing region relatively young. Consequentially, the producers here are open to experimentation, and Salazar works with 16 different producers to this end to improve their quality. He teaches picking techniques, processing methods, roasting, and cupping. Some of his projects include cherry picking instruction, process experimentation, roasting, and cupping. In San Cristobal, Salazar owns and operates a roastery and cafe called Carajillo, where he employs the sons and daughters of some of the producers he works with—when they return to their parents’ farms, they’ll...

For anyone who has spent any amount of in an ultra-cold, windowless casino, breathing in pumped in recycled air, you know that the house wants you awake enough to keep putting money on the table. For me, an ex-full-time-ish poker deviant (and now just an occasional deviant dabbler), my go-to was always coffee; alcohol was for suckers looking to have a good time throwing money away. But I wasn’t there for fun, I was there to win, so I needed my wits about me. At least six cups of free casino coffee should do the trick, no?

But according to Extra Crispy, a study shows consuming caffeine will actually make you worse at gambling.

Published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, the study is a joint effort between researchers at Cambridge and the University of Chicago. The researchers followed 60 “problem gamblers” and tracked their caffeine consumption during their gambling sessions and found that those consuming caffeine “exhibited a five percent greater likelihood of placing a bad bet.”

This dip in play may be caused by two things. From the article:

While we think of coffee and other energy-providing beverages as the opposite of brain-fogging alcohol, caffeine does...

Cowboy coffee. It means different things to different people. For many, it’s the sludge you make while camping over an open fire (often using a sock, worn or otherwise). But for San Diegans, cowboy coffee is coming to embody something entirely different. That’s where Manzanita Roasting Company comes in. Located on a winery, Manzanita is bring cowboy-chic to the coffee shop.

The new roastery is the work of husband and wife duo Weston and Samantha Nawrocki. Both coming from culinary backgrounds—Weston a chef and sommelier and Samantha in local wine—the two have shifted their focus to coffee. The couple has been roasting as Manzanita for three years now, but it wasn’t until earlier this month that they opened their flagship roastery/cafe. So grab your boots and get to scootin’. We’re headed to San Diego to check out the new Manzanita Roasting Company.

As told to Sprudge by Samantha Nawrocki.

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

Well, we’re a...

We’re organizing a nationwide fundraiser this weekend—June 20th-22nd 2018—to support the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP), working to connect refugee families in America to community support and legal aid. Like so many Americans, we are horrified by the Trump Administration’s attempted “zero tolerance” policy of separating families entering the United States as asylum seekers and refugees. The result—literal concentration camps for children—is offensive to all moral people.

Immigration policy is a huge, multifaceted, complex generational issue, and no previous administration has been perfect on it. At 12pm today current US President Donald Trump—in the face of overwhelming outrage from prominent members of both political parties, all 5 living First Ladies, former top federal prosecutors in the Department of Justice, and countless other Americans of every political, social and cultural background—signed a face-saving emergency decree to temporarily halt family separation at the border. But the human rights catastrophe continues, as thousands of families look for resources and accurate information for the steps post-detention. 

Fortunately there are advocacy groups stepping up to help. We’re calling on coffee companies and coffee drinkers alike nationwide to join us in raising funds for...

Although it is the world’s second-largest coffee producer, Vietnam has never had a reputation for producing high-quality Arabica. Robusta accounts for the majority of beans grown in the country, meaning that the likeliest place you’ve experienced Vietnamese coffee is in espresso blends—where it’s added for crema-improving qualities—or as instant, freeze-dried powder.

This year, three domestic producers are hoping to change that. Tran Nhat Quang from La Viet Coffee, Nguyen Dung from The Workshop, and Nguyen Canh Hung from Bosgaurus Coffee share a mutual vision of bringing Vietnamese Arabica’s overall quality up to specialty standards. By innovating growing and processing practices in Vietnam’s central highlands, they hope to develop a high-quality coffee production model that can scale. 

Bosgaurus Coffee’s Nguyen Canh Hung

The three chose to hone in on a single varietal for improvement—Catimor. Catimor, often typecast by the specialty coffee industry for its characteristics inherited from Robusta, is nonetheless widely planted in Vietnam due to its high yield and leaf rust resistance. Its quality...

Are you ready to Crush the Rush? No, I’m not talking about beating your YYZ high score on Guitar Hero, I’m talking about the new fast-paced espresso drink making competition by La Marzocco. Pitting teams of three in a head-to-head, bracket-style competition, Crush the Rush is making 10 stops on a US tour, and it is rolling through Portland June 26th. Sprudge Media Network is the official media sponsor of Crush the Rush, and along with national sponsor Oatly, we’ll be there every step of the way to gush about the rush crush.

The game is simple: you and two of your efficiency beast barista friends (Beastristas? Rabeastas? You get where I’m going with this) will go head-to-head against another team of three to see who can make eight randomly generated espresso-based drinks the fastest. But it’s not just speed, it’s quality. Each drink will be judged by both a technical and a visual judge to ensure all shots falls within competition parameters and to assess drinks based on cleanliness, microfoam quality, and fills level, respectively. If both judges vote “pass”, this the drink counts. If not, well then consider yourself wrapped up in the remake-it blanket. The last team standing...

There are few things in this world better than starting your day with really good coffee and a really good bagel. But this, inexplicably, is exceedingly rare. It’s either a good cafe with a disappointing bread round or it’s a delicious, fluffy bagel but served with a side of black char water. And then there is Pavement Coffeehouse in Boston, Massachusetts, who started out as a bagel company before expanding their horizons into the world of coffee. It’s a match made in heaven.

And now, with their seventh location, Pavement is getting into the roasting game. Having long been a Counter Culture stalwart in the greater Boston area, Pavement is moving to the other side of the roaster to produce coffee for their own cafes, including their brand new roastery/cafe in a former warehouse for Harvard University. Roasting, baking, a cafe, everything that is right and good is all under one roof at the brand new Pavement Coffeehouse in Boston.

June is Pride Month, and for a rad coffee expression of all that’s good about Pride (and not just another free shipping code), look no further than Boston. That’s where QC: Queer Coffee Events has teamed up with the Boston Intersectional Coffee Collective (BICC) for QC: Boston, “a panel discussion on being queer + coffee + Boston.”

Taking place Sunday, June 24th at Counter Culture’s Somerville Training Center, QC: Boston is the work of BICC founder Kristina Jackson and 2018 US Brewers Cup champion Becca Woodard. The evening is billed as “[discussion] and [celebration of] the queer coffee experience in the greater Boston area,” and for Jackson, it’s a chance to bring an event back home. “After I spoke at Queer Coffee in New York, I got some feedback and messages saying that a bunch of younger coffee workers were excited to come to something that was more for them. I wanted to bring something like that to Boston,” Jackson tells Sprudge via email. “I want it to be a celebration. But I also want it to be a reminder that there is a vibrant and diverse queer presence in this city.”

For Woodard, whose Brewers Cup win came during the most...

Whether you’ve worked in coffee shops or simply patronize them, it’s not rare to witness the amount of waste created.

Not only does your favorite to-go coffee spot most likely employ single-use plastic cups and straws for iced drinks, but the packaging used to ship these items to spaces is incredibly wasteful as well. According to the LA Times“Half a billion plastic straws are used and discarded every day.”

Some lawmakers are finally taking this more seriously. So far, Malibu, Berkeley, San Luis Obispo, Seattle, Miami Beach, and Fort Myers, Florida are all cities that have banned or limited the use of plastic straws. According to The New York TimesIt’s not just happening in the United States. Scotland plans to be rid of plastic straws by 2019, and Taiwan is banning single-use plastic items, including straws, cups and shopping bags, by 2030.” Additionally, some restaurants are donning a straws-on-request-only format.

And in the coffee world, companies have emerged with creative strategies for sustainable straw alternatives.

There’s a new podcast being released today and it has the coffee professional (or budding coffee professional) in mind. Created by April Coffee Roasters founder Patrik Rolf and Joseph Fisher, “Coffee with April” features some of the biggest names in European specialty coffee who sit down with Rolf to discuss “integrity, business, and coffee.”

For season one—which have all been released at once a la Netflix—Coffee with April is focusing on entrepreneurship and what it takes to start a coffee business. “It is about the process of starting and operating some of the most interesting coffee companies in coffee,” Rolf tells Sprudge via email. “All the questions are unique and individual for each person and episode. It is structured as a conversation more so than an interview. We wanted it to be two professionals sharing and talking with each other.”

To glean this incite, Rolk sits down with a roster of heavy hitters in the European (read: based in Europe but globally renowned) coffee world, including: Tim Wendelboe, James Hoffmann (Square Mile), Nadine Rasch (Primavera), Colin Harmon (3fe), Kaan Bergsen (Petra Roasting), Klaus Thomsen (Coffee Collective), and Joanna Alm (Drop Coffee).

With a focus on entrepreneurship, Rolf...

The Build-Outs of Summer is always a global affair, and we are happy to bring your our first international entry for 2018. This one has been almost 200 years in the making. Atkinsons Coffee Roasters began its life many, many moons ago as a Lancaster, England-based importer of tea and spices and exporter of roasted coffee. Now, some 180+ years later, Atkinsons has refined it aim to only include specialty coffee and teas and they’ve got a brand new build-out to boot.

Setting up shop inside the Mackie Mayor in Manchester—a dining hall-type establishment featuring a handful of restaurants, wine bars, breweries, and of course a coffee shop—this is the fourth cafe for Atkinsons, their first outside Lancaster. And with their white Sanremo Opera with matching Nuova Simonelli Mythos One grinders, this new location is a thing of beauty. So grab a steamed bun from neighboring Baohouse and check out the brand new Atkinsons Coffee Roasters inside the Mackie Mayor in Manchster, England.

As told to Sprudge by Caspar Steel.

For those who...

Erika Lee Vonie, winner of the 2017 New York Coffee Masters.

It’s been a little over two months since Agnieszka Rojewska’s stunning win at London Coffee Masters, and it is already time to turn our attention across the pond, to the 2018 New York Coffee Masters competition just around the corner. Though still four months away—taking place October 12-14th at the New York Coffee Festival at the Metropolitan Pavilion—applications to compete in one of the world’s most fun coffee competitions are now open.

Like with previous iterations of the Coffee Masters tournament—both in London and New York—all prospective competitors are required to submit a one-to-two minute video introducing themselves as well as a coffee-based signature beverage of their own design. The theme for this year’s sig bevs is “New York City;” all drinks must be inspired by the Big Apple. Maybe a coffee Manhattan or a drink literally served in a big apple. If your drink is good enough, you’ll get a chance to battle it out for the title of Coffee Masters champion and a $5,000 cash prize.

All videos and online applications must be completed by August 31st in order to be considered for one of the coveted...

When I was living that apartment life, I would have paid untold amounts of money in extra each month to have a high-quality coffee bar in the complex. And then to have that coffee bar serve Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters, well, for my bank account’s sake, it’s probably best that such amenities were never afforded to me.

But that’s what Coffee Theorem in Parker, Colorado are offering. Located inside the clubhouse of the Montane Apartments, Coffee Theorem is a full-service coffee bar—featuring a La Marzocco GS3 and a host of Mahlkönig grinders—and is a go-to coffee hub for tenants and non-tenants alike. So let’s check it out, shall we? And maybe see if there are any one-bedrooms available for rent.

As told to Sprudge by Emily Wuckert.

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

Coffee Theorem is a small-business that focuses on the craft and precision of coffee (and tea). We support and source from local businesses and use quality ingredients that are the base canvas for our work....

If you’ve ever longed for a space that combines coffee, comics, and activism, you’re in luck: these are the super powers of Charlotte, North Carolina’s Comic Girl Coffee. Founded and run collectively by Lara Americo, Ashley Jarrett, Kayla Dance, and Allie Chudoba, the space is dedicated to being by and for coffee lovers of all stripes—especially those who feel marginalized in traditional cafe spaces. In terms of equity, Comic Girl shoots for the stars; not only is it collectively owned, it’s also queer/POC-centered, vegan, and accessible to people of all incomes.

Like so many organizations that exist to center marginalized people in coffee, the impetus for Comic Girl came from the lack of safe spaces for queer and trans people, especially those of color, in the Charlotte area. When the founders noticed that space missing from their lives, they decided to create it themselves. The inspiration came from a bookstore called Firestorm Collective in Asheville, North Carolina. “Firestorm Collective was a dream,” says Americo. “Having a queer safe space in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains was like an oasis in a desert. I knew...

You know how car companies are always releasing next year’s models earlier and earlier and then you’re like, “2019? Already?! We’re only halfway through 2018!” and then the inevitability of the cruel march of time weighs heavy on you like a shiny new Buick LaCrosse? Well this is like that, but with coffee, as the SCA has announced host cities for the 2019 US Coffee Championship preliminaries. Taking place over the course of three months, the USCC preliminaries will be rolling through 10 cities, in the Lower 48 and beyond.

The first preliminary is literally only a month away, taking place in Chattanooga, TN between July 13th and 15th. After that, the train rolls on through Amarillo, TX; Denver, CO; Kailua Kona, HI(!!!); Canton, OH; Washington, D.C.; Montgomery, AL; Seattle, WA; Grand Rapids, MI; and Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

Each of the 10 locations will host both a Brewers Cup and Barista preliminary (we think). Luckily, Learning Sessions for the Barista and Brewers competitions are being held on July 9th and 10th, respectively, and all your questions will be answered there. Registration for the...

World Coffee Events—the Speciality Coffee Association entity that administers the association’s international coffee championships—has announced a new slate of host cities for events in 2019. They include Boston, Massachusetts, which will host the 2019 World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup tournaments April 11th-14th; and Berlin, Germany, which will host the 2019 World Latte Art Championship, World Cup Tasters Championship, World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship, and the Cezve / Ibrik Championship tournaments June 8th-10th.

This news was announced in advance of the 2018 World Barista Championship in Amsterdam, taking place June 20-23 at RAI Centre. World of Coffee Berlin 2019 was announced all the way back in 2015; it is the last World Of Coffee host city to have been determined under the old SCAE / SCAA split. Meanwhile, the US Coffee Champs have also announced their full slate of 2019 preliminary events for US Barista Championship and Brewers Cup qualifying.

These announcements comes hot on the heels of an SCA announcement regarding several remaining events in the 2018 season, initially and controversially awarded to Dubai, which will now take place in Brazil on November 7th-9th. This news...

Is there such thing as a perfect amount of caffeine or even a perfect time to consume it? For most, the answers are, “all of it” and “ASAP.” But for the US Government, that lacks the sort of cold, analytic minutiae that really greases the wheels of bureaucracy. But Hermes Conrads of the world, fear not! For the government has created an algorithm to tell you exactly how much caffeine and when to consume it for peak alertness.

According Science Daily, the new coffee maths first appeared in the American Academy for Sleep Medicine are the work of Jacques Reifman, Ph.D, a “senior research scientist and director of [the Department of Defense’s] Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute and the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Ft. Detrick, Maryland.” The algorithm was created specifically increase alertness in “sleep loss conditions.” It is based upon testing using “four previously published experimental studies on sleep loss” and predicted effects of caffeine on psychomotor vigilance task performance. Fully automated, the algorithm will take “user-provided sleep/wake schedule and maximum allowed caffeine as inputs and provides a caffeine-dosing strategy as the output.”

While...

What is it about the lure of the tour? Gassing up the van, hitting the road for a long haul, counting down the miles, making good time. It’s about the journey and the destination. We love a good tour here at Sprudge, and when there’s delicious coffee involved? Even better.

Throughout the spring 2018 season, our longtime partners at Cafe Imports have been out on the road, crisscrossing the United States for a series of events dedicated to coffee. And not just any coffee: the 2018 Legendary Coffee Tour featured “greatest hits, brand-new releases, and even a few deep cuts” from the Cafe Imports coffee library, paired with a presentation on the history and significance of coffee varieties. Sprudge was an official partner for this event series, along with La Marzocco and Mill City Roasters.

Events took place in cities large and small across the USA, including Kansas City (at Messenger Coffee), Springfiled, MO (at Classic Rock Coffee), Chicago (at Metropolis Coffee), Coeur d’Alene (Evans Brothers Coffee), Tempe (Tempe Public Market Cafe), Austin (

As the city of Denver continues to grow and every bit of real estate seems to be reserved for more apartment buildings or breweries, an old space in the Sunnyside neighborhood has become home to one of the more innovative concepts around town: a specialty coffee shop operated by local middle- and high-school students.

Pinwheel Coffee is a cafe that employs Compass and Denver Montessori School students, along with a team of full-time baristas. In partnership with the Montessori junior high and high schools, along with help from Colorado-based nonprofit organization Great Work Inc., students learn the ropes of specialty coffee while also gaining experience in customer service and human interaction, small-business operations, money-handling and accounting, and exposure to one of Denver’s most popular industries.

For more than a century, Montessori schools have prioritized real-world experience and freedom of choice over more traditional middle- and high-school environments. Coupled with Denver’s natural inclination toward appreciating craft beverages, coffee is a natural, easy fit.

Pinwheel holds the potential to be an alternative entry to the specialty coffee world...