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2018-01-21T10:32:21.657Z
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So here’s the thing. Sometimes we here at Sprudge know about an event and hold off on writing about it until closer to go-time to kinda get that last minute push. Then sometimes those events sell out anyway and we’re just like, “what do we do now?” Then sometimes those stories are about chocolate and then all we can do is start thinking about how it’s Friday and we deserve some chocolate dammit because it’s been a long week and we have been really good and screw it we’re going to have some chocolate. Well, here’s your chocolate.

In what sounds like it would have been an amazing event to attend were it not sold out, Royal Coffee is partnering with the Fine Cacao & Chocolate Institute (FCCI) to host the Cacao + Coffee Roasting Summit this Sunday at the Pulley Collective in Oakland.

The Summit is intended as a forum for cacao-chocolate and coffee professionals to exchange roasting knowledge. There will be coffee and chocolate tastings, with a “focus on flavor changes caused by roasting, and discuss in detail the significance of raw material composition and heat application techniques during the roasting process.”

Sounds great. I can’t be there because it’s sold out so instead I...

Tailored Coffee has been roasting and serving coffee in Eugene for just over four years. In that time, their minimalist coffee design has evolved with a little help from designer knxwfuture out of Austin, Texas. Inspired by Erykah Badu’s Worldwide Underground album art, their bags of coffee feature hand-drawn black-and-white illustrations. Like Badu’s own illustrations, they are detailed and whimsical. Each offering features a label with a different bright, vibrant color. To learn more, we talked to Tailored Coffee’s manager Zane Derven.

Tell us a bit about Tailored Coffee.

Tailored Coffee Roasters was started by Brian Sung in 2014. We have a small cafe in Eugene, Oregon where we also roast our coffee. Our approach emphasizes clarity, showcasing coffee’s inherent sweetness. Brian grew up with both of his parents in the restaurant business so we also try to bring that culinary flare.

Despite being a university town, Eugene is a largely homogenous place. It’s mostly older white folks with the same income, the same lifestyle. Brian is Korean-American so he wanted to curate a place where everybody else could come do their thing. We play the music we like and serve the coffee we want to drink. It’s something we never had growing up here....

For as long as I can remember, a cup of “joe” has designated a cup of coffee. And not just any coffee. It always had this everyman connotation, a strong cup of black coffee served piping hot, probably old, probably burnt from sitting on a heating element; it’s the coffee of yesteryear. Though once widely used, the etymology of “joe” remains a relative mystery, but a recent article in Readers Digest offers the leading theories on the term’s origins.

The first theory starts in the U.S. Navy:

As one legend goes, it all started with Josephus Daniels, the Secretary of the Navy during World War I. In 1914, he banned alcohol consumption on all U.S. Navy ships. Because coffee was the next strongest substitute, American sailors sarcastically deemed it “a cup of Josephus.” The snarky name stuck, although it came to be known as “a cup of Joe” for short.

But according to the article, this origin story is an unlikely one. Referring to a Snopes article on the subject, Readers Digest notes that the term “cup of joe” was coined in 1930, 16 years after the Navy’s prohibition. Given the time gap, ole Josephus is an unlikely muse.

More likely theories include “joe” being a truncation...

2017 was mostly terrible, and 2018 might be the death of us all, but not everything is bleak. Everyone has their own little list of stuff to look forward to, and let us bring a cool new one to your attention. This coming March, Sprudge has partnered with SXSW—America’s foremost collection of cutting edge film, music, tech, arts and food culture—to bring you the fest’s first-ever coffee exhibition. Dubbed the “Roasters Village,” it’ll happen Saturday, March 10th through Monday, March 12th as part of SouthBites, SXSW’s innovative food programming and flavor culture exhibition.

We’ve worked behind the scenes with SXSW over the last few months to co-curate a killer line-up of coffee exhibitors at the event, and we’re thrilled be able to share this info with you now. It’s starting small this year—just a dozen or so brands are able to exhibit—with an eye towards growing coffee’s presence at SXSW in the years to come. Confirmed exhibitors for the 2018 event include Intelligentsia Coffee, Swiss Water Decaf, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, Deadstock Coffee, Slingshot Coffee, Five Elephant Coffee, and many more. A full list of exhibitors will be announced by the festival in the coming days.

We’re also getting involved...

At 37, Kees Kraakman is approaching two decades in specialty coffee. The Netherlands knows him as a whiz kid, first taught to cup and roast by Jacob Boot, father of the brothers who today head Boot Coffee and Boot Koffie. Back in 2012, he launched pop-up Amsterdam espresso bar SOK and afterwards, for five years, ran roastery Stadsbranderij Noord. Still, Kraakman has largely stayed behind the scenes.

The opening of Café Keppler this past June in Amsterdam North might have been an opportunity for basking in glory. Yet when asked if it was always the plan to have his own place, Kraakman makes clear that he is not ready to revel.

“This should be my magnum opus, yeah—I’m definitely not 100% satisfied at this point,” he dryly replies, while conceding, “but this is the first time that I really took a gamble and a plunge to put up something like this.”

Kraakman and Lubben

Like its neighbors, the cafe won the right to establish itself on Van der Pekplein in a city...

Everyone likes a nice warm bath. You know the ones: they’re like two hours long, maybe with a few soothing botanicals, and a water jet wouldn’t be too much to ask for. In the bathroom, this is called relaxing, but in the kitchen it’s referred to as sous viding. And as it turns out, your coffee is game for a leisurely soak, too. Once just a wacky experiment seen only on the stages of barista competitions—in particular Chan Kwun Ho at the 2015 WBC finals and Sam Schroeder at the 2016 USBC Finals—sous vide coffee has now found a home at Chicago’s Michelin-starred Band of Bohemia.

The sous vide technique works by putting whatever you want to cook—in this case coffee grounds and water—into an air tight bag that then soaks in a temperature-controlled water bath for an extended period of time. For things like steaks, sous viding allows the entire cut to reach the ideal temperature without overcooking the outside. For coffee, sous viding has a slightly different effect. Band of Bohemia’s Head of Coffee and Tea Tom Santelle tells Extra Crispy, “Generally, the longer coffee is extracted—without being over extracted—the more the natural sweetness and fruit character of the coffee is...

Photo by Bruce Damonte

As the #metoo movement continues to open space for women to speak out about assault and harassment, a tidal wave of men from various industries have found themselves suddenly accountable for unprofessional and often illegal behavior. In the months since #metoo went viral, the specialty coffee community has waited for its own first allegations to break, and in the first week of 2018, due to the courage of several women in the Bay Area, they did. On January 5, two former employees of Four Barrel Coffee filed suit against the company itself, as well as one of its three owners, Jeremy Tooker. The response has been astonishing: within a week, multiple wholesale accounts ended their relationship with Four Barrel, the company itself declared intent to change its name and move to an employee-owned model, and the specialty coffee community spoke a loud, clear #timesup, widely condemning sexual assault and harassment. The lawsuit itself, which settled after just a week, and the dramatic response from the specialty coffee community stand as a powerful example of the cultural shift taking place nationwide,...

Victoria is a city that often takes a back seat to another Canadian city that starts with a V. But if being the capital of British Columbia isn’t enough to show off its pride, its coffee scene follows suit by delivering cafes and coffee quality to rival any other city, including its friendly competitor on the mainland. Victoria is a beautiful town by any definition, and its island culture—along with a local university and a “support local” mind-set—has created an overwhelming concentration of high-quality food and drink. Based on the number of coffee shops alone, and without speaking a word to a local, it is abundantly clear that the locals care about the coffee they drink and are motivated to proudly support their baristas and cafes.

2% Jazz Coffee

For more than 20 years, 2% Jazz Coffee has been ushering along a specialty coffee presence in Victoria and has evolved to become a prominent cafe here. The business first opened as an outdoor kiosk in 1996 and aimed to develop a brand and identity in the local community. The growth was slow and strategic and the team eventually began roasting their own beans in 2006. It...

Calling all coffee competitors: entries for the 2018 Coffee Masters Tournament at the London Coffee Festival are happening now. This is Season 4 of the Coffee Masters, that thrilling, equitable, fast-paced multidisciplinary test of coffee skills, and we’re kicking off an epic 2018 event schedule in London with the event’s biggest and brightest running yet. Coffee Masters takes place April 12th-15th in London, and the application deadline is Friday, February 1st.

Apply now for the 2018 Coffee Masters Tournament in London.  [Box] Relive the 2017 New York Coffee Masters Tournament—”Why Erika Vonie’s Coffee Masters Win Matters.”[/box] Read our feature with 2016 NY Coffee Masters champ Yuko Inoue of Timberyard UK. Read our feature with 2017 London Coffee Masters champ James Wise of Treves & Hyde.  2017 New York Coffee Masters Tournament champion Erika Vonie.

The tournament takes place at London’s Old Truman Brewery (91 Brick Lane), in the heart of Shoreditch, East London. Tournament entry is open to competitors from around the world, competing towards a £5000 cash prize. Enter by submitting your own original signature drink video, and check out some of our favorites from past...

The coffee industry, in particular the specialty coffee industry, has put in a considerable amount of effort to transform the way the world thinks about coffee, shifting it away from a monolithic commodity toward something more unique, with a gradation of quality. This has been done in part to benefit those at origin who actually produce this beloved product. This has led to the creation of Fair Trade coffee and one step further, Direct Trade buying models, each with the end goal of seeing more money make it into the pockets of the coffee farmers.

Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. is looking to take their Direct Trade one step further with their new Fair For All sourcing model, which they hope will ensure a livable wage for everyone at the farm level, including the coffee pickers.

Announced in a statement released in conjunction with their 2017 Transparency Report, Olympia Coffee has enumerated a number of commitments that comprise the Fair For All plan. Many of these commitments, like setting coffee prices directly with the farmer and visiting the producer each year, are similar to those found in the Direct Trade buying model, but the Fair For All plan also includes many directives relating specifically to the...


Coffee on Kickstarter is nothing new—the site has hosted coffee projects from devices to new brewing methods to new cafes. But today I want to introduce you to Planting Costa Rica, a team of four youngsters based in Costa Rica, Germany, The Netherlands, and Chile who are working to revitalize the coffee industry in a sleepy region of Costa Rica called Miramar. Their main purpose is “to find a place in the international market for Costa Rican coffee producers willing to produce specialty coffee.”

How exactly are they planning to do this? Planting Costa Rica is divided into three milestones, the Kickstarter being the second. Their first phase included networking across Europe to introduce the project to potential buyers and raise awareness about the social impact specialty coffee has in producing countries. During this phase they also visited Costa Rican producers across the eight producing regions to introduce them to the specialty market in Europe and the different possibilities that are out there as well as to find differences, strengths, and opportunities in the different regions. That is how they ended up in Miramar. After cupping coffee from different producers and regions...

Whether you watch sports or not, you undoubtedly know someone who makes it a point to let everyone know they aren’t going to watch the Super Bowl but are nonetheless going to watch the Puppy Bowl. And if you don’t watch sports, you are probably that person. You probably also say something like “sportsball”; we get it, you don’t like sports. Relax.

But even so, there doesn’t exist a single person on this planet—sports fan or not—that does not love the Puppy Bowl (a fundamental part of being human is loving baby animals. Therefore, if you don’t love baby animals, especially a bowl full of them, you lack a part of the essential nature that defines a thing as “human” and therefore are some other manner of monster). And now you can enjoy a hot cup o’ pup, as Animal Planet has teamed up with Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. to create the official coffee of the Puppy Bowl.

Much like all the best dogs—except for my three doggos, which range from thinks-he’s-a-cat to complete-asshole/might-actually-be-a-cat—the Puppy Bowl coffee is a blend, mixing medium roast beans from Guatemala and Papua New Guinea to impart “sweet notes of molasses and ripe red berries, followed by a finish of...

Ian Williams worked his way up from janitor to shoe designer at Nike, then left it all to start his dream cafe: Deadstock Coffee, a hub of Portland design talent and cultural force located in the city’s Old Town district. Self-described as “snob-free coffee,” a single guiding mantra drives Deadstock: “Coffee Should Be Dope.”

It’s a sentiment that’s hard to argue with, and the coffee—roasted by Williams himself, at Portland co-roaster facility of note Buckman Coffee Factory—is indeed delicious. A sharp focus on accessibility runs throughout the menu, which includes house specials like the “Lebronald Palmer” (a blend of coffee, sweet tea, and lemonade) and the “Charged Up” (green coffee extract and Green flavor Kool-Aid). “I don’t really do light roast,” Williams tells me over a mug in the shop’s busy entryway. “I just want to make good, even, mellow coffees.”

Conversations here are punctuated by greetings, departures, and casual updates from regulars, making for a space that feels alive with vibe and running dialogue. People talk to each other at Deadstock. A white board next to the cash register records the day’s specials, the current soundtrack, and what the staff is wearing on their feet. You want to look nice showing up here, in a low key...

On Thursday, January 11th in Brooklyn at Baby Skips (1158 Myrtle Ave) a new event called I See You is focusing on an oft-neglected segment of the specialty coffee industry. Designed towards “uniting and supporting POC baristas & coffee professionals,” I See You’s tag line is “A Conversation For Progress.” The event is sponsored by Little Skips, Crop To Cup, and Little MO, and is totally free to attend.

As we go to press here I See You takes place tomorrow night—that’s soon!—and to learn more Sprudge spoke with event organizer Ezra Baker, of Share Coffee Roasters.

Hi Ezra! Thanks for talking to us about your event. By way of introduction, how long have you worked in coffee, and where are you working now? Also—what’s your favorite drink to order in a cafe.

Ezra Baker: Hi I’m Ezra Baker and I’m from New York NY. I’ve worked in coffee for a month shy of 10 years. I’m currently the Wholesale Sales and Customer Relations Manager at Share Coffee Roasters out of Hadley, MA. That telecommuting life! My favorite cafe order is...

You know what no one ever says about e-commerce businesses? “This build-out is bonkers.” You just click, click, click and that is that; it’s steamlined and a little boring. But there is one e-tail site has made the jump into click-and-mortar, and their build-out is bonkers.

CafeBond.com is a Singapore-based e-tailer of specialty coffee from Australia, Japan, Taiwan, and Malaysia and they have just opened the ridiculously beautiful The Bean Shop in Singapore’s Millenia Walk mall.

According to the press release, The Bean Shop will be “Singapore’s first specialty coffee bean-only retail store” and will some of the best selling coffees from “Asia’s largest specialty coffee e-tailer.” Roasters include Seven Seeds Coffee, Market Lane, and Ona Coffee from Australia; Simple Kaffa from Taiwan; Fulgen Coffee from Japan; and VCR Coffee and Cloud Catcher from Malaysia, amongst others.

And all that coffee is great, but just look at this place! The pink neon, the wood pops, the showroom-esque feel. It’s majestic. I’d shop there but I’m already kinda afraid I would break something… and I don’t live in...

When you think of Scotland, what do you picture? Perhaps you imagine rolling hills covered with purple heather, deep lochs hiding a prehistoric monster, highland cows grazing casually as a large man in a kilt walks past playing the bagpipes, plenty of rain. When thinking of a Scottish city, however, many probably picture Edinburgh and its mighty castle, the cobbled streets of the Royal Mile, or the imposing Arthur’s Seat looming above. Many may not think of Glasgow, Scotland’s so-called second city, but that would be a mistake.

Glasgow is a unique town—its evocative nickname is the Dear Green Place—and it has much to recommend it. Several universities, a shipbuilding legacy stretching back hundreds of years, not to mention some glorious architecture and stunning street art. Billy Connolly, Scotland’s funniest man and effective poet laureate, was born here, as were globally influential popsters Belle And Sebastian, which is reason enough to visit. You can spend days wandering its alleyways and gardens, or touring the numerous museums and galleries, and evenings checking out the city’s vibrant live music scene. And that’s before you consider the hospitality and friendliness of the local population. All in all, it’s a city that deserves to be explored.

This extends to its coffee scene: from sleek downtown espresso bars and minimalist design havens to cozy neighborhood roaster-retailers, and popular local wholesale roaster Dear Green...

Welcome to the announcement for the 9th Annual Sprudgie Awards, honoring the best in coffee.

Nominees for each category were chosen by a worldwide public ballot. Public voting for the Sprudgies took place over several weeks in December 2017, with the ballot box closing at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 31st.

Thanks to the thousands and thousands of voters who helped make this by far the biggest voting field in Sprudgies history. Congratulations to all the nominees—to us, every single 2017 finalist was a winner.

Here they are: your 2017 Sprudgie Awards winners.

Notable Roaster Photo by Anna Hutchison

Onyx Coffee Lab (Fayetteville, AR)

Honoree: Assembly Coffee (London)

Best New Cafe

Narrative Coffee (Everett, WA)

Honoree: Cherry Street Public House (Seattle, WA)

Best New Product

Kruve Sifter

Honoree: World Specialty Coffee Map by Cafe Imports

Best Coffee Video/Film

We’ve all butt chugged a batch brew or two to kick start the engine in the morning, but have you considered doing so whilst giving $135 to Gwyneth Paltrow? If this news sounds right up your alley—both literally and figuratively—then feast your eyes upon the Implant O’Rama at-home coffee enema kit from Goop.

According to the Huffington Post, the Implant O’Rama is part of the annual Beauty & Wellness Detox listicle put out by Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s wildly popular lifestyle brand. The whole system is basically just a glass jug, a hand pump, and a tube for your toot. You load that jammer up with coffee and water and blast off!

But before you reverse Kopi Luwak yourself, HuffPo notes that there are some serious risks to the coffee enema:

According to a letter published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, there have been at least three cases of proctocolitis (a gastrointestinal syndrome) occurring in relation to coffee enemas. There have also been multiple deaths related to coffee enemas, and at least one individual suffered rectal burns because the water used was too hot. Overusing enemas can alter the body’s natural chemistry, interfering with normal functioning of the heart and other vital organs, according to...

Fans of coffee, comedy, and beautiful vintage cars, rejoice! All nine seasons of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” are now available for your binging pleasure on Netflix, with a new season due out later this year.

We’ve been fans of the show for years here at Sprudge and those hours of viewership served us well when, in the first week of 2018, the team at Netflix reached out with the opportunity to interview Mr. Seinfeld himself. There was just one catch: Because of wild weather on the east coast wreaking havoc on travel logistics schedules, the interview would need to take place at 3:15 AM, Pacific Standard Time.

Gratefully assisted by—you guessed it—a cup of coffee or three, Sprudge co-founder Jordan Michelman spoke with Jerry Seinfeld in the wee hours of the morning last week. It was worth it. Check out the complete interview below, and enjoy all nine seasons of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee up now on Netflix.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. 

Jerry Seinfeld: Hi, Jordan.

Jordan Michelman: Hello, Jerry. Mr. Seinfeld, it’s nice to meet you.

Seinfeld: It’s great to chat with you. Thank you for extending yourself so heroically to do this.

Michelman: It’s my fault for living on the...

Photo by Bruce Damonte

Breaking news coming out of Northern California today as the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Four Barrel Coffee’s founder Jeremy Tooker is being accused of sexual assault and harassment.

According to the article, a lawsuit was filed today by two former employees, Megan Kepnach and Karley Webb, in the San Francisco Superior Court “alleging [Tooker] sexually assaulted multiple women, harassed others and created a toxic workplace culture for Four Barrel’s female staff members.”

From the article:

The eight women named in the lawsuit allege incidents where Tooker assaulted a female employee in a hotel room; grabbed another female employee’s neck with enough force to cause soreness; and threatened to fire a staff member for speaking to a former Four Barrel employee. Overall, the suit depicts a company with rampant sexual misconduct, and an ownership group — led by Tooker, along with partners Jodi Geren and Tal Mor — that chose to address neither the misconduct nor employees’ complaints about it.

For the article, the Chronicle spoke with 14 former Four Barrel employees, 10 of which agreed to speak on the record and agreed “both Geren and Mor were...