All posts tagged: specialty coffee

There are better ways to spend your time

As I sit here typing this I know I’m delaying the inevitable, soul destroying truth. I know that as soon as I publish this I need to hop in my car, sit in Monday morning traffic and head to my job. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. But after seeing this photo essay I know you’ll agree with me that there are better ways to spend your time. Like most friends I make these days, I met Alex Strohl on instagram. And here comes probably the important compliment you can pay anyone these days: he has a beautiful feed. What stood out for me (obviously) is a little adventure he and La Marzocco took. I’ll let Alex give us a quick insight and then I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. The whole idea was a bit silly at first when we were planning it. But as the first thick, heavy, shots came out of the Mini and the first rays of sun illuminated the valley we knew we were onto something rather good. …

Humans of coffee: Andrew Sinclair

Who is Andrew Sinclair? I’m Andrew and I run Mad Lab Coffee in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. I have insomnia but I don’t lose sleep over it. I’ve been a touring musician (like every other coffee person it seems), a 5 year Tesla Motors employee (Elon is my homeboy), and at one point in my life a Dean Martin impersonator for cruise ships (photos exist but I will never share them. I was an ugly Dean Martin). My life is vibrant like the ugly shirts I wear that my wife hates. What is your favorite childhood memory?  So I actually grew up in a 40 piece banjo band in Houston Texas called the Jubilee Banjo Band. I know, random. There was a day that me and my buddy were hired out for a gig, and we ended up playing at ZZ Tops ranch for their Christmas party. We played music with the guys and talked all night about music, gear, and life stories. I was 16 at the time so it was really a rad experience to meet a hero very randomly. If you …

What do you do when your body doesn’t agree with coffee?

Coffee is a peculiar thing. Some love it, some hate it. Some start their day with it, others can’t make it through a day without it.  It can be cheap and incredibly unpleasant or it could be made in a way that resembles art.  For some it is all about the brewing method, for others it is all about the ratio between milk and espresso. No matter what your relationship with coffee is, how and when you drink it, what roast, whether it is organic or fair trade — we all have one thing in common when we sip away on that cup. It’s the intake of caffeine.  I am no coffee connoisseur, but I would say that I certainly know a good coffee from a bad one and I prefer to have good ones (to be precise, a flat white, medium roast, organic if possible, no sugar). When my options aren’t good, I opt out instead and when my options are good, I’ll walk an extra mile for it. I love coffee for the …

Humans of coffee: Katya Katkova

Who is Katya Katkova? A marketer turned a barista and then a coffee-shop owner turned a coffee-obsessed blogger. Also one of those thirty something millennials who can’t function without a new project in mind. What is your favourite childhood memory? Once my dad was teaching me to ride a bicycle. I couldn’t keep the balance and he would support me holding the boot. As I was focusing on pedalling suddenly realised that I’m riding on my own and my dad is far behind. I will always remember that amazing feeling of euphoria mixed with a reverent fear! If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently? I’d definitely move to London much earlier. This is my happy place and I don’t understand how I lived without these messy streets, polluted capital air and weekend markets in my early twenties. What do you feel most proud of? I would love to think (and be proud of) that I played my part in gentrification of East London. Although it’s a mixed feelings term …

From a farm in Ethiopia to a Rocky Mountain bike trail

I’m sitting on a summit 6500′ above sea level where the Rocky Mountains of Canada meet the Columbia range. Surrounded by postcard views and staggering cliffs, I take in the crisp alpine air and turn my attention to the bag of carefully roasted beans I had stashed in my pack. Coffee is beautiful. I am reminded of this every time I open a new bag. These beans are more than vessels for caffeine, they have a story, and a purpose. The label on the bag can tell me where they came from, but how did they end up here? As I run my fingers over their smooth, chocolatey skin I like to think about all the hands involved in bringing these beans to my cup. I try to picture the faces of the people who planted the seeds and watched them grow into trees, then carefully harvested, sorting through rows upon rows of plants using calloused and cracked fingers to delicately select only the ripest cherries. For the farmers growing coffee, these beans are more …

How I spent 48 hours in Amsterdam: Bocca

Many great businesses started in a garage. Amazon. Apple. Disney. Google. And Bocca. Menno & Tewis Simons first started roasting coffee in a garage in the Jordaan neighbourhood in 2001. And today they’ve come a long way. A kilometer to be exact. To their flagship store in Spiegelkwartier. It was a busy day in Amsterdam. The sun was out. And so were all the tourists. I needed a break. And was happy that I found myself near Bocca. The space is surprisingly big. For Amsterdam. For any European city. Well, for any city that’s been around since the 12th century. Finding a spot to sit, charge my iPhone and hop on the wifi was easy. Coffee was awesome. Service even more so. And, as you’ll see from my photographs, easily one of my favourite spaces in Amsterdam.

How one man went from instant to grinding beans at home

Just over a year ago I was talking to a friend of mine about coffee. At this point in my life I enjoyed a coffee from @homecoffeesouth. The coffee is always of great quality and the staff are always on hand to talk about the one thing they love the most… COFFEE !! As my friend and I continued to talk, we agreed on one thing… how difficult it can be to enjoy quality coffee at home. We all have a jar of instant coffee at home but I wanted something better, something special, made with love and on a daily basis. This is where my coffee journey began. My friend recommended an online coffee company called @pactcoffee. Now, they are one of many companies offering coffee delivered to your door but I can only talk about these guys. They trade directly with farmers all over the world. That means they source the best coffee in the world while ensuring unbeatable pay for their farmers. I started with a different bag of ground coffee being …

Humans of coffee: Charlie Wade

Who is Charlie Wade? A guy pretty much obsessed with all things coffee. It started at a young age, copying my father’s morning routine of a strong black coffee with one sugar. Little did I know that many years later, while studying music, my part time barista job would pull my life in a different direction as coffee took over my world. Born Wade Ruiters in Kokstad South Africa, my family moved to Auckland, New Zealand at the age of 11 and towards the end of 2017 I decided to move to Melbourne, Australia, planting my roots in Brunswick, a suburb in Melbourne’s North. Charlie become a workplace nickname at my first barista job and has stuck for the subsequent five years. Charlie, Charlie Wade or Wade: take your pick! What is your favourite childhood memory? Family trips to East London’s Orient Beach swimming pools feel crystal clear in my mind. We would spend hours there on hot summer days, and then head up the road to the Windmill Roadhouse for hotdogs and a strawberry …

Humans of coffee: Tim Wendelboe

Who is Tim Wendelboe? I am a young (at least at mind) person who likes to work hard and do things my way and what I feel is the right way. I grew up in a very safe and suburban area outside of Oslo in Norway but never felt that I fit in 100%. In my late teenage years I had my rebellious years where I got tired of school and wanted to do the opposite of what everyone else around me was doing. So when most of my class mates signed up for the university to go and study, I decided I was going to take a year off and work to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. That is how I ended up in coffee as a couple of months after high school I started working at Stockfleth’s in Oslo. After running the company for some years with my friend Alex, I finally had the courage to leave the company to start my own roastery and espresso bar. It …