25 February, 2010

Shrub/Sweet Marias

Over the years I have found sweet marias and now more recently shrub really valuable resources for information on what is going on at origin and what interesting coffees are being roasted. While I have never met Chris Schooley, I think his descriptions of origin and cupping are great...very informed and detailed...

Here he is roasting on an electric probat sample roaster...

21 February, 2010

Happy Birthday Bradbury's

One of the two Synesso Espresso machines in Madison is celebrating its two year anniversary in service... To celebrate, my boys (w/a little help) built a lego version. It is just as thermally stable, it just won't get any hotter than room temperature...Happy Birthday Bradbury's!...thanks for hosting a great party!!!

Here it is complete with Versalab grinder, handmade mugs on top and a lego customer.

20 February, 2010

Welcome To Madison Coffee Fellowship

cof.fee fel.low.ship
the condition or relation of being a fellow: the fellowship of humankind.
2. friendly relationship; companionship: the fellowship of father and son.
3. community of interest, feeling, etc.
4. communion, as between members of the same organization.
5. an association of persons having similar tastes, interests, etc.

Welcome! I have had this idea of creating a forum for Madison, Wisconsin's coffee professionals for sometime. A place where we can meet and share, with common curiosity, about all things coffee. Fellowship seemed like a fitting noun to describe the aesthetic I'm going for. Something that is more knowledge and culture building rather than marketing or self appreciation. I'm not interested in that...I am interested in learning from others.

If you are a coffee professional, home roaster or barista, taster, enthusiast etc. and are interested in being a part of this community email me and I can add you as an author so that you can post to this site. I'm not a prolific writer...I think about coffee and its related people, trends, equipment etc. etc., but I will try to post my thoughts and experiences as much as I can.

Coffee is in its infancy both as a national industry and certainly as a Madison phenomenon. I think we have a responsibility as participants of this industry and culture to know how to provide our community with the most expertly prepared and best tasting coffees available.

Ok, that's it!


16 February, 2010

Fair Trade Discussions

I really like this concise and to-the-point this summary of why Fair Trade really has no place in the marketing of specialty coffee...

“In my opinion, the Fair Trade brand / model works alright for commercial quality coffee and for one might term “entry-level” specialty. Once one gets into extremely specific, ultra-high quality coffees it begins to falter because it was not designed to deal with them. Fair Trade is, essentially, a one-size-fits-all blanket program that is applied to an incredibly diverse range of different coffee farmers across the world…the fact that it the FT price has been $1.26 for more than fifteen years and is the same for every farmer whether he/she lives in Peru, Rwanda, Sulawesi, Costa Rica, or El Salvador makes little sense.”

excerpt from this link...

Maybe Fair Trade is just 'social baggage' better left to the commodity market...