Tell Me About Your Coffee Spot

As I travel about the world, usually for work, I try to stop and smell the local coffees. Taking time to visit as many local coffee spots I can fit into my buzzing about, drinking the coffee and enjoying the atmosphere.

If you have a location, I would love to hear from you. For locations that will be in my near travel plans, I will drop by for an interview if you have the time. If your off my beaten path and I can’t convince the folks controlling the money here, then we can do the interview over the phone.

I will post those interviews here so others in your area or traveling to your part of the globe will think of you to enjoy what you have to offer. I am not looking for money, this is all about providing a service to help spread the word that there is wonderful coffee choices outside of the big names!

Take a moment to go to the About page on this site and send me info about you, who I should contact for an interview and a few fun facts. Some questions I would like to ask that would be interesting to others:

What makes your spot unique
What is your competition
Is there a particular brand of beans you use
Do you offer chairs, casual chairs, booths
Do you sell non-coffee products
Do you invite artists visual or audio
Do you have something your known for
What made you want to open the location
Are you a stand alone location or in a ‘mall’
Do you do more espresso or premium drinks


Classes and Tools for Making Better Espresso

I was reminded recently that not ‘everything’ is best done from a Web page. Sometimes, the personal touch of a human interaction can get you further. For myself, and perhaps readers of this blog, there are many options to get training in making a better espresso or coffee drink. No one is complaining about my current creations but you can always learn a new trick or more info behind the ‘why’ of a process.

Classes and tools can be great for someone just looking into pulling their own drinks at home. Get a espresso machine for Christmas?

I have added a new page (link in the right column or Click here to jump) to show many offerings for classes. They can be for getting better at home to folks looking to start a new Espresso Spot and want their Baristas trained. There are options to have training at your location, at a school, on a DVD and even for your iPhone. Take a look if your ever thinking about fine turning your skills.


Judging Lattes and Espresso drinks

I just found that there was a Latte and Espresso drink competition recently in Dallas. A local lady, Teresa Gubbins,¬†was chosen to help judge the cups of dark joy. She wrote a nice post about her adventure. After reading the fun she had, I researched and found there was another major global competition for Baristas. I need to see if next year’s competition will be a possible vacation spot.

For the local event: Sherri and Danny Johns of Portland-based (my old stomping grounds) WholeCup Coffee conduct barista competitions at trade shows around the world. On Sunday, June 28th, they hosted the Ultimate Barista Challenge competition at the Southwest Foodservice Expo, a three-day trade show for the restaurant biz at the Dallas Convention Center which continued through Monday and Tuesday.

Sunday’s competition drew six baristas from Texas and beyond who prepared three espresso-based drinks: 1. macchiato, 2. latte, and 3. specialty drink creation. Danny emceed and Sherri supervised the judging, with a panel that included coffee experts Heather and Jay Kurima, and the author. Catch her whole adventure here…

For the big global competition, you can go to World Barista Championship who just finished their 2009 event in Atlanta. 52 Baristas competed for the award, with Gwilym Davies from the United Kingdom. I’m not sure if that plays into next year’s event, but it will be in the United Kingdom.


Espresso drinkers doing our part for Green Earth

A post on Twitter got me thinking about how much waste there is around a great cup of coffee. I feared that I would find I was being a bad person by encouraging some industry to burn up resources helping me get my morning drinks. Today I would like to speak a touch about helping the planet, not on a soap box here, but a quick couple lines that will hopefully help you with some info.

What I found was good and bad news. Unless you get into a situation of someone having a very dirty machine that burns up huge amounts of electricity to heat the small amount of water there is no major impact. The process of gathering and processing the beans, storage and shipping and the selling are all in line with most food products. Whew!

The area that is about to get nailed for waste is the little Single Serving machines we see everywhere. I’m guilty of having one, as is most of my friends. It is a convenience that after reading up a bit, I might have to consider doing without. It is a situation where the sheer numbers off all of those little plastic containers going into the trash all over the world is getting out of hand.

Jennifer Berry over at Earth911 wrote an article just last week on what she found about some producers of these coffee pucks are doing to help. It appears some are getting the message and changing the materials and processes. Let encourage them to continue when we can – thanks!