Tag Archives: coffee

the end of an anomaly

19 Nov

Four-plus years of being a barista has meant that I can’t ignore the perennially absurd happenings of the coffee world. I’m still a junkie for brew methods and barista jams, and I regularly fork over three dollars for an eight-ounce cup of coffee. But this week Zak Stone wrote a fascinating piece on the decline of cheap coffee for GOOD. It turns out changes in weather patterns have taken a heavy toll on coffee bean yields. A really heavy toll.

“Between 2006 and 2009, the Colombian yield shrank by a quarter—from 12 million bags to 7.8 million, the lowest yield in 33 years,” Stone reports amid some fantastic illustrations by Dan Matutina. “The forecast doesn’t look good for the rest of the coffee-growing world, either: more pests in East Africa, more hurricanes in Central America, more droughts in Indonesia. Global coffee stockpiles are close to record lows.”

What this means is that coffee won’t be as cheap as it has been, which Counter Culture‘s Peter Giuliano says has been a long time coming. “Coffee as cheap fuel for the masses is a historical anomaly,” he says. “We’re going back to where coffee began—as an exotic, beloved culinary experience.”

It’s one of the best things I’ve read in a while, and the writing is beyond GOOD‘s typical fare. Check it out here.

Illustrator Dan Matutina's take on the brewing storm

Bang Bang Coffee Show!

16 Jun

The Bang Bang Coffee Show is coming and, like most things these days, it could use some help to get off the ground—or onto the streets.

The concept: pie and coffee from a mobile truck with a carnivalesque theme, served up from some of the loveliest folks you’ll ever meet.

Those lovely people are Dave and Megan Miller, whom my wife and I are fortunate enough call friends, so we’ve watched this concept emerge, and I’m not joking when I say that this will be one of the coolest things tooling about on four wheels.

Even the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile is no match for the Bang Bang Coffee Show’s exuberant spectacle, homemade pie, and small-batch coffee.

Here’s a bit from Dave and Megan:

Restaurants fear food trucks because if the food is good, they create competition. Our food and coffee is amazing, so they should shake in their pants. Speaking of shake…Megan’s shaker lemon pie is to die for.

A food truck requires a smaller budget than a cafe or restaurant which is perfect, because with our word of mouth fund raising we’ve already almost raised what we need. We spent the last few weeks acquiring the truck and learning what it takes to run a food truck properly. Now we’re ready.

I can vouch for just how sweet the truck is already, and when they’re not circling their block looking for a legal place to park the thing, they’re working on hard on putting the finishing touches on it.

Can’t wait for Bang Bang to get on the road, so donate a few bucks and get some sweet deals in return. Personally, I might throw in $100 just so I can have a pie named after me.

BangBang Coffee Show coming to Logan Square

25 Apr

Can’t say much, other than the BangBang Coffee Show gots me all atwitter.

Hardscrabble Blend

19 Apr

Been drinking a blend lately so dark it stained the white plastic spoon I used to stir our French press. It might be our chosen brewing method, but the coffee is gritty, grimy almost. The grounds in the bottom of the mug like factory sludge at the bottom of the Chicago River. Yellowing our teeth quicker than cigarettes.

Fitting then, that the coffee is called Hardscrabble Blend, roasted by Bridgeport Coffee Company, from the eponymous Chicago neighborhood, which is shaped like the state of Missouri. Tucked back off Hwy 90/94, it isn’t known for much other than its proximity to the White Sox stadium. But, like everything in a large city, things weren’t always so. Bridgeport used to be known as Hardscrabble, which itself is a term that’s fallen out of usage but which carried certain connotations:

“Our community, Bridgeport, was Chicago’s first slum. A grim place refered to as Hardscrabble. Hardscrabble was a word in the early 1800s that implied poverty. This early community was inhabited by Irish immigrants (shovelmen) who built the Illinois and Michigan Canal. They worked for whiskey and a dollar a day. This hearty vienna roasted blend is a tribute to them.”

I rarely prefer dark roasts to light, but this one is perfect for this week, when winter takes parting shots at us like a retreating villain.