The Turning Point I Feared

I had high hopes for London. You might claim they come from a place of misguided optimism, and I’d probably struggle to argue with you. The city and much of the UK seems to be at an inflexion point of coffee industry culture. I rarely talk about Square Mile Coffee Roasters on here but, in this… Continue reading

Coffee Jobs Update: New Features & Pay Transparency

We’ve rolled out a few new features on Coffee Jobs Board this month. I want to talk about where we are going with it, because I hope it will be something valuable and useful. There’s been a lot of talk about pay, transparency and gender in coffee. I’m interested in providing useful benchmarking for people… Continue reading

The Spreadsheet That Lies to You

If you’ve started a business, or have thought about starting a business, then you’ve probably created a very specific spreadsheet. It’s the one that tells you how much profit you’re going to make. It is, I suspect, lying to you. If you’ve started already then chances are you’ve worked out that your spreadsheet lied, and… Continue reading

2016 in review

I quite enjoy writing these end of year posts. They’re more fun than the predictions posts I used to make in the past, sort of… Words written on the blog: 15,575 (2016) Vs 18,376 (2015) I wasn’t surprised that I wrote less this year. I actually posted more often, but there were a bunch of shorter… Continue reading

The insight of pâté

Ordering the pâté in a restaurant is an interesting thing to me. It tells me a lot about a chef and the empathy within the business. This has nothing to do with ingredients or preparation. It has to do with toast. All too often I get to the last few bites of the dish, and more often… Continue reading

Video: My book tour in China

While I’ve been playing around learning to make videos over the last few months, I haven’t really posted them here. I thought sharing this one would be fun. I spent 5 days in China (I’m currently in Japan, heading to Auckland tomorrow) and it was a pretty intense experience. Getting to share the book like this (I hadn’t really done much touring to promote it) makes me want to do more stuff like this. I am scheming for the start of next year…

The video is really just supposed to be a bit of fun, and perhaps a vague answer for people who want to know exactly what it is I do for a living…

Is coffee getting cheaper?

The historical data for coffee pricing causes me some headaches. The C-Market price for coffee is currently about $1.55 per lb. Looking at historical data, you can see that in February 1982 the price of coffee was $1.28 per lb. So, in the simplest terms, you might see coffee as being more expensive now. The… Continue reading

Liability in Coffee

The coffee industry is unusual. Over the years, for a variety of reasons, the supplier/customer relationships between roasters and cafes (and also consultants and cafes) has grown deeper and deeper. The root of this depth was, for a long time, control. Creating a dependent relationship, where the cafe needed the supplier for everything from product,… Continue reading

Coffee is a dead end job

Coffee is a dead end job, but it doesn’t have to be. The boom in speciality coffee has created a crisis in employment in many parts of the world, but it has also created an opportunity that we must grasp if we want both growth and lasting success for the industry. Recording interviews for the… Continue reading