The confusion of expensive coffee

Price is the best-known shortcut for quality. Pay more, get better stuff. Speciality coffee has long battled pricing, for the most part, fearful of putting people off for something that tastes more delicious. For years we’d been cautious of appearing too expensive, running a bare few percentage points more expensive than the global chain competitors…. Continue reading

Video Q&A Volume 1

I don’t post every video I make on this blog, but this one seemed relevant. It’s a bit of an experiment at this stage, but it felt like a fun way to do a Q&A. This round used questions taken from Twitter, and I have a few questions from Facebook (I haven’t forgotten, those who asked things!) to make up the next one. Perhaps I’ll do a Youtube one, or a Reddit one for r/coffee and obviously one from the contact form on here. (All of this presumes that people like the format/the video – so do please let me know your thoughts)

Topics covered:

  • Speciality Pods and Instant
  • Saturation in the coffee market
  • Cupping for Espresso
  • Will roasters buy coffee farms?
  • Automation in Roasting
  • Simplicity vs Selections in Cafes

Coffee Jobs Board Update

Work continues apace at Coffee Jobs Board, and I thought I’d post a quick summary of what’s going on with four key new features: Training Directory For baristas or other coffee professionals looking for places to learn, we now have a directory of businesses and training schools that offer training, courses, certifications and classes. Click… Continue reading

Survey Results: Consumer Vs Industry

I went into this survey to test a hypothesis: the industry buys coffee in a different way than its consumers. No one would be particularly shocked by this, but I wanted to just scratch the surface on this and then think a little about the particular implications. In total the survey received about 1,200 responses…. Continue reading

Your current bag of coffee

I’m hoping that you’ll take 2 minutes to answer the questions on this survey. It’s a survey about the last bag of coffee you bought, the bag you’re drinking at home right now. As always, the results will be public on here after it closes, but I don’t want to say too much more for… Continue reading

Quick Hack: Getting Rid of Static

I made a quick video about getting rid of static when you’re grinding coffee. I hope you try it and like it, but I do want to talk quickly about attribution of ideas.

I think it is important to try and attribute ideas whenever you’re sharing someone else’s work, eve if you feel you’re adding or innovating on top of it. In this case, I attributed to the person I’d learned it from (jepy) without realising that this is a well-known technique dating back to 2005 and alt.coffee – the newsgroup that so many interesting ideas in coffee came from! I learned this when someone shared a Home Barista post I somehow missed, created back in 2012.

It’s a nice reminder that most new ideas are old ideas (I think this is going to prove painfully true in the next phase of speciality coffee worldwide – that’s for an upcoming post though) and that it doesn’t hurt to try a little harder when researching where things come from. Thanks to all who quickly corrected me, and shared the RDT (Ross Droplet Techniques) origins. (Though I have to say I prefer the spoon handle method of adding water over adding droplets directly to the beans…)

Enjoy the video!

Coffee isn’t cool

It’s easy to let an idea take root in your thinking. It feels, for a moment, insightful and perhaps even useful. What happens then is most likely a case of confirmation bias – you begin to see things that confirm your idea, that support and strength your particular insight. In my case, it is the… Continue reading