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Fourth Wave Coffee Shop Opens

(Portland, Oregon USA) A new coffee shop opens today in Southeast Portland billing itself as the first Fourth Wave coffee shop in the world, pioneering a new model in retail coffee. The new store, called The Cupping Room, attempts to recreate the environment of a cupping contest by offering coffee only in sample form. Customers are allowed to purchase a cupping spoon and slurp and spit a variety of seasonal coffees. “Most third wave coffee shops pride themselves in their limited offerings, the best refusing cream and sugar,” Elliot Frenton, The Cupping Rooms manager said. “We wanted to take it to the next level and offer our coffees as they are supposed to be experience, on the cupping table.” Elliot went on to explain, “Great coffee shouldn’t be consumed, it should only be tasted.”

The new model represents a culmination of efforts by industry professionals who, for a long time, looked down on the consuming pubic. “Customers don’t really know how to properly enjoy coffee,” one expert explained. “Its up to us to educate them.”

The new store will feature an array of coffee samples from around the world, emphasizing natural processed coffees in micro-lots of 1 bag or less. Customers are provided spit cups and those who choose to swallow their samples will be held in contempt and ridiculed just as soon as they leave the store. The store will also feature music from reel to reel tapes since vinyl is so over.

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Mortar and Pestle named official grinder supplier for World Barista Championships

(Los Angeles, CA) Organizers from the Barista Guild announced today that the Mortar and Pestle will be the official grinder for this years World Barista’s Championship. “We wanted to emphasize the hand in handcrafted espresso beverages and thought what better way to do this than doing away with mechanized grinding equipment,” Nicholas Gramby, head of product procurement for the Barista Guild, said.

The decision recognizes the general movement within the industry of late, eschewing technologically advanced equipment in favor of simpler devices that focus more attention on the preparer than the misdirected focus on the product. “Customers want a show, Nicholas explained, “they could never hope to have the sophisticated taste and knowledge of a skilled barista but this way we can educate them about terroir and processing methods.”

It is hoped that the addition of the mortar and pestle into Third Wave coffee bars will help slow the line times down another 3 to 5 minutes, allowing baristas to more fully develop their coffee lectures to eager, uninformed customers. “Currently, our line times are averaging around 15 minutes, that’s just not long enough to fully explain to the customer where their coffee is coming from,” one barista said.

While it is too early yet to judge the potential success of the new model, many high end coffee bars are already adopting the mortar and pestle along with the return of propane-fired, piston-lever espresso machines, and finally, finally, ridding the stores of condiment bars. “We want customers to fully appreciate the coffee as we intended it,” a spokesperson said. “Plus, they really make a mess over there.”

Asked about any concerns about how the longer times may affect customer loyalty, Nicholas was quick to point out that they are already at work on a model that eliminates the customer altogether. One concept being promoted would include stadium seating in lieu of a cusomer queue so that Baristas can practice their craft without customer interuption. “We’re very excited about this new model, I mean, customers are just such a hassle”

“Just think of what we could do without them!”

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Half Crack Roasters ditches roaster, roasting

(Chicago, IL.)  Half Crack Roasters, darlings of the Specialty Coffee industry since their inception two weeks ago and named Roaster of the Year by Roastergeek Magazine, announced today that they are ditching their roasters and will only serve cold brew coffee from green beans. “Despite pioneering the method of roasting to just before first crack, we realized that even this is too far.” Samuel Tillings, former Roastmaster said. “Any roasting destroys the true flavors of coffee,”

“You can’t taste origin.”

Tillings, a long time presence in regional barista competitions, further explained that any heat applied to the bean, including brewing, destroys the subtle, nuanced flavors of seasonal coffee. “Cold brewing preserves the terroir.”  Equally important, Tillings elaborated, is that the water not be too cold so as to not “shock” the bean. Water is carefully maintained at room temperature.

Additionally, Half Crack has removed grinders as the friction from the burrs contributed to the loss of flavor. Each cup contains a micro-lot of one bean. “More than one bean muddles its unique character.”

A recent public cupping was halted temporarily when twelve year old Phillip Ingersol blurted out, “It’s just water!” An awkward hush descended on the crowd as he was quickly escorted from the room.

“It takes a refined, experienced palette to fully appreciate the nuanced seasonal characteristics of micro-lot coffee,” Tillings said as he nervously adjusted his vest.

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