Friday, May 12, 2006


a beautiful piece in the nytimes today

"the coffee industry is dominated by families like the coltens. [former scaa prez steve] and his father, justin, have more than 100 years of coffee tasting and trading experience.

both coltens are board of trade certified coffee graders - a highly sought credential. to be considered, an applicant must be recommended by members already certified by the board, have five years of experience in coffee tasting, and pass a comprehensive coffee exam that is given once every two years.

only 10 percent of the people who take the test pass. the coltens take coffee grading so seriously that they always use the same silver spoon.

justin colten has had his spoon for 50 years. steve was given his spoon in the will of justin's coffee mentor when he died in 1987.

'your cupping spoon becomes part of you,' steve colten said. 'like in any craft, like a glove for a baseball player, this is the tool of your craft.' "

what a beautiful article today in the times about the coffee exchange. the times understands the beautiful family traditions that make the professional cupping trade so special, and it also captures the passion coffeepeople have for the bean even on the commercial level.

of course, long-time readers know all about steve colten's cupping spoons -- i've written about them before (and here). and you will remember that i myself have a prized silver cupping spoon. . .

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