Saturday, May 28, 2005
u.s.a. sends first new delegation to i.c.o.
"now that we have rejoined the international coffee organization, I hope the united states will be able to take an active role in returning that kind of stability and security to coffee farmers throughout the world."
reading this article today proved that at least one member of congress gets it. long-time readers will recall that the importance of the u.s.a. rejoining the i.c.o. was a particular hobbyhorse of mine for quite a while.
the coffee crisis is a multi-national, multi-dimensional problem that has to be attacked simultaneously on all its levels -- with the farmers (oxfam, coffeekids and the coffee corps); with the governments (usaid); with the markets (nybot and hedge funds); and with consumers, greenies, and brownies (the scaa, scae, and other coffee trade groups) promoting consumption -- and the u.s.a. needed to be a bigger part of the solution.
rejoining will help make that happen, it's as simple as that.
speaking of joining, those wacky folks at meetup.com sent me a whole bunch of cards and flyers for the nyc coffee meetup group. so i guess i'm gonna start handing these puppies around. . .
and of course it's the appropriate moment to note the existence of portafilter, a place more people might like to visit anon! another new site of note: yogascope, the new home of the awesome carl "everything's better upside down" horowitz!
Friday, May 27, 2005
regional coffee culture, part xxxx
naturally, as a skirt who worships seattle's most awesome fire-playa tonx -- are there jades who don't? -- i'm going to have to comment here on the whole wi-fi issue.
of course, my "instant" answer is that coffeehouses are the premier social spaces in western civilization, as proven both by history -- lloyd's of london, the green dragon, yada yada yada -- and contemporary experience.
so i understand where victrola is coming from; but the reality may be that the 'net has altered the terrain of "social space" a tad.
victrola is also just an awesome, airy physical-talk space: i certainly had the most fantastic chat with tonx there in april during scaa conference. actually, i may still be suffering tonx-withdrawal. . .as are all who visited during conference. . .
my "long" answer as an it-chick is that "free" wi-fi should be limited to the coming victrola portal. the famous "end of free" happened long ago.
also reference the classic "tragedy of the commons," which this situation somewhat resembles. . .
let 'em surf you only for nuttin'; full wi-fi 'net access should require login thru a code given on the receipt, which i think is a common and easily implementable solution.
now, let's get back to talking about the coffee, as tonx suggests. um, tonx, darling, please send us some coffee so we can do just that!
Thursday, May 26, 2005
get ready for the june coffee meetup!
that's right -- thanks to kenny nye's generosity, the upcoming june 8 nyc coffee meetup will be held at his 9th st. espresso at 7pm. he's opening just for us so we can sample his latest blend.
i know while i was in london there was a little confusion about the may meetup, for which i'm most sorry. i just couldn't log in remotely for some reason and meetup isn't the greatest with tech support.
but it's all better now, and i have a home roaster from the fabulous jim p. of 1st line to offer as a door prize. thanks for your continuing support of the scaa consumer member program for all this time, jim.
run on over and r.s.v.p. can't wait to see you all again so soon!
while i was talking to kenny yesterday, he and i discussed tamper bases. devoted readers know i'm very happy with both my flat-base reg barber and my new lightly curved-base from kenny's own espressocraft line.
kenny and i talked for a long time about the differences between the two, and we both came to the conclusion: whether on ms. silvia or my carlos expobar, i'm currently thinking that the light curve is giving me slightly better coffee. . .he finds the same thing on the commercial machines in his shop, as well!
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
regional coffee culture, part xxxix
"coffee houses were overtaking pubs as a meeting place for people during the day. . ."
is the u.k. returning to its coffee-drinking roots after all this time? will the british abandon the classic pubs, most of which are now operated by larger brewers and which appear to be falling into a numbing sameness, to rediscover the passion and individuality of the coffeehouse?
today's article provides a small nugget for thought, should the trend continue. . .
in other news, i have my hands on the new sleater-kinney disc, which i've just given a first listen. and i like it!
if you're a sleater-kinney fan already, or tend to move in the sonic youth/p.j. harvey vein, you'll like "the woods." if not, then you'll find the cd boring and retro.
i have to say that the drumming does shine out on this effort, and in that regard i do agree with this review. but then i am perhaps the last living who fan under like, 90. . .
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
keep 'em coming!
"first there's your real home, then your workplace, then your favorite coffeehouse," she said. "it should be relaxing and quiet and serve a great-tasting, high-quality coffee."
i completely agree with this woman; this is exactly the kind of passion every coffeshop owner should have.
but what she lacks, as the article makes clear, is an understanding of what quality coffee really is. i have nothing against lavazza per se, but is it fresh?
this is the question she needs to be asking herself: high-quality coffee also has to be absolutely fresh coffee. will one of the many coffee pros who i'm honored to have read this page please contact her and turn her on to some beautiful, fresh coffee?
also, since rob was delayed in getting back to me, please keep those ideas a-comin' for scaa charlotte 2006! i want to give everyone a chance to contribute here.
Monday, May 23, 2005
email me with your ideas for scaa charlotte 2006
just got a note from rob stephen, who's head of the scaa conference committee this year. he's interested in what we consumer members might like to see for our track in 2006. remember, the scaa isn't made of money, so we probably will only get some of what we want.
however, i would like to collect as many diverse and creative fun suggestions as possible. remember we need to appeal to a broad range of people, including newbies and drip drinkers.
rob's gonna call me later this afternoon and would like to see a written list. so post your ideas here pronto tonto and i'll pass em all along!
sorry for the short notice.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
elegant geisha, redux
"panama's little-known geishas are slender, exotic and seductive, and they flourish in the cool mountain air of its western highlands. one expert was so taken with them that he says he levitated slightly after his encounter with them."
long-time readers will recall that our very own awesome altie and scaa consumer member jim schulman has written about these before here.
but today's article is quite nice as well, no?
i myself will strive towards elegance by dashing off to my usual yoga class -- the pizza is rising. yuppers, dear readers, it's back to normal here at bccy. . .