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October Coffee Discoverings by Mark Prince
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MarkPrince
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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2007, 1:00am
Subject: October Coffee Discoverings by Mark Prince
 

October Coffee Discoverings
by Mark Prince

Eveyrthing from hand grinders and cool espresso cups to the potential "Coffee of the Year" (no, it's not Esmeralda!) is covered in this edition of Coffee at the Moment. Mark also asks you how you feel about trade show and barista competition coverage on the website.
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hopkin
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Posted Wed Nov 7, 2007, 4:25am
Subject: Re: October Coffee Discoverings by Mark Prince
 

The trade show reports are seriously boring, because the trade shows and competitions themselves are also seriously boring.  unless you're in the industry, its a yawn, and those reports do take a lot of time and energy.  Liz did a great job of reporting on what was honestly the most dismal trade show floor I've ever walked on.  By contras, it made the previous Vancouver show, which was small and disorganised, look exciting.  The competition saved the event, big time.  Ok rant over.

Now what is interesting is the coffee (love the Beloya)...  and those cups, they look really cute, but did I miss how big they measured?  Its too bad the set seems like a style variety pack, it would be nice to be able to order a set of 4 in one style.  Actually I'd much rather have to have a set in plain white.

 
Alistair Durie
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CIV
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Posted Wed Nov 7, 2007, 4:46am
Subject: Re: October Coffee Discoverings by Mark Prince
 

Hello Mark P.:

Nice article, lovely photos.
Congratulations. =-)

With respect to your new espresso cups by Francis! Francis!, I have to say that I fully agree.
They are really very pretty and the well rounded inner bowl is welcome change from the usual designs.

Being as thick as they are, I'm quite convinced that they can keep warm much longer although I have to wonder about their having to weigh so much and not have a handle to hold them, keeping the tips of your fingers from getting scalded or at least uncomfortably warm.

As an architect with some (just a little) background in industrial design, the problem I see with these cups is that it seems to me (some may not agree) that the saucer, in all it's uniqueness (ie.: absolute flatness), totally fails to do the job a saucer is supposed to do for the cup sitting on it: this flat design fails to keep the spills from the cup from going anywhere but within the saucer and not your new shirt, trousers, the rug, etc.

I mean, if your pulse can't keep surgeon steady (the most probable scenario) as you serve your newest conquest the perfect cup of espresso you've been blabbing about all night and end up staining that lovely raw silk mini she has on, you'll never get that lay you've been working on so hard.

In any case, the fact that it won't hold a spoon in place as you serve it to your guests (granted, I could use a special flat spoon and not my aunt's sterling silver coffee spoons) make these cups sort of hard to use, to say the least.

As to the reports, I'd vote to keep the SCAA and skip the rest.

Just my $0.02 ...

Best regards,

CIV
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MarkPrince
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Posted Wed Nov 7, 2007, 5:05am
Subject: Re: October Coffee Discoverings by Mark Prince
 

hopkin Said:

Now what is interesting is the coffee (love the Beloya)...  and those cups, they look really cute, but did I miss how big they measured?  Its too bad the set seems like a style variety pack, it would be nice to be able to order a set of 4 in one style.  Actually I'd much rather have to have a set in plain white.

Posted November 7, 2007 link

Just measured them now - to the rim, they hold 60mls. I can bring one next time I visit the shop.

I'm wondering if Meitterteich may release these as plain white cups down the road.

The bottom of the cups have a grooved lip and dimple (matching in reverse the inlay in the saucer), so they're pretty easy to hold.

Mark

 
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MatthewBrinski
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Posted Wed Nov 7, 2007, 5:50am
Subject: Re: October Coffee Discoverings by Mark Prince
 

Just a quick note to say that I appreciate these "Coffee at the Moment" articles. I hope you keep them coming on a regular basis. I really dig the effort in suggesting current coffee offerings which you find are worthwhile ... especially coffees that are not Esmeralda or other common industry stars. Also, I tried that grinder about ten months ago (got a hold of it after discovering it in an outdoor store), and I tossed it. I appreciated the concept, but as you conveyed, it has way too much play. I didn't find it acceptable for even a press brew. I chopped and modded a Zass for "travel" ... not the best, but the end product is better.

PS - You should keep using the "discoverings" word and trademark it before Starbucks does :p.

Matthew Brinski

 
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The_Mighty_Bean
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Posted Wed Nov 7, 2007, 8:20am
Subject: Re: October Coffee Discoverings by Mark Prince
 

I agree as to the Coffee at the moment articles. So often we get extremely involved in discussing the technical aspects of coffee and forget about the bottom line, which is taste!  I want to hear about beans and blends that are rockingthe worlds of people with lots of experience in the industry. That's the kind of stuff I want to  buy and try at home.

That's why I also think you need to keep covering barista competitions, but with an eye to things we readers can use-- tell us about all the creative signature drinks. Maybe create a list of those that do not feature a 1500 dollar nitrogen-enhanced nuclear centrifuge in their production and (okay okay I really do respect el-bulli style culinary creativity, it just seems like there may be a little too much emphasis lately in using exotic ingredients and whizbang techniques, rather than focusing on flavors that could be reproduced with ease at a good specialty cafe to the delight of many consumers)

anyway that was a big digression, I apologize. Please do tell us about the creative whizbang drinks, but more importantly, how about featuring a sig drink recipe per week that is simple enough for us to try making at home? Hey, profile the creative barista along with their drink- a moment of true coffeegeek celebrity! If there's something outstanding that I can't make at home, tell me if there's a coffeehouse serving it, so that I can stop in, my next time in that city.

So yes, do cover the competitions and trade shows to tell us about the newest exciting products, emerging preparation techniques and creative flavor combinations.  A little coverage of the baristas themselves is nice, but don't go overboard there, I don't need 10 photos of somebody I don't know performing a tamp.  Now if they are doing something new and different that I could try on my own, and learn from, then go ahead and put up a 15 second video clip or some pics.


And if there are products  or topics  that scream "industry" rather than "consumer", maybe segregate those articles into a separate section of the site.

Also, how about some more articles on coffeeshops in different locales? And microroastery reviews.

My .02.

~tMb
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zuppa
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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2007, 11:52am
Subject: Re: October Coffee Discoverings by Mark Prince
 

Yo Mark,
Trade Show coverage is Ok as long as it doesn't go beyond Win, Place and Show. Further details are most likely appreciated by those deeply involved.

Best regards,
Tony
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MarshallF
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Posted Fri Nov 9, 2007, 1:12pm
Subject: Re: October Coffee Discoverings by Mark Prince
 

"October Coffee Discoverings." Does this mean Borat is your new editor? :-)

Liked the new cups!

Marshall
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MarkPrince
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Posted Fri Nov 9, 2007, 2:25pm
Subject: Re: October Coffee Discoverings by Mark Prince
 

MarshallF Said:

"October Coffee Discoverings." Does this mean Borat is your new editor? :-)

Posted November 9, 2007 link

Yak she mesh!

Mark

 
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Dayglow
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Posted Fri Nov 9, 2007, 6:01pm
Subject: Re: October Coffee Discoverings by Mark Prince
 

On the topic of trade shows and other such events, I rather like reading about events I can not attend. Granted the subject matter is not the most enthusing of possible coffee topics it does help keep everyone up to speed with what events are focusing on, how they are structured, etc. For those looking to set up an event these reviews can give insight into the short comings of events and the pitfalls to avoid. If a columnist were going to an event on their own and wanted to write about it  then grand, but if the money and time  spent on sending folks to events could be spent better elsewhere I would not be broken to tears if the event reviews stopped coming. If something has to hit the chopping block so that other article topics can receive more focus and attention you have to do what you have to do.

Dan
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