Coffee Tech

Tell Market – The best way to find new coffee is in an iPhone app

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 7.59.36 PMSpecialty coffee has an intrinsic problem. The best coffee is often from local, small batch roasters who get their beans from small farms in unknown corners around the globe. The issue is that terms like “small” and “local” don’t translate well to having a large advertising budget. And while hipsters might love the idea of drinking coffee before it’s been discovered by people on the other side of the country, it doesn’t give these roasters the kind of attention they deserve for putting out a great product.

There is no shortage of coffee services that deliver quality beans straight to your front door. For a long time, my favorite service has been Tonx (now partnered with Blue Bottle). These days, nearly every specialty coffee roaster has some service that allows you to get fresh beans delivered weekly, bi-weekly, or whenever you feel like it.

The problem with these services is that you are always getting beans from the same company – which may not be an actual problem if you really really like that roaster. However, this poses a dilemma for people like me that want to try coffee from everywhere, not just one roaster. Variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?

If, for example, a roaster from California wants to get their beans to a consumer from New York, how might they do that? They could take out an ad in Facebook, become active on Twitter and try to amass followers from NY, or they could simply put up their online marketplace and hope for the best. The truth is, there is no centralized location for smaller roasters to become discovered by people not in their local community. Or, at least, there hasn’t been one until now.

Enter Tell Market – a centralized marketplace for the everyday joe to find products from local companies from across the United States (they promise international expansion forthcoming). The best part? Tell market is an app (iOS link), which means access from anywhere, anytime.

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Tell Market isn’t just for coffee – though that is a particular focus of theirs right now. They have all kinds of categories from Fashion & Art to Hot Sauce. The thing that sets Tell Market apart from other online marketplaces is two-fold.

  1. Companies use short-form videos to communicate with their consumers about their company and individual products. For example, if you find a type of coffee that you are interested in, the accompanying video (usually 30 seconds to 2 minutes long) is from a barista telling you why this coffee is great for home brewing, and what methods they prefer to use to brew that particular bean or blend. It’s amazing.
  2. Tell Market includes coffee shops and roasters (as well as merchants in their other categories) that are local to their community, and not very well known otherwise. You can bet that you’re getting coffee from a company that cares deeply about their product. The best part? You can actually speak to the company directly from the app using an integrated chat. That way, you can have any questions answered before you place your order.

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I just ordered a Guatemalan Hunapu from Dark Horse Coffee Roasters out of San Diego. I will write a follow-up post about my experience with the delivery and communication integration in the app, so stay tuned!

The Coffee Guy

To download Tell Market for your iPhone or iPad, click here.

This alarm clock/coffee brewer combo is a reminder that coffee is still the best way to wake up in the morning.

When Coldplay’s Viva la Vida came out, I loved the title song. I loved it so much, in fact, that I decided it would be a great idea to wake up to it every morning. After about a month, I hated Viva la Vida. I still jolt into a post-sleep scare whenever my ears pick up the now haunting intro strings. Surely there has to be a better way to wake up.

Designer Josh Renouf has been making news in a big way over the last week because of his newest creation: the Barisieur.

IMG_0427_2The Barisieur is an alarm clock and coffee brewer. It eases the user into the day with the subtle movement of stainless steel ballbearings that boil the water through induction heating, accompanied by the smell of freshly brewed coffee. It encourages a ritual before going to sleep, signalling to the body and mind that it is time to unwind and relax. Living slow even when times are fast.

The Barisieur looks exactly like what I would want an alarm-clock-turned-automagic-coffee maker to look. Sleek. Sexy. Like it belongs in George Jetson’s home if he moved to Portland, Oregon and wore flannel scarves to work every day.

The method behind the Barisieur is fairly simple: you load up the coffee contraption before heading to bed, then set the alarm. When you wake up, a piping hot cup of freshly brewed pour-over coffee is ready for you. The setup even includes a milk container and a drawer for grounds and sugar.


I’m not sure I’d ever purchase the Barisieur, mainly because I enjoy the full ritual of brewing coffee too much. That said, I certainly approve of the form-factor and the heart behind this invention. Even if I did want one, unfortunately they aren’t for sale – yet. Renouf’s website says that when it launches, the Barisieur will retail for between $250-$420. Quite a price spread for something that may end up ruining your bed sheets if you’re inclined to an early morning arm stretch.

Keep your eyes peeled and your wallets waiting if you want the Barisieur when it comes out. My sincere hope is that this never turns into someone’s Viva la Vida.

Until it debuts, why not pick up an Aeropress for 1/8th of the price?

The Coffee Guy

BoiseCoffee featured in Coffee Lovers Mag!

Issue9-CoverThe fine folks over at Coffee Lovers Mag have featured my New Orleans Coffee Crawl in their 9th issue! This free-to-try iPad/iPhone magazine is a great way to explore what’s going on in the coffee community, and I am humbled to be a part of the September issue. Please download it and share with friends!

(iTunes link to download)

The Coffee Guy