Tag Archives: specialty coffee

S2 Episode 12: Developing Latte Art & Perfecting Espresso

Ep12 Cover Art

Making coffee is as much an art as it is a science. As with any culinary endeavor, the amount of time and energy you put into the ingredients, the preparation, the creation, and the presentation of a cup of coffee or espresso, the better the end product will be. The ingredients of a cup of coffee start at the farm where coffee beans are grown and continues through the processing, storing, and roasting.

As I discussed last episode, any one misstep in this enormous supply chain will leave you with a sour, bitter cup of coffee. But there’s more to it than just ingredients – preparation plays a huge role as well. If a perfect batch of roasted beans makes it into the hands of an untrained or careless barista, you won’t get the variety of flavors and complexity in your end product. Finally, there’s presentation to be considered. As much as I’d like to tell you that the environment and atmosphere where you drink your coffee, together with how the coffee itself looks, doesn’t impact taste, I’d be lying. There’s a reason why high-quality filet mignon isn’t served in a styrofoam carryout box and fine wine doesn’t arrive at your table in a red solo cup. We human beings care a great deal about how something looks – and we make judgement calls about how food and drink tastes before it ever touches our lips.

In 1988 Espresso Vivace opened. Its founder is an overqualified eclectic scientist named David Schomer. Schomer’s path to coffee is as winding as they come – he spent four years in the U.S. Air Force, training in electronic calibration and repair, then a stint as a metrologist (the science of measurement) at the Boeing Class A Standards Lab. For a time he was the Canvas Coordinator for Greenpeace NW, and he holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology and a BFA in Flute Performance from the Cornish College of the Arts. In short, he’s both an artist, and a scientist.

 

This episode of The Boise Coffee Podcast is brought to you by WMF Coffee Machines. WMF is the leading international manufacturer of fully automatic commercial coffee machines, and they’re proudly made in Germany. Whether you’re looking for a simple office machine, or robust professional barista-grade equipment, WMF has what you’re looking for. Visit wmf-coffeemachines.uk.com to find out more.

Colin

Check out David Schomer’s 2014 TEDx talk here.

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S2 Episode 11: Coffee Production

S2 E11 Cover

Before coffee is brewed and ground, before it is roasted, sold, or traded, and before it’s processed and picked, it must first be grown. Coffee, like most commodities, is a plant. At one time it was wild, and now it’s cultivated. In previous episodes I’ve covered the history of coffee, showing that individual people were key to coffee’s spread through Africa to Europe and eventually to the Americas. The historical narrative of coffee from the time of African legends to the time of Starbucks may seem like a relatively straight trajectory, but it’s actually not. There were people ahead of their time who saw coffee for being more than simply a way to get a caffeine buzz. There were people who jumped history and made a name for themselves in coffee long before Dunkin Donuts graced the city streets of the East.

In this episode I talk about coffee production. The episode is divided in two sections. In the first section, I use the story of early specialty coffee pioneers as a lens through which to view the importance of production. In the second section I discuss coffee production, and how a bean gets from the soil to your cup.

Sources for this episode include The World Atlas of Coffee and this Smithsonian Magazine article. Thanks for listening!

Colin

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S2 Episode 10: Crema.co ft. Emily McIntyre

S2 Episode 10 Cover Art

Emily McIntyreThis week on The Boise Coffee Podcast I’m joined by fellow coffee fanatic, and founder/coffee director at Crema.co, Emily McIntyre. Emily and I originally connected over Twitter and after talking with her I was intrigued by her company. In this episode we discuss how she got started in coffee, the future of coffee subscription services, the need for coffee education, and how Emily thinks Crema.co addresses these issues.

If you’d like to get in touch with the Crema.co team, shoot them an email here.

 

Check out their awesome Hario v60 brew method video (as mentioned in the episode).

Thanks for listening!
Colin