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Behind the scenes at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Are you interested in plants? The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew aren’t just a tourist attraction -- they also run one of the world's leading botanical research institutes. To show off how important and fascinating modern plant science can be, they've commissioned a series of snazzy short videos to showcase their work. Start with the award-winning Forgotten Home of Coffee (6:00) (based on this worrying Kew study from 2012), then come back for the rest. [more inside]
posted by rollick on Dec 17, 2014 - 12 comments

The Australian answer to the latte: the flat white

“I was in London on business in the fall of 2013 when an Australian colleague brought me to a coffee place at Canary Wharf,” says Jason Fox, the global head of product, technology, and program management at Reuters News Agency. “She ordered something called a ‘flat white,’ and I had no idea what it was, but she raved about it, and I got one too. I was hooked.” ("Meet the Flat White, the Coffee Drink Taking the U.S. by Storm", Bon Appétit)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 9, 2014 - 143 comments

Ceteris Paribus

Physicists Explain Why Coffee Is More Prone to Spills Than Beer.
posted by stinkfoot on Nov 18, 2014 - 50 comments

Ladies and Gentlemen: Power Coffee

"I am seldom considered liberal, but happily so when regarding the quantity of healthy fat in my coffee. " [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 17, 2014 - 75 comments

Lattes...in...spaaaaaace!

SPACE.com has reported that a prototype of the ISSpresso, an espresso machine heading to the International Space Station (ISS) next year, was recently displayed at the 65th International Astronautical Congress 2014. [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets on Oct 3, 2014 - 10 comments

There is a Starbucks inside the CIA

Welcome to the “Stealthy Starbucks,” as a few officers affectionately call it. Or "Store Number 1," as the receipts cryptically say.
posted by gauche on Sep 28, 2014 - 73 comments

Have a Guinness (Latte) when you're tired

Starbucks Is Testing a Drink That Tastes Like Guinness (Without the Alcohol) by Samantha Grossman (@sam_grossman), Time magazine:
The new drink, called the Dark Barrel Latte, is being tested at select locations across Ohio and Florida, Grubstreet reports. It doesn't contain any alcohol, but it supposedly contains the dark, toasty, malty flavors of Guinness. A BuzzFeed writer who got his hands on one in Columbus confirmed that it really does taste like stout. Several customers who've tweeted about the drink agree that it tastes like Guinness — but the jury's still out on whether or not that’s actually a good thing.

When I asked a colleague who was born and raised in Dublin (Guinness's birthplace) how he felt about all this, he responded first with this GIF. Then, as he mulled it over a bit more, he added, "Holy hell. Worst." Then he posed a question: "American Guinness already doesn't taste like Guinness. So what will this taste like?" Then he barfed all over me and my stupid American ignorance.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 23, 2014 - 170 comments

Ice Cream without the screaming

Nigella Lawson's Coffee Ice Cream: 4 ingredients. 1 step. No cooking. No churning. One of Food52's Genius Recipes.
posted by Room 641-A on Aug 19, 2014 - 76 comments

You'll pourover these instructions, and be hard pressed for better ones!

Coffee Science: How to Make the Best Pourover Coffee at Home
"Most of the roasted coffee bean, about two thirds of the bean's mass, is insoluble cellulose. The other third is dissolvable in water. Of that soluble third, most of it is the good stuff, particularly various organic acids and sugars. The rest are longer-chain molecules that we associate with astringent and bitter tastes. Where we find the happy balance is at the 19-20% point, that is, if you extract the first 19-20% of the mass of the coffee, we tend to find the best flavor balance. More than that and you'll find those astringent and bitter flavors start to dominate. Less than that and you'll find the resulting flavors thin and unbalanced, and with lighter roasted coffees, unusually sour. Timing really is what makes or breaks your coffee brew."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 5, 2014 - 97 comments

Service with a Smile

On being a barista in San Francisco: But I had set up a trap for myself. By smiling this hard all the time, by acting so very whimsical, I could not easily reveal any part of my true and at that time rather angry self.
posted by MoonOrb on Jun 12, 2014 - 64 comments

Analysis of extracted coffee by gas chromatography

Schrödinger’s water for the perfect cup of coffee
posted by pjern on May 30, 2014 - 26 comments

maybe this could've gone in my last post

Ever thought about making ramen in your hotel's coffee maker? Well, this lady cooks everything in her coffee maker (also available in svenska). [more inside]
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Apr 30, 2014 - 35 comments

Coffee and its Effects on Feature Creep

In 2004, Roy Rapoport set out to write a simple chatbot to help get the development team's coffee orders straight. What he ended up with was a bank. (via)
posted by jenkinsEar on Mar 18, 2014 - 23 comments

“as both Pierre Bourdieu and latte orders have taught me…”

As it turned out, when I started working in Brooklyn, the most difficult to serve were the ones who wanted—or expected, really—for you to be cool, or at least receptive to a certain projection of hip-and-coolness. It was nice, at first, to have a job that let me swear and show my tattoos, but the pleasure of that freedom waned somewhat when most of my interactions became about the "fucks" and body modifications. If I had a quarter for every time I showed off my expensive liberal arts degree, holding up my end of a conversation about New York’s small presses or the most recent issue of The New Yorker, my tips certainly would have been better.
Molly Osberg: Inside the Barista Class
posted by RogerB on Mar 12, 2014 - 195 comments

Your New Coffee Overlord

Green Mountain plans to launch "Keurig 2.0" this fall, a new set of machines that will only interact with Green-Mountain-approved pods. For a corporation, a lease is always going to be more attractive than a sale. If they can turn owners into users, they will.
posted by latkes on Mar 10, 2014 - 178 comments

'After all, great inventions, he says, “always require a little luck.”'

The Invention Of The AeroPress
There’s really nothing bad to say about the device other than the fact that it’s a funny-looking plastic thingy. Then again, its inventor, Stanford professor Alan Adler, is a world renowned inventor of funny-looking plastic thingies; while Adler’s Palo Alto based company Aerobie is best known today for its coffee makers, the firm rose to prominence in the 1980s for its world-record-setting flying discs. This is the story of how Adler and Aerobie dispelled the notion of industry-specific limitations and found immense success in two disparate industries: toys and coffee.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 7, 2014 - 95 comments

"In which you may a Scholar be, for spending of a Penny..."

"For centuries, coffee was used as a conversation stimulant. But in the present-day U.S., it functions primarily as productivity booster." In London, in Prague, Paris, Cairo, coffeeshops were the place to gain information and to discuss it. Taverns and saloons have had their historical role as well, especially as a place where people from all walks of life could mingle and share ideas. "Crucially, these are also semi-public spaces that can deliver a measure of privacy, a place where it’s easy to congregate yet hard for authorities to monitor." In America in the internet age, however, coffeeshops are where we work and bars are...well, not where we go to talk, anyway, if the decibel levels are any indication. Where then are we to foment our revolutions? Begin our art movements? Or dissect our dolphins? [more inside]
posted by theweasel on Feb 11, 2014 - 32 comments

I'd like a dumb grande wuppy duppy latte, extra hot, please

On Friday, a Starbucks opened in Los Feliz, Los Angeles. There is something a bit "weirdly off-kilter" about this location according to one customer. In particular, everything there, including the store name has the word "dumb" in front. The store is claiming parody-based fair use exemptions to intellectual property law, and so far, the (non-dumb) Starbucks appears not to have responded. In case you want to pick what you want before hand, their menu of dumb drinks is posted on Twitter.
posted by saeculorum on Feb 9, 2014 - 152 comments

Toast is therapeutic

How did toast become the latest artisanal food craze? Comfort, coffee, coconuts and grapefruit.
posted by hawthorne on Jan 14, 2014 - 155 comments

Hobbits would only drink ales since lagers are not found on Middle-earth

So, you want to eat like a hobbit do you? The big old dragon of Middle-Earth recipes is the charmingly retro 'Middle-Earth Recipes' (now with a more modern and photo-friendly blog version ) from which NPR's Beth Accomando has complied an all-day feasting menu suitable for marathon watching (or reading) assorted Lord Of The Rings media while Recipewise sticks to foods served by Bilbo in The Hobbit itself and explains the Victorian convention of high vs. low tea. (Author Diane Duane's own Hobbit-inspired recipe, Took Family Seed Cake can be made with poppy rather than caraway seed if that's your thing) Need something to do while digesting? Why not read about the history and meaning of the rural comfort food in Tolkien at Strange Horizons " Well Stocked Larders: Food And Diet Of Hobbits" by Stephanie Green.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 15, 2013 - 45 comments

Replace at least one soda a day with a cup of coffee

The bad news? Inflammatory dietary pattern is linked to depression among women. The good news: Drinking two-four cups of caffeinated coffee a day reduces the risk of suicide for adults by about half.
posted by stoneweaver on Nov 8, 2013 - 184 comments

The best time for your coffee

"If you are drinking your morning coffee at 8 AM, is that really the best time? The circadian rhythm of cortisol production would suggest not."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Nov 4, 2013 - 90 comments

Life is mostly froth and bubble

If regular coffee bores you and you are looking for something more with your caffeine boost in the morning, you should probably look no further than Kohei Matsuno's unique style of 3D coffee art (via)
posted by hardcode on Oct 29, 2013 - 11 comments

Jake Fried: Hand-Drawn Experimental Animations

Down Into Nothing | Jake Fried. 2013. Hand-drawn animation with ink, gouache, white-out and coffee (previously)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 14, 2013 - 3 comments

Dr. Bunsen's Experiment

A comprehensive, double blind, experimental approach to making the best cup of coffee.
posted by hydrobatidae on Oct 11, 2013 - 63 comments

Quid Novi? and A Refill, Please

London’s coffee craze began in 1652 when Pasqua Rosée, the Greek servant of a coffee-loving British Levant merchant, opened London’s first coffeehouse (or rather, coffee shack) against the stone wall of St Michael’s churchyard in a labyrinth of alleys off Cornhill. Coffee was a smash hit; within a couple of years, Pasqua was selling over 600 dishes of coffee a day to the horror of the local tavern keepers. For anyone who’s ever tried seventeenth-century style coffee, this can come as something of a shock — unless, that is, you like your brew “black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love”, as an old Turkish proverb recommends, and shot through with grit.
posted by barnacles on Sep 10, 2013 - 66 comments

In search of the perfect cup of coffee at home

"We were roommates, Marine infantry officers, perpetually sleep-deprived from the training, the planning, the preparations for war. Back then coffee was little more than a bitter, caffeine-delivery system. It was just what we needed to stay awake. We were missing so much." And so begins the story of two former marines and their quest for the perfect cup of coffee. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 25, 2013 - 60 comments

15 ways to waste your day online with Tim Holman

tholman.com is the playground and folio of interactive developer Tim Holman, where he has posted 15 different projects, both interactive (fizzy cam [info/demo]; ZenPen; Texter; and Image Nodes) and passive (Meet the Ipsums, more than 30 text generators, from corporate to batman; the useless web; dripping paint). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 7, 2013 - 8 comments

A barista in Osaka is wowing Twitter

A café worker in Osaka produces detailed coffee cup sculptures using milk and a toothpick at Twitter. Some more images, and a video.
posted by Schroder on Aug 1, 2013 - 24 comments

Sketch comedy made by men. Or whatever.

"Don't forget the cream" a video by the LA comedy troupe (and twitter masterclass) Women. Warning: many Women sketches are NSFW and almost none include actual women, or anyone else.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jul 30, 2013 - 13 comments

A journey across the highly caffeinated globe.

Can You Name These Cities by Their Starbucks Locations? (Single link Slate quiz)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 24, 2013 - 45 comments

oh, yeah, but uh do you have some coffee?

You and Your Fucking Coffee is a web series about a man who politely asks for coffee, and in doing so, ends up destroying the lives of those around him. From Henry Phillips, host of Henry's Kitchen (previously)
posted by rebent on Jun 18, 2013 - 23 comments

It's good to be the king.

On June 6th, 2013, Mel Brooks will be presented with the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award, but this post is about his Tomato and Onion Omelette. Bon Appétit talks cooking, coffee, and career with Mel Brooks, Omelette King.
posted by Room 641-A on May 19, 2013 - 23 comments

"Coffee ... is still just roasted beans and water"

Coffee Power To The People - "There are three young men in the Netherlands who want to take the barista, whom they see as a part-TEDx presenter, part-birthday magician, out of the equation. They want people to make their own coffee, and to make coffee they can be proud of."
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 16, 2013 - 62 comments

WHY'D YOU PUT THE COFFEE ON THE TABLE!

Got 15 seconds? Then you can watch an animation of Serj Tankian ordering coffee at a Starbucks. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Apr 10, 2013 - 27 comments

By this time next year, coffee will no longer work.

The Secretary of Agriculture stepped forward with a big briefcase. "Sir, I’ve spent years working to develop a synthetic coffee substitute for just such an emergency." He pulled out a big test tube filled with liquid. "This little concoction is the answer. It’s just as good as real coffee."
The room was silent.
"It’s orange," said the President.
"Yes. That can’t be changed."
"Does it have any other shortcomings?"
"It has been known to cause occasional... body-death."
The room was silent.
"But it tastes like coffee?" the President finally asked.
"Moderately so."
Everyone in the room nodded solemnly. It would have to be.

The Day Coffee Stopped Working, by John Bailey Owen.
posted by davidjmcgee on Apr 10, 2013 - 65 comments

The Price of Beans.

Himileia Vastatrix, colloquially known as Roya or coffee rust, outbreaks are occurring at a frightening pace in Central America. Coffee futures and associated prices for specialty coffees, especially from small family-run farms are expected to rise, drastically, on top of a lower estimated harvest. [more inside]
posted by furnace.heart on Feb 12, 2013 - 16 comments

Nespresso vs Espresso

Can individual human flair and creativity be bettered by the mass-produced and mechanised?
posted by travellingincognito on Jan 10, 2013 - 145 comments

Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality

Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality [FULL TEXT HTML]: "We used data from a very large study, the National Institutes of Health (NIH)–AARP Diet and Health Study (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00340015), to determine whether coffee consumption is associated with total or cause-specific mortality. The current analysis, involving more than 400,000 participants and 52,000 deaths, had ample power to detect even modest associations and allowed for subgroup analyses according to important baseline factors, including the presence or absence of adiposity and diabetes, as well as cigarette-smoking status." [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 25, 2012 - 85 comments

Drinking Black Coffee Drinking Black Coffee

U.S. Champion Barista Katie Carguilo shares her secrets on making the perfect cup of Joe
posted by Renoroc on Nov 13, 2012 - 129 comments

Totnes: the town that declared war on Costa Coffee

"Like a lot of locals, he says that one of his big fears is Costa serving notice that Totnes is ready to be colonised, and sparking the arrival of Caffe Nero, Subway and all the rest." A town declares war on Costa Coffee.
posted by DarlingBri on Aug 17, 2012 - 58 comments

Nothing is withheld from us...

Two things about working in coffee shops. First, don't assume everyone else in there is a hipster. Second, don't assume that the elderly person who befriends you is a crazy old man telling tall tales. Else you may miss out on the meeting experience of a lifetime.
posted by Wordshore on Aug 8, 2012 - 71 comments

I do not advise you to do as I have done. Any modifications will most likely void any warranty.

Like coffee? Maybe even looking to buy a home-roaster? Not enough, you say? Check out the Hot Rod Home Coffee Roasters of those that have gone beyond. [more inside]
posted by brappi on Aug 5, 2012 - 14 comments

Folgers

Coffees, a new short by actor/writer/director Alex Beh. The 2 main same characters appeared in a kind of a sequel, called Babe. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on May 26, 2012 - 3 comments

"Coffee comes in five descending stages: Coffee, Java, Jamoke, Joe, and Carbon Remover."

The Steampunk (Alpha Dominche): A Curious Coffee Contrapulation: "With just a few quick taps on the touch screen, the barista customizes the STEAMPUNK brewing process to optimize the flavor of each beverage. The anticipation then begins. The customer is treated to a dazzling theatrical presentation as the STEAMPUNK’s gleaming glass crucibles fill with swirling steam. The barista then places the ground coffee on the piston and plunges it into the crucible. The grinds whirl and dance as they’re agitated and aerated by the millions of tiny bubbles. At the barista’s command, the liquid coffee is pulled by vacuum through a specially designed ultrafine photo-milled metal filter, and the dark brown elixir streams gracefully into the awaiting cup." [Via] [Alpha Dominche]
posted by Fizz on Apr 7, 2012 - 56 comments

The interesting story of Good African Coffee

"Trade, not aid:" the interesting story of Good African Coffee. [slnyt]
posted by killdevil on Apr 7, 2012 - 6 comments

The Iced Coffee Economy

Why iced coffee costs so much more than the hot stuff.
posted by reenum on Mar 23, 2012 - 82 comments

Hep

London coffee bars of the 1950s (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 29, 2012 - 63 comments

Is it organic?

Have a cup of coffee with David Lynch.
posted by vrakatar on Dec 9, 2011 - 30 comments

Coffee Jerks

Husbands, tell us how you really feel about the coffee. (SLYT, 0:53) The jerk store called, and they're running out of coffee drinkers.
posted by Greg Nog on Sep 2, 2011 - 100 comments

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