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."
"Frequencies is an experiment. The experiment is simple: Ask scholars, writers, and artists what they think of when they think of the word spirituality.
So began a project that's now 71 entries strong. Every weekday, Frequencies features scholars and artists on such topics as Burning Man
, Philip K. Dick
, companion animals
, and Dr. Oz
. [more inside]
If you're in London these days and are serious about your coffee, then you'll know what a Flat White
is. It is part of the emerging coffee scene
in London, host of 2010's World Barista Championship
and home of last year's winner - Gwilym Davies
. Here's a guide
from London's TimeOut to the city's best coffee shops, many of them staffed by antipodean baristas.
Predictably, Starbucks in the UK wants a piece of the action
Amazon.com dropped a bombshell on the publishing industry
with the announcement on Friday that they will no longer allow print on demand
books printed by vendors other than Amazon, to be sold directly by Amazon. In other words, use our print services or lose your listing on our site. This decision effects over half a million books listed on their site and could be a defining moment for both publishing and the future of online retailing. [more inside]
The Starbucks reinvention. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Howard Schultz announces thorough overhaul, unveils
new espresso maker as replacement for oft-criticized Verismo machines. Yet some observers insist
that the Mastrena solution, which puts a premium on consistency, will come up with low marks in quality and taste.
Would you like a latte while I print that up for you?
The Espresso Book Machine
) that was in the New York Public Library
has just moved to the Northshire Bookstore
in Vermont. The beta versions of this portable book-making machine are pumping out paperbacks around a book a minute at the Open Content Alliance, The Library of Alexandria, The New Orleans Public Library, and the University of Alberta. The mass produced commercial version of the machine is scheduled to roll off the assembly line within the year and will be priced between $50,000 and $20,000. Combined with one of these
, publishing as we know it may never be the same. [more inside]
Will 2003 Be The Year Of Real Espresso In America?
With the wealth of good machines
, fresh coffee beans
and online knowledge
, not to mention tempting offers like Illy's subscription
(though the pods turn out expensive in the end, it allows absolute beginners to make acceptable espresso) it's surprising Starbucks-style coffee (big, milky, watery and sweet) hasn't yet been dethroned by the pleasure of straight espresso (tiny, thick, creamy and intense), preferably restretto
. I should add that, despite many efforts over the years, I've never had a decent cup of espresso in America. In fact, outside Southern Europe. What gives?
A Seattle group is pressing for a tax on espresso.
And recently they've collected the 17,000 signatures
necessary to put the issue on the ballot. I'll be the first to mark myself out as a raving anti-taxation loony, but I generally accept things such as the income tax as a necessary evil given our current governmental structure. What annoys me about initiatives like this, however, is the selectiveness of it -- with an income tax, everyone pays proportionately. When you go taxing espresso, you're making some random group that you arbitrarily select pay for something they may not have any concern for. This is a step beyond sin-taxing, in that there is usually a link, however tenuous, between the tax and what it is meant to pay for. Is there any logical connection here?