"We speak 30 different languages, but we all speak coffee." This week, the RGE working group sits down at the first ever RGE camp to tell the story of how the group came to be, how camp came together ("we're roasters, we don't know how to organise stuff"), share ideas and options for the future (including unification), as well as ask and answer questions with the help of the audience. We have a question, though - how many Scandiavians are too many Scandinavans?
As the specialty coffee industry grows and matures, we’re seeing more and more career paths open up, but none so much as that of “event organiser.” This week, Steve chats with one of our favourite event organisers - one half of Manchester’s Cup North dream-team duo, Hannah Davies – about the recently completed London Coffee Festival, building of a community beyond the industry, and the labour of love that is running specialty coffee events. Along the way, Steve digs himself into a pretty big hole (sorry, everyone!) and Hannah has some wise but hopeful words about the future of the global barista community.
CoffeeMind's Morten Munchow is no stranger to cramming as much information into his time on the Tamper Tantrum stage - you may remember his presentation from CoLab: Paris - but this time, we think he's outdone himself! Presenting his ongoing research into the business models of coffee roasteries, Morten gives us a primer in business models, both traditional and lean, before jumping into insights of the research's interim analysis. By mapping business data and demographic elements, business models, pivot points, and risk aversion of the primary founder, CoffeeMind are finding some interesting (and unexpected) correlations between business size and dynamic ability within the market. You'll definitely want to grab a pencil and notebook for this one!
Morten Munchow, founder of CoffeeMind, is a man of many hats: as trainer, consultant, and researcher, Morten can be found at the University of Copenhagen, where he is an external lecturer in the department of food science, at the London School of Coffee, where he has taught coffee roasting since 2007, or hard at work with the SCAE Education and Research committees, where he developed SCAE’s roasting certification system.
Morten has conducted research on cappuccino foam chemistry, processing methods, starter cultures, sensory science, roasting defects, behavioural economics of consumer preferences, and roast degree preferences. He has also regularly consulted with a variety of different sized roasteries around the world, from South Africa to South Korea and Iceland to Kuwait and many more in between.
How is it April already?! We’ve kicked off this week with another update from the field with Ale Martinez from Finca Argentina - where they’re making bokashi whilst the sun shines in preparation for the approaching rainy season - before diving right into an interview with this week’s guest: 2017 Swedish Barista Champ and The Barista League’s own mastermind, Steve Moloney. A former event organiser and production manager in Australia, Steve has come full circle after moving to Sweden and getting into coffee – together with Jenn, they discuss the current state of competition, the birth of The Barista League, event-organiser pet-peeves, and the value of independent events.
Born out of a desire to find the right roaster for her new business, Talor Browne set about putting together a methodical way to move beyond the typical reasons for purchasing a particular machine in order to find the one that best suited her new business: one coffee, six roasts, four roasters, 24 profiles, 95 participants, and 2300 hand-packed samples. Her presentation at the first ever RGE Camp last year outlines the method, hypothesis, and results of the one week experiment – ending with a cupping of all 24 samples and live results from the attendees at RGE Camp!
Talor Browne is a roaster, barista, writer, Q grader and pastry chef. Founder of Talor&Jørgen and Fryd, she is originally from Australia but currently living in Oslo.
No. 76 packs a heck of a lot into the space of an hour, and it’s partially down to Colin’s tangent-led line of questioning, but mostly down to our guest this week - Berlin’s own Cory Andreen – and his lengthy cv. Originally from the specialty coffee nexus of a Murky-fied Washington DC, Cory’s been at the centre of the specialty coffee scene in his adopted home ever since he started Café CK in 2009 straight through to today, with his newest ventures, Brewbox (nitro coffee) and Motel (beer), and his role as the director of the Berlin Coffee Festival. As Colin and Cory trace his moves across Berlin over the years, the cover everything from the city itself – and how filter coffee’s reputation has yo-yo’ed over the years – to the growth of the community and the consistent perceived dichotomy of quality vs. convenience.
Cory is cool in the way few people are – fantastic dj, killer dancefloor moves, world champion cup taster – but he’s also sharp, down to earth, and highly insightful. Definitely an episode not to miss!
Whilst we all acknowledge the importance of ergonomics when it comes to the kind of physical labour that roasting requires, it’s rarely our focus when it comes to the day-to-day work of the roastery—and with a relatively young workforce, we often overlook the impact of the work we do until irreparable damage has been done. Joining us from the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, professional ergonomics Richard Graveling kicked off our afternoon lectures at the first ever Roaster Guild of Europe Camp with a much-needed look at the importance of being mindful.
Starting with a high-level look at the scope of “ergonomics” and a few of the musculoskeletal disorders common to lifting sacks of coffee, Richard then offers some ideas for ways to lift (“give it a cuddle!”) and equipment solutions in the roastery preventatively.
Richard Graveling | Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors
Richard is a professional ergonomist (Chartered Ergonomist and Human Factors Expert) and previous President of what is now the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors. He has over 35 years experience as an ergonomist and has worked in industries as diverse as coal mining and salmon farming; helping to assess risks and develop solutions to reduce those risks.
Although he has worked in many parts of the food and drink sector (based in Scotland the whisky industry is a particular favourite) his main exposure to coffee has been as a consumer, although he has advised a local coffee company on ergonomics issues – knowledge that will be worked into his talk.
Outside work he is involved with a local theatre group, enjoys rugby, gardening, seeing the great Scottish outdoors, and spending time with his family (and cat).
This week, Colin & Steve reunite for a very, um, candid podcast featuring their signature rambles through topics far and wide—growth, delegation, debates, books, staffing, transitions, learning curves, things and old new. This one properly runs the gamut!
Along the way, they announce speakers for our Sideline event with The Barista League: Gothenburg, “Cracking Certifications”, discuss the importance of planning for growth, introduce a new feature to the podcast, featuring Ale Martinez of Finca Argentina, and start thinking about what this year’s competition season will bring!
Sadly, this week marks the last instalment of 2016 Manchester Coffee Fest’s “The Business of Brewing”. As Sam Tawil (Bold St) and Claire Wallace (Brew Lab) join the panel of Tim Bosworth (Hoxton North), Pete Gibson (Grindsmith), and Alison Bell (BLK Coffee Heaton), the conversation turns more to the idea of “northern nuance” – what is different about running a coffee business in “the north”? Together, they examine the roles that food, space, staff, and service all play in building a successful coffee business, coming to the conclusion that whilst it is harder and harder to be perceived as “unique”, there are actually lots of little ways to differentiate your business from others’. Moreover, that even if they were given the opportunity to change something fundamental about their business when it was first getting off the ground, that maybe things progressed just as they should have.
Exciting news! We'll be returning to Cup North's Manchester Coffee Festival this year, taking place at Victoria Warehouse the first weekend in November. Find more details on the Tamper Tantrum program here, or better yet, head straight to the source for more information!
No. 74 is here and, guess what! Steve isn’t just talking to himself this week—Jenn’s managed to wrangle her way back onto the podcast only to accidentally lead the conversation down an unanticipated path. Obviously certification is a hot topic right now – we’ve announced an event with The Barista League in Gothenburg this March on that very subject – but this definitely wasn’t meant to turn into the newly written “Trusted Trade” manifesto, a dissection of coffee buying narratives, or a laundry list of transparency report frustrations. Ooops?
This week, we return to Manchester with our second instalment of “The Business of Brewing”, featuring Timothy Bosworth (Hoxton North), Peter Gibson (Grindsmiths), and Alison Bell (BLK Coffee Heaton), each of whom have had very different experiences opening their own shops. From setting up pre-trend outside of London (Tim) to opening doors at the height of the trend (Alison) and from semi-permanent premises to brick-and-mortar shops (Pete), these three guests showcase vast differences in approach to build a specialty coffee business in the UK. Together, they consider how their initial business plan and model has changed since they first opened their doors, why just saying “yes” and figuring out “how” afterwards can lead to bigger and better things, the invaluable contribution of family and community support, how to roll with disappointments, the importance of letting some things go, and why “customer service” needs to be replaced with “customer engagement” if we want to maintain successful businesses.
This time of the year is always full of origin travel for green buyers, and Steve’s diary is no different—he’s just completed a two week jaunt to El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Most will be familiar with the impact of leaf rust in Central America, but new pressures—significantly popular demand for particular varietals—stand to impact production and coffee quality long term. Like all of these origin monologues so far, the rough goes with the smooth—whilst there are good things happening in every corner, there are also a lot of red flags to heed as we enter a critical juncture for the future of specialty coffee.
TT NYC: Debate - “Barista Competitions Are Dead” | Colin Harmon, Matt Perger vs. Stephen Leighton, Jenn Rugolo
Another week, another Tamper Tantrum first: Nick Cho brought some structure to Colin & Steve’s bickering at the end of our day in New York by moderating a full-on debate on the subject of barista competitions. Colin & Matt Perger argue for the motion “barista competitions are dead”; Steve and Jenn, against. Stakes are high as both sides try to win the audience over and avoid embarrassment: the losing side has to read real-life yelp reviews in their best non-native accent.
What do you think? Are barista competitions dead?
Surprisingly, despite recording podcasts since 2009, No. 72 is a Tamper Tantrum first: coffee celebs in cars! Or, rather, Steve recording and reminiscing with 2012 World Barista Champion Raul Rodas whilst they’re drive back to Guatemala City. Chatting with the (over-)familiarity of old friends, Steve & Raul revisit Raul’s road to World Barista Champ—how he got into coffee, motivations for competing, taking a year off—as well as the opportunities afforded to the champs and how they’ve influenced the development of Paradigma Coffee Roasters.
TT NYC: “The Biggest Problem in Specialty Coffee (and it’s not what you think)” | Nick Cho (Wrecking Ball Coffee, San Francisco)
Last, but most decidedly not least, to the stage in New York was our guest host, long-time twitter friend (/adversary), and fellow podcaster, Nick Cho of Wrecking Ball Coffee. With near-trademark provocativeness, Nick tackles what he feels is “the biggest problem in specialty coffee today”—and no, it’s not actually climate change. Our biggest problem, according to Nick, is that we’re simply not very good at what we do. As he breaks this idea down in order to build a solution, Nick makes some astute observations about the current state of our industry and asks some big questions about what we need to do (and whether or not it’s even possible) for us to move forwards from our current position.
Nick founded murky coffee in Washington DC in 2002, which emerged as one of the pioneering third-wave cafes on the east coast, winning barista competitions and recognition around the specialty coffee industry. In 2011, he and his wife Trish Rothgeb co-founded Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters in San Francisco, where they work and reside.
Nick has served as a director on the Barista Guild of America’s Executive Council, on the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Board of Directors, on the World Barista Championship Board of Directors, and as the chairman of the United States Barista Championship. He was also the 2006 South East Regional Barista Champion and has served on the SCAA Standards Committee. He also created the World Brewers Cup competition in 2011.
Nick has been a guest lecturer at the University of California Berkeley, Dartmouth College, University of California Davis, and a speaker at various events around the world including SCAA/Re:co Symposium. He started the Portafilter Podcast in 2005, and is proudly Tamper Tantrum Podcast's 42nd biggest fan.
We’re kicking off this year’s podcast series with a monologue: Kenya believe it? Recorded from a balcony overlooking the Aberdare national park on the last day of a week-long, Steve recounts what he and his traveling companions—roasters Roland (HasBean) and Simon (3FE)—have seen during their visits to eight co-ops, dry mills, and washing stations. Despite witnessing some exciting ingenuity and inspiring farming techniques, there’s still a disheartening and all-too-familiar downward trend when it comes to overall yields.
In “Beyond Quality”, Colleen Anunu asks us to rethink what matters to the future of specialty coffee and shares her personal answer: ensuring coffee is profitable in the long run, reducing the negative social and environmental impacts, and engaging with other actors in the coffee value chain. Whilst these may sound fairly straightforward, Colleen explains how our current mythologizing of the industry—amongst other things—is getting in the way of us having a real conversation about what it means for coffee producers to profit and sustain. Colleen’s talk ends with some positive steps we can take to not only facilitate these conversations, but build a better, stronger industry together—a perfect way to kick off 2017.
Colleen Anunu specializes in market access strategies for coffee producers and roasters, emphasizing shared value, gender equity and farmer-first community development. As the Sr. Manager of Coffee Supply for Fair Trade USA Colleen focuses on strategic initiatives related to Fair Trade social premium investments and impact evaluation. Colleen has a masters degree in International Development from Cornell University, where her research focused on gender-inclusive smallholder participation in high-value coffee markets. Colleen has a professional background in coffee procurement, roasting and quality control, and is an Assistant Q Grader Instructor and is on the SCAA Board of Directors. She lives in Montréal, QC.
It’s time for the second annual Tampies! In an all-time first, the Tamper Tantrum Trio appear on the podcast all together to review the outgoing year and hand out some prestigious awards, including the much coveted “James Hoffmann of the Year” award.
We could give you a preview of things to come in this space like we usually do, but let’s be honest—it’s Boxing Day over here and we’d much rather be watching the football. Besides—it’d ruin all of the delightful quirky surprises that occur when you put Colin, Jenn, and Steve all together to try and have an organsied chat. Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!
After a quick detour into the business of brewing, we’re diving back into bias—but from a completely different perspective. The morning presentations by Meister, Michelle Johnson, and Jenn Chen in New York introduced us to the effect of bias on the industry as people, influencing our career paths, who we hire as employees, how we treat our customers (and how they treat us), the places in which we choose to operate, and the impact on all of the communities we touch as an industry. This week’s video, presented by none-other than Tamper Tantrum Live veteran Matt Perger, examines how bias affects the other primary part of the coffee industry: our product.
“Lemon Juice”, in true Perger fashion, doles out some much-needed tough love in an incredibly approachable way, all whilst looking at how cognitive bias affects everything from our equipment choice to our roasting style. This is, as Matt suggested, truly a look at “five ways to push past your inner Dunning-Kruger”—and a great impetus to think about what we can do to improve coffee quality in the coming years. New Year’s resolution, anyone?
Everything Matt does is focused on consistency, accuracy and deliciousness. People around the world know him as the Barista who popularised using the EK43 grinder for espresso, sieved coffee grinds for uniform particle size in the WBrC and designed his own tamper (amongst other things).
He's the World Brewers Cup Champion for 2012, and has placed 2nd (2013) and 3rd (2011) in the World Barista Championships. In 2014, he was the Coffee in Good Spirits World Champion.
Matt is a partner at Sensory Lab in Melbourne Australia where he come up with new and exciting ideas to make coffee better. Barista Hustle is where he shares everything he's learnt so far, interacting with the Barista community and exploring the cutting edge of our craft.
We guess you could say we’re on a bit of a story-telling kick--this week’s podcast was recorded live as a panel discussion at the release of “This Beautiful Addiction”, documentary series by Jason Breckenridge, at Prufrock Coffee in London. Edited into twelve ten-minute episodes, “This Beautiful Addiction” documents national and world level competition baristas, judges, and coaches across four competition seasons, providing a truly fascinating look back at what has (and hasn’t) changed since filming first began.
Here, Steve chats with filmmaker Jason and two familiar faces on the UKBC competition scene: many-times UKBC finalist Dale Harris, and former coach (/current judge) Jeremy Challender, both of whom were involved in the filming of “This Beautiful Addiction” over the years. Together, they consider both how the story has been told, how it might be received, and how it could have been told differently to achieve different ends.
It’s been an incredibly busy autumn here at TT HQ and, as we’re wrapping up all of our 2016 events, it’s been exciting to get all of the video footage back and revisit some of the new things we did this year. This week, we’re taking quick detour and jumping about a month ahead (and about 3334 miles east) to Steve & Colin’s introduction of our program at the Manchester Coffee Festival, “The Business of Brewing”—a program built both on a little bit of nostalgia for old-school Tamper Tantrum live videocasts and a desire to dig into the business of running a specialty coffee shop. Featuring a rather handy introduction to the business model map, this little intro introduces a great tool to assess a current business or design a new one.
We may be right in the middle of our little micro-series on “The Coffee Man”, but the film's online release isn’t the only thing happening this week—the form for entry into Third Wave Wichteln’s international coffee exchange closes on December 1st! We’ve been watching the Wichteln since it first started in 2013 and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to start this week’s episode with a quick chat with one of the architects of the swap, Markus Reuter, before this year’s exchange officially kicks off.
After we say goodbye to Markus, we jump right back into our little micro-series. Our last episode featured Jeff and Roland from Jeraff.tv about what it was like to film, create, and release “The Coffee Man”, a documentary that inadvertently followed Sasa Sestic on his journey to becoming a World Barista Champion in Seattle, but this week, Steve is joined by the coffee man himself. Together, they chat about Sasa’s move to Australia, his introduction to coffee and subsequent career, and competitiveness. Also: Hide’s cumulative awesomeness, what it was like to be in front of the camera, excellent analogies, the promise of a table tennis throw-down.
As we wound down the morning talks from our New York event, Steve and Colin passed the reins to Nick Cho to lead an open discussion with Meister, Colleen Anunu, Michelle Johnson, Jenn Chen, and Colin, winding together the threads of the morning into some larger—and incredibly important—areas of focus. Together, they unpack defensiveness, ask (and answer) why it’s important to apply these concepts to the coffee industry specifically, dig into the role that specialty coffee plays in gentrification, question the coffee shop as community centre, and revisit the purpose of codes of conduct.
Pencils out, folks, and fingers on the pause button: there aren’t any equations or numbers for you to catch here, just incredible and highly important insights that could use a little bit of introspection from the rest of us.
This week, we’re kicking off the mini-est of mini-series on the recently released documentary film about 2015 World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic, titled “The Coffee Man”—chances are you’ve seen some promo for the film if not actually attended one of the 180 screenings that have happened so far in 37 countries. As it’s about to make its online debut at the end of this month, we wanted to chat with both Sasa and Jeraff about their experiences making the film and bringing it to audiences.
Episode 67—otherwise known as part one, we guess—features Australian documentary filmmakers Jeraff, Jeff Hann and Roland Fraval, chatting about telling stories, intent, authenticity, and getting to know the competitive coffee world.
If New York was all about diversity and bias tackled from a variety of different angles, Jenn Chen’s talk, “Get Woke on Power”, was an important primer in the massively complex topic of power and power dynamics, which underscore every interpersonal interaction we have on a daily basis, for better or for worse. Using shared, anonymised stories about how power dynamics have affected the tellers’ coffee careers, Jenn has identified three main areas of potential difficulty in navigating the use and possible abuse of power in the daily life of coffee professionals living and working in consuming countries.
Misusing power doesn’t just lead to decreased emotional well-being—it impacts the physical and financial well-being of those working in coffee, too. Jenn’s talk is more than a call for awareness, it’s a call for action: whether it’s roasters considering the power producers have to control the stories being told about them to larger institutions stepping in to help take on employers who misuse employees, there is a never-ending list of areas in which we can “get woke” in regards to power.
Is it coincidence or a clever scheduling move on our part that No. 66—released the Monday before we return to Cup North’s Manchester Coffee Festival this weekend—features the most-watched speaker to come out of our first year there? We’ll let you decide. In any case, this week, Colin Harmon is joined by Ross Brown as they talk through the building of Browns of Brockley, the early days of London coffee scene, and why opening a coffee shop can sometimes be a terrible, messy, and cringe-y—although still wonderful—thing.
With her blogpost “The Black Cup of Excellence: Being Black in Specialty Coffee” from June of this year, Michelle Johnson moved the issues of race and diversity in the specialty coffee industry squarely to the fore and raised important points for us all to consider regardless of our role in the industry. Here, she provides some concrete and actionable solutions, both individually as well as ideologically, that we need to put into practice if we are to become a diverse, open, and sustainable industry.
Again, this one is for everyone to watch: even if you think you’re already doing good work in this direction, it’s always possible to do more. Notebook and pencil recommended!
Michelle Johnson is a Phoenix-based independent coffee professional, community leader, and project director for the creative startup, Royal & Design (@royalanddesign). She's lived in Phoenix for three years, but is originally from the Washington, DC area, where she was exposed to specialty coffee through Counter Culture. Even though she's no longer behind the bar full-time, Michelle is active in her local coffee community, planning semi-monthly events with her partner-in-coffee, Braden. When Michelle is not doing something coffee-related, taking photos, managing her creative partners/friends, or traveling, she's sleeping because she's doing at least one of those things when she's awake. Champagne is her 2016 drink of choice. Drake is her king. You can read her thoughts on being a Black woman in specialty coffee and other random things over at thechocolatebarista.com.
Hello and welcome to the 65th episode of the Tamper Tantrum podcast! This week, Steve is joined by Jenn to talk through their experience as production partner of the afternoon lectures at the first-ever Roaster Guild of Europe camp in Parnu, Estonia. Wrapped in alongside with sneak-previews of upcoming video releases, Steve and Jenn also chat rumours, unification, feuds, and what’s happening next!
Two weeks ago, we ran our first-ever US event at Taylor St. Barista’s Madison Avenue shop in New York and, today, we are super excited to release our first video of our opening speaker: the incredibly inspiring Meister. Described by Nick Cho as “a secular sermon”, there was no better way to kick off a day about understanding bias and creating a more diverse industry than with Meister’s look at what it means to be ambitious in coffee. Although it holds gems for both employees and employers working in coffee alike, Meister’s thoughts on ambition and management ring true to all non-traditional industries and endeavours.
This, like all of the talks from NY, should be saved on one of your devices somewhere indefinitely and referred to whenever you start to question why you’re doing what you’re doing. We spent a few months with this talk as Meister was preparing it, and we still glean something new from it every time we listen.
Photograph by Brian W. Jones from DCILY for Tamper Tantrum NYC.
Oh, look—it’s Tamper Tantrum Episode 64! Steve and Colin recap all things New York: the incredible speakers who took to the stage, their presentations, and of course, their shenanigans outside of the event. Naturally, as do most episodes recorded without supervision, this podcast includes bullying Jenn—repeatedly— as well as consistently inconsistent swerving into the incredibly tangential realm of golf and football, some real audio gems, and general hilarity.
This week, we say “tot ziens” to our time with Barista Guild of Europe at CoLab: Antwerp this past April: that’s right, it’s the afternoon discussion featuring Dr. Marco Wellinger, Emma Sage, and Stephen Morrissey! The topics cover everything from why the internet is dangerous (but also awesome) to new research opportunities opening up as a result of the SCAA/SCAE Unification, with more in between: the cyclical nature of trends, crowd-sourcing data, whether or not you can try to meet multiple needs, why we need to start promoting variety, cultural differences in coffee service and approach, and the importance of an open mind.
Many thanks to our incredible speakers, the attendees of CoLab: Antwerp, and of course, the Barista Guild of Europe. Next stop: New York!
We may be one week out from our American debut (Sunday, September 25th at Taylor St. Baristas on Madison Ave! Be there, or be trapezoid!), but it’s no time to slack on the podcast. This week, we’re on No. 63 and Steve is joined by former guest, fellow HasBeaner, SCAE Board Member, and long-time friend, Dale Harris. Aside from a smattering of (somewhat inappropriate) inside jokes, they incidentally (and, as it would seem, accidentally) take on some of the bigger questions and conundrums facing the specialty industry today: how we underestimate large chain businesses, the morality of equipment and wholesale pricing, the most effective way to make positive change in the industry, and the opportunities and challenges facing a unified specialty coffee organisation. Naturally, this doesn’t stop them from tackling their own personal history, too—including why Gwilym Davies is a hero, Dale’s questionable music selection, and Steve’s newest man-crush confession.
This week, we’re stepping back a bit and revisiting the morning speakers that joined us at Barista Guild of Europe’s CoLab: Antwerp this past April, when Charlotte Malaval, Rob Berghmans, and Talor Browne took to the stage to answer questions from the audience. The questions—and resulting discussions—focused on management (both self-management as well as employee management), expectations, and the lack of a one-size-fits-all solution for looking after both your people and yourself when it comes to the coffee industry. There are many ways in which we need to grow to become a “sustainable” industry, but it’s encouraging and inspiring to see that this discussion has continued beyond CoLab: Antwerp with an increased focus on asking ourselves searching questions not only on how we can improve coffee or coffee quality, but also ourselves in the process.
It’s No. 62 and all we can say is “no”—it turns out that putting Colinand Steve in the same room to record a podcast results in an abundance of puns,terrible accents, admissions of man-crushes, interjections of disbelief, andchats covering things here, there, and everywhere. Amidst the increasedsilliness, they wrap up on Steve’s bittersweet time in Bolivia, make a case fora yearly event to bring coffee folk together in Dublin, discuss the merits ofnewer roasting business models, Colin’s goal to gain a stone whilst he’s in NewYork (tweet @dublinbarista with your recommendations!), and dream about openinga tiny little shop in the south of France. Also: football banter, even thoughthey both readily admit that pretty much nobody in coffee likes football.Thanks, guys.
CoLab: Antwerp: “I’m a World Barista Champion and I don’t want to pay for your coffee” | Stephen Morrissey, SCAA
This week features the last speaker from our last collaboration with BGE this year at CoLab: Antwerp—the one and only Stephen Morrissey! Kicking off with a somewhat provocative title, “I’m a World Barista Champion and I don’t want to pay for your coffee”, Stephen’s talk is an engaging look at how our position within the industry impacts our perception of “good value” when it comes to coffee. Drawing on personal experience, Stephen’s talk is an incredibly honest—and humorous—reminder that we could all benefit to walk at least a mile in a consumer’s shoes before we try to sell them a transcendental coffee experience. We realise we’ve been bandying about the term “must watch” a bit recently—and we can only attribute this to the incredible speakers we’ve been lucky enough to bring on board—but we’re pretty sure you’ll not only benefit from but also enjoy having your eyes re-opened to what it’s like on the other side of the till.
Stephen Morrissey’s coffee career began in Rio Coffee Co. on Dublin’s Exchequer Street. He spent a few years training baristas and roasting at Bewley’s on Grafton St, while at the same time completing a degree in Music Composition at DIT. In 2008, Stephen moved to London to help open Square Mile Coffee Roasters and that year became the first Irish person to win the World Barista Championship in Copenhagen. This led to traveling the world visiting coffee farms, providing education on the merits of specialty coffee, and ultimately a new home in Chicago where Stephen began work at the renowned Intelligentsia Coffee. Over six years, his many duties involved overseeing the education department, store design, brand development, design, product development, events, marketing, and communications—skills that serve him well as Senior Creative Advisor for the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
Stephen has judged in national barista competitions spanning four continents and today serves on the Advisory Board for World Coffee Events, the governing body that produces events and competitions promoting specialty coffee. He is the inaugural chair of the Competitions Development Committee, a group charged with evolving the World Barista Championship format. Stephen was the co-founder of Coffee Common, a series of consumer-focussed educational events that originated at the TED conference in California. He lives in Chicago with his wife Jen, his son Gene, and their black lab Regis.
It’s Episode 61 and we’re switching things up! This week, Steve joins us for what might turn into a new feature—an update on his trip to Bolivia, recorded in the field. Inspired by Thompson Owen’s Sweet Maria’s coffee podcast and Steve’s own weekly In My Mug video cast, this week’s episode part history primer, part love letter, and part plea to keep Bolivian coffee alive--a must-listen for any coffee professional who aspires to go to origin. No. 61 ends with a (not so) quick interjection from Jenn with updates on Tamper Tantrum’s barrage of autumn events: New York City (September 25), Roaster Guild of Europe Camp afternoon lectures (October 6-8), and Cup North’s Manchester Coffee Festival (November 5-6). Have a listen and let us know if you’re a fan of the monologue!
One of the best things about Barista Guild of Europe’s CoLab: Antwerp programmingwas undoubtedly the Wednesday morning session with SCAA’s Science Manager, EmmaSage, who lead attendees through a taste-buds-on deep dive of the World CoffeeResearch Sensory Lexicon. Whilst technology hasn’t developed to the point wherewe can share sensorial experiences via the technowebs, we can share with youEmma’s introduction to World Coffee Research, the International Multi-LocationVariety Trial, and the sensory lexicon they’ve developed to be able to be ableto objectively measure—and thus improve—desirable coffee qualities in a worldof climate change and increasing disease.
World Coffee Research—and the important work they undertake—is atestament to the positive power of collaboration. We hope you are inspired byEmma’s talk to continue to collaborate, whether at events like BGE’s CoLab orwithin the new unified specialty coffee organisation!
Emma Sage is theScience Manager at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), whereshe promotes research, acts as the primary liaison between science andindustry, and serves as a scientific interpreter for coffee professionals. Inthis position, she has also investigated a variety of scientific topicsrelevant to the specialty coffee industry by way of original research projects,content for pathway classes, invited lectures, special reports and literaturereviews, and regular contributions to the SCAA Magazine. She also serves as theWorld Coffee Research Industry Liaison. She holds a M.S. in Botany from theUniversity of Wyoming, a B.A. in Ecology, and holds a post-graduate certificatefrom the Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program at theUniversity of California, Davis. She has experience with a variety oflaboratory and field research projects in plant physiology, biology, ecology,enology, and climate change science which has given her a solid foundation toapply to coffee. She has always been committed to science education and isdedicated to acting as an effective resource for the specialty coffee industry.
This week’s episode serves as a strong contradiction to conventional wisdom: meeting your heroes can be an amazing thing. In No. 60, Colin is joined by none other than Paul Stack, Operations Director of Marco Beverage Systems and current SCAE President, to reminisce about the filter coffee revolution, chat about Paul’s past life as an industrial designer, query “interesting human stuff”, and anticipate the results of SCAA’s vote on SCAA/SCAE Unification to be released August 10. They’ve managed to pack an incredible amount of thought-provoking discussion into sixty minutes alongside some, ehm, extra-special descriptions making this one of those podcast episodes you really just shouldn’t miss.
CoLab: Antwerp: “Water for Coffee Extraction: Composition, Recommendations & Treatment” | Dr. Marco Wellinger (ZHAW Institute of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry)
Attention, water geeks! This week’s video is for you. Dr. Marco Wellinger, leading author on the SCAE’s recently published “The SCAE Water Chart: Measure, Aim, Treat”, took to the stage in Antwerp to share the most-recent results of his then ongoing research in preparation for publication. Dr. Wellinger’s talk is a deep dive into some of the water conundrums he and the SCAE Research team faced when developing the water chart, like the fact that pH measurements are often a poor indicator of a water’s alkalinity and why you sometimes get “fizzy espresso” after treating very hard water with decarbonizing ion-exchangers. This is definitely another talk where you’ll want to have a notebook, pencil, and the ability to hit a pause button as you watch!
Dr. Marco Wellinger: Coffee researcher in the field of chemistry, technology and sensory analysis; Q Arabica Grader, MSc ETH Zürich, Dr. ETH Lausanne / Paul Scherrer Institute
Marco Wellinger is a research fellow in the group of Chahan Yeretzian at the Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology at ZHAW Wädenswil. His fields of research are instrumental analysis of volatile aroma compounds from coffee (gas chromatography and mass spectrometry), espresso machine and grinder technology as well as sensory analysis of coffee. In the last two years he has been engaged in the topics of characterization and treatment of water for coffee extraction. He held presentations on the topic of water at various locations, among the most recent at AST Live 2016 in Budapest. He was the lead author in the upcoming booklet on water from the SCAE published this year (2016), “The SCAE Water Chart: Measure, Aim, Treat.”
From football banter to staff cost percentages and potato defect theories to Machiavellian plans, Episode 59 is exactly what you should expect when Steve & Colin record together. Also: a continuation of the gender equality discussion, industry inadvertent sexism, Steve’s trip to Rwanda, recording woes, why 32.03 might be the actual answer to the universe, unification speculation, the importance of tempo, and some sneaky tidbits about
Talor Browne’s “Coffee, I love you but you’re bringing me down” brings the topic of coffee professionals’ physical and mental health directly to the forefront of our discussions about the future and sustainability of the coffee industry. Despite the fact that there is a general agreement that there are important things to consider, the unwieldy and multifaceted nature of the topic—difficult to discuss generally, let alone in an actionable way—has tended to stifle the conversation and left it at the periphery.
Talor’s CoLab: Antwerp presentation is a call for us to re-open the discussion, no matter how uncomfortable or difficult it might be, and to talk about the health of our people: there is “no one-size fits all” answer, we’ll all need to pitch in to find solutions to a problem that will impact the growth and maturity of our industry moving forwards.
The overwhelming response to both Talor’s initial survey and subsequent presentation in Antwerp highlighted how important it is to have this conversation, so we’ve helped to facilitate the continuation of the conversation online: share your thoughts, join the discussion, and view the survey results at COFFEE, I LOVE YOU BUT YOU’RE BRINGING ME DOWN.
Talor Browne cut her teeth in the early days of what is now the heaving behemoth of the Melbourne specialty coffee scene. Fortunate enough to have worked with Mark Dundon from St.Ali to Brother Budan and Seven Seeds, then on to Market Lane and just about every other notable bar in the city. In 2012, Paris beckoned and she left her old life behind to team up with Coutume. That partnership was short lived when she was offered a barista position in Oslo. Not long after, she was promoted to head roaster. After 13 years working for people she admires, Talor is now in the process of building a very different kind of coffee roastery in Norway. She also happens to be a great cook.
Warning: considerable sweariness lies ahead. In No. 58, Steve & Colin provide their own recap and dissection of all things alphabet soup that have happened in, around, and following on from Dublin’s week as host city for World of Coffee 2016. This week episode includes, but is not limited to (by any stretch…!), to some of the following topics: emcee rules (and how to break them), an epidemic of box-ticking, being thoughtfully dressed down, an exploration of morality, why the team at 3FE are legends, tradeshow blues, an example of what happens when you push your lackey too far, the recent flurry of online activity surrounding SCAA/SCAE unification, and Colin’s newest crush(es).
Chances are, you’re not unfamiliar with the EK43 grinder—first seen being used as a coffee grinder in the 2011 World Brewers Cup (Vienna) and then made a specialty coffee household name thanks to Matt Perger’s 2012 World Barista Championship routine, the EK43 has been a hot topic of conversation within the coffee industry and a familiar site both on the WBC stage and in specialty shops ever since.
In our second video from CoLab: Antwerp, local Rob Berghmans (Caffènation) shares his thoughts on the benefits of using the EK43 as their main espresso grinder as well as the workflow they’ve put into place in order to maximise said benefits. This one is for all types: workflow geeks, EK43 fangirls, Turkish burr skeptics, or even just into the thought-process behind creating shop systems—get in!
Rob Berghmans founded Caffènation back in 2003 when the current form of specialty coffee was still largely uncharted territory. Since then, he and his team have been at the forefront of sourcing, roasting, and serving excellent coffees from their base in Antwerp. Caffènation is involved in many Belgian initiatives that push specialty coffee forward, working constantly to “change the ball game” whilst creating a “second home” for their customers, and have played host to the community-building Belgian Aeropress Competitions since 2011. Their approach has proved to be popular, not just at home in Belgium, but also abroad: Caffènation now has a second shop in Amsterdam and exports a third of their roasting output all over Europe.
This week, we return to our roots: recorded the morning after the Dublin WBC barista party, No. 57 is all about what went down this week as 62 national champions took to the WBC stage and thousands of specialty coffee professionals descended upon Dublin for SCAE’s World of Coffee show. We could tell you more, but where's the fun in that?
It’s a happy accident that our first release from BGE’s CoLab: Antwerp coincides with our opening speaker’s return to the World Barista Championship stage. A well-known name amongst specialty coffee circles after placing as a finalist last year at the WBC in Seattle, Charlotte Malaval is carving out a remarkable career along a relatively new path for our industry: as a free-lance barista.
In her Antwerp presentation, “Free-lance Barista: How to exist within the global industry as an individual”, Charlotte considers the pros and cons of the corporate structure—for businesses and baristas—that pushes baristas into an independent status before sharing how she’s managed to turn what could be seen as limitations into incredible opportunities for her own self-education and advancement. This isn’t the presentation you think it might be—it’s better—and it contains an important message for anyone working specialty coffee, regardless of where you are on the chain.
Charlotte Malaval began a degree in Cultural Anthropology before discovering coffee. She soon found she had a real passion for coffee, and as she always does, she considered her feelings and followed her intuitions: she left university to start working in coffee, or rather, to start learning in coffee. Now working as an independent barista, Charlotte is most well-known for her work on the competition stage: she placed sixth in the world at the 2015 WBC in Seattle and will return to the WBC stage again, this time in Dublin, to represent France as their national champion.
It may have taken a little longer than we anticipated, but it’sfinally here! Remember that time when Steve went to Shanghai for the WorldCoffee Roasting Championship, had a chance to sit down with Andreas fromCropster, and promptly had a spectacular technical failure that meant there wasno record of the podcast ever having been recorded? This week, we’ve managed torecreate most of that magical moment with the help of t’internet!
No. 56 is all about the intersection of coffee and tech, the resultingmutual love affair between coffee and tech geeks, and the changes we’restarting to see—good or bad—as the two become more intertwined. There are somefascinating things that crop up in this conversation to take home and thinkabout a little bit more, regardless of whether you’re a bean-browner or abean-brewer.
Have more questions? Cropster will be hanging out at SCAE WOC booth H12next week as well as running infoand training sessions with Cloud Picker coffee—registration closes today(June 13), so you'll need to get in quick!
Our last video from CoLab: Paris is the afternoon panel discussion, featuring Katie Carguilo, Morten Munchow, and Klaus Thomsen. Kicking off with a heavily philosophical question—what drives you to keep going, within specialty coffee, when the goal-posts keep moving?—this panel discussion is home to some incredible gems from those on stage about the ethics of direct trade, fair trade, and post-colonial trading structures, as well as innovation, genetic modification of Arabica, and other research initiatives.
We had an absolutely great time at CoLab: Paris—thanks again to all of our speakers and our host partners, Barista Guild of Europe and Frog Fight!
This week in No. 55: it’s like past, present, and future have alltangled into one… and it’s all Steve’s fault.* Episode the 55th starts out a little bit meta—whichrecent videos and podcasts are getting interesting feedback and what’s coming up next—butsomehow turns into an extreme example of verbal diplomacy when Steve drags Jennaway from the agenda and into his favourite kind of conversation (read: slightlycontroversial ones). Also included: more Dublin hints and tips for your trip toWBC this June, a tinder “how to”, holiday shenanigans, picky gingers, and unusualbachelor parties.
*It usually is.
World Coffee ThrowingCompetitor Registration is OPEN! Throw a kilo for a good cause (allproceeds go to Grounds for Health) and have some of that legendary Irish craicwhist you’re at it.
Calling all roasters, aspiring roasters, and general geeks! This week’s video is an extra special panel discussion featuring three well-known roasters from the program at BGE’s CoLab: Paris, each at different stages of building their businesses, with significantly different approaches to roasting, sourcing, and quality control. In this session, Wendelboe, Cataldi, and Karlsson answer questions on everything from cupping protocols, growth vs. quality, and water (thanks again, Maxwell!) to pricing structures, relationship development at origin, skeletons in closets, gateway drugs, and branding—it’s absolutely fascinating to see upon which points they agree and which they don’t. This one is an absolute “must” for anyone keen on making green beans go brown!
One of our favourite results from what we do are the relationships we build with speakers when we work together and the (often) resulting friendships that come from getting someone up on stage and bringing their presentation to life. This week, we’re joined by one such speaker/friend who took the stage in Dublin way back when—Kas Ali from Waterloo Tea. Together, Jenn and Kas spend No. 54 taking a look at just how much things have changed since then.
The relationship between the specialty coffee and specialty tea industries is truly fascinating: in some ways, it feels like specialty tea is leaps and bounds ahead of us—very few people dispute the difference between “tea bag tea” and quality tea—but slightly behind in others. It’s particularly interesting to see the specialty tea industry taking bits and pieces from specialty coffee, most notably the use of a large competition (the World Tea Brewer’s Cup, taking place for the first time this year in Dublin) and the creation of large, membership-based organisations, to rally the industry together and make an impact on the future of tea.