“@klaus_thomsen: What happens when the valve don’t [sic] work” (Photo by klausthomsen • Instagram)
30-minute pleasure trip
66/33 – Guatemala Pulcal and La Folie this rainy(!) LA morning. (http://instagr.am/p/RA2mC1hT8N/)
There are probably a multitude of ways to look at this. Here’s two:
- Blue Bottle is either expanding the market for specialty coffee…
- …or making room for new people to step in and do it.
Quality is always a moving target.
Also: Lot’s of good links, and commentary as well, at Stephen S. Wade’s Terroirism.
President and CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee Inc., James Freeman: Oliver Strand’s update.
Chris Tacy, from 2011, on the substantial investment made in Stumptown by an NYC investment firm.
Mentioned before but deserving of its own link-post, Stephen S. Wade, inspired by the recent news of Blue Bottle Coffee’s transfer of ownership:
Growth is a good goal, but it is not the only goal. Part of what makes specialty coffee — and indeed, much of the sustainable food community worthwhile — is that it is growth moderated by the ability to pay attention to social, ecological, and economic concerns. […] If those are forgotten at any length of the chain, then specialty coffee ceases to be impressive, and simply becomes a marketing ploy. And if that kind of growth is what eventually becomes of specialty coffee, we might as well go and hit the showers.
I tend toward hopefulness in these matters, that if one shining star1 falls another will be there to take its place. Blue Bottle, though, has always been about the marketing but not always about quality so the concern is, I think, that Blue Bottle, much like Peet’s has, will take the quality lodestar banner and run with it right straight into the ground to become, not so much a purveyor of quality but a machine designed to make money that just happens to sell coffee.
we can debate weather or not Blue Bottle represents some sort of shining star in the specialty coffee firmament in terms of quality — although I think they were once often quite good — but there’s no debating they have had the ability to communicate to their customers the value of their product better than most in the business. Freeman is a savvy man. ↩
An open conversation about coffee, and why it tastes how it tastes
Created by NYT’s coffee correspondent, Oliver Strand, Wet Mill is a place to ask questions and to get answers. From professionals.
…and so do those guns.
There is little point in denigrating what truly amounts to a small portion of the specialty coffee industry for the purposes of marketing. It exploits and perpetuates a false image in the minds of potential customers and, in that way, damages the industry you claim to love for personal gain. Simply doing what you love and showing how much you love doing it should help you and everyone else in the industry thrive.
Colonna and Smalls is a coffee house in Bath, UK. Their very thoughtful blog is written by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, the 2012 UK barista champ.
Good beans are beautiful, but not infallible. You can still make a statue of Stalin out of gold, the material doesn’t stop you from making something ugly
— Breaking the Looking Glass (More goodness from Journey Through the Black Waves)