Investors, Coffee, Ignorance

One of the reasons I left coffee was its celebration of willful business ignorance and incompetence.

Another was the lack of honesty among the majority of business owners.

The coverage of the JAB purchase of a controlling interest in first Stumptown and then Intelligensia (handled through the investment vehicle of JAB's portfolio company Peet's) is a sad illustration of the state described above.

I would love it if folks could do some research on JAB, and then try at least a little to understand the business practices and goals of Private Equity investors before they start to talk shit.

Because the stuff you all are saying publicly makes you (and the whole coffee industry) look fucking stupid.


La Marzocco Linea Mini Photos

I've finished my review of the new La Marzocco Linea Mini home machine.
Go read it at Home-Barista.

I thought I'd share a bunch of photos of this (amazing) espresso machine. As always, clicking on the photos will get you the full size version.

It's a hard job, but someone's got to do it

So classic

Details matter

GS on the left, Mini on the right

Loving the logo treatment

Best home steaming wand, ever

That's some damn fine milk there son

Let it flow....

Hairbender showed the weakness in the stock baskets


The La Marzocco Linea Mini - a Linea for Your Home

So yeah...

It's 10 years after my La Marzocco GS/3 review for Home-Barista.com.
And I'm back....

La Marzocco has announced a new home machine - the Linea Mini.
And I am reviewing it for Home-Barista.com.

Suffice it to say that I'm pretty damn excited.


Posts Coming

Well... it rather seems like this blog will start seeing a little activity soon.

I've committed to some coffee writing.

I'm looking forward to this return!


An Open Letter to SF Cyclists

Dear Cyclists of SF,

I should be your biggest advocate.

I'm a progressive educated lefty who is opposed to motor vehicle use in cities.
I'm a bike owner and bike rider who grew up riding and racing and worked in a bike shop.
My bikes have included "cred building" rigs like a '70s Holdsworth Custom Criterium frame with vintage campy set up and a Voodoo SS MTB set up as an urban trials bike.

I want to be your supporter.

But you are making it really. fucking. hard.

This morning I was hit by a cyclist while walking in SF.
This is the third time in five years.

The first time I was walking on the sidewalk in the Mission and went to step around a slow walker and was hit from behind by a cyclist I hadn't heard. Neither I nor the cyclist were injured and I started getting a lot more paranoid about bikes around me.

The second time I was crossing Mission St and was hit by a cyclist who had run the red light and was trying to turn through the crosswalk (he had to swerve to avoid hitting an older woman in front of me). In this case I strained a knee and the cyclist suffered a concussion. And I started to feel more conflicted about bike riders.

Today I was walking in SOMA and went to cross a one way street. I looked the direction traffic was coming from, stepped off the sidewalk and was hit by a cyclist riding the wrong way up the street. I have no idea if they were injured as I simply walked away to avoid a confrontation given my rage at this incident.

Seriously folks.
I really, really want to continue to support cyclist rights in SF.
But there is a reason why the rules of the road and vehicle laws apply to you. You may think that rules saying you can't ride on the sidewalk are stupid and constrain your rights. You're wrong. Vehicles can't drive on the sidewalk for a very fucking good reason. You may think that you shouldn't have to stop at red lights because "control" and "speed" and so on. Well guess what? You're wrong again. You may think that you should be able to ride up a one way street the wrong way. You should not. For fucking obvious reasons.

Yes... I know that the vast majority of cyclists in SF are good, decent people. But you - the good decent cyclists out there - are turning a blind eye to the bad apples amongst you. You defend the indefensible. And until you stop doing this - people like me are going to stop supporting you.

Do the right thing.
Make it so people like me can support you.



Perspex Portafilter

For those who remember the glory days of coffeed.com -- today some folks out there are feeling a huge sense of vindication.

Back in the day, James Hoffman happened to mention the infamous "perspex portafilter" experiment. This was a legendary experiment conducted by La Spaziale, where a transparent portafilter was constructed in order to be able to visually analyze the extraction of espresso.

James' big "mistake" (one might say) was to tell the world that he had seen the video.

My big "mistake" (in the same vein) was to back James publicly when it came to what he had observed in the video.

Suffice it to say that many folks in coffee were somewhere between skeptical and belittling in their responses. This actually got to the point where many believed (based upon the insistence of various really loud voices within the community) that James had simply lied about seeing the video.

This was largely the result of two facts.

First - the video showed extraction occurring in a manner which flew in the face of some "common wisdom" within the coffee world. And that threatened certain "experts" in espresso.

Second - La Spaziale refused to share the video with the world.

Well..... Guess what....

I'm confident James is going to take the high road and be quite gracious about this. I, on the other hand, am not so nice of a person.

To everyone on coffeed.com and on home-barista.com who talked shit about the existence of this video.... to everyone who either claimed or implied that James was lying about its existence....

You know how to reach James. You don't need to apologize to me. But you sure as fuck do need to apologize to him.

And I have to ask.... how does if feel to be so fucking wrong all the time?


Dear Coffee Bars

Consider this a plea to coffee bars, coffee bar owners and baristas...

Why would anyone want espresso that tastes like a very small, poorly prepared cup of brewed coffee? If I wanted the experience of brewed coffee - I'd order a chemex or pour-over or aeropress. That way I'd get a well-prepared cup, right?

So if someone orders an espresso... what makes you think they really want brewed coffee... just poorly prepared? Seriously.

This has gone too far.