Browsing articles from "October, 2012"
Oct 28, 2012

Coffee Tasting Notebook Set

Coffee Tasting Notebook

I like to keep a record of the coffees I’ve had – especially if they’re coffees that I’ve enjoyed. I keep these records both in a notebook and online (here at Brewed Daily!) in many cases. There are very few coffee-specific notebooks out there that make keeping coffee-tasting records easy, however. Coffee tasting is a lot like tasting wine. You want to know what region the beans are grown in, how they are cured and how long they are roasted. You look for specific flavor notes in the coffee, too. It’s nice to have a reference to keep track of all the points, and this Coffee Tasting Notebook Set happens to be a good tool to help you keep things organized.

The set includes a notebook and a pen that is colored with coffee grounds. The notebook, which is made of recycled paper, is includes spots for giving your most recent coffee tastings star ratings, identify flavor notes (thanks to a flavor wheel that will help you put words to some of the more elusive tastes), and the brewing method. Maybe the casual coffee drinker isn’t going to get the best use of this set… but a serious drinker will definitely put in the effort and make good use of it!

Oct 8, 2012

Is there be a Pumpkin Spice Latte shortage at Starbucks?

Starbucks PSL

Rumor has it that there may be a Pumpkin Spice Latte Shortage at Starbucks this fall. The seasonal drink is so popular that customers start asking about it in August, hoping to be among the first of the year to get their hands on one of the spicy drinks. The lattes taste a lot like pumpkin pie – with a coffee twist – so it is no surprise that the drink is a popular one in the fall. What may be surprising, however, is that it is so popular that there may be a shortage of PSL syrup before the season is over.

The WSJ explains that there isn’t actually a shortage of the spicy syrup used to make the drinks. The shortage is actually caused by consumers drinking pumpkin spice drinks faster than stores get deliveries. There is plenty more syrup ready to be delivered, but fall seems to have started so early this year that the demand for the drink far exceeded what stores were expecting. The result of all of this is alot of tweets from PSL fans who missed their fix when their local store ran out of syrup, causing concern that there might actually be a true shortage. But stores where pumpkin spice is popular should be upping their orders for the syrup as we head further into fall, so we shouldn’t see too many panicked PSL fans until the syrup gets phased out at the end of the season.

Oct 1, 2012

Minimalist coffee shop prohibits sugar, milk and strollers

Gourmet coffee shops have been popular for the past two decades, but I notice that more people than ever are paying attention to the quality of the coffee these days and looking for more unique beans that taste better when brewed well and served black. Some people, however, are always happy to load up a cup of whatever coffee is in front of them (even if it is a great one) with sugar and cream until they can’t taste the coffee anymore. One coffee shop in Berlin, The Barn Roastery, has decided to put the quality of the coffee first – no exceptions. The coffee shop has issued a policy putting coffee first. They won’t add water to espresso shots and they won’t add milk to handbrewed coffee. The milk that they steam for lattes is only organic.

In addition to the coffee restrictions, they also emphasized that the cafe is “catered towards adults” and offers space where customers can talk in peace or spend time reading, relaxing or listening to music. They are prohibiting strollers (which can be quite large in many European cities where residents do a lot of walking) and urging customers to keep a close eye on babies and children if they bring them inside, partly to minimize crowding in the cafe and partly to keep the atmosphere cool.

I have a feeling that this would not a popular move if a coffee shop in the US issued similar statements. The coffee restrictions might be well-received if they had a loyal base of coffee-lovers already, but people do like their freedom to make their coffee to their own tastes. And the stroller statement is the kind of thing that always gets people riled up, even if it was meant with good intentions.

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