In addition to writing for my own coffee website INeedCoffee, I have also been contributing coffee articles to Coffee Lovers Magazine. If you have an iPad (or Android tablet) and love coffee, it is worth checking out. The latest issue has my Iced Vietnamese Coffee brewing tutorial.
This weekend Seattle is hosting the SCAA (Speciality Coffee Association of America). This is the big coffee event for the industry. People from all over the world will be visiting Seattle. In addition to the big expo, I expect our visitors will be checking out the local coffee scene. Below is my current list of […]
I’ve been watching The Simpsons since they debuted, but recently I learned that there were some episodes from season 9 that I somehow missed. So I acquired the DVD from that season and began watching. That is when I discovered something interesting from the 23rd episode of that season titled “King of the Hill”. It […]
Well I can cross Luwak coffee off my food and beverage bucket list. A friend of mine returned from Bali with a sample of Bali Luwak coffee. When it comes to interesting foods, I have little fear. I’ll try just about anything: testicles, uterus, bugs – bring it on! Yet when it comes to coffee, […]
In 2012, I did something unique to Best of lists. I listed my biases, preferences and quantified my results. Check out the post 192 Espressos if you want to see how to do a Best of list properly. For 2013, I decided to put away the spreadsheet and not rank any espresso. It was liberating. […]
I never planned to write a post defending Bulletproof Coffee, but it seems a few people misread my original post Better Than Bulletproof Coffee. In that post, I said: I am a coffee snob that primarily drinks espresso. Although I never tried Upgraded Coffee, I know from my 15 years experience as a home coffee roaster […]
I know the plan for June was to cut back on the coffee, but the Victoria, BC trip with the Coffee Club of Seattle was already scheduled. My espresso mini guide is up on INeedCoffee. 5 Espresso Saturday in Victoria, BC Unrelated to coffee, I love a good user interface. Victoria utilizes boxes at crosswalks […]
Two years ago I began tracking headache data. Fresh off of other health victories such as getting lean, curing my rosacea and ending back pain, I was confident that with enough data and experimentation I could eliminate or greatly reduce my night headaches. I never thought this experiment would go on for two years. The good news […]
Last year I consumed 192 espressos in Seattle area coffee shops. I detailed who was pulling the best shots in the post 192 Espressos – The Best of Seattle Coffee 2012. In that post, I described my biases and the metrics I used to calculate my rankings. I thought I was finished with this project, but I […]
I really dislike the Top Coffee Shop lists. They are cheap content usually written by people with minimal coffee knowledge. Hello Seattle Weekly! Rarely do I see a list where the author declares the metrics used to get their rankings or their own personal biases. At the start of 2012, I decided I would try […]
Beginning in late September I scaled down my caffeine intake. Then in October, I went the entire month without coffee and 21 days without any caffeine. This month I have been on a very low caffeine intake, averaging just 1 cup of coffee a day. I covered that experiment in the article A Month Without […]
In the last installment of Hunting Headaches, I reported that I finally appeared to be making some progress on solving my night headaches. By wearing a mouth guard, I was able to reduce my headache intensity by 45%. For those new to the site, I use spreadsheets to track health metrics. This allows me to […]
I just released A Month Without Coffee on INeedCoffee. That way it can reach more coffee drinkers, specifically those that might be abusing caffeine. My next experiment will be seeing if I can handle rum, as it is a non-grain based distilled alcohol. I know nothing about rum. If anyone has a mid-priced rum suggestion, […]
I completed my most challenging health experiment to date. I went the entire month of October 2012 without coffee. No decaf either or any food that used coffee for flavoring, such as ice cream. For 21 days of that month, I went 100% caffeine free. My prior record was 100 hours set back in 1997. […]
I’m still on my caffeine free plus coffee free experiment. This is Day 21 without coffee and Day 15 without caffeine. My goal was to go 15 days without caffeine. I’ll hit that milestone in a few hours, but I’m planning on extending this test. I’m still experiencing symptoms, which tells me that my body […]
I’ve received several requests to comment on Bulletproof Coffee. The reason I am being asked is not only have I been an active blogger on nutrition for a few years, but I’m also a coffee enthusiast. I run the site INeedCoffee.com and have been home roasting coffee since 1998. I live in Seattle and have taken […]
Today I read a very sad sentence. From the Perfect Health Diet post Around the Web; PaleoFX Edition: Warning: Dr Clark says that coffee is bad for people with gluten sensitivity, due to cross-reactive antibodies. Say it isn’t so. This is the video of Dr. Clark explaining how people with gluten issues, like myself, could […]
I took all my coffee tracking data from last year and assembled a post on INeedCoffee. The Quantified Coffee Drinker I believe many coffee drinkers consume way too much coffee. Maybe this article will inspire a few coffee drinkers to track and measure their response to their favorite beverage.
This year I drank a lot of espresso. The Coffee Club of Seattle visited 113 different coffee places in 2011. Some of the places we visited multiple times. And that doesn’t count the places I went just by myself. The 5 Best Espressos of the Year Victrola Coffee (February 5) -Sumatra Lintong-Triple Picked SO Espresso. […]
Ever since I started collecting data to track my headaches, I have not seen a connection between coffee intake and headaches. Seven months of data and no relationship. Until now. I think I see a pattern and it isn’t what I expected. The table above shows that low coffee intake actually results in a slightly […]
In the post What I Learned During My Coffee Detox, I covered the results that I experienced by gradually lowering and eventually taking a full 2 weeks off from coffee. As informative as that test was, I have learned more about how my body reacts to coffee since I resumed espresso drinking just a week […]
The last time I did a serious coffee detox was in 1997. I was long overdue. I got down to a single espresso by August 22nd. In the end, I went 14 days without coffee. During this time, I did still drank tea. I returned to coffee on Saturday. Here is what I learned during […]
Well, I have done the unthinkable. Today is Day 7 with no coffee. Yes I am drinking decaf and yes I understand that it does have trace amounts of caffeine in it. I’m shocked at the number of people that have brought that to my attention. Cut me a little slack, I may know something […]
I haven’t posted much this week, because I’m feeling really sluggish. I’ve dropped my daily coffee intake to a single espresso (double ristretto). That might not seem extreme to some, but I live in Seattle and INeedCoffee! Today is Day 5 of just 1 espresso. Below is a chart of my coffee intake going back […]
If it seems my posting frequency has dropped in the last month, it is because I’ve been focusing more attention over on INeedCoffee. Here are 4 articles that I’ve added or updated. Home Roasting Coffee in an Oven Way back in 2000, I wrote two articles on oven roasting. One for the gas oven and […]
I have about 15 half-written blog posts in the queue right now. I’m not happy with any of them. The sun is rising at 5:10 AM in Seattle and not setting until after 9 PM. I have blackout drapes, but the light is still sneaking into my room and waking me up. During the winter […]
I’m so tired of long winded descriptions used to describe the flavor of espresso. I’m even more tired when others expect me to vividly detail every flavor note in a 140 character Tweet. I have no desire to write a 5 minute review for a 30 second beverage experience. I love espresso, but it isn’t […]
My latest post on INeedCoffee is titled Espresso as a Lottery Ticket. Photo Victrola Coffee – Ethiopia Harrar Makeda Longberry SO Espresso by INeedCoffee
I redeemed my 4th and last Seattle Disloyalty Card today. What is the Seattle Disloyalty Card? From my May 23, 2010 post: Seattle now has something called a Disloyalty Card, which is idea to promote the independent coffee shop. The idea started in London and the way it works is you visit the ten coffee […]
Today I went on a coffee crawl with Rose Tosti of the Seattle Weekly and Sebastian Simsch from Seattle Coffee Works. We visited seven different coffee places in Seattle. Looking at the list, I expected most would deliver excellent espresso. After all this is Seattle and the list was solid. But as Sebastian said espresso […]
Back when I lived in Bellevue there were no decent coffee places. Now Bellevue has Vovito, which has an outstanding espresso blend. Below is a photo of latte art pulled for a Coffee Club member.
I was recently approached by the makers of KeepCup to review their portable cup. Let me start by saying that I am not the ideal user for this product. I almost never take my drink on the go. Mostly I drink espresso and putting espresso in a to go cup just seems stupid. KeepCup promotes […]
I do not work in the industry, so I will need some help on this post. In the past two weeks, I have visited four different Seattle area coffee shops that use locally roasted coffee. These are not shops operated by the roaster. These are their wholesale customers. At each place the barista pulled a […]
A year ago we learned that Espresso Vivace changed their legendary espresso blend. They removed the robusta component. From the post Espresso Vivace Dolce Now Without Robusta: Last week I learned that Espresso Vivace has removed the robusta component of their Dolce espresso blend. This may not mean much to you, but to me this […]
Since moving Coffee Hero headquarters from Northgate to Ballard, I haven’t yet figured out a way to home roast coffee without a visit from the Seattle Fire Department. So yesterday I headed out in the rain on a quest to find an espresso blend for my home machine. It should have been a simple consumer […]
Yesterday the Coffee Club of Seattle visited two places in Bellevue. Cupcake Royale is a Stumptown Coffee account and T’Latte a Caffe Vita account. By teaming up with a quality roaster, we know that the coffee will be excellent. In addition, because Stumptown and Vita both have training facilities, we expect the baristas at their […]
This past weekend, Watertown Coffee announced on Facebook that Sunday would be their last day. Watertown’s last day tomorrow Sunday 16th – for anyone that wants to celebrate with us come on down and help us drink the rest of the kegs and empty out those bottles. Drink specials all day. We love you guys, […]
The 2011 Seattle/Puget Sound Chinook books are now out and they have some coupons in them that coffee fans should know about. For those that don’t know, the Chinook Book is a coupon book sold at PCC and the Town and Country Markets. It costs $20 and can pay for itself pretty quickly. The coffee […]
When Kahili Coffee went out of business, it appeared that Zoka Coffee and Caffe Ladro had downtown Kirkland all to themselves. Not anymore. Caffe Rococo is now open. They are serving espresso drinks and roasting from their downtown Kirkland location. Caffe Rococo is located at 136 Park Lane, which is near Zeeks Pizza. Next time […]
On my way back from Portland yesterday, I stopped off in Olympia for lunch. I’ve never been to Olympia and the only thing I know about it is that song by Hole. Driving through downtown, a parking spot opened up on the main drag. It was right in front of Batdorf and Bronson Coffee. Not […]
Today Zoka Coffee hinted at higher prices in the post A Wild Ride Ahead in the C-Market. We try the best we can to plan and hedge the market so that you, our customer, don’t see fluctuation in prices. And for the most part, we’ve been successful. Unfortunately, this once-in-twenty-year spike in price has made […]
I took this photo outside the Cupcake Royale / Verite Coffee in Madrona last night. I meant to ask the staff inside what it meant, but it slipped my mind. Although I never followed wrestling, I did live in the Tampa Bay area from 1994-1998 and I do have my own Hulk Hogan story.
Another academic year will be starting soon for Seattle college students. I am sure the colleges do a swell job providing information on classes and activities, my guess is they aren’t going to provide you with the caffeine guidance you’ll need to make it through to finals. Have no fear, Coffee Hero is here for […]
The Central District is home to a great coffee shop called Cortona Cafe. They use Herkimer Coffee and have tea from Miro. Recently they expanded their outdoor seating area. If you are in this area, give this neighborhood gem a visit. And if you like waffles… Source: Cortona Cafe – 2425 East Union Street, Seattle, […]
If you live in Seattle, love coffee and aren’t a member of the Coffee Club of Seattle, you need to know what you missed this past Sunday. Stumptown Coffee started things off with a coffee roasting demonstration. After the coffee roasting, we moved to the training room where the Hairbender Blend was brewed using 5 […]
Over on my personal blog, I confessed that I have drastically cut back on my coffee intake in the past month. So if you haven’t seen in me in your coffee shop in a while, don’t take it personally. From the post 30 Days of Low Coffee Intake: Over 30 days ago I was able […]
Not only does Seattle have some of the best roasters, cafes and baristas in the world, we also some of the best equipment. Seattle is the home to three unique coffee brewing systems that most of the country does not have. If you live in Seattle or came here on a coffee vacation, here are […]
When I first moved to the Seattle area in 2007, I started out in Bellevue. Every weekend I would drive into Seattle and explore the coffee scene. It was like two different coffee worlds. Somehow those bridges were keeping all the quality coffee places trapped on the Seattle side. That is all changing now. In […]
Dubsea Coffee hosted Stumptown Coffee this past Saturday. Andrew and Matt came down to White Center with four outstanding coffees. After an introduction to each of the coffees and a little history on the Seattle roots of Stumptown, they hosted a coffee cupping. The 4 coffees Stumptown brought were: Costa Rica Brumas Del Zurqui Guatemala […]
Today I completed my second Disloyalty Card. In Round #1, my 3 favorites were Urban Coffee Lounge, Makeda and Tougo. Here are my 3 favorites from Round #2. Trabant Coffee – I think the Epic Espresso Blend is back to its former glory. Urban Coffee Lounge – I love this place. They pulled another amazing […]
I recently got an email from someone planning on visiting Seattle this summer. We are planning our first trip to Seattle this weekend and obviously a trip to a couple coffee shops is in order. We’re wondering if you could recommend a couple of your favourites in the downtown area? If you could only visit, […]
Recently I had a chance to head back to school. Coffee school. Every month Caffe Vita puts together a free class at their Pike Street location where the student is taught how to brew coffee using a variety of coffee brewers. The brewing methods taught are: French Press Pour Over Chemex Vac-Pot Siphon (a different […]
Each time I get on the ferry to leave Seattle, I think that I am stepping back in time when it comes to coffee. The overly dark roasted old-school Pacific Northwest charcoal water is still the default for our neighbors to the west. Yuck. Yesterday I assumed that would be the case again when I […]
The area of Seattle with the coolest roadside attractions has to be Fremont. However, it doesn’t have the best coffee. Yes, the Coffee Club of Seattle misses Stickman. Espresso Hike #4 was about 3 miles. The original plan was to hit 3 coffee shops and Theo Chocolate as we made our way from landmark to […]
Last week I covered all the different Seattle coffee ice cream options. Today I took a tour of Theo’s Chocolate and sampled many different chocolates. My favorite one will be no surprise. It was Theo Fantasy Flavor Coffee Dark Chocolate. Theo’s is a Fair Trade specialty chocolate maker and they use a Peruvian and East […]
Ice cream is good, coffee ice cream is better and coffee ice cream made using local roasted coffee is best. Here in Seattle we have at least four options for treats that combine locally roasted coffee with ice cream. Old School Custard and Caffe Vita Old School Custard makes vanilla, chocolate and one other flavor […]
There are more coffee shops in Seattle that I could possibly ever try. Nor would I ever want to try them all. Some will be great and some will be lousy. When I first encounter a new coffee shop I will look for evidence that the cafe will excel at making espresso. The first thing […]
The Coffee Drop Cafe opened on June 8, 2010. According to their website, Cafe Allegro opened in May 1975. Sources: Coffee Drop Cafe -Facebook page. 5001 25th Ave NE, Seattle, WA, 98105 Cafe Allegro – 4214 University Way Northeast, Seattle, WA 98105-5807
Seattle fans and enemies of Starbucks’s 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea concept store are encouraged to read Starbucks back to old guerilla marketing tricks by Andrew Hetzel. Seems our friends over at Starbucks tried to fabricate some fake buzz and were caught. I love Andrew’s concluding statement. Rather than go through all of the effort […]
Starbucks threw in the towel and announced that they will start offering free WiFi starting July 1st. From Starbucks: Free Wi-fi at 6,700 U.S. sites by Ashley M. Heher: Starbucks Corp. will begin offering unlimited free Wi-Fi at all of its company-operated U.S. locations next month, part of an ongoing effort to bring more customers […]
Last year the Coffee Club of Seattle did two Espresso Hikes that were huge hits. The members were ready for another one and the weather was nice, so this past Sunday we did Espresso Hike #3. We met Sunday morning at 10 AM at the sidewalk location of Espresso Vivace in Capitol Hill. We started […]
I am an unapologetic fan of quality tea. Tea is very much like coffee in that there is wide difference in taste between the common stuff and the high quality. I highly encourage my fellow coffee drinkers to embrace and learn about our sister beverage tea. The same tasting skills we use at coffee cuppings […]
I arrived in Seattle in 2007, so I don’t know much about the history of coffee shops and roasters that went under before then. On my very first visit to the Bainbridge Island coffee shop next to the Seattle Center, the barista got a phone call just when I was about to order. That call […]
Today I completed my first Disloyalty Card. The Disloyalty Card lists 10 independent coffee shops in the Seattle area. Before I announce my favorite three, I will say that I didn’t have a single bad espresso. Urban Coffee Lounge – The single origin espresso with the Indonesia Gajah Aceh was stellar. I liked it so […]
Last month I got invited to Starbucks headquarters to attend a two day Coffee College. You know I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I posted my full report in the article Starbucks Coffee College over on INeedCoffee. Now I am not exactly known for being a Starbucks fan, but I am also not a hater. […]
Seattle now has something called a Disloyalty Card, which is idea to promote the independent coffee shop. The idea started in London and the way it works is you visit the ten coffee shops on the card. At each place, order and drink and receive a stamp. When the card is completed (10 stamps), you […]
After a two month hiatus, Coffee Hero is back. Things are going to be different this time. Going forward Coffee Hero will restrict its discussion of coffee to the Seattle coffee scene*. Yes, the Coffee Hero is going 100% local! All the older content that was unrelated to Seattle has been moved or deleted. INeedCoffee […]
This post has been moved from Coffee Hero. It was originally written on March 11, 2010. Inspired by Joerael Elliott of Dubsea Coffee, I grabbed a toothpick and tried my hand at latte art etching. Isn’t it lovely?
Here are a few photos from the March 15, 2010 coffee cupping at Seattle Coffee Works.
A reader just sent me this photo of Stewie as latte art etching made by Kitanda Coffee.
Seattle Coffee Works recently started a Monday coffee cupping, so I went down to participate.
Last Sunday the Coffee Club of Seattle went over to Kirkland to visit the Urban Coffee Lounge. Besides the great coffee drinks, our group was impressed by the wall decoration. It is a collection of different sized coffee mugs fixed to a concrete backing. Below are a few photos of the wall fixture. Sources: Photo […]
Last Sunday the Coffee Club of Seattle visited Dubsea Coffee in the White Center area of Seattle. Dubsea Coffee opened in November 2009 and uses Stumptown Coffee. It is a beautiful location and they serve great coffee, but what makes Dubsea unique is they have an amazing latte etching artist on staff. Joerael Elliott was […]
While most of America was watching the Super Bowl, the Coffee Club of Seattle went to the heart of downtown Seattle to visit Seattle Coffee Works. After the members caught up with each other, we made our way over to the Slow Bar. The Slow Bar is something Seattle Coffee Works added last year. It […]
When I woke up today I had no idea I’d be enjoying espresso at both Seattle Coffee Works and Tougo Coffee. How did I end up at these two coffee shops? I saw an announcement on Facebook and one on Twitter. The first message I saw was from Tougo Coffee on Facebook. Let me decode […]
Stumptown Coffee hosted the Coffee Club of Seattle on Sunday. At the table, we had several outstanding coffees to cup, including the amazing Panama Esmeralda. Inside the training room, they brewed up four different Colombian micro-lots using the Chemex brewer. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Thank you Stumptown! […]
This espresso shot was too blond, the milk wasn’t frothed that well, but yet I still managed a decent pour. Not as good as my latte art attempt on January 1st, which used non-homogenizedhalf and half, but I’ll take it.
Monday I got a chance to head up with Jason Simon of Caffeinated Consersations to Everett, Washington to visit Velton’s Coffee Roasting Company. Besides enjoying good espresso and good conversation, we discussed setting up a future Meetup and coffee roasting demo for the Coffee Club of Seattle. If you are in the Seattle area and […]
I found these photos I took from my first visit to Seattle in May 2007.
This drink was made the 12th Ave location on January 7, 2010.
I moved to Seattle in August 2007 and from the moment I hit the ground, I started my espresso quest. Since then I’ve been to many great coffee shops and met many great people. Although I loved my random journey, I would have loved to had this book in my hands when I arrived. Tall […]
I like it when coffee shops include the after sales tax price on their menu. It gives me an opportunity to get the exact amount for the order and tip while waiting in line. Calculating some extra 1/2 cent tax usually means there is some stray penny being traded back and forth at the point […]
Dubsea Coffee is one of the newest coffee houses in Seattle. It is the White Center area and serves coffee roasted by Stumptown. Today the Coffee Club of Seattle received some outstanding macchiato etching. Dubsea Coffee is at 9910 8th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106. Sources: Photo Gallery – Dubsea Coffee visit for December 17, […]
Victrola Coffee proves that latte art works just as well on hot chocolate. Source: Victrola Coffee – Official website.
Today I am heading off for a 4 week trip to Thailand. The good news is I’ll get some sunshine and get away from the Seattle rain. The bad news is I’ll be away from Seattle coffee for almost a month! Before leaving I got one more shot of espresso perfection. Victrola has an Ethiopian […]
This post was moved from Coffee Hero. This week I moved to a new place. Because the move was less than 7 miles, I did it myself with a little help from a friend. The move took place over a few days. Nothing too difficult. My fellow drinkers might be able to spot the dilemma. […]
In the past two years I’ve had many excellent espressos here in Seattle. However, not every espresso is great. Some have been lousy. Now on any given day, it is possible to get a bad espresso from an otherwise good coffee shop. Because we have so many great coffee shops, if I get a bad […]
I consider myself to be the self appointed Coffee Ambassador for Seattle. Having lived in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, South Florida and Southern California, I realize how much better the coffee is in Seattle than the rest of the country. Because of this, I am excited to share my love for Seattle coffee. During the past […]
I spotted this sign today on my espresso hike. Of course I had to stop in for some happy power. Source: Kuma Coffee – Seattle roaster and cafe.
Last week I learned that Espresso Vivace has removed the robusta component of their Dolce espresso blend. This may not mean much to you, but to me this is like changing the Coke formula. You don’t mess with perfection. From the article Coffeehouse customers steamed about higher prices: David Schomer, co-owner of Espresso Vivace, is […]
The Seattle Times ran a second story on coffee house pricing today that used quotes from this blog. The story is titled Coffeehouse customers steamed about higher prices. The point that seems to be lost from all the feedback I’ve received is that I’m not in the industry and don’t understand why prices are going […]
Espresso Hike #1 was so successful that the Coffee Club of Seattle did a second one last Friday. If you wish learn more about the background of the Espresso Hike, be sure to read Espresso Hike #1. This hike started at the top of Queen Anne at Kerry Park and then went South to downtown. […]
It appeared that Zoka Coffee no longer lists their coffee size as “per bag“. It now states “12 oz“. This is a nice conclusion to the post I Call Coffee Shenanigans – The 12 Ounce Pound. I love the Espresso Paladino blend, but 12 ounces is not a pound. Hiding that fact or stating it […]
After yesterday’s link from the Seattle Times, I got an interesting comment from Luke about coffee and commodities. The majority, if not all, of these roasters do not purchase coffee from the commodity market. Many of the roasters (notably Stumptown and Intelligentsia) on this list pay the highest (far beyond commodity prices) on average for […]
I lived in the Tampa Bay area from 1994-1998. It was during that time that I first became an espresso drinker. I give a lot of credit to Jet City Espresso, which resided in South Tampa. They are long gone, but I will always remember and be grateful for the many outstanding espresso drinks I […]
Unemployment is rising. People are saving more and spending less. Restaurants that were once packed are now empty. The one exception, at least here in Seattle, are coffee shops. Coffee seems to be the one thing consumers will not cut back on during tough times. In the past year several new coffee shops have opened […]
Some coffee roasters are attempting a trick to pass on price increases. They are switching from 16-oz bags to 12-oz bags. This in itself is not a problem if you are honest with your customers. Zoka Coffee is the latest roaster to switch from 16-oz to 12-oz bags. However, I don’t think they are being […]
This post was moved from Coffee Hero. I am not a barista and because almost never consume anything but straight espresso, my latte art skills are weak. Today I got some half and half and did my first attempt in months. I wanted a rosetta, I got a feather. Not awful. Stats: Espresso: Home roasted […]
That didn’t take long. In the June 24th post Ominous Signs: Juan Valdez Cafe, Seattle, I gave the Juan Valdez Cafe a harsh review and added my own predicition. The espresso was so tasteless, I only drank two sips (one while hot, the other after cooling) before handing it back to the barista. The Juan […]
Today’s Wall Street Journal has a story listing the growing number of coffee shops that have decided to end the always on and always free access to WIFI broadband. The story is No More Perks: Coffee Shops Pull the Plug on Laptop Users and it is by Erica Alini. It is a good article, although […]