London’s great coffee moment has come

“The British capital won’t be a coffee capital,” I wrote in April 2009, “until the taste for excessively milky coffees recedes and the best coffee shops look beyond espresso to filter- and siphon-brewed coffees. I’d also like to see more coffee shops sourcing and roasting their own beans.”

One year on, those conditions have been met and the wishes of the growing legion of local cafenatics has been granted: London’s great coffee moment has come. [Read more…]

Vac pots – the old-tech alternative to the $11,000 Clover coffee brewer

Starbucks was not seeking to buy indie cred, nor was it trying to undermine the bragging rights of small artisan coffee roasters when it acquired the manufacturer of their $11,000 dream machine. I suspect CEO Howard Schultz viewed the Clover single-cup brewer, which he’s already installed in a limited number of Starbucks stores, as one way to restore the passion and theatre of the Starbucks coffee experience (see his memo.) If so, he might have been better served by turning to Japan and the low-tech, high-drama brewer that helped inspire the Clover. It’s called a vacuum pot and home versions retail for under $50 in the US and under £50 in the UK. [Read more…]