Some thoughts on the proposed “latte levy” on takeaway cups

The UK coffee industry has been in the news recently, as a group of politicians that make up the Environmental Audit Committee have come up with several proposals, but this is by far the most eye-catching (and headline-grabbing): The growing demand for coffee means that the Government should act urgently to tackle avoidable coffee cup waste…. Continue reading

Predictions for 2018

For a few years, I ran an annual predictions post. I was often wrong, or right a year too early (which is still wrong, despite my urges to claim otherwise). You can see previous predictions here: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 – they are entertaining little time capsules. What led to their return this year?… Continue reading

The end of Longberry

The time has come to formally shutter the short-lived publication that was Longberry Magazine. We started it as “an occasional journal of coffee”, with some strange ideas about not having any ads in it, and trying to pay people well (or at least better) for their work. It lasted all of two issues, both of which… Continue reading

Coffee Brewing Dice

I’ve enjoyed working on how-to guides for coffee brewers, but one particular brewer gave me a headache: the Aeropress. There are just too many different ways to use it, too many potential outcomes and, for a while, this made me a little frustrated. Then a ridiculous idea surfaced, which became another ridiculous idea and so… Continue reading

Quality Vs Scale

The thinking in specialty coffee has long been: quality doesn’t scale. There’s plenty of evidence that this is true but I’ve become increasingly interested in the why, because there is evidence to the contrary. I’m going to look at an aspect of the industry that is closest to home for me, and probably the area… Continue reading

Dear Coffee Roaster Manufacturers

Note: A few years ago, I wrote a post addressed to grinder manufacturers. I was frustrated by the lack of innovation, and I think my complaints resonated with a lot of people. I bring this post up because I believe there are parallels to roasting machines. I think manufacturers underestimate the demand for better –… Continue reading

The confusion of expensive coffee

Price is the best-known shortcut for quality. Pay more, get better stuff. Speciality coffee has long battled pricing, for the most part, fearful of putting people off for something that tastes more delicious. For years we’d been cautious of appearing too expensive, running a bare few percentage points more expensive than the global chain competitors…. Continue reading

Video Q&A Volume 1

I don’t post every video I make on this blog, but this one seemed relevant. It’s a bit of an experiment at this stage, but it felt like a fun way to do a Q&A. This round used questions taken from Twitter, and I have a few questions from Facebook (I haven’t forgotten, those who asked things!) to make up the next one. Perhaps I’ll do a Youtube one, or a Reddit one for r/coffee and obviously one from the contact form on here. (All of this presumes that people like the format/the video – so do please let me know your thoughts)

Topics covered:

  • Speciality Pods and Instant
  • Saturation in the coffee market
  • Cupping for Espresso
  • Will roasters buy coffee farms?
  • Automation in Roasting
  • Simplicity vs Selections in Cafes