Archive for May, 2009

McDonald’s vs. Starbucks: A Milky Skirmish in the Coffee Wars

McDonald’s vs. Starbucks: A Milky Skirmish in the Coffee Wars

The latest front in what the business press likes to call the Coffee Wars is clearly more a battle about frothed milk, whipped cream and syrup than about coffee. McDonald’s is rolling out its McCafé line of espresso-based (OK, milk-based) beverages with a national advertising assault of old-fashioned scale and intensity, while Starbucks, the Chain […]

By May 27, 2009 Read Article
Espresso: Tasting Super-Heroes

Espresso: Tasting Super-Heroes

I have spent plenty of hours with a cupping spoon in my left hand. This is my first “official” espresso tasting (American Espresso Blends: Boutique and Bigger, Coffee Review, May 2009). Each espresso we tasted was expertly pulled under the exact same parameters: 18g dose, 28 sec, 2 oz double split into 2 one-oz singles, […]

By May 6, 2009 Read Article
American Espresso Blends: Boutique and Bigger

American Espresso Blends: Boutique and Bigger

Specialty espresso is currently in the throes of a creative explosion. I think of it as “post-Italian” espresso, a dynamic community of baristas, blender/roasters and motivated aficionados remaking espresso as a global connoisseur’s beverage with passionately contested barista competitions, non-traditional brewing innovations, and freshly conceived blend designs. The goal of this month’s tasting reviews was […]