Archive for July, 2011

Quality: Passion, Process or Both?

Quality: Passion, Process or Both?

The challenge: The highest quality coffee is produced by large, technically sophisticated companies which do a much better job at delivering fresh, consistent, good-value coffees than do most of today’s smaller specialty roasting companies. I find I need to parse this lengthy and loaded sentence in order to comment on it. Quality in coffee is […]

By July 25, 2011 Read Article
Regardless of Size, Only the Passionate Rule

Regardless of Size, Only the Passionate Rule

  The challenge: The highest quality coffee is produced by large, technically sophisticated companies which do a much better job at delivering fresh, consistent, good-value coffees than do most of today’s smaller specialty roasting companies. Neither size nor technical sophistication assures quality. Only the obsessive and unrelenting commitment of a company’s leadership assures a steady […]

By July 25, 2011 Read Article
Travel Less and Cup More

Travel Less and Cup More

The Challenge: Coffee buyers for roasting companies should be doing much less travel and much more cupping, quality control and customer education. Kevin Knox writes:   I’d put this another way. The most important tools for buying great coffee are a well-trained palate, a well-equipped cupping room, relationships with the best importers and – last […]

By July 11, 2011 Read Article
Making Coffee Travel Relevant

Making Coffee Travel Relevant

The Challenge: Coffee buyers for roasting companies should be doing much less travel and much more cupping, quality control and customer education.   Kenneth Davids writes:   I guess my reservation with the challenge statement is the repetition of the “much” word. If the thrust of the challenge statement is to argue that coffee buyers […]

By July 11, 2011 Read Article
Quest for an Everyday Coffee: Macro-Lots

Quest for an Everyday Coffee: Macro-Lots

Readers often write to us asking for recommendations for an “everyday” coffee – the equivalent of the $10 bottle of wine, a reasonably priced, reasonably distinctive, but consistently available coffee. Most coffees that attract a high rating on Coffee Review are exceptional in some way: They are often produced from small, or “micro” lots of […]

Ken Davids and Kevin Knox exchange views on the microlot trend

Ken Davids and Kevin Knox exchange views on the microlot trend

Whether a roaster is obligated by industry tradition and consumer expectation to also offer a familiar lineup of fine coffee standards, i.e. a Kenya AA, a Sumatra Mandheling, a high-grown Central America, etc. is of no consequence to me. I think consumers speak for themselves through their patronage, and if a successful business can be built on nothing but fine microlots that take advantage of seasonal opportunities[…]

By July 1, 2011 Read Article
Kevin Knox and Ken Davids exchange views on the microlot trend

Kevin Knox and Ken Davids exchange views on the microlot trend

I agree with the sentiment here but think one needs to define some of the terms in order to flesh it out and make it meaningful.
Even among the purveyors of “microlots” there’s no consensus on what the term means. It’s rather like “roasted in small batches,” which has been used to refer to roasts ranging from a few ounces to a thousand pounds or more.
A core lineup to me means excellent single origin coffees representing the four primary types of origin-derived (as opposed to roast-imparted) flavors:[…]

By July 1, 2011 Read Article