Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I confess I'm becoming a coffee snob. I currently have two excellent selections here at my desk at work, along with my own coffee maker. One is a delightful piece of love called City of Fountains Blend from Kansas City's The Roasterie (shout out to my brother, Mike, for the gift). Self-described "Bean Baron" Danny O'Neill has been roasting his own blends since he was an exchange student in Costa Rica. If you can't fall in love with java in that place, you never will.

The other is the remains of a pound of Cornwell Estate Pure Kona. My friends, Jim and Jen, visited the Islands for spring break, brought back a sampling of the stuff, and made me fall in love with my first taste. I subsequently told that story to a customer of my company's, who in turn surprised me with a pound of the stuff as a token of gratitude for services rendered (shout-out to Rose). IF there was a god, and he made anything better, he kept it for himself.

Starbucks co-founder Jerry Baldwin gets it right, though:

"A very important insight first articulated by Gordon Bowker is that all coffee companies claim that their coffee is fresh and of high quality. For some roasters, the claim is true, but beware. The real solution is less about being cynical than it is developing your own ability to discern the difference between freshness and its decline. Staleness is like obscenity. It's hard to define, but you know it when you experience it. And stale coffee is obscene."

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