Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Espresso in Space!

April 22, 2015

Espresso in Space!

If  you want decent coffee in space, invite the Italians.

When Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano was on the International Space Station in 2013, he really missed having a decent cup of coffee. Samantha Cristoforetti, an Italian flight engineer from the European Space Agency, has been on the ISS for a year and feels the same. Lavazza and Italian tech firm Argotec just delivered an experimental ISSpresso Machine to her so she can finally get espresso in space. NASA threw in a matching set of high-tech coffee cups for zero-gravity sipping.

Of course now an Italian astronaut will want a decent bombolone or cornetto.

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Burger King & Tim Hortons

December 12, 2014

Burger King & Tim Hortons

Everyone likes burgers. Everyone likes fresh coffee. But not everyone likes the impending merger of the USA’s Burger King and Canada’s Tim Hortons.

Canadians are demanding that the new corporation’s HQ locate in Oakville, Ontario, job security for all Tim Hortons franchise employees in the Great White North, that Tim Hortons remain a distinct brand, with a board that’s at least 50% Canadian, and more. Politely demanding, of course.

Here in the States, critics claim that Burger King will avoid $117 million in U.S. taxes through the merger. Of course, no one will care if the BK creepy King branding the burgers is replaced by Dudley Do-Right as long as those Whoppers keep coming.

So does Burger King’s acquisition of Tim Hortons mean that the US triumphed over Canada? Nope. Burger King is owned by a Brazilian private equity firm.

More:

“We finally have an idea of how much money Burger King will save by moving to Canada,” Roberto A. Ferdman, Washington Post

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Caffè Latte Is Not What You Think It Is

August 23, 2014

Caffè Latte Is Not What You Think It Is

“Perhaps the latte’s most popular association, at least currently, is with a certain level of affluence. Conservatives complain about ‘latte liberals’ who are out of touch with the working class ….

But the notion that lattes are a sign of privilege may be off-base. Kyla Wazana Tompkins, a professor of English and gender and women’s studies … told Op-Talk that ‘the latte, while it may be attached on a certain level to too much upper-class food knowledge and pretension, it really is no longer an upper-class drink.’ She explained: ‘No matter how many kale salads Starbucks puts in their case, Starbucks is a fast-food purveyor.’ The latte, she argued, ‘is a high-calorie food that’s being pushed in an industrialized way largely to working-class people.’ And, she added, ‘it’s important to think about the explosion of all of these industrialized lattes, all these frozen lattes, all the Frappuccinos, as links to a larger problem of creating cheap, high-calorie, low-nutrition food for working-class people.’”

More:

“If You Read This, You Might Never Drink a Latte Again,” Anna North, New York Times

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Colombia Menaced by Invasion

July 16, 2014

Colombia Menaced by Invasion

Colombia produces much of the world’s high-quality Arabica coffee. The coffee-growing region of this Central American country is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the EU granted the crop Protected Denomination of Origin status.

A major customer for Colombian coffee is the USA’s sprawling, globe-spanning Starbucks coffee shop chain. There are approximately umpteen bazillion Starbucks locations worldwide. Today, July 16th, there will be a new one. In Bogotá, capital city of Colombia. In the high-end Parque 93 district. Near a homegrown Juan Valdez Café. Ouch.

Starbucks plans to open 50 locations in Colombia by 2018.

 More:

“Make room Juan Valdez: Starbucks opens in Colombia,” Joshua Goodman, AP via Miami Herald

“Starbucks to take on Juan Valdez in Colombia,” Marina Villeneuve, Washington Post

“Starbucks ya está listo para abrir sus puertas en Bogotá, pero algo esconden los gringos…” pulzo

“Starbucks se instala en Colombia oficialmente,” LA F.m.

“A cartographic guide to Starbucks’ global domination,” David Yanofsky, Quartz

La Federación Nacional de Cafeteros website

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Starbucks World Domination

June 3, 2014

Starbucks World Domination
Circle, Montana (pop.615) is as far as you can get from any of the 11,563 Starbucks in America, 192 miles. Anywhere else in the States, you’re probably 4 or 5 blocks from one. In the cities of 63 other countries you might be even closer.

Seoul has 284 Starbucks, New York City has 277; Shanghai has 256. Chris Meller gathered the data from the company’s website, and Quartz presents it, nicely visualized:

“A cartographic guide to Starbucks’ global domination,” David Yanofsky, Quartz

Related:

“The wealthy, English-speaking country Starbucks can’t conquer,” John McDuling, Quartz

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Cat Café

April 26, 2014

Cat Café

Like cats with your coffee? The Purina One Cat Café just opened in Manhattan. It’s a coffee shop full of kitties, all of them up for adoption. A similar tea shop is planned for San Francisco but, without corporate sponsorship, it hasn’t gotten off the ground.

Cat cafés seem to have started in Japan and spread to Europe, but New York’s is the first in the United States, though it will only be open for four days. Purina One Cat Café is downtown and, as seems natural, is only 8 blocks from Katz’s Delicatessen.

Purina One Cat Café, 168 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

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Don’t Take Your Guns to Starbucks

September 19, 2013

Dob't Take Your Guns to Starbucks

Excerpt, open letter from Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Coffee:

“Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.”

Reuter’s Robert MacMillan: “If you must pack heat, please order decaf.”

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Coffee

May 13, 2013

Coffee conquers Outer Space in this video Hyun Ji A.J. Bae, Janice Ahn, Yoon Sun Lee, and Zach Eastburg produced at Art Center College of Design.

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Coffee

March 1, 2013

A short video by Dr. Merry White.

Related:

“Coffee Shop Etiquette: 10 Do’s and Don’ts From a Disgruntled Barista,” James Mulcahy, Zagat

“7 Reasons Why Coffee Is Good For You,’ Kris Gunnars, PopSci

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Starbucks Invades Vietnam

January 6, 2013

Starbucks Invades Vietnam

Starbucks is moving into Vietnam, and will open its first coffeehouse in Ho Chi Min City next month.  The chain already has 3,300 stores in 11 other countries in the China and Asia-Pacific region.

Talk about bringing coals to Newcastle. Vietnam has plenty of bad coffee already — they grow it. The country is the number one coffee exporter in the world. Last year Vietnam exported more coffee beans than Brazil, but they’re cheap robusta beans, not high-quality arabica beans like Starbucks uses.

The Vietnamese do drink lots of coffee, but they like it thicker than Starbucks’ dreadful Pike Place Roast. And then there’s the price issue. Per capita income in Vietnam is about US $1,270, and that won’t buy a lot of latte at “Fourbucks.”

More:

“Vietnam coffee shops not too worried by Starbucks’ arrival,” Mike Ives, AP via MSN News

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