Better Water For Brewing Coffee - Third Wave Water

How The Water You Brew With Will Make or Break Your Coffee… can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Good Water is Key to Brewing Good Coffee – Coffee Lovers TV Episode 013 ( Watch this episode above, or listen to it on Coffee Lovers Radio Water plays a big role in the brewing of your coffee. As someone interested in …

Read more …

Klatch Coffee Roasters at Coffeefest

What Makes a Winner? – FTO Ethiopia Gedeb by Klatch Coffee Roasters

[dropcap]K[/dropcap]latch Coffee Roasters has been well known in specialty circles for many years. Established in 1993, they are coming up on their 25 year anniversary – now regularly winning awards for their coffee and their service. I’ve had the pleasure to see Klatch compete (and win) in the (no longer being held) America’s Best Coffeehouse competitions of Coffeefest (an industry-focused coffee convention). I’m a bit sad to see these competitions go, as they were incredibly fun and enlightening to watch and experience – basically each ‘cafe’ would perform a cafe service in a mock cafe space (everyone had the same space), showing off their service and drinks.  Perhaps that sort of thing would be a good fit for a consumer-focused show in the future…

Klatch Coffee Roasters at Coffeefest


This episode of Coffee Lovers TV is all about Klatch Coffee Roasters FTO Ethiopia Gedeb coffee, a 2017 Good Food Awards winner.

I was both curious to investigate what makes a ‘Good Food Awards Winner’ and to see what Klatch is roasting up these days.

I realized after recording that I didn’t make any remarks on the idea of what makes a Good Food Awards winner in coffee – or what makes an award-winning coffee at all.  In this episode I found myself a little stumped for words – this coffee, while absolutely delicious, I found my words in describing it to be a little elusive.

Sometimes it is challenging for me to put adequate words to delicate coffees. I always try to paint a picture of my experience which is relatable regardless of your level of experience with coffee. I am acutely aware of how off-putting it can be to have someone talk to you about the tastes in coffee when it all sounds ridiculous.

My short summary of this coffee is that it is a delicious and solid representation of Gedeb Ethiopia coffee.

But…it’s not remarkable.

I feel like that response comes off very negative too. We kind of live in a world right now where coffee roasters everywhere are foisting superlatives upon their coffees to no end. How many times can you have a rare and amazing coffee before that starts to loose its meaning – and also starts to diminish the value/quality of coffee which is simply ‘quite good.’

I even feel like I need to put qualifiers in front of it now – ‘just’ good.

I’ll probably have to do a Cup of Joe where I rant and ramble a bit about this phenomenon. Maybe it’s mostly just me, as I live in this world 24/7.

But to add on to that a little bit, I think this coffee is the perfect example of an award winner. Judges for coffee are looking at a wide range of qualities good and bad to make their assessment, and this coffee has – so far as I can tell – no bad to it, and plenty of good. It’s well-sourced and well roasted, and it’s fairly easy to brew a great cup at home. These, of course, aren’t the technical guidelines judges in competitions use, but it is I think my fair outside assessment that anyone can agree with.

You might make the argument that great / very interesting coffees should have some kind of flaw – after all, natural beauty is often imperfect. Perhaps this is again a personal view of mine as lately I’ve found great enjoyment in exploring coffees that have remarkable specific character traits alongside notable flaws. This might also be somewhat related to my dissatisfaction with the typical symmetrical latte art pours of rosettas, hearts and the like. Give me asymmetry! Give me some shadow to define the light.

Ok, I’m getting way off track.  If you are looking for a good Ethiopian coffee, check out my thoughts and grab a bag if it sounds tasty. You won’t be disappointed.

Temple Coffee Roasters - Panama Morgan Estate Geisha - Coffee Lovers TV E010

Candied Mangoes – Temple Coffee Roasters Panama Morgan Estate Geisha

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen down at CoffeeCon LA, end of February, I was fortunate to run across Temple Coffee Roasters. At the end of the show, one of their baristas working the event tossed me a bag of their Panama Morgan Estate Geisha. How exciting! Geisha is one of those varieties of coffee that is tremendously lauded. It has an air of rarity and delicateness and usually comes with a higher price tag.

These days Geisha is frequently sourced from Panama, it originally was discovered near the town of Gesha in Ethiopia.

In my experience, they are often delicate and floral, but showcasing a range of wonderful sweet floral/fruit/herbal aromas and tastes.

One of my top favorite coffees of all time was a Geisha which I prepared as an Aeropress on ice (and the best description I could come up with was ‘Ambrosia of the Gods,’ which is hardly helpful to you, but I was in another dimension enjoying that cup).

Anyhow, this one by Temple Coffee Roasters does indeed showcase smooth delicate enjoyable sweetness. One of the things I liked most about this coffee is how it changed as it cooled. Each time a new layer was uncovered, the previous would disappear or shift. It was like discovering an entirely new cup every few sips. Perhaps this is one of the dominant traits of this sort of coffee – so well grown, processed, roasted, and prepared that it has such a layer of flavors and aromas you’ll constantly discover new complexity.

That’s fun.

You can check out more of Temple at their site here:

Unfortunately, the coffee I enjoyed on the show is not available anymore (such is the life of ‘rare’-ish coffees). But they do appear to have a fantastic selection of coffees which look delicious.  I am personally particularly drawn to their description of this Costa Rica – – and their Guatemalan coffees sound quite enticing as well.

Crema Coffee Subscription - Video Review

Crema Coffee Subscription – A Sample Box Review

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here are many coffee subscription companies out there, in the first of a new series on Coffee Lovers TV, I’m going to introduce you to a few of my favorites. On the surface, most of these companies have a similar core. They offer you sample boxes, subscriptions, and single offering purchases of a collection of roasters.

Since all these companies are pulling from high-quality roasters, the relative quality of the roasted coffee is going to be equal across each company. What you get is the uniqueness of the roasters themselves, plus the uniqueness of the company providing them.

This episode is all about

Crema Coffee Subscription

*click to activate your $10 discount on your first Crema box*

I’ve had coffee via Crema in the past – in fact, I subscribed for a little bit to see what it’s all about.  Crema’s focus is on single offerings of coffee. When you subscribe you get your first chosen bag of coffee, and then ever X days (whatever the frequency is you chose) you get the next coffee you’ve set in your list (kind of like old school Netflix…does physical netflix still exist even?).


One of the fun things with the Crema coffee subscription is that when you begin, you can answer a couple questions to narrow down where to start. This is one of the greatest challenges in coffee. With all the choices to be had, and all the uniqueness to be found – where do you begin as a coffee drinker? And as someone on the other side as well, how are we to recommend something to you?

So, on Crema you get to answer a couple questions and then narrow down your choice a bit – it gives you a better shot of finding something you will enjoy.

I’ll say first off there are two challenges with this. The questions depend on my subjective analysis of my own taste, and the roaster’s subjective analysis of what their coffee tastes like.  I recall the first time I did this, it was a liiitle bit hit and miss – but then again I’m a picky taster.

In the video preview here, Crema sent me a sample box, featuring 4 different roasters.  I’m not 100% sure if this is something they are offering customers, but if they are, I’d say that’s a pretty darn good idea. It’s much easier to figure out what I enjoy if I can taste 4 different things at once.

I’m happy to say that all the coffees in this coffee subscription were quite well done – and the sample box itself presented an excellent range of taste options (perhaps they will be able to narrow down your choices depending on the initial questionnaire?).

CoffeeCon Seattle 2017 Video Tour with Coffee Lovers Magazine

CoffeeCon Seattle 2017 (a consumer-focused coffee festival). What an exciting undertaking to help bring them to Seattle! About a year ago, as I write this, I happened to be sitting in with a local non-profit – Northwest Space Agency – as they talked about their plans for the year’s events.

NW Space Agency focuses on helping local businesses in Seattle connect with their customers and the community by giving them agency through space and events (basically finding space to host events to promote local businesses).

Throughout last year NW Space Agency hosted numerous coffee-related events – cup tasting challenges, brewing challenges, etc. They are all aimed at connecting coffee and the people in coffee with everyone else. While the group is new, they have done a great job of bringing the casual coffee drinking just a bit deeper into the world of coffee locally.

So about a year ago, I heard them talking about putting together a larger event at the end of the year. A little festival of coffee where local businesses could show off what they are doing and the people in the community could enjoy all that.

Queue my enthusiasm.

First though, turn back a couple years, where I ran into Kevin Sinnott and his show, CoffeeCon. I think my attention was turned to this via my friend Michael Allen Smith, who runs I Need Coffee, shortly after he attended the CoffeeCon San Francisco show in 2014.

I recall realizing immediately the similarities in the goals Kevin and I had – to bridge the gap between the average coffee drinker and the vast fascinating and exciting world of specialty coffee. I knew I wanted to do some kind of consumer facing coffee event (having attended many industry shows), but I personally lacked the resources necessary to go it alone.

Kevin is also an incredibly generous person – from the get go he has strived to help Coffee Lovers Magazine get more exposure through the work he is doing. We did a joint project together, featuring Kevin and CoffeeCon in one of the issues. You can actually view that issue free here – one of the few I have set up to enjoy on any device (tangent: the experience is not as great as the app, but I can do things like embed it in this article).

Ok fast forward, Jan/Feb 2016. It’s been a year + of me encouraging Kevin and CoffeeCon to bring their show to Seattle. The people of Seattle clearly enjoy these kind of events (looking at the many food and culture related events that happen around the city, quite notably The Northwest Chocolate Festival). And NW Space Agency wants to do one themselves.

So, we put two and two together.

The course of 2016 was a great opportunity for all of us – learning how to gather many businesses around this idea, and bring coffee drinkers from around the region to enjoy what the pacific northwest coffee scene has to offer.

And of course, we got to show off what we are doing right smack in the middle of Seattle Center.

Coffee Lovers Magazine, in Seattle Center! Yea that was pretty awesome.

This show is just the beginning. The world is hungry for this kind of connection, where it’s about the people, the connections, and celebrating the best of what we do.

Check out more coffee-related videos at Coffee Lovers TV on Youtube.  Subscribe and join the fun!

brewing on a chemex

Candy Canes and Holiday Blends – Anchorhead Coffee

Holiday Blends – I love coffee blends which are created to a particular theme and experience. There's nothing like drinking a cup that reminds you of a pumpkin pie. Before we dive in though … A series of blunders led to the lateness of this particular episode. I had originally planned to record and publish this just before the new year. Then I got sick. It's really hard to make videos on the taste of coffee when I can't taste anything. So that was a bit of a bummer.

Then CoffeeCon came along and I kind of sidelined some of the video production while focusing on the show. Unfortunately, this meant a severe delay in the video showing off Anchorhead's lovely holiday blend, Winter Warmer. They are an excellent roaster and I highly recommend getting any of their coffees.

Back to the holiday blend! I know I know…it's not the holidays anymore. BUT. It will be again. As I explore more of the intricacies of the coffee world I want to keep you apprised. Let's consider this holiday blend by Anchorhead coffee here, and holiday blends in general.

A couple episodes ago on Coffee Lovers Radio, Jesse and I talked about Conduit Coffee's Winterlake blend. We tasted it on the show, talked about his approach to making it, the blends purpose, etc. If you are reading this thinking “the blend's purpose???” just stick with me for a few moments here…

It's a much longer article to write on the topic of a blend's purpose. But, suffice to say that every blend and single origin is roasted with a particular experience in mind. For single origins these are often roasted in order to showcase the origin tastes and aromas (well, the roaster's interpretation anyways). For blends these are often made to create a specific taste experience. This is why you see ‘espresso' blends. There is no special ‘espresso' bean in coffee, these blends are simply made with the precise espresso technique in mind (again, a much longer article, so I won't go into more detail here).

Holiday blends are much the same. They are made to be enjoyed around the spirit of the holidays. The reason I brought up Conduit's Winterlake in this video/article about Anchorhead's Winter Warmer is because they represent two completely different approaches to the purpose of the holiday blend, which is pretty cool. To get the full picture of what I'm talking about, watch the video on Anchorhead's coffee – you can also listen to the podcast episode we did on the Winterlake.

Here's the gist. Anchorhead here has created a delightful experience I described (as they did on the bag) like Candy Canes.  Well, like holiday mint without the mint flavor. It's difficult to express experience, but it made me think of candy canes by an open fire. So they have created an experience that is synonymous (as much as you can be with a taste and aroma) with the holiday spirit. On the flip side Conduit created a blend that goes magnificently well with the rich and satisfying food that you enjoy during the holidays. It's the perfect pairing for your turkey dinner, or your pumpkin pie, adding an extra layer of joy and satisfaction to the whole holiday experience.

Two completely different approaches to the a similar concept. Pretty cool!

Now if only I could figure out how to transfer taste and aroma over the internet…

Be sure to subscribe to the Coffee Lovers TV on Youtube! Don't miss an episode.

Happy New Year - Cup of Joe - Coffee Lovers Magazine

Happy New Year! – Cup of Joe 1-2-17

Happy new year! It's been awhile since I sat down and did one of these. I was on a roll until mid November, when I got derailed by a number of events followed by the holidays, etc.  It's time to get back on track with making the weekly behind the scenes shows (along with story and commentary here and there).

In this episode (which also appears as the new years episode of Coffee Lovers Radio) I talk about some of the things we've observed in the coffee industry in 2016 – trends and soforth. I also get into my thoughts on this new year. What can we expect in 2017?

The coffee industry is going through some interesting times right now. Some liken it to the shift that beer went through as people discovered and came to prefer craft microbrewed beer over mass produced beer. The enjoyment of quality and taste certainly aligns with similar things happening in coffee. You could also suggest that coffee is going through some of what wine went through, as it progressed from a high-end connoisseur only accessible item, to a level of product enjoyed by anyone who has the desire to dive in – these days even if you know nothing about wine, it is not difficult to enjoy a very well made wine.

My view is that we are going through both. The general public of coffee consumption is experiencing a similar effect that the beer industry did moving into microbrews, as people discover that coffee can taste truly amazing and unique, and that everything they've had before is poorly roasted, or poorly grown, or poorly handled, all in the name of mass production and efficiency. This is especially the case in the US where the spread of population has made broad adoption of specialty coffee more challenging. Countries like Australia are steeped in a ‘higher level' of speciality coffee consumption on a broad scale simply because their populations are all centered around dense urban areas where this kind of thing flourishes.  The same can be said for many of the dense population areas of Europe.  Even Asia is in the middle of a speciality coffee boom.

What does this mean for you the coffee drinker? Well, I give some of my thoughts in this week's show.  I'll also be going more in depth on this idea in an upcoming issue.  Stay tuned…

Fudge Brownie Batter or Pancakes and Cherries – Video Coffee Review

In this Brazil coffee review, I explore a particularly delicious combination. Tasting and describing coffee is a fun and curious thing. I usually just try to go with my instincts on this. I taste a coffee, and then I kind of let that taste and aroma experience bounce around my head until something comes out. Sometimes my reaction is immediate, sometimes I take a little while to zero in on exactly the sort of experience it's like.

Of course, the path to understanding a coffee is affected by what I know about it – it's origin, how the roaster has described it, and who has actually roasted it can all affect my perception of these aromas and tastes. Brazil coffees for example – as I have on this episode – I'm often on the lookout for nuttiness because this is not uncommon in Brazil coffees. I had a fantastic Brazil last year which was like chocolate peanut butter cups (in the most glorious way possible).

So when I approach a Brazil I do end up on the lookout for those aromas and tastes – I don't think it can be helped.

Similarly, when I get a description of a coffee – the one in this video has tasting notes of Pomegranate, Cherry, and Jasmine – that affects my perspective also. Suggestion is very powerful when it comes to taste in coffee. This is because there are so many different tastes that can be discovered, and the combination of different taste elements can create multiple interpretations. We also all have our own perspective on taste in life, and that affects things.

I should say that I don't think any of this is bad. Actually, I think having a great description of the coffee on the bag is a fantastic thing – not only for selling the coffee (so the customer has an idea of what they are getting), but I think even more importantly for guiding the experience that we have when we drink that particular coffee. If you were to give me a bag of coffee with zero description and no information on what it is or where it's from, it would probably take me much longer to come to an understanding (I think – maybe I would surprise myself though). For the average coffee drinker anyways, I think it's very supportive to the experience to have a suggestion of what can be expected because at the very least you can look for those tastes and affirm that's what they are like in coffee.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this week's episode and this brazil coffee review. At this particular point you can't get the coffee I've shared in the show, but if I know a roaster that picks it up, I'll do an update.

Conduit Coffee frequently carries a Brazil single origin, or coffee which contains a Brazil (often their Westlake Blend)

The Visual Storytelling of Coffee

One of my challenges with this project is visual storytelling of coffee. We live in a fascinating time in life, where everything we have and do is at our fingertips, it's on our time. When you spend just a few minutes watching what I do, that is something I greatly respect, because its a few minutes you aren't doing any number of other things.

I strive to make what I do bring enough value in the form of entertainment and knowledge that it is worthy of your time and energy to not only watch and enjoy, but also engage and comment, etc.

And so the challenge to me is to take something as conceivably simple as coffee, which I know to be far more complex and fascinating than most realize, and show you the amazing nature of that coffee through short but engaging and entertaining visual storytelling of coffee.

Its going to take me some time to figure out the visual style that fits me best. I like producing well made polished works – but I also like a bit of roughness in things like video. After all I'm not just showing you something cool, but I'm trying to bring you a bit into my world, and into the world of coffee. That world is real, it's gritty, its full of people driven by passion and hooked for life.  I feel like these videos should be engaging with quick energy and interesting visual components that tell more than I can with words, so that you can just ride through the experience, picking up on ideas and concepts, learning points here and there, and coming to this understanding of ‘yea, I want to experience that.'

I think that's the experience that most people in coffee live for – the one where you say ‘wow that's cool, I didn't realize it could be like that, I want more.'

Let me know what you think in the comments! Or just say hey 😀



Coffee Lovers TV Episode 003 – Anchorhead Coffee

Subscribe to Coffee Lovers TV over on YouTube!

On the show this week is a Colombia coffee by Anchorhead.  Mike and Jake at Anchorhead Coffee just opened a new cafe downtown Seattle – it's a beautiful space, they serve great coffee, and fantastic pastries as well (including what they call a Quaffle, which is when you take a cinnamon roll and smash it in a waffle iron).

Anyhow, as I was checking out their new space I thought it would be a fine time to show off their work.

Anchorhead started out about 3 years ago. I met them originally via Jesse at Conduit Coffee, and then interviewed and had their story in the magazine. They began with cold brew, and moved into selling their own roasted coffee before too long (it's very hard to make a business solely around cold brew year-round). Since then they have grown as a business as well as aristans of a craft. Their roasted coffee is very excellent, and quite worth your time. I definitely recommend getting a bag of the coffee I talk about on this show.

You can't get this coffee anymore, but Anchorhead often carries Colombia, Guatemala, and other fantastic origins –

I am excited this week to be brewing now with the Kalita Wave – I've moved over to this brewing method from Chemex, as the Wave can give me cups of coffee with more overall flavor and body than the Chemex. Not to say that the Chemex is bad. I would describe a cup from a Chemex as cleaner and crisper than the Wave, but as I am storytelling on very complex flavors I decided it would be better to brew from something like the Wave.

I'll certainly put together a video on the Kalita Wave itself – maybe even a little review of sorts.

I also have an introduction that I'll be putting together for this show. If you checked out my Cup of Joe from this week, you will have seen the new introduction I made for that show. I”m going to do something similar here, but I need to gather a number of video clips which will take me some time to get together.

I love hearing back from you – your thoughts and reactions to the show, what you like, what you dont like, what you would love to see, questions you have, etc. Please subscribe to Coffee Lovers TV on YouTube! I'm doing a lot of fun stuff over there. I'll definitely be keeping content up to date on this site, but subscribing and liking over on YouTube really will help the show grow in the long run, and I appreciate all of you who do that 🙂

Feel free to comment below of course!