PODCAST: Why So Silent?

Why So Silent?

Ashley and Nick spend this hour-plus talking through a few hot topics: Cultivating a coffee workplace, a bit about gender in coffee, and some recent developments around the US Coffee Championships. Be sure to let us know if you have any thoughts or questions!

Duration: 1h 15m 55s

Show music:
“Babies in Love” by BUNT. http://itsbunt.bandcamp.com/
“Climbing Up The Ladder” by Samuel Joseph Kim https://samueljosephkim.bandcamp.com/

Links mentioned:
“Don’t hire people based on experience and performance, if you can help it.” by Nick Cho
“I Didn’t Want to Get Anyone In Trouble — Why We Can’t Stay Quiet about Sexual Misconduct” by Ashley Rodriguez

Email: mailbag@portafilter.net
Twitter: @pfpodcast @nickcho @ashcommonname @MattKreizenbeck
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PODCAST: The SCAA-SCAE Unification

The SCAA-SCAE Unification

SPONSORED BY LA MARZOCCO USA. Check out their office program at http://home.lamarzoccousa.com/office/

Part two with Specialty Coffee Association of America Executive Director Ric Rhinehart. This hour is all about the planned unification of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE).
WARNING: A good conversation to listen to if you’re engaged with or interested in SCAA-SCAE matters. If you aren’t, this one might not be for you.

Duration: 1h 01m 50s

Show music:
“Babies in Love” by BUNT. http://itsbunt.bandcamp.com/
“We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off” Jermaine Stewart
“2 Become 1″ Spice Girls

Email: mailbag@portafilter.net
Twitter: @pfpodcast @nickcho @ashcommonname
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PODCAST: Ashley Meets Ric Rhinehart Part 1

Ashley Meets Ric Rhinehart Part 1

SPONSORED BY LA MARZOCCO USA. Check out their office program at http://home.lamarzoccousa.com/office/

Specialty Coffee Association of America Executive Director Ric Rhinehart stops by the Portafilter Podcast studios in this first of a two-parter, where we go to school about some of the realities of coffee production and consumer outreach beyond what most of the industry is talking about. WARNING: Some of this is intensely technical and may not appeal to every listener, but we were engrossed!

Duration: 58m 17s

Show music:
“Babies in Love” by BUNT. http://itsbunt.bandcamp.com/
“Stretch Your Face” TOBACCO
“Elastic Heart” Sia

Email: mailbag@portafilter.net
Twitter: @pfpodcast @nickcho @ashcommonname
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PODCAST: First Time Barista Competitor Throwdown

First Time Barista Competitor Throwdown

SPONSORED BY LA MARZOCCO USA. Check out their office program at http://home.lamarzoccousa.com/office/

Fresh from the 2016 US Barista Championships in Atlanta, Georgia, Ashley and Nick hear from some competitors who competed for the first time this year. We discuss barista competitions through that fresh perspective, including a chat with Becky Reeves from Portland, Oregon.

Duration: 1h 00m 37s

Show music:
“Babies in Love” by BUNT. http://itsbunt.bandcamp.com/
“Training Montage” Rocky IV (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
“U Got the Look” Prince

Email: mailbag@portafilter.net
Twitter: @pfpodcast @nickcho @ashcommonname
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PODCAST : Craft Chocolate and the New Podcast Team!

Craft Chocolate and the New Podcast Team!

A conversation with Colin Gasko, founder of Rogue Chocolatier, and Carla D. Martin, founder and executive director of the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute. Oh, and the Portafilter Podcast is BACK, and with a new team! Meet Ashley and Bigmatt!

Duration: 53m 37s

Show music: “Babies in Love” by BUNT. http://itsbunt.bandcamp.com/

Email: podcast@portafilter.net
Twitter: @pfpodcast @nickcho @ashcommonname
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PODCAST: Oliver Strand – The Portafilter Interviews

Oliver Strand – The Portafilter Interviews

Now on SPRUDGE MEDIA
BROUGHT TO YOU BY TruBru.com and Kalita USA, and Hasbean.

My interview with writer Oliver Strand, who writes about food, wine, and most recently coffee, for the New York Times, Vogue, GQ, Bon Appetit, among other publications. He has a book about coffee (title to be announced) scheduled to be released in 2014.

Links mentioned in the show:
2012 SCAA Symposium videos part 1, part 2, part 3
Nordic Barista Cup 2013
(audio) iTunes Meet the Author with James Freeman

Duration: 1h 05m 16s

Show music: “Desert Song” by Samuel Kim. http://www.samueljosephkim.com

Email: podcast@portafilter.net
Twitter: @pfpodcast @nickcho @oliverstrand
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PODCAST: Peter Giuliano – The Portafilter Interviews

Peter Giuliano – The Portafilter Interviews

Now on SPRUDGE MEDIA
BROUGHT TO YOU BY TruBru.com and Kalita USA, and Hasbean.

A nice chat with my friend Peter Giuliano, the Symposium Director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Duration: 1h 21m 55s

Show music: “Desert Song” by Samuel Kim. http://www.samueljosephkim.com

Email: podcast@portafilter.net
Twitter: @pfpodcast @nickcho @petergiuliano
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PODCAST: Ric Rhinehart – The Portafilter Interviews


Ric Rhinehart – The Portafilter Interviews

Now on SPRUDGE MEDIA
BROUGHT TO YOU BY TruBru.com and Kalita USA.

The first in a series of interviews, we get to know Ric Rhinehart, the Executive Director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Duration: 1h 17m 51s

Show music: “Desert Song” by Samuel Kim. http://www.samueljosephkim.com

Email: podcast@portafilter.net
Twitter: @pfpodcast @nickcho @r2studio
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“The Perfect Cappuccino”

(a film review)

Indeed, it’s more than just a cup of coffee!

Though it’s a beverage, a commodity, and a consumer-good, there’s something about coffee that is fundamentally personal. It’s something you share, you meet for, and that has been bringing people together for hundreds of years.

Amy Ferraris captures so much of this in her documentary “The Perfect Cappuccino.” The title would presume a documentary about the pursuit of a certain cup of a certain coffee drink, but as is inevitable whenever someone takes a closer look at it, coffee is so much more. From so much shared about her own personal experiences, to a critical look at Starbucks and its influence on coffee around the world, from the Third-Wave coffee movement, to Brian Franklin and his Tulsa, Oklahoma shop, Doubleshot Coffee Company, Amy takes the time to tell the story she wants to tell, with some of the most interesting stuff coming from her interviews with baristas and coffee professionals in Italy.

I met Amy back in 2006 when she was working on this film, and I’m ashamed that it’s taken me this long to get around to watching it. It’s through the miracle of technology, specifically the iTunes Store, that brought “The Perfect Cappuccino” into my home in a few simple clicks. Both Trish and I were really happy to have seen it, and we strongly recommend that you watch it as well. For anyone who works in, or is really interested in coffee, it’s absolutely required viewing.

Perfect Coffee?

At last year’s SCAA annual Expo, the keynote speaker was George Ray McEachern, a professor of horticulture at Texas A&M University, focusing much of his research and study in wine. He used a particular phrase during his speech which absolutely fascinated me, especially as we often compare coffee and wine: “Perfect wine.”

He kept saying stuff like, “We (in the wine industry) used to have ___ problem, but we fixed it by ___, and now the wine is perfect.” There’s an almost visceral reaction that follows a comment like that. “Perfect?” How could he possibly be so obtuse as to declare wine to be “perfect?” Clearly there are different quality levels in wine, not every wine scores a 100 points (on any scale), and there is obviously much improvement that is still plausible and possible in wine, at every step in the process. Just like coffee!

But that’s not what he means. What he means is essentially that wine is now mostly defect-free. Even low-priced wines, while perhaps not the most earth-shattering in flavor, exhibit all of the baseline qualities that what you’d call “good quality wine” should have. Processing-related defects are mostly non-existent. Technology and technique have discovered the sources of the defects, and technology and technique have resolved them. Hence, today, you have perfect wine.

I had never thought of it that way before, but while it takes a little bit of shifting-of-gears mentally, it really makes total sense. In our world, where a 94-point score makes you wonder what’s wrong with it that it’s not a 100-point score, “perfect” is impossible. “Perfect” is a Holy Grail of sorts, never to be achieved but forever to be pursued.

Perfect wine does not mean that it will all score 100-points. Defect-free is perfection of a critically-important sort, but it still allows for different quality levels within it. You can have a Honda Civic and a Mercedes S-Class, and if both are mechanically perfect with no defects whatsoever, you could call them both perfect. It does not have to mean that they are equal in quality.

So obviously, the next question becomes, what is “perfect coffee?”

Right away, even if one were to accept the idea of perfect wine, many will resist the idea of “perfect coffee.” Indeed, despite all of the similarities between coffee and wine, they are also very different. Wine is commonly referred to being about 30 years ahead of coffee in development, and the growing and processing of coffee has much farther to go before we can declare coffee to be “perfect.” But that’s not to say individual coffees can’t be perfect.

Grow perfect coffee. Process perfect coffee. Source perfect coffee. Roast perfect coffee. Brew perfect coffee.

For us in the consuming-world, it starts at sourcing. There is still a great deal of defect to be found in green coffee supplies of renown specialty coffee roasters. Defect must be eliminated from what you do. Roasting defect must be eliminated. Brewing defects must be eliminated. Every time a specialty-coffee professional accepts defect without identifying it as such, it holds the industry back.

This will, somewhat obviously, require for specialty coffee professionals to learn to identify defects in green coffee, in roasting, in roasted coffee, in brewing, and in brewed coffee. But often, someone will allow over-ferment and instead call it “fruity.” Someone will have roasted coffee with scorching and tipping and call it “tobacco-finish.” Someone will taste an over-extracted coffee and call it “complex.” Each time this happens, it holds the industry back.

It really can be perfect.