Bests of 2011

Instead of a top-5 or 10 or whatever, how’s about just a list?

Best Burger I Ate All Year : Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea Pasadena Cafe, December 7, 2011, because it was just fantastic. FYI, I had a fair number of burgers this year.

Best Thing I Ate All Year : Table coal-grilled Hanwoo beef at Moo Deung San, Seoul, Korea, November 24, 2011 because it’s the best beef I ever ate.

Best O.P.C. (other people’s coffee) : Intelligentsia Kenya Tegu 2011 (mid-September 2011, roasted in Chicago)
(FYI, Trish’s was: Kaffa (Norway) Honduras Finca Moreno (mid-November 2011))

Best Coffee Blog : Roaster Project because I appreciate the blogger’s sharing his journey with us as he’s learning and experimenting and designing and building. Sharing is good.

Best Coffee Tumblr : TIEBoys Kittens Coffee and Coffee Crotch Shots.

Best coffee-person’s Flickr Feed : Three Sevens because it’s a great mix of coffee pics, personal stuff, and just the right amount of Instagrammy content (not too much, not too little).

Best non-coffee Filckr Feed : TIE: Red and Jonny and Nightmare Fear Factory

Best Coffee Twitter : TIE: @cKronman@devinpedde because they’re both smart, funny, and not self-promoting.

Best TV show : TIE: Game of Thrones & Homeland (yeah, snobby premium-cable shows, I know)

Best Media Coverage Of Coffee By The Lame-Stream Media : CNBC’s “The Coffee Addiction”

Best coffee iPhone app : (this space intentionally left blank)

Best Climate By Government Test : Redwood City, California

Best Overhyped Company in Coffee : Handsome Coffee Roasters because nobody could possibly live up to the amount of hype these boys got? Make no mistake, HUGE love and respect for Handsome and what they do, but the coverage left such a mark on our retinas that it feels like they had a reality-show this year, even though they were never on TV.

Best Underhyped Company in Coffee : Gimme! Coffee because they’re doing way more awesomer coffee and admirable stuff this year than the push they got in the industry.

Best IT-GIRL of specialty coffee : Julie Housh

Best Coffee Video : “Betty’s Coffee”

Best Coffee Gadget/Gear : Baratza Virtuoso + Esatto

Best Humongous Multi-Story Roaster-Retailer Shop : Sightglass Coffee

Best Barista Objectification For A Great Charity : WBC Champion 2012 Calendar

Best Shortest Coffeeshop Name : I Do, Seoul, Korea

Best Groan-inducing Coffeeshop Name : Seventh Wave Coffee, Seoul, Korea

Best Coffee Industry Event : Barista Guild of America Camp Pull-A-Shot

Best Post : #YesEqual

and the 2011 Official Best Phenomenon in Coffee: The Guest Barista Shift because the concept of the guest-shift quietly came into its own this year. From random reports from around the country and around the world, to the BGA EC doing guest-shifts throughout PDX, the idea of a barista traveling to a shop that they do not work at and… well… work, is a remarkable thing to be sure. Not only does this reveal a certain amount of trust among peoples, it also means that there’s enough skill out there that it’s even possible. Imagining such a thing happening just a few years ago is ludicrous, and now it’s everywhere. And completely under-the-radar, as if it was always supposed to be like that. I can think of little else that is as much a display of passion for the craft as it is a symbol of the best parts of the barista community and specialty coffee, for the reasons stated and for many others. It makes my heart happy.

See you in 2012!

3 Responses to Bests of 2011

  1. Colin Harmon says:

    Come on Nick, look a little outside of the US!

    Great list though ;)

  2. MKS says:

    I mean, who could argue with best climate by government test?

  3. MKS says:

    Though, I wouldn’t have minded a best faux, coffee step kid of the year.

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