new object of coffee gear lust

The folks at Mahlkönig, the German company whose grinders grace the counters of specialty coffee houses around the world, are entering the home enthusiast market with the X54.

photo: Mahlkönig website

The folks at Sprudge were fortunate enough to take it for a test drive ahead of the imminent US release. Sounds like it’s as amazing as it looks, though the biggest problem is the hopper is too tall. I’d suffer through that. Then again I’m not really looking to spend $900 on a home grinder, as magnificent as it may be. But if money were no object, that bad boy would soon be sitting in my kitchen next to a La Marzocco Linea Mini or a Rocket Appartamento.

3rd Annual Holiday Gift Guide

also see my 2018 and 2019 guides

As terrible as the year 2020 has been, the holiday season gives us a chance to end on a positive note and get ready for better days ahead. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the coffee obsessive in your life, or want to treat yourself, here are a few ideas for you. All are available online for those unable or unwilling to do in-person shopping. I also encourage you to take a look through my previous gift guides (links above), as most everything in there is still available and still makes for great presents.

Shop Local
If your giftee’s favorite coffee shop is still open, you can bet they’re fighting for survival. Give a gift that will be appreciated by the recipient and the merchant. Look up the website of that favorite shop, there’s a good chance you can find electronic gift certificates, beans, and merch.

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coffee world faces its own reckoning

Angela Weiss/AFP

As the US, and now the world, is forced to face up to the injustices and structural racism which confront black people on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that the coffee industry is dealing with shocks of its own. The past week in particular has caught up key players in the specialty coffee world, as well as the gargantuan icon of the global coffee industry. Let’s weed through a few examples.

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mini-review: Allegro Coffee

Today a coffee craving struck me while I was at an outlet of a well-known, high end grocery chain. For the sake of nothing in particular, let’s refer to the store as Mole Dudes

Mole Dudes owns Allegro Coffee, which started as a roaster in Boulder, Colorado in 1977. Many Mole Dudes, including the one I found myself in today, have an Allegro shop within a shop in their stores.

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mini-review: Takoma Bev Co

On a bucolic commercial block in the DC suburbs which just screams small-town American goodness, you’ll find Takoma Beverage Company, otherwise known as Takoma Bev Co.  This shop has quickly become a mainstay of Takoma Park, MD, a progressive, funky town hard by the DC line.

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