SCRBC 2012 Update: Registration Now Open

February 28, 2012 · Filed Under Barista Competition, SCAA · Comment 

Please Click Here to Register.

SCRBC 2012 News

February 23, 2012 · Filed Under Barista Competition · Comment 

Due to the lack of a willing host (come on, people, we can’t just expect Cuvee to take on the burden every year.. ), this year’s South Central Regional Barista Competition will be held in conjunction with the North Central Regional Barista Competition in Chicago, Illinois on March 23rd – 25th.


  • Where: Ravenswood Event Center, 4011 North Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613
  • When:  11:00am, March 23, 2012  to 5:00pm, March 25, 2012
  • Hosts:  Intelligentsia Coffee, Counter Culture Coffee and Alterra Coffee
  • States in Region (SCRBC):  Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi
  • States in Region (NCRBC):  North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan
  • Event Link: The Big Central Regional Barista Competition
  • Competitors Registration:  The link isn’t up yet (pathetic.. seriously), so I would harrass the BGA via their contact page or get in contact with our regional BGA representative, Lorenzo Perkins at Cuvee Coffee.
  • Judges Registration:  see above(Competitors Registration)
  • Volunteers Registration: see above(Competitors Registration)
  • Travel Information:  “coming soon”.. you know the dates and location.. map it, search TripAdvisor, and knock yourself out.  I suggest allowing a day or two after the competition to do a cafe crawl or three, and maybe a roasting works tour at Intelligentsia.  Of course, Chicago has a lot to offer all its own aside from coffee, so choose your priorities carefully.  /travel_agent_script


Barista Throwdown League – West Texas

February 21, 2012 · Filed Under Amarillo, barista jam, Baristas, Latte Art · Comment 

Big props to Palace Coffee Company for putting this together!

River Water in Jimma Officially Effected by Coffee Processing – SCAA

January 18, 2012 · Filed Under Coffee Farms, Coffee Industry, Ethiopia, SCAA, sustainability · Comment 

New Research Update: The Impact of Coffee Processing on River Water in Ethiopia

By Emma Bladyka, Coffee Science Manager, SCAA

A new study, published in theJournal ofEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment, has investigated the specific environmental impact of coffee waste on river water in the Jimma Zone of Ethiopia. This research was undertaken by collaborators from Ethiopian, US and Belgium Universities, as well as the local Jimma Agricultural Research Center. The article was first published online on December 9, 2011, and can be found at the journal website.

Most of us are probably aware that coffee processing can use a lot of water and impact the chemistry of that water, but this has not been quantified extensively in many growing regions. It is especially important to understand this coffee-related pollution as we progress further down the rabbit hole of climate change and dwindling natural resources.

Interesting study!  Considering that so many of us in the specialty coffee industry are also concerned about environmental responsibility, I assume this to be worth paying attention to for any buyers of Ethiopian coffee, especially from the Jimma zone.  Solid wastes from processing (I assume this is primarily from the wet process mills) are seasonal (obviously), and scientists actually evaluated river water before, during, and after wastes were dumped to see how the normal river ecosystem is effected by coffee.  The results are both better and worse that what one might expect.

In this study, the authors found significant reductions in water quality downstream from coffee processing plants during the wet season. During the wet season, they saw a large increase in organic loads, nutrients, and solids, which resulted in dissolved oxygen levels to as little as 0.1 mg/L water. They also found that during the processing peak that the average pH of river waters was lowered from 7 to 6.2. This combination of changes led to a decrease in diversity of macroinvertebrates.

During the dry season, the scientists found that the organic load, dissolved oxygen, solids, and pH had recovered to mostly normal levels. They found that the overall macroinvertebrate diversity was restored during this time period, but that the most sensitive taxa remained at low percentages, indicating a longer-term impact on the ecosystem. Interestingly, since the dissolved oxygen was reduced so drastically, scientists found that the water pollution by nitrogen was unable to recover during the dry season. This is because some oxygen is necessary during the nitrogen cycle in order to transform it to its volatile form and expel it from the river water. With this information, they determined that oxygen levels, organic load, and nitrate were all causal for the shift in invertebrate diversity. The authors considered this a very serious finding and worried that without fast action many of these rivers would pose a risk to not only ecosystem but human health.

I HIGHLY recommend reading the entire article, as it goes into more detail than I feel comfortable re-pasting here.  It does take into consideration the idea of filtering the waste water before returning it to the river, as well as composting and fertilizing practices and possibilities with coffee waste.  It also mentions that there are farms that do this, however, it does not mention any research into their overall effectiveness in preventing river water contamination.  I suspect, however, that it is quite good, considering that the bulk of the problem appears to be solids.  It appears that anything  preventing solids from ending up in the river is a good thing.

Read the full article:
New Research Update: The Impact of Coffee Processing on River Water in Ethiopia – SCAA Chronicle

Fat: The SIXTH Taste

January 16, 2012 · Filed Under Coffee Industry, Tasting, TX-Coffee · 2 Comments 

Receptor for tasting fat identified in humans 

January 12, 2012
By Jim Dryden

Why do we like fatty foods so much? We can blame our taste buds.

Our tongues apparently recognize and have an affinity for fat, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. They have found that variations in a gene can make people more or less sensitive to the taste of fat.

The study is the first to identify a human receptor that can taste fat and suggests that some people may be more sensitive to the presence of fat in foods. The study is available online in the Journal of Lipid Research.

Investigators found that people with a particular variant of the CD36 gene are far more sensitive to the presence of fat than others.  …more

Scientists have agreed that the tongue can sense five distinct tastes but differed over whether our taste buds can detect fact. New research now finds that the tongue can recognize and has an affinity for fat and that variations in a gene can make people more or less sensitive to the taste of fat in foods.


Oh boy, if adding “umami” not long ago wasn’t enough, now we have “fat” as a non-aromatic taste.  Will this effect sensory tests like the Q Grader test?  Will this spawn new research by the GCQRI, SCAA, SCAE, CQI, etc?

There has already been some discussion about lipids in coffee, and how they are not true lipids since they are water soluble, but will this new discovery and its influenced research affect “legit” roast levels?

On the other hand, it could just be a trivial “huh.. interesting” facet of taste with the result of nothing changing within our industry.  Interesting, nevertheless.  What say you?

Random Picture Friday #28: Compleat Cup

November 18, 2011 · Filed Under Random Picture Friday · 1 Comment 


(via BostInnovation)

Today’s Random Picture Friday is all about a lidless takeaway cup from Compleat.   Check out the image!


The concept is more eco-friendly and has the potential to save retailer’s money in one fell swoop by eliminating the lid as a factor. Thus, no lid is thrown away, and no lids need to be purchased. According to the Compleat website, they are suitable for use with both cold and hot beverages, which makes me wonder if this is really such a hot (no pun intended) idea for hot beverages.

The funnel-like shape of the sipper opening would lend pretty well to getting more than one bargained for perhaps a little too easily.  Is it brilliant?  Perhaps.  Is it a lawsuit waiting to happen?  Time will tell.

Either way, it’s a pretty innovative approach.  Read about how the idea was formed at BostInnovation.

Texas Monthly Talks Coffee.. Briefly

November 17, 2011 · Filed Under Publicity, Quality, Roasters · Comment 





In the December 2011 issue of Texas Monthly, Jason Cohen talksabout coffee quality in the consumer’s
kitchen in a feature linked to the cover article on Breakfast entitled,
“Not Your Average Joe”(link).

Dr. Timothy Schilling, Interim Executive Director of the GCQRI(Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative) makes an appearance to let average coffee consumers know of the importance of freshly roasted coffee.  A few roasters are named as good sources for their respective local areas, including Oak Cliff Coffee, Katz Coffee, Cuvee Coffee, and
AJ Coffee Company.
Maybe next time they can take it a step further and talk about proper brewing.  If nothing else, at least readers of Texas Monthly will now know to look for roast dates and freshness as an indicator of quality.  Cheers!

Happy National Coffee Day!

September 29, 2011 · Filed Under Coffee, Texas Coffee People · Comment 

Today is National Coffee Day, and a few TX coffee businesses are helping you celebrate!

The Pearl Cup (Dallas, TX) is offering 50% off any pastry with the purchase of a large coffee drink.

Good Brews Coffee & Tea Lounge (Lubbock, TX) is giving away a FREE small coffee with ANY purchase.

AJ Coffee Company (Lubbock, TX) has a sale of 25% off of ANY coffee through their web shop. (coupon code NTLCOFFEEDAY )

The 806 (Amarillo, TX) is selling all coffee and espresso drinks at HALF OFF

Palace Coffee Company (Canyon, TX) 25% off all French Press’d coffees with guest David Ramirez playing tonight!

Healthy Essentials (Lubbock, TX) In celebration of National Coffee Day, you an get 1 FREE 80z cup of coffee

Are you or your favorite coffee company celebrating?  Let us know!
Leave your own deals in the comments below!

Random Picture Friday #27: Evolution of a Coffee Addict

September 23, 2011 · Filed Under comics, Random Picture Friday · 1 Comment 

(via – holykaw.alltop)

Have a great weekend!

Four of the Top 25 Caffeinated Cities are in Texas

September 21, 2011 · Filed Under Just for fun, Texas Coffee People, TX-Coffee · Comment 

(via - Seattle Pi)

click to enlarge

Those cities are (in decending order):

  • Dallas
  • Austin
  • El Paso
  • Plano

Maybe Plano should be included in the Dallas number to bump a TX city up a few places from 12.

Keep on caffeinating, Texas.

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