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Showing posts from September, 2014

Review of Ground Control

Ground Control ( is a shop I have known about for quite a while, but not for the reason you would expect on a coffee blog. I know of this place because a guy my wife carpooled with loves the beer they have. I have also heard they make amazing gelato. So, I thought it was strange that they won the coffee duel in Phoenix Magazine’s Best Of edition. SO…I stopped by and checked the place out.

Brewing Methods - Press Pot

The Press Pot, or French Press, is one of the simplest forms of brewing coffee, and continues to enjoy a huge following. The irony is that many press pot devotees produce cup after cup of poorly executed coffee for a number of reasons. With a little knowledge and technique, the results can be improved.
Target Cup – The first point that needs to be understood is that the press pot is not the best brewing method for every roast and every coffee drinker. Press pots tend to excel with darker roasts that offer body and roast more than subtle coffee flavors. That does not mean that a delicate light to medium roasted coffee cannot be brewed well in a press pot, but darker roasts needs less finesse to achieve decent results.

What If?

I can’t deny the dragon I’ve been hunting all these years when I finally feel its breath. Michael Johnson
I have been thriving on the idea of our coffee cart for month now. It has been energizing me. Now that we have had to start putting our talk into action, I have found myself paralyzed. No fresh ideas, constant doubts, completely shooting myself in the foot. This became evident when we recently met with the roaster we wanted to partner with. I realized I was stuck in the negative lane of “what if’s.”
The moment we decided we were going to approach this roaster for our concept I filled myself with worry and doubt. I began asking myself, “What if….”

Change in the Name?

What is in a name?

The question above was raised so famously in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. In that prose, the conclusion was that the name did not matter.
For a coffee brand, on the other hand, the name can make a big difference. We started exploring this business idea with the name “Muertas Coffee”, which links to the Mexican culture that seeps through the South West. “Dia de los Muertos” is a very important cultural element of traditional Mexican culture, and has very well developed imagery and feel. That imagery can be earthy and rich, which reflects some of coffee’s qualities. The brand name also has to have an image which can evolve over the years and is easily recognizable from afar. When you think of the strongest brands, Golden Arches, Nike Swooshes, and even a green circle with a siren come to mind.

Evolution of Coffee Cart Concept

When we first began considering a coffee cart we were going to do it for community garage sales, farmer’s markets, and other random gatherings of people. I wasn’t ever planning to serve very many cups of coffee. Therefore, I did not need much of a cart.
My original plan was for a mobile kitchen island. They are right around $120 at Big Lots. Table top would be 18inx24in. Just enough room to brew pour overs one cup at a time. I was going to carry along propane burners to boil water (Hazard? I don’t think giant open flames in a dry desert landscape would be dangerous). The cart would be doable. It would be a lot of little pieces, but I could do it. The main benefit to this set up is that I could cover the cost out of pocket.

La Colombe – World Tour Review

I am a big fan of Todd Carmichael’s work at La Colombe Coffee Roasters. Recently, my loving wife bought me “Todd’s Faves: World Tour”, which is three cardboard tubes with two ounces of coffee each: Mexico – El Mirador, Ethiopia – Werka Bauka, and Brazil – Moreninha Formosa (

Review Village Coffee

I stumbled across Village Coffee as I randomly Googled coffee roasters in the Phoenix area ( This has been a jewel of a coffee shop. I stop and get coffee every time I am anywhere near the area. Being my favorite shop in town has its perks, but that also means I sit there and analyze it more than any other shop.