Culture Cooler, Baristas Go Big in Austin, “Hello” Wins The Masses and NYFW Gets New Coffee. February 13, 2017

present and historic

Austin, Texas | Go Big, or


The Cafe, Marrakesh, Morocco

Cafe’s are made for baristas. They are made for baristas who care about customers that order coffee to sit and to take away hoping for a connection in the cup and beyond. Given this, another round of nearly sixty baristas competed The Specialty Coffee Association’s Championship events in Austin, Texas, to qualify for the United States Coffee Competition in Seattle on April 21-23, 2017, where here one hopes to be the ultimate champion of the U.S. and later head to the World Competition in Seoul, Korea November 9-12, 2017.

It could be one of the most diverse competitors the competition has seen in a while with multiple cultures representing, many first time competitors, returning competitors as well as many women competing behind the bar. During the two days’ worth of performances baristas underscored the value of experience, giving customers what they want – beverages served rather quickly and accurately – while also coaxing them down the specialty rabbit hole. Additionally, themes of sustainability – from hybrid coffees, selection methods, eco-pulper, volcanic soil, washed processes – all find a way into the rhetoric of our baristas.

However, one of the most resounding presentations, orally and visually was uttered by the top finisher of the two days, and seasoned competitor and coffee professional, Andrea Allen, co-owner of Onyx Coffee Lab. She waxed poetically on the idea of hospitality, her reception of it at origin and learning how to give it within the origin of her business. She performed an ultimate and allegorical gesture of humility by washing the judges hands while enunciating her coffee and its flavor.

A tweet recap of her performance below:

This is the normal service you receive at your local #coffee shop. Andrea @OnyxCoffeeLab. Serving a washed Colombian geisha #coffeechamps.

From seed to cup, specialty coffee is a business. Andrea @OnyxCoffeeLab#coffeechamps

We’ve come a long way but I feel we have not arrived. We should be learning #hospitality from producers. Andrea @OnyxCoffeeLab#coffeechamps

Yes, Yes, Yes to hospitality. Andrea @OnyxCoffeeLab Andrea #coffeechamps

Working to ‘Hard Sun’ Eddie Vedder, Andrea@OnyxCoffeeLab serves her espresso course florals w. rose, raspberry, j.tea. #coffeechamps

Love the detail. Andrea @OnyxCoffeeLabuses a century old technique for milk, Cerra Azul espresso, rosewater, acid phosphate #coffeechamps

Sitrring with a cinnamon stick. Balance. Rose aroma, lemon lime candy, cherry middle, Cola sweet. Andrea @OnyxCoffeeLab#coffeechamps

And, a glass for aromatics. Clipboards down for me. She comes by, washes hands w rosewater. Hospitality. #coffeechamps Andrea @OnyxCoffeeLab

A producer made her eggs, hiked farm with her on her origin trips. Andrea@OnyxCoffeeLab tells of hospitality she felt #coffeechamps
I got to see and be changed by kindness. To be a leader, I need to be a servant.@OnyxCoffeeLab #coffeechamps Andrea

I’ve washed hands as a symbol of the posture and the service that should be the future of our industry. Andrea @OnyxCoffeeLab #coffeechamps

For specialty to move fwd we need to shift our focus to hospitality at origin. Andrea @OnyxCoffeeLab to ‘Clear’ NeedtoBreate. #coffeechamps

Man! This This This. I’ve been talking about this offline so much! Thank you Andrea @OnyxCoffeeLab #hospitality.
 LOS ANGELES | awarded

Adele, “Hello”, gif

It has over one billion video views. And it, is the fastest Youtube video to do it, in 87 days – to hit one billion views since Psy set the record. For more of the records that this it album Adele’s “25” has broken visit here and here.

The song “Hello” which she opened the 59th installation of The Grammys. It was the first single to play off “25″ in Adele’s return to music after a great “21” and having a baby. If she wondered if the people ‘would hear her now’ as she says in the opening of the single’s video, that question is answered by the sheer volume of real people watchers from one of the internets widest video services: YouTube.

So, this culture says Hello to that early scene of her entering the house and seeing the kitchen to the far right. Hello to that tea kettle that gets placed atop the stove. Hello to that tea bag that gets dipped and eventually settles into the decorated ceramic as she begins to have a conversation on the phone and with us the viewer. 

“Hello,” the single was nominated for Song of the Year and won; the album “25″ was nominated for Record of The Year and won, “Hello” was nominated for Record of the Year and won and “Hello” was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance.  With all that, Hello to that bialetti stovetop, that clearly plays a roll in her lifestyle and that of her lover whom she speaks to, whom she apologies to, or attempts to. Hello, to the steaming cup of hot, that comforts us in the inner places that sometimes even a returned answer to a Hello couldn’t. 

Hello to an artist who smashed airwaves, records and any expectations its public might of had of her owning the mic and the music upon her return. 

Now for a spot of tea, if you will. 

NEW YORK: Who, What, Coffee?


@lauramorsmanphotography, instagram

The NYFW: The Shows  officially started on Thursday, February 9th. As it did, it welcomed a bevy of designers showing collections and presentations all eyes were on the snow filled streets and the huddle of people finding warmth indoors. To make the bi-annual New York event, historic for coffee. Italian brand Lavazza’s made its first foray into sponsoring the New York edition with its service at the Papyrus cafe and VIP lounge at Clarkson Square, a destinations hub for shows.

A branded espresso popcorn appeared during its “Special Coffee Moment’ Friday – Sunday.

(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Lavazza)

While, two of the coffee brand’s roasts – Gran Filtro Dark Roast and Gran Filtro Decaffeinate – these will be on bar for the entire week. Stay warm and sip on.