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Back on the Road at Blue Bottle

OK, OK, so it's been a while.  We just had a marvelous new edition to our family and I haven't been on the road to anyplace (with good coffee) for a couple of months. Well, this week I had the good fortune to visit the Blue Bottle Coffee Roastery and Cafe in Oakland, CA.

Here's a great shot of Tony and JoeEllen (tell me if I butchered your name!) who got Friday morning off to a great start.  Definitely knowledgable of the BB goods and also the others roasting in SF/East Bay. Thanks guys!

This is a swell, modern space in a bit of an industrial area, but just a 10 minute walk from the Oakland convention center.  If I had the time, I would have hung out a bit.  Seems like a great space (poked my head into the roastery) to work but also for events.  Lots glass and plenty of light.

I swung by twice to see what they had going on.  The first was a quick visit in the afternoon for an espresso and a short cup of Bella Donovan.

The second trip was at 7:03 AM right after they opened.  Another shot of the espresso and BD.  Great stuff.  Could not have better unless Led Zeppelin III was playing. Oh, it was, loud. 

Brought home some Chiapas and Bella Donovan.  I like the BD for its nice body, complex flavor and lower acidity.  One of the guys at BB told me it was an Uganda/Sumatra blend but the web site says otherwise.  In any case worth a taste for sure.  The Chiapas was good, but my pal swears he can taste (and see) a little bit of scorching.  I thought it was solid, maybe not stellar, but the Mexican coffee is pretty much done for the year so I was happy to have it.

Education at Counter Culture

One of the things we really value here at Small Axe Coffee is that information wants to be free.  When we share with others the things that we know, it improves everyone's experience.  Whether they try something new, change their attitudes, or avoid making a crucial mistake.

So, today, I wanted to post a link to some great resources I found on Counter Culture's Counter Intelligence section of their web site. If only I lived closer to their regional training centers, I'd sign up for these classes:


Alterra at the Lake - Milwaukee, WI

Alterra at the Lake
1701 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 223-4551
MapWeb Site

This Christmas, you might remember I put a Harrar Horse T-Shirt on my wishlist.  My wife ordered it online for me…turns out it was from Alterra Coffee in Milwaukee, WI.  I happened to be in Milwaukee a few weeks ago and had the chance to check out one of the Alterra coffee houses.  They are THE premiere coffee roaster/retailer in Milwaukee, with a half dozen locations around the city.  Before heading out I asked my good friends on Twitter  for the best Alterra location to check out (there are a bunch).  The folks at Aldo Coffee said I had to check out the location at the lake.

Pura Vida in Nicaragua: Profiled on the Newshour

Washington based Pura Vida Coffee was just featured on the PBS Newshour.  The segment included a great 6+ minute video piece on their founder John Sage (featured here in US News) and their work with coffee farmers in Nicaragua.

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