It's a bit rude of me to post this before he has a chance to respond, but last week I sent this e-mail to a fellow food blogger as a response to this page:
happened on Eating Milwaukee today while doing a Google search and was
happy to find the site. It's great that your colleagues met at Ripon
College. My aunt graduated from there many years ago. She was classmates
with singer Al Jarreau.
I was interested to
read your Pledge to readers, but it has stuck in my mind all day--and I
have to admit has not sat very well with me. It feels a bit like you're
saying that food bloggers who delve into politics are worthy of special
opprobrium. I feel that what is in place or out of place on any type of
blog is entirely up to the blogger. I can't think of any medium that is
more "opt-in" than a blog.
Goodness knows that I
haven't been able to open my Facebook for over four years without
reading Obama this or Obama that--more specifically, the most vile and
baseless propaganda regarding the President and his policies. For
blogging about political topics, I have been trolled and insulted. Yet
those who have industries, pulpits, altars and even tax-exempt status at
their disposal don't hesitate to take it that one step further and
I'm not comfortable with
the chilling effects a code--whether spoken or unspoken--of "leaving
politics out of it" may have. Not in these times. I feel that current
political issues are too directly tied to the pain and suffering felt by
children and society's most vulnerable. I don't imagine either of us
will change our stance on political blogging, but I wanted to share with
you the reasoning behind my words and actions.
There's an excellent article by Scott Taves at seattlepi.com about cold-brewed coffee. An admitted hot java "purist", Taves became a cold-brew nut last month when he tasted Caribou Coffee's chilly offering in Chicago.
Setting his sights on making the stuff at home, he bought the Toddy Cold Brew System and has all sorts of good things say for the $38 machine. It also serves a second master, brewing tea as well.
More interesting to me though is the $85 Coffee Snob Cold Drip Coffee Maker. A fascinating contraption that stands 2 feet tall, it begs for a Victorian parlor to call home.
John Brownlee of Boing Boing Gadgets has managed to prove what we've suspected all along: that an otherwise knowledge person who writes about the latest gadgets and doodads but has never worked as a barista or taken the time to learn the subtle art of pulling shots knows nothing about espresso.
In a post about the Brunopasso PD-1 Pod Espresso Machine, designed by Tadahito Ishibashi for Tokyo-based deviceSTYLE, Brownlee whines about European espresso culture, while at the same time demonstrating his complete ignorance of how good espresso should be made.
I'm not a big fan of pod espresso machines, but the Brunopasso PD-1 is a thing of pure aesthetic beauty. My suggestion to Brownlee is to purchase this machine because no one, no one can eff up a shot from a pod.
The folks over at Boing Boing have posted Part 2 of Mark Frauenfelder’s visit to Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea's roasting facility in Los Angeles. Kyle Glanville takes him through the process of making the perfect espresso with Mark’s own machine and gives a step-by-step tutorial in brewing with a vacuum pot.
Today's episode of Boing Boing TV features a tour of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea's roasting facility in Los Angeles. Mark Frauenfelder interviews Kyle Glanville, head of research and development, and is guided through the roasting process by Deaton Pigot, roaster and quality control specialist.
This is only part 1, so be sure to head back to Boing Boing for the second half when they get around to posting it.
Several months ago I saw a strangely compelling TV commercial featuring people 'round the globe saluting viewers with mugs full of beer. At the time I wondered what exactly the ad was selling--there were no brand labels, no scantily clad women romping through fake powered snow desperately pretending they weren't freezing their nips off--those production studios can get pretty damn cold, ya know--and no "regular Joes" scheming to get their hands and lips on their neighbors'/friends'/enemies' recently purchased six-pack. Curious as I was, I did nothing to find out who had sponsored the ad and continued on my with life as if I'd never seen it all--yes, it's true that television often fails to have as much impact on me as, say, a twelve year old. Also, I'm incredibly lazy.
Today though my memory was jogged and interest peaked by the most unlikely of sources as Matt Milletto, consulting director of The American Barista and Coffee School (ABC) and founder of Barista Exchange, blogged about Here's To Beer, the very creators of the ad I'd seen months before.
Sponsored by beer giant Anheuser-Busch, Here's To Beer has pretty much all the basic facts you'd ever want to know: beer history, beer and food pairings, the brewing process, style guides, tasting rules, and the list goes on. There's even a literal play-by-play of how to pour your suds correctly.
If you're into learning more, you can register to join The Beer Connoisseur, an interactive, flash-heavy curriculum. I suggest you pour yourself a nice Belgian White to get the full schooling experience.
Claiming that ad spokeswoman Rachael Ray (pictured left) is wearing a kaffiyeh--a black and white fringed scarf commonly worn in Arab cultures throughout the Middle East--Malkin turned up her bully-horn, calling it "jihadi chic" and "hate couture."
While we all know the Food Network's darling Rachael is a notorious closet supporter of jihad--just look at the way she mixes tuna salad, people!--it's pretty clear from the still of the ad that what she's wearing is a paisley scarf, as Dunkin' Ds has claimed, and not a kaffiyeh. And even if she was wearing a kaffiyeh, so what? It's a traditional Arab textile meant to be worn as a headdress by males, the origins of which date back long before Yasser Arafat, the PLO or current Muslim extremist movements ever existed. If we were truly looking for something to rile up the blood, we could get mad at RR for wearing the kaffiyeh inappropriately, but that's about it.
Okay, so let's take the high road here and give Malkin a nice, slow round of claps for scoring such a big win in our seemingly endless Fight Against Terrorism™, shall we? Now, if we could just find someway to convince her of the fact that Arab and/or Muslim does not equal terrorist. On second thought, I think it'd be much more productive, not to mention more pleasant, to beat my head against a wall.
Stone Creek Coffee Roasters has apparently dropped its biweekly email newsletter, The Buzz Blog. I haven't received one in my inbox since April 1--unless I've been unsubscribed from the list, which I didn't request. I sent an email yesterday to Steve Hawthorne, Stone Creek's Executive Manager of Sales and Marketing, asking about the fate of newsletter, but there's been no response yet.
The latest post on the company's site is dated April 14--and, yes, if you click over there right now you may be greeted by a post from May, 2007, penned by some crackpot blogger who no longer works for Stone Creek. Perhaps the Milwaukee roaster's shift of focus to its wholesale business is beginning to take a toll on its marketing and PR, hmm? (Boy howdy, I do loves me some baseless speculation!)
I know it's hard to maintain a company blog or "What’s New" web page, not to mention a regularly scheduled email newsletter, and to be fair most businesses don't bother to try. Even local java heartthrob Alterra strains to keep current--a pattern of neglect that seems to be turning itself around as of late. But we're living in what the young kids mockingly yet rightly call The Internets Age, so any effort is better than none.
UPDATE: Looks like Stone Creek has jumped back into action by blogging from SCAA 2008. Good show, y'all!