Check out these five resources to round out your coffee knowledge.
BY MARK VAN STREEFKERK
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
One of the great things about coffee is that it’s a virtually endless subject. Coffee inspires dialogue. People from all areas of expertise have been documenting it from many angles, whether that’s by comparing espresso equipment, raising awareness of climate change’s impact on coffee farmers, talking about diversity and inclusivity, or any number of other topics. While our team here at Barista Magazine strives to keep you updated with the freshest coffee-related news, gear, people, and movements, there are other coffee blogs we love, too!
Prima Coffee Blog. Coffee gearheads rejoice! The Prima Coffee Blog has all the product reviews and specs you could ever want. Learn all about the latest espresso machines, automatic tampers, grinders, and water test kits in vlog form, along with transcriptions of the video. Here, you can learn how to clean and calibrate your grinder, roast coffee beans at home, and check out product comparisons.
The Knockbox. If satire is your thing, you’ll love The Knockbox, created by RJ Joseph. Named after the “bash box” baristas knock their portafilters onto for used espresso shots, this site is like The Onion for the coffee world. My personal favorites are: “Sadistic Barista’s Favorite Part of Shift When Customers Ask For Drinks After Close” and “Staff Meeting Drama Comes To A Head As Barista ‘Who Never Sweeps’ Says That Everyone Else Never Sweeps.” If you work in a café, you’ll probably find yourself reposting and sharing plenty of these spoof articles. Also, be sure to catch RJ’s “9 Low-Cost Professional Development Strategies For Coffee Pros” in the latest issue of Barista Magazine.
Umeshiso.com. Industry pro Umeko Motoyoshi’s community conversations about coffee sustainability are highlighted in their brilliant The @wastingcoffee Guide To Not Wasting Coffee. The website sells their guide, cupping spoons, and other swag. However, Umeko also pushes dialogue around gender and diversity in coffee, reflected in the site’s blog. Check out transcriptions of conversations via Instagram direct messaging with industry figures like Laura Ann Sweitzer of TCHO and Dean Kallivrousis of Ally Coffee. Read more about Umeko’s guide in the latest “Foam: News + Trends” section of Barista Magazine.
Barista Behind the Bar. Barista Behind the Bar is a project by Camila Coddou, who traveled through North America in a converted Sprinter van interviewing baristas. The website is a collection of transcribed interviews from coffee workers of all backgrounds, and topics range from inclusivity and diversity to support systems for baristas. The goal of the project is to find employee-led solutions to making the coffee industry a more equitable place to work, culminating in a forthcoming equitable hiring practices curriculum.
Barista Hustle. Barista Hustle is an online platform for coffee education with something for every part of the specialty-coffee world. They offer online trainings for individual baristas or teams on a monthly subscription basis, but it’s worth visiting the site for the blog! Indulge your inner coffee nerd and read their posts about water recipes, what happens when you raise the temperature of your espresso machine one degree, and what fluidised beds are. You can also subscribe to the site’s newsletter, which features a regular email-based digest of coffee happenings and the above-mentioned conversations in the brewing science world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Van Streefkerk is Barista Magazine’s social media content developer and a frequent contributor. He is also a freelance writer, social media manager, and novelist based out of Seattle. If Mark isn’t writing, he’s probably biking to his favorite vegan restaurant. Find out more on his website.