Author Archives | Sam Lewontin

Let’s Kill all the Menus


This thought’s been mulled over quite a bit, publicly, in the past year or two– and some shops have implemented very good solutions to this problem– but it’s been in the front of my mind lately, so here goes: Menus in progressive coffee shops are pretty much pointless. Two experiences which I continue to have, […]

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Pushing Buttons


As professionals– both baristas and cafe owners– we’re chasing three basic concepts in coffee preparation. The first, and many would argue the most important, is quality. Nobody wants to make crap coffee, and the best shops seek to continually push the envelope of great coffee. The second is consistency; all the quality in the world […]

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What’s It Worth?


Espresso doesn’t cost enough. Picture this with me for a moment: a coffee tree takes four years to mature and bear fruit. This fruit is painstakingly picked and sorted, processed with the utmost care and attention to detail, and the seed is sold to an importer or a roaster for around three dollars per pound. […]

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Define Barista.


First off, introductions: Hi, I’m Sam.  I make coffee for a living.  You can find me here, or on twitter as @coffeeandbikes. OK. On to the good stuff: I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what makes a great café, and about what cafes mean to our industry. In doing so, I keep coming back […]

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