Architects Louise Harpman and Scott Specht own the world's largest collection of disposable plastic coffee cup lids, a seemingly simple product that raises myriad design questions and challenges.
From their 2005 Cabinet magazine essay:
Although the earliest examples of drink-through lids were designed for cold beverages, the true efflorescence in drink-through lid design and production can be traced to the 1980s, when we, as a culture, decided that it was important, even necessary, to be able to walk, or drive, or commute while drinking hot liquids. A quick survey of the US patent registry reveals nine patents for specialty drink lids in the 1970s, jumping to twenty-six individual patents in the 1980s.
We began our collection during college in 1984 when the purpose-built cup lids began to appear with some frequency. Up until that time, coffee drinkers who wanted a drink-through lid had to go DIY: beginning from two points along the outer edge of any flat plastic cup lid, the drinker would peel back the plastic rim along two radial axes toward the centerpoint of the lid, creating a jagged wedge of an opening. This operation yielded a reliable aperture, but also a triangular bit of garbage which design writer Phil Patton (RIP - ed.) calls the “guitar pick.” The strategy was serviceable, but inelegant. Some degree of improvement was surely mandated, though not the “dizzying array” of lid designs that we now see. “There is no coffee lid that occupies the same status as the paper clip,” agrees Patton. Read the rest
Boing Boing's Weekend of Wonder in association with Baby Tattoo was tremendously fun. One of the many highlights of the 3-day event was a tricked-out coffee station that we set up on Saturday morning. I brought my Rancilio Silvia espresso machine with a retro-fitted PID temperature control system and pulled about 75 shots in on hour. John Edgar Park brought a device that carbonates beverages and used it to make fizzy cold brew coffee. He also brought a little sack of xanthan gum (a food thickening agent), which he mixed into coffee using an immersion blender. It was really good!
Above, a video from ChefSteps with the recipe for a xanthan gum latte. Read the rest
In this 12-frame animated gif, pixel artist Kirokaze imagines a small sliver of a rainy day in a world of "thought vigilance" and random ID checks, where a mysterious woman sips coffee and watches the world rush by, twirling a knife idly in her hand. Check out more of Kirokaze's work on Deviantart, or follow them on Twitter. Read the rest
The $50 cold-brew maker makes some important design improvements over its pioneering competitor, the Toddy, but you get the same quality coffee with easier cleanup for $10 with my nut-milk bag method.
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Bulletproof Coffee was invented by self-described bio-hacker Dave Asprey. He uses mold-free coffee blended with unsalted butter and MCT oil. I've had it and it is very tasty. I don't know if it is the wonder beverage that Asprey says it is, and his claim that a lot of coffee has harmful mold in it is dubious. (Watch this video on the Joe Rogan podcast where Rogan talks about sending different coffee samples to testing labs and learning than none of them have mold).
Recently, Matthew Perger, a world champion barista, roaster, green buyer, consultant and partner at St Ali and Sensory Lab in Melbourne, Australia got to the bottom of Bulletproof Coffee in a fascinating blog post.
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Will I lose weight by drinking it? That sounds easy! Give me a Bulletproof coffee please!
Short Answer: No.
Long Answer: Bulletproof coffee is like a really fatty latte. And when I say fatty, I’m talking somewhere close to your entire recommended daily intake of fat (~60g per serving). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many popular studies have recently salvaged fat’s reputation as diet devil, showing that fats can be part of balanced diets. But, 440 calories is 440 calories. If you eat it, your body will burn it or store it somehow.
Most humans that would potentially drink a bulletproof coffee spend a lot of the day in an anabolic state. That is, they’re well fed, and blood glucose is relatively high from eating. This means their body is content to store any excess calories as glycogen in the muscles and liver, or fat in adipose tissue.
I use my beloved Aeropress coffee maker every day when I'm at home. Cory actually travels with his! Filmmaker and photographer David Friedman profiled the inventor of the Aeropress, Alan Adler. He is also the inventor of the Aeorobie Flying Ring.
[via] Read the rest
Some inventions are just a better way to do something that’s already being done – an improvement on a product. Other inventions are pretty new and I would say that the Aeropress Coffee Maker is quite new. …When you look at the coffee brewing process, it’s interesting that it’s really just a succession of of shorter and shorter processes. A hundred years ago, people used to throw some grounds of coffee into a pot and boil it for as long as an hour. Whereas in 1950, there was quite a leap forward in coffee making called the “automatic drip machine” and it took about 5 minutes. The Aeropress cuts that time of 5 minutes down to about one minute.
Hukulou Coffee in Osaka has several owls, but Fuku the owlet and Marimo the kitten are the star attractions, as they have become very good friends.
The posts below have some very cute recent videos.
Lots of great fan art on their Twitter feed, too.
• Hukulou Coffee (Twitter) Read the rest
Rice contains more of the carcinogen arsenic than other grains, but researchers at Queen’s University Belfast, UK found that cooking rice in a simple coffee pot removed about half the arsenic. Read the rest
Just don't ask your barista where they store the cash.
Caffeine is the world's most widely-used psychoactive drug. Four cups a day is, for average adults, about as much as it's safe to take, because of the mildly unpleasant things it does to us.
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Over at Backchannel, comic artist Andy Warner's illustrated the story of Melitta Bentz, a German housewife who in 1908 invented the coffee filter. Read the rest
La Colombe Coffee CEO Todd Carmichael came up with a cool idea, and made it real. Read the rest
Spotted outside Fix Coffee on Whitecross Street in London.
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Keurig coffee machines, with their clunking lever, digital menu and environmentally-hazardous pods, are already kind of creepy—and that's even before you're hooked on their precious, precious dark caffeine.
Caffeine and alcohol, once thought to be associated with some health risks, are now making headlines for their health benefits – when consumed in moderation. So how many espresso shots, tea cups, beer mugs and wine glasses are considered healthy doses, and how many put us in the risk category? Two new studies get closer to finding the right balance. Read the rest
Keurig CEO Brian Kelley blamed a 23% drop in sales on his decision to use DRM to stop people from buying their coffee-pods from his competition.
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I never travel without a few Starbucks Via packets in my bag. They are a godsend when I need a coffee fix and don't have time to seek out a coffee shop. My friend Kent Barnes recommended them, and I'll be forever grateful.
The packets are easy to tear open, and they dissolve quickly even in cold water. Sometimes I pour them in a small plastic water bottle, replace the cap, shake, and guzzle. I've mixed packets with cold milk, too. The coffee tastes pretty good, especially if you don't use too much water.
They are popular with backpackers, too. Read the rest