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  1. That MSNBC stuff was based on an article in Food and Wine. More info there.
  2. heh... funny. When I took my wife down to Durham NC for our initial meeting with folks at Counter Culture, they were telling us about the benefits of the Fetco Extractor brewing system. The first question my wife asked was, "Do they make a home-version?" Hmmmm... tempting ;-)
  3. Nobody's addressed, "how do I duplicate the effect here?" 1) Find a shop that knows what they're doing. That's no easy task... in NYC, check out Ninth Street Espresso or Gimme! in Williamsburg. I've personally been to neither, but they have a good reputation. Intelligentsia (from Chicago) is planning a NYC shop to start construction (hopefully) in '06. 2) You'd need a good espresso machine, and a good grinder. The two together will cost about $700+. Study and learn... read sites like CoffeeGeek.com and Home-Barista.com, and pick up David Schomer's book. Realize that no matter what, a great cappuccino is the culmination of much training and practice. MUCH. FYI... there are apparently folks in NYC who would take issue with your "duh" statement. I've heard claims that a New Yorker "invented" the cappuccino.
  4. My friend Salvatore (Sammy) Piccolo is an amazing barista, and Artigiano is DEFINITELY a great, world-class coffee bar... but Sammy's hasn't won the World's... yet . Go Sammy! WBC Bern 2006! Kinda ironic... I don't know that much about Philly coffee (yet), but there's a place called "One Shot Coffee" that's opening soon in the city. Also, Katie, check out "Chestnut Hill Coffee." Haven't been there, but John Hornall, formerly of the venerable Hines Public Market Coffee, has taken the helm recently.
  5. Oh my God... It's 3-gallons per pound, not one. I hope nobody chipped a tooth on that coffee!
  6. Last I heard (re: the LM GS3/Home Machine), they'll be sold only through ESI at first... maybe for the first year. Love the Synesso. Highly recommended. SIX stars.
  7. Buying Rwandan coffee isn't meaningless. Please don't jump to those sorts of knee-jerk conclusions. There are some very significant things going on out there, particularly involving Rwanda. How this "Second Cup" program relates, I'm not entirely sure... but know this: the PEARL project that I linked to is in jeopardy. While you find it "meaningless" that this company has started buying Rwandan coffee, if the PEARL project indeed, as it is in serious danger of, loses its funding, you'll see the same Rwandan coffee one day disappear from the shelves. While you go on with your daily life, the livelihoods of thousands of Rwandans will have been negatively effected by the lack of management over the washing stations that the PEARL project helped build. Don't mean to jump down your throat, but it frankly upsets me when I see otherwise (generally) well-intentioned people passing some serious judgement on things that they know very little about, based on a handful (if that) of personal "experiences" with low-wage retail staff of some company.
  8. In my experience, there are two "really good" grinders, at the two different price-points. The Bodum Antigua (at $65-ish) and the Solis Maestro Plus (at about $150-ish). As for whether it's 2.5x better... well, that's a personal decision. My grinder is almost 20x more expensive (Mahlkoenig Guatemala), but then again... apples to oranges. I've owned both (the Bodum and the Solis). The Solis IS a lot better, but if you can't justify the expense, the Bodum is a solid grinder. If it helps your decision-making at all, the Solis is a lot cleaner to use.
  9. So how was your tea today? I'd love to chat the next time you're in.
  10. Keep in mind, the article clearly states that it's not a "best 5 in the U.S." list, but a list of great roasters. Besides, you know to include the proverbial grain-of-salt when it says that Counter Culture is run by Peter Giuliano and Cindy Chang... ... everybody knows it's really run by Lydia.
  11. I'm still waiting for a true challenge. If you're up for it, then put together the 'rules' and we can start making it happen. In the coffee-world, we call that "put your money where your mouth is." It's good to see that people practice what they preach. Sure. It's your money.
  12. Hahaha! Owen! You owe him a dollar for sure! I still stick to my $1,000 bet, but unfortunately for you O, you set your bar a little too low. I know a good number of restaurants who are doing great coffee service and would meet each of your criteria, and some (very few) restaurants who are doing some respectable espresso (even pouring latte art). Todd, big props to you for what you're doing with the coffee at Eve. We're seeing more and more restaurants come to realize that their coffee can be truly appropriate to their level of cuisine. It's happening by establishing relationships through great roasters like Vincent... who I'm looking forward to eventually meeting (we've emailed). A couple of my staff spent some time with him at his roastery during part of their "Barista Guild Mid-Atlantic Goodwill Tour." Actually Todd, in a way, I think it's you and your posts on this thread that sorta put us in touch with Vincent in the first place! The tragedy is that Todd, you're the exception, not the rule. Most restaurants still don't "get it," but mark my words... things are a-changin'. Trotter has been working with Intelligentsia in Chicago, Magnolia Grill in Durham with Counter Culture, and so on. As specialty coffee at the highest level becomes more and more present in more and more cities, consumer awareness will drive restaurants to finally pay attention to their coffee as a real culinary experience unto itself... not (for example) just get big cans of illycaffe because it's "what people do." Anyway, we'll see. Todd, enjoy that Esmerelda... while you can! It's great stuff, but supplies are very scarce (as you know)!!! Now all we need is to get this guy a scale.
  13. Hiroyuki, Your name reminds me of the Japanese Barista Champion (and 2nd place at the 2005 World Barista Championship in Seattle), Hiroyuki Kadowaki. I know you're not the same guy, because the barista spoke almost no english. Anyway... he did a great job... and maybe you'll come and watch the 2007 World Barista Championship, which will be held in Japan (I forget which city... NOT Tokyo).
  14. Good thanks... still no MD branch in the works... sorry.
  15. Hmmm... Though I have no personal experience with the Capresso, I sorta doubt that it would surpass the venerable Technivorm in brew temperatures and ultimately, coffee quality. You can pick one up at http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com (disclosure: they're friends)
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