End of the week news stories

No, it's not a Seattle grunge song, but Pure Black Sunshine is a new coffee-based videogame keep reading to find out more.

The Northeast Regional Barista Competition is just getting ready to wrap up in Boston, Massachusetts. While we await the announcement of the winner, here are a few interesting news stories to tide you over.

Business Week reports that despite the recession coffee consumption in the U.S. has remained stable, though there has been an increase in coffee consumed in home as consumers try to curb a little of their spending. Meanwhile, in Australia, The Age says that consumers there are spending more than ever on coffee and coffee equipment.

Gavin Nuss from Harvey Norman (a furniture and electronics store) said in the past three years Australians had spent more money on espresso machines in their stores than on any other type of small appliance.

One of their most popular machines sells for just over $3000.

”We’ve experienced about a 20 per cent increase in our coffee machine sales year in year out [since 2004].”

Though I found this nugget interesting as well: “Despite the growing popularity of coffee made fresh from roasted beans, instant coffee is still the most popular style of coffee consumed around the country.” So it seems like our Aussie counterparts still have some work to do on the consumer education front. Come on, mates! Get to it!

Now, if you’re looking to delve into the seedy underbelly of the industry, there’s something for you out there today too. Yes, while aspiring car thieves have the numerous incarnations of Grand Theft Auto to teach them the ropes, until now there’s been no video game for coffee-philes who want to find out how to run a black-market operation. Thank goodness then for the advent of Pure Black Sunshine, the online game for underworld coffee buying. Seriously, can someone please play this thing and let me know how it works out? I mean how can this not hook you? Follow the lackeys down the elevator and meet the boss, who will warn you a few times to either check out “the merchandise” or buy something.  If you take to long to choose, he will shoot you. Now that’s customer service!

About the Author

Ken

Kenneth R. Olson is co-founder and publisher of Barista Magazine the worldwide trade magazine for the professional coffee community. He has written extensively about specialty coffee, traveled near and far for stories, activities, and fun, and been invited to present on topics important to coffee culture. He is also an avid fan of the Portland Trail Blazers and the Washington Huskies. Go Blazers! Go Dawgs!