This ain’t no April Fools joke: the new issue of Barista Magazine is out today, hooray! This issue is our 8th Anniversary Issue—who would’ve thunk it. This is our 48th issue, holy moly!
As with every issue, the AprilMay 2013 edition of Barista Magazine was planned with you and the topics most relevant to you as café owners, baristas, roasters, buyers, and coffee pros of all kinds, in mind. That’s why we lucked out when Chad Trewick, Chair of the SCAA’s Sustainability Council, agreed to write an in-depth article about coffee-leaf rust, or roya. Lots of folks have been talking about coffee-leaf rust, but no one has gotten into as much of the nitty gritty about what it is, how it’s changing the landscape of coffee, and how we’re going to get out of it alive, the way Chad does in this issue.
Erin Meister wrote a bangin’ piece about espresso blends, which have been considered been-there-done-that since single origins (SO) burst onto the scene a handful of years ago. But people like Pete Licata—who made a ‘blend’ of coffees all from the same farm in Hawaii picked from different lots and elevations, and took 2nd at the World Barista Championship with it—are rewriting the rules on what blending means, and why it will always have a spot at the table. In her article, Meister talks to experts with all kinds of definitions as well as defenses for blends. Whether you’re an SO lover forever or not, we guarantee Meister’s take on this topic will get you thinking.
We love the brainy brilliance in Ian Fretheim’s article about how to cup for alternative processing. Interesting and experimental processing methods like honey and Kenya and Brazil have become part of the specialty coffee community’s lexicon over the past few years, which has given a whole new depth to coffee. But Jason Long of Café Imports rightly wondered, how do we cup them using standard protocol? So he set the company’s director of sensory analysis—Ian—to the task of helping to develop a whole new set of cupping forms. As these processing methods are new and changing all the time, so are the forms, which Jason described to me as “organic and dynamic.” In this article, Ian talks about how they came up with the ideas, formed the sheets, and use them. And you are invited to check out and use Café Imports’ forms for free!
We’re also delighted that this issue of Barista Magazine resurrects one of our all-time favorite columns, “Master Q&A.” It’s just what it says it is: a tipping of the collective hat to the guys who shaped this industry, and invites you, the reader, into a personal conversation with them about where they came from, what they’ve contributed to the industry, and what happens next. We’re kicking off this return of “Master Q&A” with a profile of Tracy Allen, owner of Brewed Behavior who was recently voted 2nd Vice President of the SCAA. That means in 2015, he’ll be the organization’s president, and the first SCAA president to hail from a barista background.
There are all sorts of goodies we think you’ll like in this issue—our cover story introduces you to Sarah and Jonathan Robinson, the sister and brother team from South Africa whose company, Bean There, sells only African coffees, thereby devoting itself to the celebration, sustainability, and future of coffees from their home continent.
There’s much, much more! While you wait for your issue to arrive in the mail, we welcome you to read the whole issue online for free RIGHT HERE!
Thanks again for giving us the best jobs in the world, Barista Magazine readers. We are endlessly impressed by and curious about you, your interests, and your success. Love yous.