CoffeeGeek Podcast
So, we missed doing a Christmas Eve podcast, we were just too busy having fun in a very serene and relaxing environment up on the Sunshine Coast. But we did record on the 27th! The last podcast of 2005!

Once again, a monumental thanks to Cindy for doing the excellent show notes! I can't believe the detail and research she goes into! She's amazing!

9.8mb, 34:02 mm:ss. 40 kbps bitrate, 44.1Hz sample rate, mono channel.

Questions or comments podcast@coffeegeek.com or call the voicemail line at 1-206-965-8185, or Skype to Skype - search for the "CoffeeGeek" username.

Take your pick on how to listen:

RSS Feed link for subscribing, or

CG Podcast 029 MP3 File  for straight downloading.

Apple iTunes direct link.


Show Notes

Introduction (0:00)
- Hoops and Yoyo from Hallmark, Merry Christmas (to the tune of “Finiculi, Finicula?)

Beata and Mark recorded this podcast from the beautiful Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, where they spent the Christmas holiday. (1:04)

Coffee on Holiday (2:27)
- Newbie Segment: Beata shares her real-world experience with making press pot coffee during the trip, demonstrating the importance of grind (3:41)
- Mark and Beata discuss the reasons that most coffees do not include “roasted on? dates on their packaging. Mark’s tip for this podcast: demand coffees with roast dates! (5:33)

Podcasts Past and Future (13:35)
A quick look back at this year’s podcasts and a glimpse of the future:
- Videos: possibly product walk-throughs and/or how-tos (but not video podcasts at this point). Anyone in Vancouver have good video editing skills and equipment? (14:16)
- Improved podcast audio quality (thanks to the incredible generosity of Ira at Samson) (20:09)
- More podcasts with Beata! Potential topics include press pot coffee, Vietnamese coffee and Viennese coffee how-tos; summer drink recipes; etching; trade show reports (23:28)
- If you received any really unusual coffee-based holiday gifts, Mark wants to hear about it – send him an email, and he may read it on the podcast. (29:08)

CG Podcast Giveaways! (29:35)
- Please send suggestions for contests that will be super easy and not time consuming for Mark to administer, but at least a little difficult for listeners. Prizes include Grindenstein knockboxes, an Aerobie Aeropress, and possibly a Baratza Virtuoso grinder!

Outro (31:58)
Thanks to everyone for listening! We hope everyone had a great Christmas/holiday -- happy Hanukkah, happy Kwanzaa, happy Festivus, and joy, happiness and prosperity in the New Year!

Hoops and Yoyo, Jingle Bells
Direct download: cgpodcast_029.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:09pm PDT

CG Podcast 028 - Holiday Top Espresso and Coffee Picks It's something I get asked for all the time - so I finally did it - Mark's top picks in espresso, coffee maker, grinder and accessories categories!

A HUGE thanks to Cindy for doing the excellent show notes!

11.8mb, >40:00 mm:ss. 40 kbps bitrate, 44.1Hz sample rate, mono channel.

Questions or comments podcast@coffeegeek.com or call the voicemail line at 1-206-965-8185, or Skype to Skype - search for the "CoffeeGeek" username.

Take your pick on how to listen:

RSS Feed link for subscribing, or

CG Podcast 028 MP3 File  for straight downloading.

Apple iTunes direct link.



Show Notes

This is the first of two pre-Christmas shows. In this podcast, Mark lists his top recommendations in all things coffee and espresso for the folks on your gift-giving list!

Information on the following products and more can be found in the Coffeegeek review and consumer review sections of the web site. If you’d like to support the Coffeegeek web site, please use Coffeegeek’s amazon.com affiliate link.

Introduction
Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby, Alexkid Remix - from the Merry Mixmas - Christmas Classics Remixed CD (0:13)

Coffee Makers (3:53)
- Krups Moka Brew: A hybrid between a drip coffee maker and a moka pot. Unfortunately discontinued, but that means it can be found at a good price. Available at: amazon.com, ~$60; and  zaccardis.com, $50. (4:12)
- Capresso Drip Coffee Machines: The best series out there. (5:26)
- The Capresso MT500 is beautiful. Nice filtration system, efficient thermal carafe. Brews at the proper temperature. $170-180. (6:04) The Capresso CoffeeTEC is essentially the MT500 with an auto-frothing system. $200. (6:43) The Capresso CoffeeTEAM is the only grind and brew system Mark recommends due to its conical burr grinder. All available at 1stincoffee.com. (7:09)

Grinders - The Central Core of Good Coffee (8:11)
- Bodum Antigua: Decent grinder, the lowest priced one that Mark recommends. Available at: amazon.com; zaccardis.com; 1stincoffee.com. $50-$70. (9:22)
- Solis Maestro Classic/Solis Maestro Plus: Well designed; the Plus has better features. Grinds into a bin or portafilter. Classic, $100-$110; Plus, $150. (9:59)
- Baratza Virtuoso: Just released 12/15. Beefy burr group design; no float in burrs. Powerful DC motor. $200. (10:32)
- KitchenAid Proline: Extremely even grind; perfect as cupping grinder for this price range. Looks great, although Beata thinks it’s a bit industrial. $150 (on sale) to $200 at amazon.com. (12:03)
- Rancilio Rocky: Fantastic grinder. Well built, very quiet, doserless model also available. $270 (black or white) to $300 (stainless steel). (12:59)
- Mazzer Mini: Full-blown (albeit slow) commercial grinder, fantastic build quality, infinite adjustable grind, the ultimate grinder for the home espresso enthusiast. $400. (13:27)

Home Espresso Machines (14:09)
- White Gaggia Carezza: All-brass portafilter, nice grouphead design, same internal parts as more expensive Gaggias. Sure, it has a cheap plastic exterior, froth aider and no cup warmer, but combined with a good quality grinder makes a great intro setup. Available at wholelattelove.com, $180.(14:19)
- Krups XP4000 Series: Quite capable for espresso, for brewing pod coffee on par with Solis SL70. Down side is no hot water ability, pressurized filter baskets, and Krups autofroth system. Looks good, heats up properly. Available at zaccardis.com, $200. (15:58)
- Saeco Gran Crema: Heats up fast to steam mode. Compatible with Panarello frothing system.  Visible water reservoir level; holds a lot of water. Good starter machine. $250. (19:06)
- Espressione Retro: Insider tip – If you’d like to own the famous retro-looking Francis Francis! X1 seen on “Will and Grace? and “Sex and the City? but don’t want to pay $650-$700, buy the Espressione Retro. Same cool retro look and 70-80% of the internal parts are identical to the FF!. Available at zaccardis.com, $379. (19:59)
- Solis SL70 Crema: Amazing steaming, brews great espresso. Does pod and standard coffee; good hot water ability. Recommend an unpressurized  basket for the portafilter. $380-$400. (22:42)
- Rancilio Silvia: A perennial favorite. ~$500. (24:31)
- Pasquini Livia 90 Semiautomatic: Mark’s first uber-serious machine. Not E61-based. Take off the froth aider, put on a standard froth tip,  and it’s a great machine. $1250. (25:02)
- Expobar Brewtus II: Mark has never used it, but there’s a lot of positive talk about this impressive dual-boiler E61 machine. Available at wholelattelove.com, $1700. (26:11)
- Innova (Ascaso) Arc: Specifically for Canadians - the Ascaso Arc sells for $500-$600 in the US, but is substantially less in Canada. Contact morala.com, and ask for Hamid to get the price. (27:21)
- La Pavoni Professional: A manual, direct piston machine. $750. (28:34)
- Elektra Microcasa a Leva: Beautiful spring piston lever machine. Some temp surfing is necessary to achieve the right water temperature for brewing, but if you can master it, you may be blown away by the quality of the coffee. $900 (29:12)

Coffee-Related Things
- Bodum Pavina Line: Double walled glass cups. So good at thermal insulation, they don’t need preheating. 2 oz espresso cups, 2 per box, $11 at amazon.com; 8 oz. cappuccino cups, $14 at amazon.com. (30:50)
- Caffeine molecule t-shirt: This t-shirt and other caffeine molecule merchandise will definitely make you out to be a coffeegeek. Available at thinkgeek.com. T-shirt, $15. (31:52)
- Ghirardelli sweet chocolate powder: Mark’s recommendation for chocolate lovers, available in bulk at coffeewholesalers.com, $5/lb. (32:22)
- Cupping wheel mousepad: For those who want to learn more about cupping. Available at the Specialty Coffee Association of America, scaa.org, $10 for non-members. (32:38)
- Aerobie Aeropress: Not quite an espresso machine, not quite an inverse press pot. Fun for the experimental espresso fanatic. $30. (33:01)
- Illy cups: Limited edition collector cups decorated by famous artists, a fantastic gift. Available in espresso and cappuccino sizes at 1stincoffee.com. (34:08)
- Capresso H2O glass kettle: Mark and Beata’s favorite kettle. Made from Schott glass. Plastic base, cordless, 48oz. Efficient, fast, looks gorgeous. Available at zaccardis.com, $60-$70. (35:23)

Outro (36:19)
The second pre-Christmas show should be recorded on the 23rd or 24th (featuring Mark and Beata sending out their holiday messages and reflecting on the past year), but in case you don’t tune in, a very merry Christmas, very happy holidays, and a prosperous and fun-filled new year to all of you!

Reprise: Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby, Alexkid Remix - from the Merry Mixmas - Christmas Classics Remixed CD.
Direct download: cgpodcast_028.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:21pm PDT

CG Podcast 027 - Tasting Intelly, SCAA and Restaurants Here it is folks - thanks VERY much to Cindy for doing the excellent show notes!

20.8mb, 78:13 mm:ss. 40 kbps bitrate, 44.1Hz sample rate, mono channel.

Questions or comments podcast@coffeegeek.com or call the voicemail line at 1-206-965-8185, or Skype to Skype - search for the "CoffeeGeek" username.

Take your pick on how to listen:

RSS Feed link for subscribing, or

CG Podcast 027 MP3 File  for straight downloading.

Apple iTunes direct link.


Show Notes

Introduction (2:45)
- Co-Host Brad Ford, Co-owner of Wicked Café, Vancouver, distributor of Intelligentsia Coffee in Canada

Nick Cho (5:17)
- Will he run as for a position on the SCAA Board?  

SCAA Talk – Retailers and the SCAA (8:37)
- Mark gives a primer on the SCAA and describes the components of the organization. (8:37)
- Brad and Mark talk about what retailers want and need from trade organizations like the SCAA. (15:16)
- Mark details four things the SCAA could do to stop the churn of retailer membership: increase communication; provide retailers with continually updated consumer education tools; offer training/informational products to retailers on the business side of coffee; and organize small regional events. (18:57)
- Mark and Brad discuss how the SCAA could interact with SCAA consumer members. (25:44)
- Mark announces that the CG podcast may host a debate in January between the candidates for SCAA second vice-president (should someone choose to run against Mark Inman). (29:40)

Ambush Interview! (33:17)
- Doug Zell of Intelligentsia Coffee briefs Mark and Brad on the coffees they will be tasting later in the show. Doug also talks about how they acquired the Tres Santos Micro-Lots and about restaurants that are now offering customers a menu of Intelligentsia micro-lot/Cup of Excellence coffees to choose from.

Coffee Tasting
- Rwandan Musasa (45:23): Medium body with an initial kick, berry notes, a bit of acidity and smooth finish. Mark’s first pick among the three when served with cream.
- Cruz del Sur, Peru (48:20): Intelligentsia’s new exclusive coffee. The Peru buying trip with Geoff Watts is described on the Intelligentsia web site. Sweet juicy tomatoey flavor; cream brings out chocolate notes.
- Tres Santos Micro-Lot, Almaguer, Colombia (50:26): First pick for both Brad and Mark as black coffee. Sweet with a red licorice aftertaste and a lot of intensity. With cream, Mark describes it as a cacophony of fruit.

Restaurant Coffee (56:15)
- Mark offers to record a how-to podcast on amping up restaurant coffee service on location at the fabulous Aurora Bistro, Vancouver. Mark and Brad look at ways restaurants can elevate coffee service, including offering press pot service, offering a selection of four or five quality coffees paired to desserts, and expanding the job of the sommelier to include coffee. Equipment and cost issues are discussed and Mark lays out his dream setup for restaurant coffee service.

Thanks again to Cindy for writing this up - very detailed!
Direct download: cgpodcast_027.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:17pm PDT