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January 2008 Newsletter

As I write, the website order pages are not working. This is due
to a problem at the secure server hosting company, and is unfortunately beyond my control. One
of the penalties for increased security for my customers has been
a reduction in my ability to play around with the secure parts of
the site. I can only hope it's back up by Monday morning so you
can buy this month's special!

Which is, by the way,

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

This brilliant coffee has a wonderful floral/jasmine aroma which
follows on to a sweet lemon front palate, a clean mid palate and
chocolate and apple hints in the aftertaste.

The Yirgacheffe was meant to be the December special, but
transport problems intervened and it simply wasn't available in
time. Moving stuff around the country during December is an
exercise in chaos. The number of parcels travelling around
Australia increases by at least a factor of 10, as does the
opportunity for errors. One of the reasons this huge surge
happens is that EVERYONE .. couriers, green coffee suppliers,
roasters etc. .. close down between Christmas and the weekend
after New Year.  

We have received a number of complaints from customers regarding
missed courier deliveries pre-Christmas. All these complaints concern
orders placed in the week before the Christmas week, that is, at
the last minute. The cause of the problem is simply that the courier
companies (and not just the company we use) are operating at 8 - 10
times their normal volume during this week, with a proportionate increase
in mistakes. The use of temporary staff to cope with the additional
workload simply exacerbates the problem.

We followed up all complaints as soon as the couriers reopened on
07/01/08 and as of today we believe ALL outstanding deliveries
have arrived. To avoid similar problems this year we suggest
making sure your orders are placed
before 15/12/08.

Anyway, on to this month's actual topic, which is Online Coffee
Resources. There is a huge amount of good information out there
on the internet, along with a fair bit of dross. Many of the
websites I'm about to list have online forums for members. These
can be a source of both help and disinformation; just because a
prolific poster says something doesn't make it true. Still, the
top sites I recommend for information, in no particular order,

Randy Glass' espresso journey over the years, plus much factual

Tom Owen's cupping and reviews of thousands of green coffees.
Check out his recent Yemen trip.

Alt.Coffee, accessible via , the grandfather of online coffee

The first real child of, now probably the largest
coffee website in the world.

A relative newcomer with much good technical information.

There are literally hundreds of others, including blogs,
podcasts, videos and all sorts of tech wizardry, but when I
really need information, these sites are the ones I turn to.