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November 2003 Newsletter
Snippets are what this month's newsletter is made up of, little bits of information. First, the big reminder, I'll be away for a week. I leave on FRIDAY 14th NOV. and return on THURSDAY 20th NOV.
Please get your orders in well in advance. You can place orders while I'm away, but I probably won't be responding to them until Monday the 24th at the earliest.
The trip is to Milan in Italy to see the HOST trade show, a major portion of which will be occupied by every manufacturer of espresso equipment in Italy, as well as most makers from other countries in Europe. There is also a large green and roasted coffee exhibition running concurrently.
Next, as far as equipment itself is concerned, I sold my last remaining piece of Rancilio equipment yesterday. I have a new shipment arriving while I'm away, but (in line with the USA) it looks as if I'll be severely short of Rocky grinders for a while. I ordered 40 but will only get 20, and they'll all be the "doser" model. More may arrive mid-December but it's not guaranteed. It looks like I will have heaps of Silvias for Christmas, though.
The supply line for the Imat equipment is once again running smoothly and all the items are in stock, much to my relief. I'm currently trying to build up my stock of the Bodum Santos brewers for December as well.
One piece of good news is that I've signed the contract for the delivery of the very special Christmas coffee; now all I have to do is pray that it arrives on time and matches the original sample when it does. This will be a really exclusive coffee, absolutely superb and (as far as I can determine) not available from any other online source, anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, the Peru Villa Rica is all gone and the Monsooned Malabar has about 10kg left, which should be all sold by the time I leave.
I've finally finished the programming necessary to build in bag size selections on the order pages. If I've done it correctly, most people will be unaffected; ordering large amounts of coffee in small bags will put the price up, though. Since the price of the valved bags is heading towards a dollar each (most of it the cost of the valves themselves, I think), it saves me from having to put the overall prices up when the costs of the green coffees haven't changed. I've got a few other website updates in mind but I suspect that they'll have to wait for a bit more free time, in January perhaps.
Finally, the use of a nasty word...plagiarism. I've been publishing stuff on the internet since 1996, and along the way lots of people have asked to use various bits and pieces of it. As long as they ask, and are willing to credit it to me, I've never refused, which has resulted in bits and pieces popping up in all sorts of places. I've even had whole articles translated into other languages.
I'm always very careful to credit other people's works myself, even for short quotes in articles, which is why I get quite snarky when work I've done is ripped off. In a couple of recent examples, the entire text of my "Links" page magically appeared on another Australian coffee website. A much worse example occurred recently, however, when a Sydney retailer used a photo pinched from my website to sell equipment on Ebay.
 I don't mind honest competition, but I'm not pleased with the idea of me doing the work and them reaping the benefits, so I've given them a gentle warning that in future I won't be quite so kind and it will be "off to the Lawyers!"