Coffee inspires creativity—this is merely an overflow of that. A bit of my coffee journey in the form of doodles and sketches.
July 27, 2012

I’m not sure what inspired it, but I’ve turned my first PT’s experience into a sea-faring adventure. Jeff at PT’s was kind enough to send a couple of their latest offerings from Kenya my way. I enjoyed drawing this almost as much as I enjoyed the coffee itself. The Kenya Thiriku came out extremely nice in a V60 this morning—full of a deep maple and sweet grape flavor.

Thanks, Jeff!

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July 27, 2012

A few days back I received a very nice care package from the folks at Populace Coffee up in Michigan. They sent over a bag of their Honduras Las Quebradas. It’s a pretty complex coffee, the roast profil sits more on the “light” side of things, though it does have a distinct roasty taste to it.

I tried it out in a V60 this morning, and really enjoyed it— according to the roaster’s notes, this coffee has “lemon zest, dark chocolate, and red berries.”

Many thanks to Andrew at Populace for sending this along!

Check them out and follow along on twitter.


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July 19, 2012

I received a nice surprise in the mail yesterday—all the way from Stockholm, Sweden. Drop Coffee, based in Stockholm sent a couple bags of their latest offerings. One of which was an El Salvador from Finca Malacara. This is an extremely unique coffee based on my limited experience. I tried it in an aeropress, and it came out with an interesting mix of sweet acidity and nuttiness that reminded me of Kuma’s Tano Batak. The coffee has an aroma that reminds me a ton of rum extract.

I really enjoyed my coffee this morning, and I want to say thank you to the guys and gals at Drop for making my day. I’ve only had coffee from two roasters in Sweden—Koppi and Drop—but I’ve been extremely impressed with that they’re doing. Can’t wait to make having their coffee on hand a more regular thing next year—hopefully its easy to have coffees shipped throughout Europe.

July 18, 2012

I’ve written about Baratza before. I love their grinders, I love how helpful they are, and I love how collaborative and encouraging they are. I’ve had the privilege of owning three different Baratza grinders—the Maestro, the Encore (Encorn, to some), and the Virtuoso. Each performing amazing.

Having a consistent grind is key to making great coffee.  If you’re anything like me, you started getting more serious about coffee by grinding your own beans with a blade grinder—I’ll always remember blade grinders by the high-pitched “whizzing” sound they make as they brutally chop up the coffee. While the heart behind grinding your own beans is great, this shotgun approach to blade grinding only allows for randomness and inconsistency in your grind.

The thing that sets Baratza apart begins with their use of quality conical burrs. “Burr coffee grinders are designed to create a very consistent grind size by crushing the coffee beans between a rotating burr and a stationary surface. This gives you grounds that are uniform in size and shape, from which the sweet, smooth flavors of the bean can be extracted reliably.”

I’m no expert, but one thing I have noticed is the difference a good grinder makes. Its night and day. If you’re just starting to venture down the path of brewing quality coffee at home, one of the first places to start is with a quality burr grinder. Although it’s a bit of an investment, the quality grind and resulting coffee that a well-made grinder will give you pays for itself.

I love my Baratza grinders, everytime I make coffee, it goes through my Baratza. Anything less is a disappointment and it shows in the cup.


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July 15, 2012

If you’re reading this, you probably already know about the fantastic collaboration between Dear Coffee, I Love You, and Simon Alander. That collaboration led to one of the greatest coffee-related shirts ever. Simon recently graduated from Sweden’s Hyper Island where he studied Digital Media. According to Brian Jones of DCILY, “Hyper Island is basically the future of creative education and anyone who attends, will most likely have their choice of opportunities after graduation.”

I’ve been following Simon’s work for the last few months, and its obvious that he has serious talent as a letterer and designer. His work has constantly challenged me, and I look to his work for both inspiration and as an example. I’d love to be able to do what he can do with a pen one day. Not too long ago, Simon and I chatted and thought it would be cool for him to feature some of his work on coffee filters, and to display them here, on Draw Coffee. As usual, he came up with some brilliant work, and I’m privileged to be able to show them to you. Enjoy!

A huge thanks to Simon for putting the work into these, and for even floating the idea. His website, “Coffee Made Me Do It” features many of his projects, and is full of incredible work.

Be sure to check him out on Dribbble.

July 11, 2012

I’m living in Mansfield, Ohio for the summer—I grew up here and it’s really been nice to be back home for a short time before we ship off to Italy. While I was gone, Mansfield upgraded significantly when its first specialty coffee shop was opened downtown near the historic Carousel District. I’ve frequented the shop this summer, and they’re doing some great things in the community—truly leading an arts and culture revolution in this town.

I’ve written about Relax, It’s Just Coffee in the past, but lately, I’ve gotten to know some of the baristas. Relax boasts talented baristas Cody Nicolas and Jon Critcher. Cody is a musician who studied at Berklee College of Music and worked at a shop in Boston while in school. His band, the La De Les, recently got off tour and are in the beginning stages of writing a new album. Their recent album “Carlo” is well-worth a listen. Jon, who recently returned for the summer on a break from school, is good friends with Colin Moody—both work at Intelligentsia’s Millenium Park location. Jon does video projects in his spare time and collects incredible vintage lighters. Any shop would be lucky to have these guys on staff.

Combined with an awesome crew and a historic set-up, Relax is a shop full of talent and innovation in a town that needed a good dose of it. It has become a central place for creatives, artists, thinkers, and groups to gather together to share their work and enjoy great coffee.

Stauf’s carries Columbus, OH coffee roaster “Stauf’s,” and has recently had Intelligentsia on as a guest roaster. I’m looking forward to (hopefully) seeing even more roasters cycle through. We’ll see!

Many thanks to everyone at Relax—keep up the awesome work, and thanks for proving that sex sells.

Proof That Sex Sells from Jonathan Critcher on Vimeo.


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July 10, 2012

I’ve been a fan of the blog “Stuff Christians Like” for a few years now. I grew up in a church-going home, and find Jon Acuff’s commentary on “Christians” and the Church Culture to be both hilarious, and accurate.

Back in 2008, Jon wrote a post on how coffee-drinking in services had drifted from “abnormal” to “expected.” Nowadays, if you show up to a Sunday service—or any business meeting, for that matter—without a coffee, you feel a bit naked. To solve this, Jon theoretically created the “Hot Coffee Hidden Inside of a Bible.” I’m taking it a step further, and suggesting the idea that you one-up everyone else and their sub-par, boring coffee, and brew your coffee during service, or in your next business meeting. My version would come with a cloth filter that fits snugly over the hollowed-out spine.

Now, forgetting your coffee cup before service is like leaving your Bible at home. While the rest of the people sitting near you enjoy Triple foam Hazelnut Creme Flavor Mocha Venti Explosions, you sit there like some sort of drinkless hobo. It’s embarrassing.

When I open up the SCL gift shop, which will have all 6 promise products, I’m going to sell a Bible with a hollowed out spine that you can put coffee in. There will be a little screw top spout at the top and anytime you need a sip you can just tip your Bible back.  -Jon Acuff

Alright, Jon… the ball is in your court. Let’s create this thing.

Today’s doodle is just a bit of fun!

July 9, 2012

Bonavita splashed onto the coffee market this year by offering one of the only, if not the only electric gooseneck kettle in the US, at an incredibly affordable price. Mixing quality kettles with layman’s prices, Bonavita provides a way for coffee fanatics to indulge in their hobby without having to break the bank.

Following the same pattern, Bonavita offers a great automatic batch-brewer. I’ve had my Bonavita BV1800TH Coffee Maker for about a month now, and have been pleasantly surprised at the coffee it pumps out. Since my discovery of manual brewing, I’ve had a pretty negative view on automatic brewing. Various conversations with coffee pros coupled with this thermal brewer, have helped me understand that automatic brewing isn’t inherently bad—if the same care and precision is used as is in manual brewing, the coffee produced by an automatic machine can be great.

Here are some notes on the BV1800TH—via Clive Coffee:

  • Designed for precise water and coffee contact time
  • High quality brushed stainless steel finish
  • 1400 watt heating element maintains ideal brewing temperatures of 195-205 degrees
  • Brews 8 cups (40 oz) in 5-6 minutes
  • German thermal carafe (steel housing, glass liner)
  • SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) certified
Photo from Clive Coffee

I’ve tried putting a Chemex underneath the showerhead, as well as a Hario V60, both with great results. Though I still enjoy brewing with a kettle, if you’re looking for an automatic machine for home or office use, I highly recommend the Bonavita.

Thanks to Todd and Tracy at Bonavita for being kind enough to send this along. Be sure to look for the new Variable Temperature Kettle in August.

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July 6, 2012

Not too long ago, I posted about a Coffee + Ice Cream collaboration between Batdorf & Bronson and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. The two teamed up to create the fresh, hand-crafted re-boot of Jeni’s “Black Coffee” ice cream flavor. It’s kind of interesting—I’ve not actually had the pleasure of trying the Batdorf-brewed ice cream, because locally, Jeni’s still uses a local roaster as a coffee supplier. I admire the company’s commitment to the local Columbus community, but am admittedly bummed about never having tried it. As far as I can tell, the collaboration has been a huge success.

I’ve said this before, but Jeni’s is a special thing to the Columbus area, going far beyond the quality ingredients used to make ice cream and their commitment to hand-crafting it. Those things are only the tip of the iceberg. There’s a certain sense of pride locals have in recommending their favorite local Scoop Shop to out-of-towners. Every time Jeni racks up another award for having “America’s Best Ice Cream” or wins a James Beard award for her cookbook, it further solidifies that pride.

I’m a huge fan of Columbus, Ohio—it’s a blossoming city in the midst of defining itself, and I believe Jeni’s has a lot to do with that. There are plenty of write-ups and articles out there that explain how Jeni Britton-Bauer went from making ice cream in a bucket at Columbus’ North Market to owning several shops in Ohio and Tennessee that are worth a read. Jeni’s rise  is good evidence that commitment to a unique idea and passion is more powerful than a simple business plan.

It’s been hot as of late, with temperatures reaching well over 95 degrees and storms that have knocked the power out in large areas of Ohio. This doodle is inspired by my favorite trio of flavors, as well as a couple visits to Jeni’s over the weekend, where we were served with a smile, despite long lines and hot-and-bothered customers, at both the Bexley and Powell Scoop Shops. Thanks for being such an amazing part of Columbus!

Jeni’s ships to all 50 States, so you have no excuse.

July 3, 2012


It’s always nice when coffee roasters are excited enough about their new coffees to send some my way. I don’t take it for granted and have truly appreciated all the great coffees I’ve tried this year.

A short time ago, Ryan Doan of Deeper Roots Coffee got in touch with me so he could send coffee. It turns out Ryan knows my wife, Amber, and he graduated from the same University as me. It’s great to know I’m not the only alum who’s crazy about coffee.

Deeper Roots is a coffee roaster out of Cincinnati who has partnered with Deeper Roots Development—a small farmer development organization who attempts to build sustainability through community and farmer development, as well as through informed customers. I know there are a lot of roasters and companies that trumpet that focus, and who make enormous strides in bettering the industry in a multitude of ways, but it’s still refreshing to see it from even more roasters. Be sure to checkout their neat project with La Armonia Hermosa out of Guatemala.

Since 2005 Deeper Roots Development has been at work building collaborations between Santa Marian farmers, committed coffee roasters and coffee drinkers hoping to find both great quality and great story in their cup. Starting with 1000 lbs our first year, we have helped the group of farmers grow to over 20 with their combined exports reaching 15,000 lbs. Currently we are investing in the construction of the community’s first “wet mill” to completely process their own coffee for export for the first time.

Ryan was kind enough to send along a bag of Kenya Ruthagati and a bag of Ethiopia Sidamo, both of which were great coffees. Be sure to check DRC out on twitter, and visit their site—they’re doing great things for farmers and roast great coffees.

Deeper Roots also offers wholesale, training, consulting, equipment set up, and tech services—in fact, they’re working directly with soon-to-be opened shop in Columbus, Mission Coffee.