Coffee inspires creativity—this is merely an overflow of that. A bit of my coffee journey in the form of doodles and sketches.
November 6, 2012

It’s a beautiful thing when you find companies outside of the coffee industry putting the same level of thoughtfulness and care into sourcing their products. Learning more about the way coffee is sourced and how meticulous and holistic the process is has opened my eyes and given me an appreciation for other industries that do the same. Askinosie Chocolate is just one example.

Askinosie has teamed up with other like-minded companies in the past to work on product collaborations, including Intelligenstia, and a personal favorite, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. This past month, the team at Askinosie teamed up with Intelligentsia once again to introduce a brand-new Sipping Chocolate:

Askinosie handcrafts this indulgent drink using 70 percent single origin chocolate (made with cocoa beans directly sourced from Davao, Philippines) infused with single origin coffee from Intelligentsia Coffee. The very-small batch beverage is a new take on Askinosie Chocolate’s Intelligentsia Coffee CollaBARation chocolate bar that was released last fall.

Intelligentsia Coffee based in Chicago, Il., is Askinosie’s partner in this Sipping Chocolate based on the original CollaBARationTM bar that was released in November 2011. As with the chocolate bar, the coffee origin changes with Intelligentsia’s in-season coffee bean selection. Currently, the Sipping Chocolate features Intelligentsia’s directly sourced coffee from Agua Preta, Brazil. Like Askinosie, Intelligentsia works directly with their producers to develop exceptional coffee, and invests continuously in realizing that quality in every cup.


While these type of cross-industry collaborations are nothing new in the coffee industry, it’s always encouraging and refreshing to see.

With the Holidays approaching, this sipping chocolate is a great way to warm up and support two great companies. Be sure to get your hands on some.

Check out this great video for a peek into Askinosie and their methods of sourcing and education.

Tanzania Time Capsule; by Bob Linder from Askinosie Chocolate on Vimeo.

Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch chocolate manufacturer located in Springfield, Mo., sourcing 100% of their beans directly from the farmers. Shawn Askinosie, founder and chocolate maker, travels to regions of Ecuador, Honduras, the Philippines and Tanzania to work directly with the farmers and source cocoa beans for his chocolate. This allows the chocolate to be traced to the source and labeled Authentic Single Origin Chocolate. It also enables Askinosie Chocolate to profit share with the farmers, giving them a Stake In the OutcomeTM. The Askinosie Chocolate mission is to serve their farmers, their neighborhood, their customers and each other; sharing the Askinosie Chocolate Experience by leaving the world a better place than they found it.

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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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May 2, 2012

During my visit to London, I met up with Nathan Retzer from Brewed By Hand – the UK’s primary Hario importer. I did a doodle for him to be used at the UKBC, and he kindly hooked me up with some Hario gear. One of those things was a Woodneck.

I’ve been using it for about a month now – each day I care for the high maintenance cloth filter, storing it in cold water when not in use, rinse it religiously, and remove it from the wire holder. Its kind of like taking care of a very small pet. A small chore.


I know a lot of people dislike it for this reason, but the visual appeal and clarity of coffee it produces have overshadowed any of the negatives for me. I’m dialed in to a recipe thanks to Gwilym Davies of Prufrock Coffee and I’d say it’s my preferred method right now.

Today I brewed a few cups of an Intelligentsia Seasonal Select I picked up from the brand new Earth Fare in Columbus. It’s kind of a big deal that they consistently carry Intelligentsia, Counter Culture, and other roasters, as my exposure to each typically comes from a vacation or through an online order.

The Intelligentsia I picked up was a Brazil Yellow Bourbon – Carmo De Minas. It’s full of a sweet, smooth honey almond with a bit of a tartness wrapping it up. It’s my first Brazil from Intelligentsia, and I’m really enjoying it on my Woodneck.

The doodle I came up with feels a bit more modern than I usually do, and is probably inspired as much by my visits to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
as it is by my recent explorations of


The outer ring is my brewing recipe for this coffee: 15g coffee to 250g pur filtered water. Grind 18-20 on a Baratza Virtuoso. Bloom at 30g for 30 seconds, finish with a center pour.