Who should I interview next and what would you like me to ask them? I’m hoping to do about two interviews a month and hope to do some audio interviews lasting about 5 minutes. Quick stuff.
May 31, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
May 30, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
A number of people have asked me about advertising on Arizona Coffee and I wanted to write a short post about this topic. I have been working on a pricing card for those wishing to sponsor the site. Email me if you’d like a copy when it’s ready.
Key things to know:
- I’ll have special introductory rates
- A limited number of spots will be available at different sizes
- I won’t be selling ads based on page views or hits or clicks. Instead, advertising is going to be something where you have the choice of monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, or annual
- I will also open a number of spots in the new Arizona Coffee Email Newsletter
- I won’t accept your advertising if I wouldn’t personally endorse your product
May 26, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
I’m at Weather & Coffee. It’s a new coffee shop which opened only this year. Behind the counter when you order is a small chalkboard. A thoughtful hand has written the numbers 90 – which is todays temperature. I’m noticing all around me weather related decorations. There are the weather books and widgets on a shelf by the window. Then there are the huge plasma televisions with sports, and of course The Weather Channel.
Then I notice the ceiling. Almost entirely blue with clouds painted on it. Very cool. This place is totally decked out in a weather theme (not in an overwhelming way).
You can park in front or do the drive through thing. I’m sure the drive thru is a hit in the mornings being so close to the 51. It’s literally on the freeway. It made me wonder if they tell people the temperature when they drive through. Or maybe there’s another chalkboard on the outside. I should look.
Three people were working there the day I came in. It’s a family operation run by Ed Phillips. I’m sure you’ve heard him deliver the radio on KTAR where he’s been for 20 years. Ed Phillips even came in while I was there.
I haven’t tried the coffee enough to be able to give you a definative review. I’ll be back though, and try a few more shots. They have free wireless internet (SSID is coffee) and plenty of room to sit and plug in your laptop if you need the power. The few times I have been there I’ve had the cappuccino and it has been good.
May 25, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
I’m in Angra right now sitting in a small room at a hotel and surprisingly they have computers with internet! Most of the other hotels didn’t or wanted to charge $30 a day. There’s a Brasilian man sitting next to me trying to check his email. I’m doing the same thing after being without the internet for about 10 days (and can I just say its been wonderful).
I’ve taken about 1,500 pictures so far – all in RAW mode (best) and they are looking fabulous. I’ve eaten some amazing foods. Pretty much everything is great and the weather is fine.
I’ve been to Rio, Floripa, and now Angra. I go back to Rio on Sunday and fly back to the US on Tuesday. The wedding is on Saturday (my cousin). Being in a country like this is interesting. I can’t help but be thankful for living where I do.
I’ll try to update you again later after I feast with my 11 relatives who made the trek to Brasil.
May 25, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
The Year of Coffee blog is pretty cool. The author has restarted the site after a short break. He posts a photo of every cup of coffee (or as many as he can).
May 24, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
There was something about the Beanology logo that really struck a cord with me. Perhaps it is the slight animation effect (visible if you visit the site) or maybe it’s just the playful nature. Either way I thought it was cool (it’s for a Kansas coffee house).
May 23, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
A photo I took at Mama Java’s… people ordering coffee in the morning.
May 22, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
What’s your favorite coffee shop? Why do you go there? — Yes, this was pre-posted weeks ago to hopefully keep you entertained while I am away.
May 21, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
I ran across this article recently and thought it was interesting. The author basically explains how he thinks Wi-Fi should be offered and the various methods and problems people encounter. Might be a good read for someone.
May 20, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
Check out CenPho Mavens. It’s a weblog about life in Central Phoenix. They have a few posts about coffee and restaurants.
May 19, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
This summer I will be preparing the first Arizona Coffee Email Newsletter (official cool name to be decided). Besides announcing coffee shop openings, we’ll have some exclusive interviews, coffee news around AZ, and giveaways. I have big plans for the email newsletter, including incentives that will encourage independent coffee houses to join in and create a mega statewide email newsletter.
Don’t worry, I’ll never spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time.
May 19, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
After seeing this photo of some coffee beans I have been inspired to start taking photos of coffee beans like I tried recently. I’m going to start as soon as I return from Brazil.
This is what canned coffee looks like. Eww.
Here’s an article about how independent business owners are working to build community in and around downtown Phoenix. Copper Star Coffee owner Bill Sandweg was interviewed for the piece.
May 16, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
In my conversations with patrons of this web site one thing has become very clear. It’s about time that Arizona Coffee step up to the plate and provide ratings with actual meaning.
Up until this time I’ve been rather slacking in my attempts to rate the quality of coffee for one specific reason. Well, actually two. Time is one of them and I was afraid to do it. I don’t want to offend anybody and, well, it’s a big task.
Yeah, I’m a nice guy and I would never want to say to the owner of a coffee shop that his coffee sucks, but unfortunately that’s been the case on occasion and I’ve just kept my mouth shut.
So I’ve decided we need to do something about this and in conversations with people I think it would be well accepted. One person in particular told me that if I don’t do this, real coffee geeks wouldn’t find this site to be an authority on coffee. I think he’s right.
We need to begin rating the quality of coffee, where the coffee is roasted, the quality and pour time for espresso shots, etc. I’d like to include coffee shop atmosphere in there somewhere as well.
A good example of why I think atmosphere matters is because some coffee shops create the perfect atmosphere for hanging out. On Friday at about 5 pm I went over to the new Soma Cafe with a friend after work and ordered two doppio macchiato’s. Immediately I noticed something really cool: they have a bar. It was fun! I got to sit by as the barista prepared my espresso. I was able to ask him some questions, pick up some conversation with the people near me, and generally talk coffee. I can’t tell you how thrilled the barista was that I ordered a doppio macchiato. I got the feeling that all of his customers had been ordering sugar drinks. He was excited. So I think the experience of coffee really matters.
Good, quality, fresh coffee is of the utmost importance. Where the coffee shop gets the coffee, when it was roasted, how the espresso shot is prepared, etc. I think many of these come with experience for a barista and so it will be important to visit a coffee shop repeatedly.
So that’s what we’re going to do. But only on one condition. I won’t do this alone and whenever we notice a trend I want to ask someone to write an article (or I’ll do it myself) that explains proper technique. If we notice that several coffee shops aren’t pulling espresso shots correctly, we will do an article explaining how a master barista would do it. Hey, that sounds like a good article anyways!
I think with this combination we could effectively create a renewed passion among the coffee shops in Arizona for quality coffee production. Moving people away from the sugar-coated coffee towards a finely crafted espresso shot that isn’t bitter. I can see it now! There will actually be a reason to improve quality.
Consider this post a shout out to the coffee geeks of Arizona.
We’ll have an official process to rate a coffee shop (still need to decided what that is) and a process for updating reviews, and criteria which we will rate shops on. It will be scientific. I like what Greg is doing with CoffeeRatings.com, an exacting espresso review site for San Francisco.
There is something to think about though. The possibility of a democratic voting system allowing patrons of this site to register and rate their favorite coffee shops on a number of factors. With thousands of votes a truly exact vote could be established.
Maybe a combination with readers choice and official Arizona Coffee ratings is the answer.
Please leave a comment with your thoughts or contact me if you’re interested in helping out in some way. Thanks for listening!
May 15, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
When I return from Brazil I’ll be tan, a little fatter, and no doubt buzzing with the effects of Brazilian coffee (I hope!). It’s going to be a fast trip despite the length of two weeks. I will try to post something up here but I don’t know whether I’ll have internet access.
Two weeks without the internet will likely do me a lot of good as I spend a lot of time online for my job. It’s my first time to Brazil and I have a lot planned around my cousin’s wedding. I’ll be keeping my eye out for any coffee shops or coffee farms that might be interesting to tour.
Places I’ll be visiting:
Anyways, I hope everyone has a good time while I’m away. Browse the archives if you get bored however I’m sure you won’t as I have some posts written which will appear magically while I am away. Some of them are rather long and I hope you’ll take the time to read them. Lastly, check out Quest for Coffee. He’s growing a coffee plant in his house.
May 15, 2006Posted by Chris Tingom
The Sahara Coffee & Bistro is opening a number of coffee house and bistro combinations inside local YMCA’s. They have already opened four locations and plan to open two more shortly in the following cities: Chandler, Ahwatukee Foothills, Downtown Phoenix & Litchfield Park.