Mayhap some of you have heard about Starbucks’ purchase of the Coffee Equipment Company and their now-proprietary rights to the Clover brewing system. Mayhap some of you have heard about Starbucks’ unveiling of the new Pike Place Blend. Mayhap you’ve wondered what this bodes for the future. Well, my friends, wonder no more. Lucas (of 21st Street C&T) brought back some of this very blend from his wayward excursion into the Pacific Northwest. In the good company of Stumptown‘s Hairbender, Vivace‘s Dolce, and Victrola‘s Streamline, this little roast came to me in an unassuming package on my birthday

with an invitation to bring it by some morning to give it a go.

So I did. I did it this morning. I watched them make this new and glorious blend in the method it may or may not be made in the future. Behold, the cake of shame.

And I drank it. I drank it up. And it tasted just fine. Not good, but there was a nice aroma to begin with, followed by pretty much a big pile of nothing. But it wasn’t offensive. Until it cooled. Now, I like my coffees cooler than warmer; some very interesting tastes usually come out when a coffee cools down. But this here blend started to taste like chalk. And finger-paints. Which is not really that tasty, to be perfectly honest.

So, dear reader, be advised that the wave of the future is chalk and finger-paints, brought to you by a large, publicly-owned coffee juggernaut headed by a self-important, narcissistic megalomaniac Howard Schulz.


So it was my birthday yesterday, and a bunch of people were crammed into my coffee shop to celebrate me being born. Not only were my good friends from the neighborhood there, but Rich was there, bearing belated gifts from the jam in Easton, PA, Brad and Drew from the Vault came down and gave me an Inkspots record (“The Incomparable Inkspots”, if you wanted to know), Luke and Alexis stopped by and gave me some of the finest coffee available in the country world, the folks from Beaver Falls C&T stopped in and would have brought me some triple roasted Kenya blend (!!!) if it weren’t for the now-notoriously finicky Anfim. People made some drinks, many records were played, including some of my alltime faves. And a bean-bag toss? And vegan mini-cupcakes with beer in the cake and coffee in the frosting? My friends are great.

People asked me to make a speech after they presented me with my half-eaten birthday cake, and I said something like “I’m really glad you’re all here; it’s great to imagine what we can all do and are doing, so thanks for coming to my birthday party.”

So everybody out there who came to my birthday and who wished me well-wishes on the telephone and internet, thanks a whole heap of a ton.

It’s good to know that when one is uncertain of one’s utility, direction, purpose, or any other thing associated with mid-twenties self-definition nonsense, one’s friends are around to emphasize the importance of one’s self. That sentence is terrible. All I want to say is a thank you to this community for thinking I’m pretty OK at doing stuff. It means a lot.

More posts later this week? If you’re lucky. But I promise pictures next time.