Learning about the coffee and coffee shop industry

I’m often asked about where to find out more about what’s going on in the coffee shop industry, or where to find out about ‘the best’ cafes. I’ve already written a blog post about some of the books I’ve found the most helpful for my research around the development of the coffee shop industry. This post instead focuses on where I do my coffee and coffee shop reading on a more regular basis, the website and blogs where I keep up to date in developments….and find out about new cafes that I’d like to visit. This list is not exhaustive, but displays some of the sites I visit most frequently. There are magazines I read too, but I’ll save those for another post. So, in no particular order, this is where I read about coffee and the coffee shop industry…

European Coffee Trip

When I have to travel for work in European cities I usually check here to see if there are some interesting coffee shops I should check out while I’m there – helpfully they have produced a range of city guides too. This website provides information about hundred of roasters and cafes across the continent, but more generally they produce articles about all aspects of coffee in Europe from considering the growth of specialty coffee in different regions to the experiences of people working in the coffee industry. They have a great YouTube channel too which I discovered when looking for information about ‘The Raf’ coffee in Russia.

Perfect Daily Grind 

A website dedicated to the specialty coffee industry, and considering this site only appeared in 2015 there is a huge amount of material here. With new content appearing all the time it’s a great resource for learning about the specialty coffee industry, and the places and people behind it. From industry tips (for baristas, café owners/professionals and roasters) and discussions about coffee production, roasting and consumption they also have a really helpful global events calendar. There is also a version in Spanish.

Sprudge

Sprudge is pretty much a portal to all things coffee with information on a range of aspects from the coffee industry, although it originates from the US, it has a global perspective (the sprudge travel section is great for finding out what’s going on in coffee in various cities across the world). Sprudgewire also provides a useful round-up of coffee news. For those looking for some coffee related audio, there’s also the sprudgecast.

Brian’s Coffee Spot

This was one of the first blogs about coffee and coffee shops I started to read after seeing one of his articles in Caffeine magazine.  Brian posts regularly providing great insights into cafes across the UK, and beyond. At the time of writing there were over 1000 ‘coffee spot’ blog posts.

London’s Best Coffee

A great website if you’re interested in coffee and coffee shops in London. I used to work in London and still spend a fair bit of time there, so it’s one of my favourite places to see what’s happening. There are a whole host of reviews of great cafes and roasteries across the city. They also have a great news section which highlights some of their other articles. I particularly like the five part history of London coffee, and their post on women in the coffee industry. There’s also an associated app which you can use to discover coffee places across the city.

Jimseven

The blog of James Hoffman, former World Barista champion, co-founder of Square Mile Roasters in London, and author of The World Atlas of Coffee. James posts on a range of topics related to coffee from food science and brewing, to employment in the coffee industry. He has also just announced that there will soon be a book with the ‘best of jimseven.com’ which you can get hold of via the crowdfunding website Indiegogo.

Dear Coffee I love you

A website produced by Brian Jones, author of the book Brew, that is described as ‘a design driven resource for coffee loves around the world’ it contains articles and commentaries on all aspects of the coffee industry with a strong focus on creativity, culture and design.

Bean There

A blog produced by Jamie and Sara Inilby which charts their visits around coffee shop and adventures in coffee, mostly in London but as you can see from their map of posts from places all over the world too. I particularly like how they describe the way their review cafes, based on: coffee awesomeness, noms, surrounding comfort, service & chit-chat, and extra something. They also have a really helpful Specialty Coffee Events calendar.

Humans of Coffee

For insights into the people behind the coffee and coffee shop industry, this is a great place to start. The blog (and associated Instagram feed) produced by Andy, also author of the manmakecoffee blog has created a huge following.

The Way to Coffee 

A blog produced by Theresa Schlage which explores specialty coffee shops from around the world, documenting different coffee shops and the people involved in them. If you’re interested in coffee shops of Europe, Asia and the Americas, then this is a great place to start.

Coffeetographer

A photojournalist website dedicated to specialty coffee and coffee culture with articles focusing on everything from coffee culture as a way of life to music, art and wellness.

Little Black Coffee Cup

A website which explores different aspects of the ‘coffee journey’ of its author and photographer, Ashley Tomlinson. It has a great recipe section too (for more than just coffee).

Barista Hustle

Produced by a team of baristas who are trying and provide educational resources for baristas on topics from grinding and extraction to milk and water. I particularly like their ‘cowculator’ articles.

Coffee and Conservation

Produced by the ecologist Julie Craves this is a different kind of coffee website to most of the others mentioned here, but an important one. It considers the connections between coffee and the environment, with a particular focus on bird habitats. There’s a particularly helpful guide to coffee certifications, an interesting discussion around organic coffee, and a whole host of articles around sustainable coffee.

Tamper Tantrum

Another portal into the coffee world but one which brings together podcasts with people from the coffee industry, discussions about issues in the coffe industry, and various lectures and programs from coffee events which have taken place. There are so many great resources here, but a couple of my favourites are the talk by Nick Cho on ‘The Biggest Problem in Speciality Coffee’,  the ‘Telling Stories’ talk by James Hoffman and the talk from Klaus Thomsen on ‘Ensuring Coffee’s Future’

Daily Coffee News

The news focused website which is produced by Roast magazine. For all your coffee news needs.

FRSH/GRND Coffee & Culture

A coffee blog produced by Aaron Frey who has made a great effort to explore the world of cafes on offer, and has even made some maps of the ‘Best Cafes in the World’. I first discovered this site when researching café culture in Korea.

Am I missing out on a great coffee/coffee shop/coffee industry website? Is there a blog or website I should be reading? I’m always grateful for new suggestions, so do get in touch if I’m missing out!

 

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