This week I received my signed copy of James Hoffmann's collection of blog posts entitled "`The best of Jim Seven 2004-2015". If you've not followed his blog over the past thirteen years or so then all I can say is you missed it. It's not like it's been essential reading for me on my coffee journey but jimseven like many other blogs has been instrumental in opening channels for discussion amongst the widening coffee community. I'm sure in those early years he was preaching to a very limited size but well opinionated audience.
I have read some of his articles over the past 5 years or so but I'm sure there's plenty to learn still from some of his early ramblings. He is after all one of the people that folk in this niche industry listen to. I heard him talk a couple of years ago at a Tamper Tantrum event held in conjunction with a UKBC competition in Birmingham. He's an engaging speaker and talked about Bourbon. Yes, both the rye mash sweet and earthy drink that goes so well into making some of the best 'old fashioned' cocktails but also the varietal of coffee established on Reunion Island and so prevalent in Central America, as well as covering the French aristocratic House of Bourbon. This guy knows his onions.
Anyway James funded the hardback printing and binding of this beautiful book by crowdfunding through IndieGoGo and I was one of the first people to donate towards it. My donation got me one of the first printed copies along with a nice personalised signed message on the inside front cover. That's one of those feel good moments when you know that a small financial donation has in a very small way enabled a project like this to come to fruition. Crowdfunding does that. As another case in point, the Acaia scales used ubiquitously throughout the speciality coffee world, were funded by a Kickstarter program. It just so happens that I funded that startup project too and I did so because I saw a tweet from Mr Hoffmann saying that he'd just backed this project. Good enough for him...
I'm not quite ready for it but one day in the not too distant future I'd like to consider crowdfunding to enable Crankhouse Coffee to expand with a bigger roaster and additional staff. If you've got any ideas what might be suitable rewards then I'm all ears. North Star roasters from Leeds did this a couple of years back to buy their new roaster and the main bidder got the roaster named after them.
There are other interesting coffee books that have just been published including Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood's 'Coffee Dictionary' and Erin Meister's 'New York City Coffee: A Caffeinated History'. It seems that it is the time for the great and the good to share their knowledge through beautiful print.
Anyway, what exactly is the point of this little rambling post I hear you all ask ? I guess it's to let you know that at sometime in the Crankhouse future you may be receiving an invitation to donate to a crowd funding project to enable Crankhouse to take a big step forward. When that time comes you will be the first to know !
For now I should tell you about a couple of new coffees on the web store. Firstly the return of one of the crowd favourites, Brazil Jaguara, naturally processed and tasting of Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter (like a melted snicker bar), and the Ethiopian Kayon Mountain from the Guji region which is super juicy and tasting of tropical fruits with a syrupy body.
If you follow any of my social media posts then you'll already know there's a discount code of 15% off everything on the store for the duration of the last of the Grand Tour races La Vuelta a Espańa. The code is CORTADO. If you know what that means already in the context of espresso based beverages then you know it offers that perfect balance of strength and sweetness in a 4oz cup. If you didn't, you do now. Ask for it next time you visit your local speciality coffee shop.