'Critique gains value when accompanied by action.' So says Noa Berger in this issue's long-form treatment on the subject of critique in specialty coffee. And so, in the name of action, this issue we've turned our sights to the role of criticism in coffee.
Noa surveys in detail the state of critique in specialty coffee, and what approaching the idea of critique through the lens of coffee can tell us about the evolution of criticism and critics in general. Look out for wisdom from James Hoffmann, Scott Rao, Ashley Rodriguez, Michelle Johnson, Matter Perger, Oliver Strand, and more!
Gwilym Davies delivers the second article in his series debunking some common coffee myths. Read about how Coffee is not a bean, Arabica coffee is not from Arabia, and Robusta is not a species.
Ashley Rodriguez takes a critical look at the way we conceive of and—more importantly—price green coffee, and experts weigh in.
Consultant and champion barista Erika Vonie speaks to us about how to deal with criticism, what makes for useful criticism, and how to effectively critique the industry she loves.
More on the theme of the importance of self-reflection and criticism, we speak to a barista turned psychotherapist about the relationship between criticism and attachment, why people like what they like, and how to deal with one's inner critic for better mental health.
On a lighter side, we ask coffee creative and activist Umeko Motoyoshi what’s pissing her off (and she pulls no punches), we task a coffee lover with visiting New York cafés and providing critical reviews of their bathrooms, and finally, Essayist Kalika Sands explores the literary function coffee plays in the works of T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf.
We have an absolutely stonking harvest of sterling stuff in store for you this issue. Put a brew on, settle into a cosy spot, and have a flip through!