Coffee Review: This site is the online presence of the wonderful Ken Davids, whose great books gave many people their first look at the depth of the coffee scene. In addition to reviews of the most outstanding coffees available, the site is an extraordinary resource into the growing regions, preparation methods and nomenclature of the industry.
CoffeeGeek: The CoffeeGeek website, now boasting in excess of five million readers a month, is a portal into community-based features including a user-fed library of consumer brewing equipment reviews (the very best place to start if you are considering a purchase) and a seemingly endless online forum with discussions of every topic you can imagine. Use the search feature to drill down and get answers to your questions.
Espresso My Espresso: This is fun site, with the main attraction a 97-chapter personal journal that charts author Randy Glass’ journey from newbie to home roaster to espresso aficionado and beyond.
Home Barista: If espresso has seized you and made you want to know more, this is a great place to start. The equipment reviews go well beyond performance characteristics of machines and grinders and help you really understand why good espresso is worth the investment of time and money. This is also a great resource for learning about the techniques you need to master to produce great espresso at home.
SCAA: The Specialty Coffee Association of America. This important trade group represents the growing sector of the coffee industry that roasts, serves and trades the highest quality coffees. The site has some great resource material and outlines the services and events provided by the association.
ICO: The International Coffee Organization (ICO) was originally started by the United Nations as a vehicle for linking coffee producer and consumer countries. Today, the ICO has a membership of 77 member countries (45 coffee exporting and 32 importing), and their site is a nice source of high level statistics and information about the global industry.
Bikes to Rwanda: The website of an amazing program launched by the owner of Portland, Oregon’s famous Stumptown Coffee Roasters that spawned a custom-designed affordable bicycle that enables Rwandan coffee growers to dramatically improve their ability to move their coffees from farm to market.
Starbucks Gossip: Imagine an online forum where Starbucks employees from far and wide share their candid thoughts (good and bad) about the company. Its kind of like spying, but there’s some fun stuff here to read.
ONLINE DISCUSSION FORUMS
These forums (aka online discussion groups) are organized into broad categories, and participants then post topics that other participants in turn respond to. The search feature on each site is a good way to access what’s been discussed before.
CoffeeGeek You could spend years here - seriously.
Home Barista All things espresso - and oriented to the home user.
Roasters Guild A trade guild of the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) dedicated to professional scale coffee roasting.
Barista Guild A trade guild of the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) dedicated to the barista trade.
Coffeed Lots of cool and very knowledgeable people post to this one. A good place to lurk if you are a newbie.
If your daily routine includes a long commute, these podcasts are a wonderful way to explore the wide world of coffee and get to know some of the personalities in the business. Both are accessible from their own home pages (linked here) or via the iTunes store.
CoffeeGeek: This podcast, hosted by CoffeeGeek founder Mark Prince, provides an insightful look at coffee from a mostly consumer perspective. By going back through the more than sixty available episodes, you can hear interviews with the baristas, café owners and authorities who have taken coffee into the next wave. Use the Libsyn (coffeegeek.libsyn.com/) link to gain access to older versions of the show.
Portafilter.Net: The true insider’s podcast, Portafilter.net is hosted by Wrecking Ball Coffee’s Nick Cho (also the ubiquitous host of many barista competitions) and trusty sidekick Mark Inman. Even if you don’t stick around for the wonderful, in-depth interviews, you’ll have a fun time hanging out with Nick and Mark – truly the Johnny and Ed of the coffee world.