November 23, 2014


Yellow has never been my favorite color.  I look around and see it non-intrusively accenting the room, a powerful, though scant slice of the color spectrum.  Most of life is muted earth-tones and yellow is celestial.  A yellow flower in a field of green and brown is a paragon of uniqueness, leadership, or outstanding beauty.  Our yellow star provides warmth and happiness, though in extremes, misery.  And the yellow in our urban society warns us to be cautious.  Yellow, in moderation, is fantastic.


As an incautious kid, I roamed the woods and fields, first of the corn and soy prairies of Illinois, and then of the cross timbers in southern Oklahoma.  Days and nights were spent building tree forts, fishing for mud cats, exploring every hill and dale, and of course playing "war" with my cousins.  Like the kids of "Lord of the Flies," our free time was spent dividing and conquering one another.  On my Uncle's 80-acre pastureland were two ponds, sparse woods, a hay barn, and a pair of combines - an immense battlefield with adequate relief and cover. 

On a sunny Summer Sunday, after lunch all the boys of my extended (and extensive) family grabbed a broomstick or some other janitorial representation of a weapon and we split into 2 groups.  We fled in separate directions into the wilds, avoiding cows and their excrement.  Our troop ranged the ponds and pastures looking for the enemy, with occasional contact and shouts of "BANG BANG BANG! I GOT YOU!"  Invariably if one cousin got the jump on another cousin, the surprise attack would win out and no matter how much negotiation, the surprised party would succumb to their slow reactions and relent to lie on the ground, close their eyes, and count to 100 while the ambush team scampered off looking for another tactical position.

My team crossed a dike containing one end of a cow pond, and descended the grassy slope where we climbed over a huge tree which had died and fallen like Gulliver on Lilliput.  I, being the younger of my cousins, hung back and waited for each one to crest the horizontal trunk and leap to the ground.  When my turn came, I stepped down onto a lower part of the trunk and suddenly, having fallen through rotten wood, found myself engulfed in a nest of angry, swarming, stinging yellow jackets.  My older cousin pulled me out and carried me back to the house, as, from shock or venom, I couldn't stand.*


Way back in the hills, up a long dirt road is another farm called La Pastora.  This farm, far from the rolling plains of Oklahoma, has steep fields upon the mountainsides of Costa Rica's Tarrazu, planted not in hay and cattle, but short, spindly coffee trees.  The owner of La Pastora, Minor Esquival Picado, is the epitome of a happy, paradisiacal homeowner.  You'd almost think his every-present grin was the product of having seen our lifestyle and then reverting back to his leisurely customs.  But I suspect Minor has never been far from home.

Unusually, Minor built a small but pristine mill out of concrete and a mishmash of ceramic tile remnants, many broken into pieces.  He uses this mill to process small lots of coffee that he thinks will be special and worth more than the regular coffee he sells to the regional mill in San Marcos.  After Minor built his micro- wet mill, he began experimenting with Naturals and Honey coffees.  Laying the coffee to dry in the sun on raised, African-style beds, which Minor built on the flat, dry ground between the mill and storage barn, he produced three different styles of Honey coffee.  They are called Black Honey, Yellow Honey, and White Honey, derived from the color of each bean as it dries in the sun.  Had Goldilocks the privilege of sampling the Three Bears' coffee stash, I don't think she would've done a better job than I of picking out the one that is just right.


I have two pictures hanging in my house that mean something extra-special to me.  One, a bluish-hued lithograph of "Lone Wolf" by Alfred Kowalski, which hung in the back room of my Grandpa's house above an old sewing machine.  In it, the foreground is of a wolf, his tracks visible in the snow, looking down a precipitous hillside onto a house - a very small village, maybe - what could be, except for the snow, Minor's farm.  The other picture is a yellowed print of a painting of James Earle Frasier's "End of the Trail."  This picture I got from my dad, who acquired it when he was a kid.  Only recently did I realize that both of these pictures have the same origin.  They were printed at a place in Chicago called Borin Mfg Co, both in 1925.  They're both in the original frames.  Borin printed dozens of paintings, and it appears that they maybe avoided paying royalties to the original artists by printing them all backward.  So I have two backward prints, one of a famous painting that seems to correspond to my M.O., and the other of a famous statue which now resides, forward-facing, at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.  The story of Frasier's statue is a fascinating one, and it just so happens that Mark Brown wrote about it in the current issue of This Land magazine.  I stumbled into this history from a coin my dad gave me:  the Buffalo Nickel.  It's a keepsake.  An antique.  And originally designed and modeled by the same artist, James Earle Frasier, as a tribute to the American West.


I learned something at La Pastora that I probably could've learned at my Uncle's when I was carried back to my mom at HQ, a wounded soldier.  The skin of the coffee cherry, much like the wood of a hollow tree, is a protective coating.  When left intact, nature can take its course, the coffee cherries can dry into a sweet, fruity Natural; and the yellow jackets can work as a biological pest control by hunting other pests, reproduce into a seasonal colony of a few thousand, and no one would be the wiser.  But once that fragile shell is punctured, what's inside is volatile.  Honey Process coffees involve removing the protective skin of the cherry and exposing the sticky pulp to environmental forces of oxygen, bacteria, and yeast.  What Minor figured out is that falling into a nest of yellow jackets can leave a bad taste in your mouth.  He removed some of the pulp from the coffee beans.  Not all of it, but just the right amount.  And what he came up with is a smooth, delicious, sweet-tasting coffee that has all the fullness of flavor I look for in a special Thanksgiving offering.

La Pastora Yellow Honey, though grown in Costa Rica, came to fulfill its purpose here in Oklahoma, in my roaster, and ultimately in your cup.  Frasier's Indian found its end of the trail here too, but you'll have to read about that while drinking the Yellow.


Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all.



Buy the issue of This Land with Mark Brown's story of The End of the Trail here.


* The yellow jacket incident could explain how I acquired super powers.

March 03, 2014

one decade of persistence

“How did you get into coffee?”, people ask me.  It’s kind of a long story. 

I was riding my bike down Riverside Drive, on the river trail, for what felt like the millionth time, and my mind sort of hit this pothole and it was deep and red and depressing, and I felt like I couldn’t ride that path any more.  

I started out, like everyone else, sipping the last, cold remnant of Folgers out of my parents’ squat, heavy, ceramic cups.  I can still remember the taste.  And the smell.  But it wasn’t until I was a big boy that I started actually drinking coffee.  It occurred to me one day, and I distinctly remember this, that I was completely independent and that I could do anything I wanted.  Anything.  (Not true, but an enticing thought nonetheless.)  That feeling of freedom was liberating.  I had freedom and responsibility.  I had my own apartment, all by myself, and I was responsible for paying the bills.  I owned my own business and was responsible for making the money to pay those bills.  With freedom comes diversity.  Decision-making.  Discovery.  I did all sorts of things and tried all sorts of coffee.  And I learned that coffee tasted better without sugar.  I found out that french press was a good way to brew coffee.  But not with a blade grinder.  I made “espresso” and pourover coffee, and moka pot.  And then one day, much to my surprise, I learned that coffee didn’t have to come to me already roasted.  It didn’t have to be roasted in a factory or in a large, industrial roaster.  I could buy a very small coffee roaster and learn how to do it myself.  

I’ve told this story over and over again through the years, and you’ve probably heard it before, but it’s the core of the very beginning and the true essence of the DoubleShot.  I bought a small home roaster and various green coffees, and I read a book about coffee and roasting.  I roasted and brewed and tasted coffee for the first time.  The explosion of flavors in my mouth was startling.  I wasn’t sure what to think, but I knew coffee had changed forever for me.  It was the first time in my life that I’d ever tasted coffee that wasn’t stale.  And thus, the foundations of DoubleShot Coffee Company were conceived.  After a few years roasting in my apartment kitchen and riding my bike down the river trail, I decided to strike out, take my bike and roaster to Colorado, and open a coffeeshop in the Rocky Mountains.  To share fresh, delicious coffee with the masses!

As you know, that didn’t work out.  And after two years slumming it in pristine mountain country, I returned to Tulsa, where this taste for fine beverage began.  

There are endless details to this excursion:  trials, hurdles, victories, mistakes, discoveries, everything.  Just about anything I can imagine; it’s happened here at the DoubleShot.  I remember some things, and a lot I don’t.  

The beginning of life in this long, skinny strip mall space at 18th and Boston was difficult.  I was younger and much fitter and so I guess I had a lot more energy to work more and still play a little in the night.  Everything I had went into the creation of this concept, and so each night I would go home to an apartment that was really more a storage unit for my sleeping body.  For three-and-a-half years I lived without gas or electricity in a run-down habitation, in order to skimp on the bills.  And truthfully, it’s likely the DoubleShot wouldn’t have made it with that extra burden.  And so I suffered for my craft.  It was cold in winter and hot in summer, and the shower was always a little warmer or cooler than the air.  And then one day I upgraded, beneath the smog of mold-infested lungs.  My lungs!  Possibly my biggest asset, my lungs have carried me far throughout my life.  And taken the biggest punishment.

One December day, as I find myself every December now, I decided I was fat and out of shape, and I needed to do something drastic.  So I signed up for an ultra-marathon.  My first one.  I started taking one day off on the weekends and I implemented a training regimen that was based on 9’s.  I’d run 9 miles the first weekend.  Then 18 miles the next.  27 miles the next, and so on until I got to a distance that was unrealistic.  I finished that first 100, but it took a lot of caffeine and perseverance.  (They don’t call it “running a business” for nothing.)

Running has been a parallel to life for me, ever since I realized the liberation that running gave me.  Just like in life, you can’t choose your natural ability, but you can decide the effort you put in and your willingness to persevere.  And, as I’ve coached aspiring entrepreneurs through the years, it’s that unwillingness to quit that makes all the difference.  My high school football coach, Chris Stiles, used to say, “Men,” (he was the first person in our lives to call us men)… “Men, we’re all going to face adversity, but you have to keep on giving 110%.  You’re going to get knocked down, but you have to get right back up.”  He was right, and I’ve tried to live some version of that doctrine.

As I reminisce about the history of the DoubleShot, there are two times in my life that I can’t really remember.  For ten months, I worked the DoubleShot all by myself.  With no employees, I barista’d all day and then roasted and ran the business (poorly) at night.  I was sleeping ~5 hours per night, sometimes lying down on the floor by the sink or napping on the sofa when I was just too exhausted to finish the dishes.  And I was exhausted, fighting TMJ and sleep deprivation.  But that was one turning-point in the life of the DoubleShot.  I proved I could go it alone, found some extremely supportive friends, and made a statement about how important it is that coffee quality be foremost at the DoubleShot.  But, like I said, most of that time is a blur.  I was a robot.  An exhausted robot.

Most people don’t know this, but the DoubleShot almost didn’t come into existence, because I came near to death just a couple months prior to its opening.  I was staying with my parents in their new house, and my dad was working in Chicago.  My mom went to visit him, and while she was gone, I began to feel sick.  After a couple days, I woke up early in the morning and realized I was about to die.  So I went to put the dishes away, so my mom wouldn’t find the dishwasher full when she got home.  (I didn’t want to be remembered for that.)  But I couldn’t do it.  So I sat down to think.  And it occurred to me that I had carbon monoxide poisoning.  I can’t remember all the details, but I remember driving to Lowe’s with terrible tunnel vision to buy a carbon monoxide detector.  I remember the look on my mom’s face when I picked her up at the airport.  I remember not being able to stand any more because lactic acid had built up in every muscle in my body.  I remember the doctor telling me I should be dead.  And that I also had the flu and meningitis.  And I remember the pain.  But I survived.

And so did the DoubleShot.  It has survived the downturned economy, employee turnover, crazy neighbors, debilitating thefts, a car through the window, threats from Starbucks, twitter, myriad disappointments and failures, and the tragic loss of a few friends.  And it has continuously grown, and seen even more daily successes.  We’ve developed new coffees and relationships in Colombia, and seen the real face of coffee in many farms throughout Central and South America.  We’ve doubled the size of our store, employed professional bakers, and trained the most talented and passionate baristas around.  We’ve been featured in a documentary (The Perfect Cappuccino) and a story in Wine Spectator, and inspired an episode of Portlandia.  (We even got to serve coffee to Kevin Bacon.)  And we’ve seen the delighted faces of countless customers throughout the years who experienced that same amazement I felt all those years ago after my first home roast, my first taste of fresh coffee.  And that was the goal.  So for all of you who enjoy our coffee and appreciate the effort we put in to always make it fresh and delicious, we count each of you as part of our success over the past 10 years.  Thank you.

This week, we will be celebrating with a few delicious coffees.  Online, we are offering The Decade Collection, a set of 3 coffees that I think encapsulates the DoubleShot at 10 years old.  You can buy that set here starting at midnight on the morning of our birthday.  Mark Brown and I discussed the Decade Collection and what it means to be 10 on our podcast, AA Cafe #87.  In-store on this Wednesday, we will institute a new brewing method for the DoubleShot.  And in that brew, we will be drinking the new Ethiopian natural, Beloya, as well as the amazing Perci Red - a natural Gesha, and probably the most interesting coffee we’ve ever sold.  Perci Red, as you’ll remember, is from Ninety Plus Gesha Estates in Panama.  

The first time I visited Panama, I walked up the mountain at NPGE, skirted by tall, thin Gesha trees, and at the top, where the rainforest crested the other side of the mountain, I waded through tall grass into what seemed like a paradisiacal scene.  Valleys swept away all around, hawks floated on mountain breezes, wild flowers colored the otherwise-green landscape, and trees laden with huge, ripe, orange fruit guarded the entrance to this eden.  These oranges enticed my palate, and so I plucked and peeled one bright, textured orb.  And upon biting into the first dripping slice, I was shocked.  Absolutely shocked.  As this was the most sour thing I’d ever tasted.  It turned out not to be an orange, but some sort of orange-looking lemon.  But this is as it should be with life and with coffee.  The unexpected is what makes it exciting and memorable.  You think you know what coffee tastes like until that one day you taste fresh, DoubleShot Coffee.  

And the story continues.


Celebrate with us Wednesday, March 5 with amazing coffees all day and a party from 7-9p that evening.


December 19, 2013

TOP 5 Christmas Gifts

What a wonderful gift of coffee Ethiopia has bestowed upon us during the past month.  From Kemgin to Nekisse and now onto the so-smooth Tchembe, we’ve definitely been enjoying the best coffees on the planet right here at the DoubleShot.

As promised, I want to publish a couple of recipes for the suggested food pairings with Tchembe.  The apricot-strawberry crisp is just a huge compliment to the natural flavors present in the Tchembe, and all of that combines to make for a harmonious duet.  Great choice for dessert, when coffee is a must, but I also love to eat fruit crisp for breakfast.  The second pairing is my girlfriend, Julie’s french toast.  I’ve never been very good at making french toast, but it’s my favorite breakfast.  Pair it with my favorite coffee, and I’m set.  Check it out. 


Strawberry Apricot Crisp

½ c. hazelnuts
½ c. rolled oats
1/8 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. cold, salted butter, cut into chunks (cold coconut oil works well, too)
1/3 c. honey (or maple syrup)
6 apricots, pitted and quartered
8 oz. strawberries, hulled and quartered

Preheat oven to 400°.  To make the crisp topping, combine the hazelnuts with 1-2 tbsp. of the oats in a food processor and process until they reach the consistency of coarse flour.  Keep an eye on it to make sure you don’t process it into a paste.  Add the remaining oats, salt, cold butter, and honey, and pulse just until a chunky mixture forms.  Combine the quartered apricots and strawberries in a baking dish large enough to hold them in a thick layer.  Drop spoonfuls of the topping evenly over the fruit.  Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping has browned, about 30 minutes.   (Recipe from


Julie’s French Toast

Preheat the skillet with tons of butter.  If you have a cast iron skillet, that’s the way to go.  If you don’t have one, you should go buy one.  Use one egg per slice of bread.  Julie insists on challah, which is an egg bread, and we also love Whole Foods Birdland multi-seed bread.  Add a splash of milk to the eggs.  Beat the eggs and milk together for about one minute.  Soak the bread until saturated.  Flip it over and soak it on the other side until saturated also.  Cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.  Use real maple syrup, heated for just a few seconds in the microwave.



With Christmas less than one week away, we’re making sure to keep our supplies up so you don’t get stuck without coffee or some other important coffee supply you need.  If you’re scrambling to figure out what gifts to buy for the people on your list, I’m here to help.  This is my annual list of top coffee gifts.  This year I’m breaking it down into top 5 gifts for local patrons and top 5 gifts for online customers.  


Top 5 Coffee Gifts for Local DoubleShot Customers

5. DoubleShot Gift Card.  Have you seen the new gift cards?  Stylish.  Do you want to look cool?  Then you should probably give a stylish gift card for the tastiest coffee place in town.

4. Thermos Stainless Steel Travel Tumbler.  Sometimes you just don’t know if people drink coffee (what kind of friends do you have?!) or tea or maybe just sip on some hot water with a little lemon squeezed into it because it makes their voice sound real nice.  With this gift, it doesn’t matter.  They can put whatever they want in it.  They’d be smart to put DoubleShot Coffee in it, but hey, you’re the one who chose these “friends.”  Anyway, once they start using the cup and see how amazing it works to keep the hot beverage hot and sealed up, they’ll think you’re a genius.  And you basically are.

3. Baratza Virtuoso Grinder.  This is what I would like to have.  I’m still using the Baratza Maestro Plus, which is a great grinder, don’t get me wrong,  But the Virtuoso has a nice brushed zinc exterior and a heavy duty motor and burrs that grind coffee twice as fast as mine.  So if I were married, and I wasn’t sure what to get for my wife, I’d probably buy her a new Virtuoso.  Know what I mean?

2. A Bottle of DoubleShot Cold Brew Concentrate (not available online).  People keep telling me they were out in blah blah blah on the such and such coast and so and so coffee place had some way cool cold coffee in a bottle and they thought it was awesome and whatever.  I’m sure you’re sick of hearing those people go on and on just as much as I am, so you should come down here and get them a bottle of our cold brew coffee concentrate and give it to them and they’ll realize that the greatest cold coffee on the planet is right here in Tulsa, under their nose and they just didn’t look for it.  Take that!  

1. Tchembe.  You knew I was going to say that.  All of that other stuff is great, but Tchembe is only here for a short time and when it’s gone we’ll miss it so much and remember how smooth and delicious it was.  So you should definitely get this for yourself, but while you’re at it, get some for a person who has refined tastes, a foodie, someone you like a lot.  Someone who doesn’t know that coffee can be this good.  Or someone who knows it and appreciates it a lot.


Top 5 Coffee Gifts for Online DoubleShot Customers

5. DoubleShot Proprietary Coffee Travel Kit.  I came up with this setup after traveling to Tanzania, because it’s always hard to pack the necessary gear for making great coffee.  I’ve taken this with me all over the place and I really like it.  The kicker with this whole kit, and what makes it uniquely ours, is that I hand-pour every single plastic connector ring right here at the DoubleShot in the basement where we have the whiskey.  The ring makes the glass jar for the grinder unnecessary because it allows you to screw the grinder onto the bottle, where you brew the coffee.  This kit was recently featured on a website called, where it made the list for 55 gifts fort the adventurer in your life.  Awesome.

4. Coffee Subscription.  6 or 12 shipments of a pound of our freshest coffee either monthly, weekly or bi-weekly.  People don’t want a fruit basket.  They want coffee!

3. Thermos Work Thermos.  Or whatever the heck it’s called.  My dad used to carry one of these bad boys with him to the job every day, and it would roll around on the floor of his van getting beat to hell and I still have it, and it’s awesome.  But the new Thermos that just came in is like the dang stealth bomber of thermoses.  The new color is awesome.  And the DoubleShot logo sits on it just right where you kind of feel like you’re a covert DoubleShot Coffee drinker.  So if you know someone who doesn’t want everyone to know how cool they are, this would be a great gift.  

2. Bonavita Stainless Steel Coffeemaker.  It seems like everyone has an auto-drip coffeemaker at home and most of them suck.  Seriously.  If you bought someone a coffeemaker that actually works right and looks cool, they will probably feel obligated to buy you a bottle of 1978 Glenrothes or something.  And that would be really great.

1. Tchembe.  Just in case you missed it, we’re really all about the coffee.  Super coffee.  Fresh coffee.  And this is the king of coffee.  Buy it, drink it, gift it… buy it intending to gift it and then drink it instead.


One last thing.  We usually only offer USPS Priority Mail as a shipping option, because we like to keep it simple.  But starting right now, up until I leave the store at noon on December 24, you can have your DoubleShot order shipped Express Mail.  Get it there fast so you don’t panic.  Merry Christmas.

December 13, 2013

Nekisse Food Pairings

This is an official Nekisse update, current as of the date and time of this posting.


Things are really heating up around here.  Much like Kemgin, the Nekisse is not loitering around the DoubleShot.  In fact, we suddenly find ourselves in short supply.  In fact, as of right now, I only have 17 gold 12-ounce bags of Nekisse left and available for sale!  In a vain attempt to be fair to our online customers as well as our local customers, I'm going to put an online limit of 7 bags in the website inventory.  Once they're gone, that's it.  The remaining 10 bags are for sale in-house.

If you have bought the Nekisse, or you're planning on it, you'll want to pay special attention to the suggested food pairings on the label.  The blueberry lemon-drizzle bread is a great breakfast loaf that will pull you in with its citrus notes that play on the fruity tones of Nekisse, bringing our some of that berry flavor as well as the chocolatey sweetness in the coffee.

Our chocolate lava cake recipe is so rich.  With Nekisse, the brightness of the coffee comes in to cleanse your palate between each super chocolate bite with citrus and strawberry flavors.  Here are the recipes.  Hope you enjoy.


Blueberry Lemon-Drizzle Bread

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g.) plus 1 tsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) granulated sugar

1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest

3 large eggs

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) whole milk

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup (4 oz./125 g.) fresh blueberries


For the syrup:

3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. granulated sugar


For the glaze:

1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) confectioners’ sugar

3 tsp. fresh lemon juice


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350° F (180° C). Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm.) loaf pan.

In a bowl, sift together the 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest on medium-high speed until lightened. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla and stir until blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the 1 teaspoon flour. Gently stir into the batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the bread to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto the rack.

While the bread is baking, make the syrup: In a small saucepan, boil the lemon juice and granulated sugar over medium heat until syrupy, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a wooden skewer, pierce the sides and bottom of the bread all over. Brush the bread generously with the syrup.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice. When the bread is completely cool, drizzle the glaze over the top. Makes 1 large loaf.



Chocolate Lava Cakes (or Molten Chocolate Cakes) - courtesy of my mom

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

8 oz. bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped

½ cup unsalted butter, diced

3 large eggs

3 large egg yolks


Butter and flour 5 custard cups.  Whisk sugar and cornstarch in large bowl to combine.  Melt chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.  Cool 10 minutes.  Add sugar mixture to chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in eggs 1 at a time, then whisk in yolks.  Divide batter between pans.  (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake cakes until puffed, dry and cracked on top and tester inserted into center comes out with some wet batter attached, about 25 minutes (28 minutes if batter has been chilled).  Cool cakes 10 minutes.  Cut around cakes to loosen.  Turn out onto plates.  Serve cakes warm with whipped crème or ice cream.

I like to drizzle raspberry sauce on the plate before plating.



Keep an eye out for an opportunity to purchase a bit of my personal stash of coffee.  (Tchembe is about to take the stage for the last run up to Christmas.)

December 07, 2013


My dad* has always been the key influence in my life when it comes to work.  He installs floor covering.  And the man is a workhorse.  I remember when I was a kid, my dad would lift a huge roll of carpet onto his shoulder and walk up stairs.  He seemed to work interminably, sweating, breathing hard, and moving things in ways I couldn’t budge.  Not only that, he makes extremely precise cuts, very rapidly.  He measures in ways I don’t understand, makes calculations in his head, and cuts things upside down and backward, perfectly.  His patterns are uniform and square, and somehow bend around curves.  He wields a carpet knife, with its reversible razor blade, penetrating to the exact depth needed, ripping down a row of yarn, so square that his trimming is minimal and his waste almost nil.  

He has the patience to work on cars.  Completely disassembling and reassembling three in my memory: a Model A Ford, a Model T Ford, and a Falcon Knight Speedster.  These came apart rusted with friction that breaks and busts even calloused knuckles.  But they went back together smooth and lubricated, painted and polished, pinstriped, upholstered, and running like they did off the early 1900s showroom floor.

The man can fix almost anything.  So much so that he took to collecting antiques, some of them relinquished to the junk pile, because he could see the beauty in a worn out, beat up cabinet or dresser.  I grew up using restored antique furniture with names like “hall tree” and “pie safe.”  The patience and precision and vision that he has can transform wood and marble and brass.  And boy can he swing a hammer.

The peak of his antique restoration came in the form of a run-down, dirty, two-story Victorian house with a carriage barn and, once completed, a round brick patio.  Layers of paint and wallpaper and old newspaper came off with sweat and toil, and beneath it all he found the wood that once again brought class and refinement throughout their home.  

His product is meticulous. 

And he drinks a lot of coffee.

Coffee is a curious thing.  Like corn, it’s a huge commodity.  Coffee trees grow and produce fruit, while the farmer toils in the equatorial sun to keep them healthy and productive.  Margins fluctuate but the work is constant.  During harvest, hand picking is followed by milling (sometimes by hand) and drying (oftentimes on patios where people rake the coffee to ensure consistency) and sorting (sometimes performed by women who pick through every coffee bean to remove defects) and bagging (almost always controlled by men who dispense the coffee into a bag and then sew it shut).  And amongst these commodity beans, occasionally an experienced cupper will pull out a specific lot because they recognize that it surpasses the quality and flavor profile of its peers.  But true exceptional coffees are not the result of luck or happenstance, rather the product of concerted effort, focused methodology, and fastidious performance.  People produce high quality coffees on purpose.

I roasted a batch of Nekisse a few days ago and it was one of those roasts where I just knew I nailed it.  It was beautiful.  I set the damper on par to restrict the airflow just right, bringing the temperature of the coffee up at the precise timing I intended.  I felt like the temperature profile of this roast should be recorded on canvas and placed in the Philbrook.  The coffee coalesced at first crack and became one mass of popping, drumming, hip-shaking rhythm to the drone of the roaster purring like a huge metal lion.  And I manipulated the intake and outflow until those precious few seconds arrived at the end of the roast where the coffee and I speak to one another.  

Because I’ve worked with coffee a lot and I care about coffee a lot, something happens between the coffee and me.  There is a personification of the coffee beans.  They become a living entity, the embodiment of all those who toiled on the their behalf.  The coffee is like the star of the show, who couldn’t be where it is if it weren’t for so many people behind the scenes who worked hard to propel it to greatness.  And all those people who had a hand in the coffee come with it to the DoubleShot, from the ones who nurture the coffee trees from seedlings to transplanted mature adults, to those who fertilize and prune and pick and carry the coffee cherry down the mountain.  The people who process the coffee and turn the coffee over on its drying bed.  Those who manage its production and sort out the premium quality beans for us.  The baggers, the shippers, the cargo ship captain who delivered our coffee in port.  They’re all in there with the coffee, because this coffee couldn’t have become what it is without all those people striving on its behalf.  And their spirits cry out in those final moments of the roast and I can feel it.  And they are happy, proud, excited.

The entire life of this coffee has come to this.  All that came before was for this moment in time.  Everything that has happened to this coffee along the way allowed us to fulfill Nekisse’s mission by roasting it properly and delivering it to you for your ultimate enjoyment.  That’s what this coffee was made for.  

And at the moment I dropped that Nekisse from the roasting drum into the oversized stainless cooling bin, all of my life had led to this.  All the hours of roasting and learning and listening and reading and hauling bags of coffee on my shoulder.  All the lessons my dad taught me through his actions about working hard and doing my best, about learning a craft and becoming good at it, about the value of transforming raw materials to make something beautiful.  All of that work by my father carried forward in me, like the work of the coffee producers which carried forward in the Nekisse.  And it all came together for one purpose:  To make delicious coffee.


Nekisse is moving fast.  (get it here: The response to this coffee has been outstanding, and we love the appreciation you’ve shown to our efforts in providing coffees of this caliber.  With fantastic fruity aromas of strawberry and peach, the brightness of Nekisse glows through in the cup past a sea of milk chocolate that will linger on your palate.

Two more exciting things will happen this Tuesday.  We will prepare two food pairings that accentuate the amazing qualities of Nekisse:  a blueberry-lemon drizzle bread and a chocolate lava cake.  You will have the opportunity to let us make you a pourover of Nekisse and purchase one or both of the food pairings with it.  This is a one-time offering, happening Tuesday, December 10.  

The second thing you need to know about this Tuesday is that we will be releasing a new chocolate bar.  I’ve once again collaborated with the chocolatier who produces our MADURO bars to create a new bar featuring our NEKISSE coffee in a darker chocolate from the Ivory Coast.  It really makes a rich melange of bright, fruity, coffee flavors in that bed of amazing, silky dark chocolate.  A great gift for the holidays and a special treat for you.

Tuesday will be a great day at the DoubleShot.



* If you look around the DoubleShot, most of what you see was made by or restored by or at least inspired by my dad, Steve Franklin.

November 25, 2013


Well, the holidays are upon us once again.  And as usual, we have pulled out all the stops to bring you some amazing coffees during your holiday celebrations.  This Wednesday night marks the beginning of Hanukkah, and Thursday is Thanksgiving, so right now is the opportune moment to purchase the first of these brilliant coffees. 

Kemgin is a very high-end coffee from Ethiopia that we procured through Ninety Plus, who have brought us so many exquisite coffees throughout the years.  We offered the Kemgin a couple of years ago, and it was a big hit then, so we've brought it back for another go-around.  This is a coffee that has been celebrated by coffee reviewers and professional tasters, as well as winning top coffee at the Good Food Awards.

Because of the region where it is grown, the care with which it is picked, and the clean processing and sorting of Kemgin, it achieves some of the flavors that make coffees stand out as the best coffees in the world.  Aromas of jasmine and lemon lead off, and as you taste the coffee, nuances of black tea and orange excite your palate, with a long, silky finish with highlights of pine.  Perfect for the holiday season.

Because we care about your coffee experiences at home, we came up with two food pairings we think accentuate the coffee in different ways.  Obviously you'll want to drink Kemgin by itself, but having just the right thing to go with it for breakfast and dessert makes the coffee all the more pleasurable.  Follow these recipes for our Cranberry-Orange Muffins and Blackberry Cobbler.


Cranberry Orange Muffins (courtesy of our baker, Kristin Hoffman)

1 orange (including peel), quartered with seeds removed

1/2 Cup orange juice (juice of 1 orange)

1 egg

1/2 Cup butter, melted

1-3/4 Cup all-purpose flour

3/4 Cup white sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 Cup dried or 1 Cup frozen cranberries

Preheat oven to 400ºF and prepare 12 muffin cups with spray or paper liners.  Puree orange quarters and orange juice in a food processor or blender.  Add egg and melted butter to orange puree and blend until smooth.  Sift dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl, then add orange mixture and combine.  Stir in cranberries.  Fill muffin cups with batter.  Bake 20 minutes.

These tend to bring out the black tea flavors in the Kemgin, as well as some soft vanilla flavors that really make this pairing meld together.


Blackberry Cobbler (courtesy of my mom, Millie Franklin)

3 Cups frozen blackberries (do not thaw)

1 large pear, halved, cored, thinly sliced

2/3 Cup sugar

3 T orange juice

2 tsp orange zest

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Gently toss all ingredients together.  Pour into buttered pan.

1 Cup flour

1 Cup sugar

Dash salt

1 Stick butter

Vanilla & Almond extracts (to taste)

Mix sugar, flour, salt, and sugar in food processor with butter until crumbly.  Add vanilla and almond extracts and pulse again.  Pour over fruit and bake 350 degrees until brown and bubbly (45-50 minutes).

The pears in this cobbler really smooth out the acidity in the blackberries, and the whole thing brings out the citrusy aspect of the Kemgin, and the cinnamon really carries forward through the coffee to make for a unified experience.


Both of these recipes are just unbelievably good, and I highly suggest you give them both a try while you have Kemgin in hand.  And it's not going to last long, so buy some today!

November 01, 2013

Johanna Showman

It is with deep sadness that we announce that our barista and dear friend, Johanna Showman, has died.  We know that our patrons looked forward to her smiling face each morning and will miss her greatly. We ask that you keep her family, including our own Jonathan Showman, Jessica Showman and Garth Bjorklund, in your thoughts and prayers.
August 12, 2013


My college football coach, who we called "Big Red", would remind his players on a regular basis, "Every day, you either get better or you get worse; you never stay the same."  I've remembered that through the years, and found it to be true about everything.  Nothing stays the same.  In fact, it's virtually impossible to do something twice in exactly the same way, and it's especially improbable that you'll ever attain exactly the same outcome twice.

In my younger years, I listened to and read a lot of motivational leadership books and speeches, and it's really shaped not only who I am, but the way in which I believe.  Not just what I believe.  But there was a guy named Zig Ziglar, who I used to get a kick out of, and he was full of sayings about this and that.  One of the things I remember him saying, in the course of convincing his listeners to change the way they do things, is that "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."  I've since heard other people say this, and I couldn't disagree more.  To me, it's not insanity, but it is lunacy (is there a difference?) to think that you could do the same thing over and over again and get the SAME result.  Things just don't happen like that.  But I do agree with Zig (and so many others) about the idea that you should institute your own change.  Change your mind, change your actions, change your outcomes.  

And that's what we strive to do here at the DoubleShot.  I know we're not going to pull the exact same shot of espresso twice.  I know that we're not going to brew the exact same cup of coffee twice.  I have no doubt that your experiences here are different every single day.  And I'm ok with that.  Since change is inevitable, I feel that it is our duty to try and get BETTER every day.  

With that in mind, we've been working on three different projects in an attempt to brew better coffee. 


When we opened the DoubleShot in 2004, it was very important to me that we have great drip coffee, even though I couldn't afford to invest in a high-end machine.  So we brewed through your standard commercial brewer, and in order to make the coffee taste extra good, we also brewed a french press of the coffee, and added it to the airpot.  (Interestingly, as a side note, I found that most coffee, when dispensed through an airpot, aerates as it comes out and has bubbles on top; but coffee brewed with a french press will not aerate.  You cannot aerate french press coffee for some reason.  Maybe because of the heavy oil concentration.)  The second phase of our coffee brewing came when I finally upgraded to a Fetco brewer.  The brewed coffee was markedly better, and the need to add a french press to the pot was negated.  We suddenly had so much more control over the brewing variables, and a large shower head that saturated the entire bed of coffee grounds in the basket.  For around 8 years we used that brewer, switching about a year ago from 85 ounce airpots to 1 gallon dispensers.  But our volume has actually long outgrown it.  And so it was that last Friday we installed a new, larger Fetco coffee brewer.  With new control and sensitivity, we began to experiment with all the brewing variables, changing the brew time, the water temperature, water volume, coffee grind coarseness and weight, and pre-wet volume and time (This is the period at the beginning of a brew cycle when the Fetco dispenses hot water onto the dry coffee grounds, saturating the bed, and then pausing to let it bloom before commencing with the brew cycle.).  These variables, working in tandem, each change the coffee in some way, and when they are all put together right, the coffee produced can be really good.  And, well, after a lot of trial and some minor palate burn-out, we are currently satisfied with the results.  I know you're going to love the new recipe, so be sure and come by for a cup soon.  (Incidentally, if you'd like to buy our smaller Fetco brewer, it's currently listed for sale on ebay:


The other things we've been working on here at the DS are akin to building a better mouse trap.  As an exercise in creativity and brewing science, I asked all of the baristas to come up with an idea for a new brewing method.  The future of coffee brewing.  How will we be brewing coffee in 5 years?  As you can imagine, the results were interesting and sometimes a bit amusing.  I recorded a podcast about it, which you can hear at  If you've never listened to our podcast, you should go check it out.  I started it in July 2005, though some of the earlier episodes are no longer available, and you should thank me for that.  Since its inception, the podcast content and format have gone through more changes than the… well, suffice it to say, if you don't like it, just wait til the next episode; it will change.  Mark Brown, former editor at This Land magazine, and author of Argentfork, is my cohost for the podcast.  We talk about coffee, but mostly we talk around coffee.  Take a listen sometime, and pass it on.


Our other mission is concerning how you make coffee at home.  Or on the road.  Over the years, we've worked hard to find the best products for home coffee brewing, and we offer those in the store and on our website.  The baristas are all well-versed in different brewing techniques and are happy to help you figure out what best suits your situation.  Soon we will publish our own manual for various brewing techniques, in a pocket-sized booklet that you'll want to buy and keep handy when making coffee.  

Some of our efforts through the years have resulted in unique products for your home, such as the V60 Filter Crib (check out the new, updated version).  And some have been about making coffee during travel, like the CONNECT3 Adaptor Ring (now available as a complete set!).

But what about making it easier to brew coffee at home without investing a lot of money in equipment?  That's our next assignment.  If you listen to the TED talks, or are part of the "maker" community, you know that things are trending toward simplicity, sometimes through extremely technologically-advanced machines, like 3D printers and the like.  I'm interested in open-source, simple to construct coffee brewing devices.  I'm both interested in something you could print with a 3d printer, as well as something you could adapt from things around your house in order to make a great cup of coffee.  Hopefully someday there will be so many ideas about ways to make coffee that the only reason you could have, no matter where you are, for not making coffee, would be if you didn't have any fresh-roasted DoubleShot Coffee beans.  Stay tuned for these ideas as we develop them over the next few months.


Lastly, I have some good news and some bad news.  The Ethiopia Natural Sidamo Korate is all gone (though watch for the commemorative tshirt).  This coffee has been a huge favorite around here with employees and customers alike.  But this is how things go with coffee.  Out with last year's favorite and in with the new favorite.  Tonight I'll roast the inaugural batch of a new natural Sidamo called Adem Chilcho.  This coffee is different from the Korate, but absolutely delicious.  It's grown in the Sidamo region of Ethiopia, near a town called Dilla.  Three indigenous groups took part in growing this coffee on small plots, and then the coffee was dried in the sun on raised beds before it was cleaned and sorted and made ready for me to roast it.  Read more about it here:


And BTW, if you've been trying to come in the wrong door for the past three years, you're in luck; I finally built and installed a sign over the café!

March 25, 2013

Just add hot water

Last weekend, just prior to the inception of this new calendar season, but after the much-appreciated arrival of Daylight Savings Time, I took my girlfriend down to the Ouachita (WA-chi-ta) Mountains for a night of car camping and an overnight backpacking trip over the spine of the range.  We drove into Cedar Lake National Recreation Area, where no one seemed to be around, and so we stopped to look at the campground map.  A ranger stopped and asked us if we needed something, and when we told him we were camping, he looked at his clipboard and said he didn't know if any of the campsites were open.  He told us campsite #57 was available, oh, no, that one is reserved.  Well, it looks like we have one available - number 68.  Right next to another occupied campsite, in an almost-entirely vacant campground.  Besides our two camps, there were maybe two other campers in the campground.  I suspect this ranger doesn't like people camping in his recreation area.  (Subsequently, a friend called to reserve a campsite at Cedar Lake, and was told that nothing was availble.  Hogwash.  Maybe they're running a covert moonshine business out of there.)

We pitched our tent and gathered a pile of decaying limbs and branches from the forest floor near our camp.  With this, I made a campfire while Julie fired up the backpacking stove to cook some sausage links and ramen noodles, complimented nicely by a plastic cup or two of Eco Vino Helibiker Red

1 pkg Chicken flavored Ramen Noodles

4 breakfast links

Cook breakfast links in skillet. Boil water. Remove from heat and insert brick of ramen noodles plus cooked sausage links. When ramen is tender and enlarged, strain water. Add flavoring packet. Stir. Eat. Pair with appropriate wine.

And after a couple of smores for dessert, we went to bag inside the airy tent.  The weather was so nice that I saw no reason to use the rain fly, and as we laid our heads on wadded up shirts and pants, we could see through the tent mesh a legion of stars in the night sky.  Camped in the midst of a pine forest, which is unusual in Oklahoma, the tall, straight trees swayed in ebbs and gusts of wind that howled through crowns and jingled a trillion needles.  

Morning came as the wind receded, as if the earth spins faster in the dark.  I built a new campfire to take the edge off the morning chill, and Julie prepared the rest of our sausage links and some scrambled eggs.  Camp coffee has been an ever-changing ritual for me through the years, and though I always have DoubleShot Coffee, my methods have traversed many genres.  I've crushed coffee beans in a plastic bowl with the back of a screwdriver, which is no easy task.  I've pulverized coffee beans wrapped in a tshirt using a large rock, which works surprisingly good and I'd recommend it if you're ever in a pinch.  I've made pourovers using a bandana or a paper towel as a filter.  I've steeped, I've french pressed, and I've even tried to make coffee from cold stream water when minimalist backpacking.

Give a frontiersman coffee and tobacco, and he will endure any privation, suffer any hardship, but let him be without these two necessaries of the woods, and he becomes irresolute and murmuring.
~U.S. Army Lt. William Whiting, 1849

But now I have a system that I really like, and we take it with us everywhere we travel.  It's compact, light, and easy to use, and it's only possible because of an invention created right here at the DoubleShot.  

So I retrieved some Yirgacheffe out of the car, along with my Coffee Travel Kit.  I've pre-measured 60 grams of coffee in the hopper of my Hario Skerton Grinder and sharpied a line, up to which I filled the grinder with Yirgacheffe.  I filled our cooking pot with the water from my stainless steel GSI Infinity bottle (which is the same size, but much better for making coffee than a plastic Nalgene bottle because it is easier to clean and retains less funky coffee taste).  Using the Connect3 Adaptor Ring, I screwed the grinder onto my stainless bottle, and ground the coffee while the stove brought the water to a boil.  Detaching the grinder and ring, Julie and I enjoyed the delicious, floral fragrances of vanilla and citrus emanating from the Yirgacheffe.  And then I twisted the GSI H2JO filter onto the bottle and filled it with the hot water.  After four minutes, the coffee was ready, and I poured us each a dose into our multi-purpose coffee/wine cups to enjoy with breakfast.  

After breakfast, as the fire was dwindling, we struck camp and spread all our gear on the picnic table to load our packs with everything we'd need for the rest of the day and night and the following day.  And then we set out on a trail through the pines toward Horsethief Springs.  

I'd never spent any time in these woods.  So I didn't know what we would encounter.  But I do know that this area is home to Black Bears and Copperheads and some say the North American Wood Ape resides here.  It's been years since I last went backpacking and it showed.  My pack felt heavy and my hips hurt.  But we trudged on and after a couple of miles passed under my borrowed boots, everything started to feel better.  The pines shortened and mixed with oaks and other deciduous trees, and our trail wended its way along ridges and gullies, climbing up to the Ouachita National Recreation Trail.

Horsethief Springs probably used to be a big deal, since water can be scarce in these hills.  (We pretended to follow the horse hoof prints toward the springs, because that was where the horse thieves congregated.)  But, to our disappointment, when we reached this exciting landmark, it turned out to be a CCC-built rock pool with a few inches of water in the bottom, covered in green moss, and it looked like a cesspool for all the things we were trying not to drink.  And there was not even a trace of any horse thieves to be found.  We started with a gallon of water between us, and by this time we were down to about a quart, and feeling a little thirsty.  Since it was only mid-afternoon, we decided to head down the other side of the mountain toward Billy Creek, hoping to find water somewhere along the trail.  Though the land fell away to either side of our path, which was a narrow way amidst a thick forest of 3-foot tall baby pines, the land seemed dry and we weren't crossing any waterways.  Looking off to our east, the gully appeared dry.  But once the trail opened up a bit on the hillside, I decided to drop my pack and head down the western slope in search of water.  And though it wasn't much, I found a small stream flowing down the mountain parallel to our trail.  This is where we decided to camp.  

Foot-tall stout grass and crunchy leaves made our tent-site a little scratchy, but once we cut out most of the roots and shoots, it felt nice enough.  I wandered the hillside looking for flat rocks to make a place for us to sit down and to cook on.  We hadn't seen much wildlife up to this point, except for some circling hawks and a few squirrels, but out there under every rock it seemed I would find something different and interesting.  Maggots, termites, ants, spiders, a centipede; ticks found there way onto our legs, looking for dinner.  

Dinner-time for us brought more Eco Vino wine and a spicy, rice-based backpacking meal and some cookies.  We camped without a fire because the place seemed especially well-suited for a forest fire, and we didn't want to take any chances.  We filled all of our bottles with purified stream water and hung our food from a high branch in a tree and climbed in the tent.  This night was as calm as the last one was windy.  It was unusually quiet.  There was not even the sound of crickets, nothing.  So in the middle of the night when something was walking through the woods near by, crunching leaves, it was the only sound to be heard.  It was like one of those movies where you hear footsteps in the dark and they're coming closer and closer.  I shined my flashlight out the tent screen, but I couldn't see anything.  I've been fooled by this before, and so I knew it was just an armadillo wandering through the leaves looking for whatever it is armadillos eat.  Probably all the things I found under those rocks.  No bigfoot, and no bear.

Next morning, we made french toast, a first for me on the trail.  I repeated the coffee ceremony and we drank some more delicious Yirgacheffe made with stream water.  And then we struck camp once again, repacked our bags and hiked back over the mountain.

If you're a backpacker or a camper or just a traveler, I recommend the coffee travel kit that I've put together.  It's been an accessory that I never travel without.  Just add hot water.

February 03, 2013

Panama Hartmann Dubbel

I spent last weekend in San Francisco with my girlfriend.  We visited with some nice people and spent time coffeeshop-hopping:  Four Barrel, Sightglass, Ritual, Blue Bottle, Stanza, Reveille, and even peeked through the windows of the supposed Intelligentsia store in Potrero.  We wandered into Dandelion Chocolate on Valencia, and Beer Revolution in Oakland.  Ate a donut at Dynamo on the water's edge, relaxing with the slosh of water against sailboat hulls, and enjoying the classic Golden Gate vista.  I had a romantic cocktail with my sweetheart in the Top of the Mark, overlooking the lion's share of the city.  We rode the ferry, the train, BART, we walked, we ran, and we dilly-dallied a little.  It was a great trip.  Fun and full of new experiences, new sights and sounds, and it was nice to talk to other people in the coffee industry again, to see what's happening in the Bay. 

Change is inevitable, but whether you steer the direction of the change or not, is up to each of us.  I came back from San Francisco mentally refreshed and inspired, with new ideas and a little extra energy to work on my ideas that are already in the works.  So hopefully the changes you see along our journey will be progress and innovation, serving our customers better and continuing to enjoy unique coffees in creative ways.

Next month I'll be visiting the Hartmann's in the Volcan region of Panama, from where our Ojo de Agua was grown.  We'll actually be staying in a cabin at the Ojo de Agua farm, way out in the forest without any electricity.  For a couple of days, we'll hike through the coffee trees and forested land adacent to La Amistad International Park, making our way to the farmhouse where we can taste more coffees.  The result of my trip to Panama last year is the coffee we're drinking today at the DoubleShot:  Hartmann Honey.  The coffee is outstanding.

This coming Monday afternoon, I'm going to roast the first batch of another, very small lot of coffee called Hartmann Natural.  It's also from Finca Hartmann:  the same coffee, but different processing.  Honey processing (as in, Hartmann Honey) is one in which the cherries are picked ripe, the skins are stripped from the coffee berry, and the coffee beans are laid out to dry on raised beds with mucilage still intact.  After the coffee is dried in the sun, the mill strips off the dried mucilage and parchment, leaving the raw, green coffee beans for me to roast here at the DoubleShot. 

The Hartmann Natural is a dry-processed coffee.  The coffee cherries are again picked ripe, maybe on the same day, from the same trees.  But then they are spread out on the raised beds to dry whole - skins, mucilage, parchment, everything unaltered.  Once the cherries shrivel into a tasty, sweet coffee raisin, the mill strips them down to the coffee bean nubbins.  And I roast them to perfection.

Do the coffee beans look different?  They do.  In fact, the Hartmann Honey is a bit more yellow, and is stained with the golden-brown of dried mucilage, whereas the Hartmann Natural is a slightly varied mix of green-yellow (or is it yellow-green?).  And the fragrances emanating from the grain pro bags encasing each of the two coffees is really amazing and distinct, from sour fruit to grass and fermented grains.  And that difference, like twins raised in two different cultures, carries over into the roasted bean and into your cup.  It's another really interesting study in the effect of processing on coffees. 

On Friday, I'm making the trip to Panama again to get a feel for the lay of the land and to taste coffee at Palo Verde under the canopy of ancient rainforest, to experience the culture and connect with the growers.  What a contrast this trip will be from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco, but it's the journey to the source of coffee that allows us to push the envelope and serve coffees that are as good as any you'll find anywhere else in the world. 

As soon as I return, we are having another Coffee Illuminati event to taste the contrast of these two amazing coffees: Hartmann Honey and Hartmann Natural.  The event will be held on Saturday, February 16 at 10a here at the DoubleShot.  I'll talk a little about my trip to the Hartmann farm and about the coffees, and you'll get a chance to see and taste the differences and similarities side-by-side.  This is an event you don't want to miss.  As a fundraiser for the Coffee Illuminati [a 501(c)(3)], your $10 donation would be greatly appreciated.  We use these proceeds to support children and families of coffee farmers.  For more information about the Coffee Illuminati, check out and for more info about the tasting, read


Put that on your calendar, and then go check out our new Hartmann Natural.  Buy it now and we'll ship it to you right after I roast it Monday night.  Want to do a comparison tasting right in your kitchen?  Get the Hartmann Dubbel, available online now in half pounds or full pounds.  It's like San Francisco all wrapped up in Panamanian rainforest, right here in Flyover Country.