R. Justin Shepherd | PART-TIME PUNDIT


Shameless plug
28.February.2008, 8.19 am
Filed under: coffee

The web splash!

My posting on “Black Gold” has garnered more comments, both public and private, than any of my blog posts to date… and a few people have asked questions about my little corner of the coffee world.

Unfortunately, my website is under construction (I’m so 2001), but in the meantime I’ll toss out a few tidbits of information here.

1.) Spencer’s sells coffee for home, too! We offer somewhere in the range of 10-14 types of coffee at any given time, including at least three medium roasts, three dark roasts, three flavoreds, and our standard Breakfast Blend, Espresso and Unplugged Decaf. You can get it ground to your preference (usually “Auto-Drip” style, but maybe you’ve got a French press or moka pot?). A half-pound is $7, a full pound or more is $12 a pound, and comes with a free small cup of coffee at time of purchase.

2.) All our coffee — not some of it or even most of it — is fair-trade and organic. “Fair trade” means that the farmer is getting a good price for his beans (at least $1.40 per lb, and often more, as compared to the 20 cents typical of the New York traded “coffee market,” which is what the big companies [Kraft, Sara Lee, Starbucks] mostly base their buying prices on); “organic” means it’s grown without chemical pesticides or growth-enhancing chemicals.

3.) Espresso brewed by hand, the way it was meant to be. I saw a funny quote the other day about Starbucks’ strange decision to close for three hours nationwide, ostensibly for “training purposes”: “Does it really take three hours to learn how to push a button?” But that’s what is happening there (and at Panera, as well as Panera rip-off Buckhead Cafe): The machine does all the work. Problem is, you just can’t get consistent, top-notch espresso from one of these “super-automatic” machines. We adjust our grinder daily, because the humidity and temperature affect such things. Our baristas (fancy name for “coffee-making person”) are trained intensively when they begin… and I’ve got my secret shoppers roaming around, too!

4.) More than just coffee. We also serve a variety of other fine beverages, including Mighty Leaf teas (the best hot teas around), smoothies, and Italian sodas (with more flavors than a Baskin-Robbins). For lunch, we offer handmade chicken salad and tuna salad, as well as turkey, ham, the 3-Way Grilled Cheese, and a number of other sandwiches, as well as a handmade soup of the day. Nothing premade, prebought, whatever.

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3 Comments so far
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I was just there today for a three-way (sammich, of course), caramel frappe and pasta fagioli soup. Amazing, as usual. I think I could eat Spencer’s grilled cheese every day and never get tired of it.

Comment by Rachel

Justin,

Catherine and I miss the grilled cheese! You’re comments on fair trade are both interesting and eye opening. Are there good resources out there for the uninformed consumer to use to ensure they are actually buying legit fair trade coffee? Hope things are going well for yourself and Shelly and Lewis.

-Dave

Comment by David

Your chicken salad is the best on earth… hands down. And I hate raisins. I thinks me needs to talk my co-workers into have lunch there one day this week.

Comment by Brandon




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