Ep. 17: Automatic vs. Manual with Charles Babinski
In today's episode, Meister debates the virtues of automated coffee brewing with Charles Babinski, former U.S. Barista Champion and current co-owner of Los Angeles's Go Get 'Em Tiger and G&B Coffee. Does "manual" always mean "better," and can there ever be an art to making coffee by machine?
29 Jul 2016
Ep. 10: Natural Process Coffees with Christopher Feran
Coffee cupper, buyer, and consultant Christopher Feran joins us to argue about natural coffees: Should they even have a place in specialty coffee, and do we need to have a separate grading system for them? The conversation starts out a little fermenty, but it has a nice sweet finish.
3 Jun 2016
Ep. 6: Roasting - Nature vs. Nurture with Tony Querio
Tony Querio, Director of Coffee at Spyhouse Coffee Roasting Company, and 2016 Roaster Champion faces off against Roaster Joe for our first in-house debate. They grapple over which factor has a greater influence on a coffee's flavor, the green coffee, or the roaster's hand.
6 May 2016
Ep. 2: Educating the Consumer with Amanda Byron
Opposites Extract: Episode 2 features a debate about the role of “Educating the Consumer” and features Amanda Byron, the director of coffee for Joe Coffee Company in New York City and Philadelphia. Question 1. Should baristas focus on educating guests about specialty coffee? Question 2. Should we be training baristas to be educators and communicators as much as we train them on things like brewers and extraction and customer service? Question 3. Should baristas regularly discuss the plight of the farmers as it regards café pricing structure? Question 4. Should baristas offer guests guidance about how to best enjoy their beverage experience? Amanda has been in the specialty coffee industry for longer than she’d like to remember, and was the first employee of Joe when the original West Village location opened in 2003. Follow Joe Coffee Company on Twitter @JoecoffeeNYC and Instagram @joecoffeecompany, and find them on Facebook.
1 Apr 2016
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Ep. 15: Let the People Drink Bad Coffee? With Lorenzo Perkins
Believe it or not, lots of people love "bad" coffee: Should we let them? In this week's debate, Fleet Coffee's Lorenzo Perkins argues whether it's specialty coffee's moral duty to encourage people to drink better quality coffee. We also discuss what "bad" and "good" coffee is, and how consumers can understand the difference.
8 Jul 2016
Ep. 31: Live from La Marzocco: On the Road in Columbus, OH
Opposites Extract was recorded live from the Vue in Columbus, OH, where Joe and Meister were honored to be masters of ceremonies for six unique, thought-provoking, and illuminating presentations by coffee professionals from throughout the region. We gather the speakers around a (tiny) table to talk about their topics, ask one another questions, and continue the conversation that was started during the program. Tune in next week for the second part of the two-part series, recorded live in Detroit, MI.
23 Nov 2016
Ep. 3: Latte Art with Ryan Soeder
Beauty is in the eye – or the cup – of the beholder. Opposites Extract: Episode 3 tackles the topic of latte art, and its role as an attraction or distraction with regards the quality of specialty coffee. Our guest debater is latte-art champion and barista trainer Ryan Soeder of Sunergos Coffee in Louisville, Ky. The debate begins after a brief discussion of the historical and current impact of latte art on specialty coffee culture. Question 1. Should customers use latte art as a mark of quality, not only of a particular coffee shop, but also of a barista and even an individual drink? Question 2. Can a coffee shop that intentionally does not train its baristas to pour latte art still be considered high-quality in this day and age? And can baristas who choose not to pour latte art still be considered excellent baristas? Question 3. Does our obsession with latte art distract from the messages we are trying to send in specialty coffee about terroir, cup quality, sourcing, flavor characteristics, varieties, processing, etc? Ryan Soeder got his start in coffee secretly teaching himself latte art while working at Starbucks in Louisville, Ky. He has also worked at Counter Culture Coffee in Boston, and Intelligentsia Coffee in Chicago. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @ryansoeder.
8 Apr 2016
Ep. 28 – Wholesale vs Retail with Paul Schlader of Birch Coffee NYC
We sit down in the studio with Paul Schlader, cofounder and co-owner of Birch Coffee in NYC, to discuss (but not strictly debate) the pros and cons of business models that are strictly wholesale, strictly retail, and those which blur the lines between the two. Does it help or hurt a business to be a back-of-the-house brand? How much opportunity is there in focusing your caffeinated energy on the street level?
4 Nov 2016
Ep. 19: Getting Fermental on Fermentation with Lucia Solis
We're letting it marinate with Scott Laboratories fermentation specialist Lucia Solis in this episode arguing the meaning of the word "fermentation," dispelling common coffee-processing myths around coffee, and talking about pickles. Lucia and Joe Marrocco tackle one debate question, followed by a longer-form conversation about the role of fermentation in coffee.
12 Aug 2016
Ep. 26: Cold Brew Is the New Espresso
Concentrated, controversial, and total cool -- cold brew is the hot topic in the cold-coffee world, and who better to debate its merits than Jenny and Jonathan Bonchak of Slingshot Coffee in Raleigh, N.C.
21 Oct 2016
Brief: Mill City Roasters
Steve and Nick Green of Mill City Roasters swing by to talk with Joe about their company, their roasters, and their educational initiatives including live stream roasting and "Focus on the Roast".
23 Sep 2016
Ep. 24: What We Talk about When We Talk about Flavor with Jess Steffy
The effervescent and ever-so-bright, Jess Steffy joins Meister in a discussion about how we experience flavor, and share those experiences through language. Soda! Apples! Listen!
30 Sep 2016
Ep. 7: Service with Cat & Cloud (Jared Truby and Chris Baca)
The podcasting duo of Cat & Cloud go head-to-head in a doubles match against Opposites Extract, debating aspects of cafe service. The conversation continues on the Cat & Cloud podcast.
13 May 2016
Ep 22: Roaster vs Barista with Stephen Ezell
It's the age-old battle, waged since the dawn of time: Who is ultimately responsible for a coffee's quality, the roaster or the barista? Stephen Ezell of The San Fransiscan Roaster company squares off against longtime barista and barista trainer Meister--but who will argue which side? Tune in to find out.
2 Sep 2016
Ep. 25: Education vs Experience with Wolf Barn Marnell
Does education or real experience make the better barista? Today, Joe debates with Wolf Barn Marnell, longtime barista competitor who's part of the team behind the forthcoming Broadsheet Coffee Roasters in Cambridge, MA.
7 Oct 2016
Ep. 23: Barista Competitions vs Real Life, with Aaron Ultimo
Almost no one is as equipped to debate the merits of barista competitions vs. "real life" barista experience than longtime barista and barista-competition judge Aaron Ultimo of Ultimo Coffee in Philadelphia. He and Joe tackle whether a winning barista will be a loser behind the bar, and other topics which are Very Good Plus.
16 Sep 2016
Ep. 9: Craft vs. Commercial in Coffee and Chocolate with Dr. Carla Martin
Dr. Carla Martin of the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute debates mass-produced or small-batch artisan products, looking at both coffee and chocolate.
27 May 2016
Ep. 27: Flavor with Jamie Isetts
In this episode Meister takes on Jamie Isetts in a debate about the subjectivity of what we define as good and bad taste.
29 Oct 2016
Ep. 13: Roaster-Farmer Relations with Nathanael May
Nathanael May, director of coffee for Portland Roasting Coffees, takes on the tough question of whether a roasting company needs to have a direct relationship with the farmers who grow the coffee it buys, or if it is possible to buy great coffee without establishing that direct connection.
23 Jun 2016
Ep. 11: Traceability with Colleen Anunu
Fair Trade USA's Supply Chain Manager, Colleen Anunu, tackles this debate about traceability, and joins us for an extended conversation after the main event. Is traceability in specialty coffee meaningful or just marketing, and does sharing the information really make a difference?
10 Jun 2016