Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hello there...

Hi. Welcome to Morning Dial In! You might be wondering what you're doing here, or what I'm doing here for that matter. It might seem like this blog is about coffee - and it is. But that's not entirely what it's about, and to be honest with you, I'm not even sure that it's the focal point. What this blog is really about is an experience - it's about us learning about and trying something new. But before I get into that, let me introduce myself a bit more and go over some fundamentals. I'm a college student living in Los Angeles. About a year and a half ago, I discovered a new coffee shop in Pasadena called Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. A Chicago company, this was their third foray into Los Angeles after opening shops in Silverlake and Venice Beach. It was great - good coffee, nice staff, they served drinks in mugs so you could stay and hang out for a bit. I started going every weekend, then a couple times a week - pretty soon, I was there just about every other day.
I've always been a bit of a coffee junkie, but I'm new to this world of specialty coffee that Intelligentsia touts. But what is specialty coffee exactly? Truthfully, I'm still figuring that out too. I can tell you that diner coffee is probably not specialty coffee, nor is the coffee you stock up on when it's on sale at Target. Some people would call Starbucks specialty, but I probably wouldn't. I suppose specialty means different things to different people. For the purposes of this blog, however, I'm going to define specialty coffee as coffee that's not treated as a commodity. (We'll explore this concept in more detail later.)
I'd like this blog to be a forum where we can explore in more depth the world of specialty coffee. What I'm particularly interested in learning about is how specific factors contribute to what we ultimately experience when we enjoy our coffee. I'm not as concerned with how we drink our coffee (espresso, cappuccino, latte, brewed coffee, etc), but I've gathered that different preparation can yield drastically different results.
What I'm really excited about is how we get to take this journey together. Remember, this is as much a new experience for me as it is for you. Something that I haven't mentioned at all is how we're going to do this. I'd like to test a hypothesis that the best way to experience something new is to just dive in - so that's exactly what we're going to do. That being said, we don't just want to experience the coffee, we want to understand more about it. That means lots of research. We're going to be reading books and researching the interwumbles, but perhaps most exciting, we're going to be hearing personal stories - we'll be interviewing coffee professionals and talking to "caffeine addicts" and exploring why we drink coffee.
Basically, we got a lot of cool stuff going on. I'm super excited because I'm a nerd for coffee, but if you just like the occasional latte or even if you can't stand the stuff, you're going to want to stick around for more.

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