COFFEE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDING JULY 20TH

A hand holding a cup of coffee resting on a newspaper

Another Friday, another Coffee News Roundup.

The good thing about this series is that, even when I'm not feeling particularly inspired, there's always some new story about Starbucks doing a thing, a new cannabis coffee, or JAB trying to buy Lard Lad Donuts and it keeps me going. 

So thanks to the coffee industry for existing, I guess. 

JAB and Nestlé Are Looking To Acquire Illy - via Sprudge

It just never stops.

Not content with owning Peet's, Caribou, Keurig, Stumptown, Intelligentsia, and even Krispy Kreme, it seems as though JAB Holdings is intent on owning literally every coffee company (and breakfast food company, and snack company) in existence.

Next on their list, the Italian company Illy (they of the exploding coffee can fame).

But oh what's this—plot twist! It looks as though Nestlé, the IRL version of a diabolical corporation from some risible Resident Evil sequel, is going to compete with JAB for Illy's affections. But why? For the honor of spending an estimated $1.6 billion on, what, another brand name? Another step towards a diluted and hegemonic coffee industry?

Or is this just every industry's endgame, where one or two gigantic corporations own 80% of the market and everyone else has to sell out or close down. Only time will tell.

Read the full story here.

Barista Guild of America Packs Up Camp for Lower-Cost Event Cal led Access - via Daily Coffee News

After feedback from the coffee community, the Barista Guild of America has decided to take a break from the long-running Barista Camp—which is exactly what it sounds like, a summer camp for adult coffee professionals.

A barista pours a latte, seen from above

Instead, the guild is hosting Access, a more affordable, more experimental and, as the name suggests, more accessible event in Austin, Texas, in September. 

Sarah Leslie, chair of the BGA Executive Council, told Daily Coffee News: “Access is all about what the name implies—taking barista education and making it accessible for all, as well as making it more engaging and hands-on.”

Anything that makes coffee education easier and cheaper is a good thing, although travel and accommodation aren't included in the price of the course, which might make things trickier for some.

Read the full story here.

Starbucks' 'Signing Store' will let deaf customers order using sign language - via USA Today

Back in March, Coffee News Roundup shared the news about a cafe in Australia which hired and trained deaf and hearing-impaired baristas, and actively encouraged customers to learn to sign their orders. 

A Starbucks sign hangs in the foreground, with a medieval town out of focus behind

Now, Starbucks is opening its first "Signing Store" in the US (in Washington, DC, to be precise) after the success of a similar cafe in Malaysia which opened in 2016.

The DC cafe will hire 20 to 25 people from across the country who can communicate in American Sign Language, and will make the experience unique by outfitting the baristas with aprons from a deaf supplier, as well as stocking a custom mug designed by a deaf artist. 

It's fair to say that Starbucks has had a rough year, what with the racism scandal and partnering with Nestlé, but this new store, as well as their recent transgender healthcare policy, should be applauded.

It's almost as though the world is complicated and corporations can't be reduced to simple binaries like good and evil. 

Except Nestlé. Nestlé is just [redacted]. 

Read the full story here.

American Treasure Willie Nelson Has His Own Line Of CBD-Infused Coffee - via Sprudge

Because of course he has. 

Read the full story here.

Is coffee good for you?

It's so good for you, that even the smell of coffee makes you smarter.

As Mental Floss reports, students who took an algebra exam in a room that smelled of coffee scored significantly higher than the poor schmucks who were forced to take the test in a normal classroom, which presumably smelled of crushed hopes and chalk.

Two people lean on a cafe counter, one reading a magazine