COFFEE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDING MAY 17TH

An espresso sits on a newspaper, seen from above.

Another quick roundup this week, as the Cinetopia Film Festival is heading into its final weekend which is predominantly in Detroit, so there’s lots of driving to do. Luckily there’s also lots of coffee nearby.

Next week we should be back to normal, but until then let’s do a whirlwind tour through the latest coffee news.

Racketeering Lawsuit Dismissed Against Coffee Co. From ‘Monk of Mokha’ Bestseller - via Eater San Francisco

This was in the news a while ago, wherein the company glowingly praised in Dave Eggers’ bestseller Monk of Mokha was sued, with racketeering and fraud alleged. It was salacious stuff, if you recall, but the lawsuit has been dismissed, with the judge in the case determining that “the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the pattern of racketeering required under their Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit”.

The plaintiffs aren’t giving up, although their lawyer’s quote saying “We’re considering all our legal options at this point,” doesn’t exactly fill one with confidence that it’ll pan out.

Read the full story here.

Bodum sues Starbucks for product disparagement over French press recall - via Reuters

What is it with coffee paraphernalia and injuries at the moment? Last week it was Blue Bottle’s exploding cans, and now it’s Bodum and lacerating French presses.

Starbucks recalled hundreds of thousands of Bodum presses recently because, it says, it had received nine reports of “broken plunger knobs, resulting in lacerations or punctures,” which doesn’t sound good but also sounds like those nine people might not understand how to use a French press.

According to the report, laboratory tests hadn’t found anything actually wrong with the presses, but Starbucks had become “particularly sensitive to recall issues” because of previous huge fines.

So, Bodum is suing them. Because, you know, saying that your French press might slice you open might make people less likely to buy one.

Read the full story here.

Drinking Coffee Makes You Better At Smelling Coffee - via Sprudge

In “Research Nobody Asked For” news, a new study has found that people who drink a lot of coffee can smell coffee better than those who don’t.

A moka pot is poured into a coffee cup

Apparently it’s all linked to caffeine cravings and addiction, as the lead author on the study says: “Those higher caffeine users were able to detect the odour of a heavily diluted coffee chemical at much lower concentrations, and this ability increased with their level of craving. So, the more they desired caffeine, the better their sense of smell for coffee.”

While this sounds like money-wasting nonsense, the research is actually looking to find ways to inhibit drug use, and because they can link smell to cravings they hope to be able to associate the odor to something undesirable and thus stop people wanting the thing they want. Or something.

Read the full story here.

California cafe touts its $75-a-cup coffee as the world's priciest - via Los Angeles Times

Except it’s not as it’s already sold out. And also who cares.

The fact that it was being sold in San Francisco is of course highly ironic, and actually the whole thing is a masterful bit of viral marketing on the part of the company (Klatch Coffee). It might have cost them $803 per pound at auction, but the amount of press it has garnered means people outside the specialty coffee world will now have heard of Klatch.

Whether they’ll be impressed by the price, or put off, or just sneer at the ridiculousness of it all, remains to be seen.

Read the full story here.

Is coffee good for you?

Well it can extend your life, so that has to be good, right? A new meta analysis of 40 studies, covering 3.8 million people around the world, has found that you are 15% less likely to die from any cause if you drink 3.5 cups of coffee per day. And this is true, according to the study, “irrespective of age, overweight status, alcohol drinking, smoking status, and caffeine content of coffee.”

Which, yay? Although I still have many questions, the main one being: how big is a cup? Very few, if any, studies on coffee actually say what they mean by “cup”—it’s stating the obvious a bit, but cups are different sizes. Have you been to a Starbucks/Costa/whatever? Their cups are huge! Have you seen Friends?

Someone needs to do a meta analysis of all the coffee studies and find out what they each mean by cup so we can finally know. That has to be worth financing, surely?

Anyway, drink coffee live longer. Got it.

What to read

All the Sprudge Twenty interviews, really. They’re good.

Until next week, drink good coffee. 3.5 cups a day.