Last week, during an otherwise uneventful barista shift, I received an order for a latte from someone claiming to be Elvis. On the ticket, where the customer's name is usually printed for ease of identification and to avoid mix-ups, it simply said Elvis. No last name, just Elvis.

When I called the drink out, I was surprised to see a small middle-aged lady walk up to claim her latte. I asked, "So you're Elvis?"

"Yes," she replied. Then she picked up her latte and went back to her table.

I assume it was a joke, a way for her to entertain herself on a quiet Tuesday, but secretly I hope her name is actually Elvis. And I hope she comes back.

Anyway, on to this week's coffee-related news.

Could ‘Friends’-Inspired ‘Central Perk’ Coffee Shops Be Opening Soon? - via Food&Wine

The most '90s coffee shop ever could soon be returning, complete with, presumably, enormous mugs and a perpetually empty couch.

After a successful pop-up in 2014 to celebrate the show's 20th anniversary, Warner Bros. has apparently applied for a trademark for the name Central Perk, causing rumors to circulate that it's planning on opening a permanent location.

We can only hope.

Read more here.

Roasting Plant Franchise Owner Sues Parent Company, Alleges Fraud - via Daily Coffee News

The owner of the Dearborn Heights and Ann Arbor franchises of Roasting Plant, the cafe where coffee is air-roasted to order and delivered in pneumatic tubes like in an old-timey movie, is suing the parent company.

Eight different Roasting Plants are located around the country, including New York, Minneapolis airport, and downtown Detroit (that last location is owned by the actor Hill Harper, CSI:NY fans). This is the second time that Roasting Plant CEO Mike Caswell has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit, with this latest case alleging fraud based on revenue and profit projections.

In unrelated news, I still haven't visited the Ann Arbor location.

Read more here.

In Singapore, Up to Forty Percent of Coffee Makers Are Full of Cockroaches - via Extra Crispy


Well this is horrifying. It turns out, don't drink coffee in Singapore. Or America, or the UK. According to Extra Crispy, there are cockroaches all up in commercial coffee machines, living the good life while unsuspecting customers continue consuming the coffee unawares.

Because these machines only heat the water enough to make a cup of coffee, they don't get hot enough to dissuade insect interlopers, who are happy to enjoy the warm, dark, damp environs.

Fair warning, it happens in home automatic machines too.

This is yet another reason to only drink specialty coffee—the higher end espresso machines aren't infested with pests (due to the heat used to power the steam wands etc).

And it's easy to spot a cockroach hanging out in your Chemex.

Read more here (if you dare).

Have we reached peak Costa Coffee? - via the Guardian

God I hope so. Stop drinking bad coffee.

Read more here.

The future of soda might be coffee - via Chicago Tribune

Back in December we told you about JAB Holdings, the shadowy conglomerate which has been buying up as many coffee (and donut) companies as it can.

Now, the German investment firm is going after all water-based beverages, with its purchase of Dr Pepper Snapple (via Keurig Green Mountain, another of its ridiculously-named holdings).

Soon it will buy Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola and Nestlé, and the circle will be complete. Because who needs competition when you can have a few gigantic corporations controlling your every purchase? Capitalism.

Read more here.

Florida man breaks into someone’s garage, makes himself coffee - via Tampa Bay Times

"Florida Man" is such a staple of ridiculous news stories that it has become its own meme, and there's even a Twitter account dedicated to Florida Man articles.

This one is incredible, however, mostly for its innocuousness. A resident of Treasure Island (which is a real place in Florida because of course it is) returned home to find a man had broken into his garage and was making himself a cup of coffee.

The amusing nature of this story is dampened somewhat by the line stating that the man is a transient so maybe wasn't of sound mind when he decided to make use of someone's garage coffee maker.

Read more here.

Is coffee good for you?

California is about to find out. A lawsuit is in the works alleging that the levels of acrylamide in roasted coffee is high enough that it warrants a warning label. Several companies named in the suit have already settled, 7-Eleven among them. Starbucks has warning signs in its California stores.

However, scientists aren't as convinced. This article by the American Council on Science and Health places the blame on greedy lawyers and weak lawmakers, claiming that these lawsuits are merely a way to wring money from companies and the state. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal reported that last year over $25 million dollars was awarded in Proposition 65 cases, with lawyers taking 75% of that sum.

Who to believe—the lawyers who stand to make a ton of money off these cases, or the non-profit science organization? It's a tough one.


What to read

Understanding GMOs: Genetic Engineering And The Future Of Coffee by Andrew Bowles

Hanging Out With Dani Goot Of Queer Wave Coffee by Ashley Rodriguez

Championing Diversity With The Boston Intersectional Coffee Collective by RJ Joseph

The Reality of Producing Specialty Coffee on Tiny Farms by Damian Reed

Until next week, drink good coffee (and watch out for cockroaches).

Read more