An espresso sits atop a newspaper, seen from above.

Hello and welcome to this week’s Coffee News Roundup. It also happens to be the birthday of Robbie Burns, Scotland’s national poet (if you ignore The Proclaimers, I guess).

As a vegetarian, Burns Night Supper is by default a less traditional event, with haggis replaced by extra helpings of sticky toffee pudding. Is sticky toffee pudding traditional Burns Night fare? It doesn’t matter, I’m eating three helpings.

Anyway, coffee. Let’s get to it.

City of Berkeley Cracks Down on Single-Use Cups with 25 Cent Fee - via Daily Coffee News

This had to happen eventually, and it’s quite fitting that Berkeley is the city to lead the charge, what with its history of activism, both environmental and otherwise.

The 25 cent fee, which coffee shops are required to charge their customers for single use takeaway cups, is the most stringent such ordinance in the US, according to Daily Coffee News. Councillors cited the collapse in the overseas recycling market, something which will become more and more apparent the longer it continues, and the amount of single-use litter on the streets, as reasonings behind the fee.

A single-use paper coffee cup sits on a table

“Recycling is no longer a solution—if we want to save the planet, it’s time to reduce, reuse and compost,” said Berkeley City Council member Sophie Hahn, author of the legislation. She’s not wrong.

This is a good thing, and can’t spread soon enough to other cities (I’m looking at you, Ann Arbor).

For the time being, it’s easy to be a conscientious coffee consumer. Bring your reusable cup if you must take your coffee to go. Or you could, you know, sit and enjoy your coffee in the cafe.

Read the full story here.

Former Starbucks chief exploring independent 2020 bid - via CNN

Yeah, this is going to go well for him.

Howard Schultz, former Starbucks CEO, has floated the idea of running for president in the past, and is now apparently exploring it more seriously. Granted, the CNN story is based on “two people familiar with his thinking" which doesn’t exactly scream concrete, but chances are it’ll happen at some point.

A Starbucks mug sits on a windowsill

And if it does happen, it’ll be a train wreck. As mentioned in that News Roundup piece linked above, and explored in detail in this New York Magazine feature, Howard Schultz is a corporate centrist who is against the movement of the Democratic party to the left.

While he espouses some no-brainer socially progressive values—support for gay marriage and immigration, for example—he’s also against universal healthcare and in favor of economic growth at all costs (not surprising, considering Starbucks’ inexorable expansion under his watch). He’s also called for cuts to Social Security and Medicare, so there’s that.

Basically, he’s a dead of center politician. And if the news over the past, oh, three years has shown anything, it’s that people want left or they want right, but they definitely don’t want dead center.

Good luck, Howard.

Read the full story here.

The Barisieur alarm clock brews coffee bedside to wake you up - via CNET

As appealing as the idea of waking up to fresh brewed coffee is (rather than, say, brewing it in a sleepy fog while leaning on the kitchen counter), I would 100% knock this machine off the bedside table and smash it to pieces within the first week. It’s just guaranteed.

Also, I’m pretty sure you can buy a Mr Coffee machine that does the same thing for about $20, rather than the $445 the Barisieur costs. And yes, it probably won’t taste as good and yes, the Barisieur is much more attractive than a Mr Coffee, but at 6AM does anyone care?

Read the full story here.

What Instagram-Worthy Drink Is Going To Be 2019's Coolest Trend? Cheese Coffee - via Forbes

Oh no, this again.

Cheese coffee was part of the Starbucks holiday menu in China this winter, and apparently it’s also a thing in Scandinavia.

This is just getting a bit out of hand now. Butter coffee was bad enough,  and now this.

Can we just stick to milk or cream (or oat milk)? Or better yet, drink it black?

Read the full story here.

Why is hotel coffee so awful? via USA Today

You might want to put some milk/butter/cheese in your hotel coffee, however.

The answer to the question “why is hotel coffee so awful?” is actually very straightforward: because they don’t care.

A kitchen drip coffee maker

Unless you’re staying in some $200-a-night suite (I don’t know what hotel suites cost), you’re going to make do with your baby-sized Mr Coffee machine and your weird sachet of (ugh) Nescafé.

Or else traipse down to the breakfast area for a boiled cup of hot brown water to go with your continental breakfast.

Or, you could just find a coffee shop and go there, or carry a travel case full of coffee brewing equipment like Brian from Brian’s Coffee Spot does.

Either way, don’t expect a Bariseiur in your Holiday Inn anytime soon.

Read the full story here.

Is coffee good for you?

This week there’s no news either way, so why not experiment with a new dairy-based coffee health fad?

Try some yoghurt coffee. Or perhaps cottage cheese coffee. Sour cream coffee?

How about ice cream coffee.

Wait, that actually sounds delicious. And healthy, with all that fat and whatnot.

There you have it—2019’s newest coffee craze: mocha milkshakes.

That was easy.

A man reads a newspaper on a bench with a takeaway coffee cup on a table beside him

What to read

The Rise, Decline And Section 363 Sale Of The New York Coffee Chain Fika by Nick Brown

The Making Of A Master: Inside The Technivorm Factory by Karina Hof

A Chat With Black Coffee Creator Michelle Johnson As She Plans US Return by Lily Kubota

Until next week, drink good coffee. With ice cream in it, for health reasons.

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