An espresso sitting on top of a newspaper, seen from above

Another week ends, and another Coffee News Roundup heaves into view, bringing tales of protest, mystery and nitro cold brew.

Shall we begin?

SF coffee shop turns down Salesforce contract in immigration protest - via San Francisco Chronicle

Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, a San Francisco-based coffee company, has turned down the opportunity to provide coffee service at Dreamforce, the annual conference for the cloud computing giant Salesforce*.

The reason? Salesforce is contracted to help the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency with recruitment and efficiency services. As the Chronicle notes, "CBP has been responsible for enforcing the Trump administration’s policy of separating the children of asylum-seekers from their parents, which the administration has since rescinded."

Wrecking Ball's co-owners, Trish Rothgeb and Nick Cho, were clear in their reasons for turning down the contract, and stand by their decision. As told to the Chronicle: “Business is going to have to be the resistance we want to see,” Rothgeb said. “That’s the truth. You can’t get anything done unless business is going to take a stand.”

Read the full story here.

Letters From Daniel: Coffee Scene Investigation - via Sprudge

OK, this is an weird one.

Sprudge had been investigating a series of hand written, eerily similar letters sent to various coffee roasters around Portland, from someone named Daniel, complaining about "stale" coffee and requesting recompense. So far a bit odd, sure, but within the realms of possibility. Maybe Daniel just had extremely bad luck with his coffee buying?

A hand writing a letter with a quill

After publishing the story, however, they started hearing from roasters all over the country who had received similar letters. 40, in total, some dating back two years. All from the same address (in Las Vegas), using the same vocabulary and containing the same spelling errors. And all complaining of "stale" coffee.

Is this a scam? If so it seems like a lot of work to go to just to get some free coffee. But what else could it be? Sprudge is continuing to investigate, with more companies getting in touch all the time—it feels a little like this could be turning into an S-Town mystery for the coffee industry.

Read the full story here, and the original Portland-centric one here.

Dutch Coffee Partnership Promotes Circular Economy Through Grounds Collection via Daily Coffee News

Instead of buying your coffee, taking it home, brewing it, and composting the grounds (you do compost the grounds, don't you?), what if instead you merely rented it?

Coffee grounds in a glass, seen from above

That's the idea behind a slightly wacky scheme to collect spent coffee grounds and repurpose them. Two Dutch companies, Rotterzwam (excellent name) and Moyee Coffee (they of the recent story about blockchain coffee) have teamed up to encourage customers to join the circular economy—essentially, you don't own the coffee, you merely lease it until it's used up and then the grounds go back to the companies to be turned into mushroom food or bio-plastics. And you get loyalty points to buy more. And around we go.

Of course, this is all quite small-scale at the moment, but the two companies plan to scale up, eventually offering the service in all large Dutch cities and then across northern Europe in 2019. Probably not the UK, though, because politics.

Read the full story here.

As Frappuccino Sales Melt, Starbucks Plans A Big Push For Nitro Coffee - via Forbes

Look, Starbucks, you've already essentially ruined iced coffee (not to mention the macchiato)—do you have to ruin nitro too?

Also, the article's title is atrocious. Get it together, Forbes.

Read the full story here.

Ryan Reynolds Explains Brad Pitt Asking for a Cup of Coffee in Exchange for 'Deadpool 2' Cameo - via Entertainment Tonight

The only thing this story is good for is this quote from Ryan Reynolds: "I was told all he wants is a cup of coffee and I said, 'Like a franchise or just one individual cup of coffee?'"

That's literally it, and it's not even that funny.

Read the full story (there's really nothing more to the story) here.

Is coffee good for you?

No news this week. So let's go with yes, and have another cup.

A person reads a book while reaching for a coffee cup

What to read

Harassment At Work—Bystander Intervention by Ashley Rodriguez

New Life For Decaf by Michael Butterworth

How Can Long-Term Relationships Increase Sustainability at Origin? by Gisselle Guerra

Inside Populace Coffee In Detroit’s Siren Hotel by Fionn Pooler (that's me!)

Until next week, drink good coffee.

*Even after researching it for this article, I still don't know what Salesforce is or does. Wikipedia says that its primary enterprise "provides companies with an interface for case management and task management, and a system for automatically routing and escalating important events."


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