How does someone go from a career as a full-time soccer player and occasional coffee roaster, to the leading force behind Novo Coffee? Jake Brodsky is described as a quiet leader with extraordinary attention to detail – a scientist of coffee operations.
NOVO Coffee doesn't actually brew your cup of joe in giant iPods, but its stylized metallic coffee machines, called Clovers, resemble them. They have the same modish aura, as if they, too, promise to change the way we do things. You can find the Clovers in action at the residential complex next door to the Denver Art Museum's Hamilton Building. NOVO's methodology is to treat coffee like wine, serving it by varietals and preparing one cup at a time, never letting the elixirs spoil in a carafe. The operation is so cool you'll want a Clover for yourself, but considering that the machine costs more than a small car, you may want to stick with the $3 coffee.
A Denver man's quest for the perfect cup of coffee has taken him around the globe.
Our Vitoria roaster looks like a locomotive, and with the changing color and aroma of coffee in the tryer, the operator often finds himself in the passenger car, riding back along the paths our coffees travel. With my eyes on the warm brown of Owena Cooperative coffee turning in the cooling pan, memories return from the wildest origin trip I've yet taken.
The sound of 17 cuppers slurping coffee resounded in Ethiopia’s Central Liquoring Lab. Through the cacophony, one deep, slow slurp resonated and caught my attention. “Too fast and you can’t catch the depth of the flavor,” Abraham Begashaw, head of the Ethiopian Coffee Authority and masterful cupper, would later say. “Fast is for defects. If you slow down, your senses will capture the completeness of an exemplary cup.” I had accepted an invitation to be a judge in the first Ethiopian Cooperative Coffees Competition in Addis Ababa, held in March. Cooperatives from Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, Nekempte, Harar, Limu, Jimma and Kafa Forest (coffee’s birthplace) had put meticulous effort into preparing their finest 20-bag lots of coffee. Some entered lots in both washed and unwashed categories. I cupped on the same table as Phyllis Johnson, a friend and importer specializing in African coffees, during the competition’s first.