This is a very biased look at cafes and coffee from someone who’s very particular about the taste of his coffee.

I was breast-fed espresso. As I got older I was allowed to drink other brew methods, and roast coffee, and open cafes. My main passion in coffee is the cafe. I love the design, construction, food and atmosphere of good independent cafes.

I’m very excited about the future of good coffee, especially with experimentation in the agriculture and processing of coffee.

My barista manual ‘Coffee for the Mildly Obsessed’ is available from Coffeegen.

Lately, I’ve been focussing on the frustrating business side of the cafe operation and on chocolate, a lot on chocolate.

7 thoughts on “About

  1. Hola Michael.. Is a 3 group necessary for a busy cafe ?? I sometimes feel it’s an overkill unless you are a super busy cafe?? And is the shot pulling time same on the idrocomprssor the same as the other mirage ???. I am a little lost as to why buy the spirit over the mirage ?? Gracias khaled.

    • I would use a three group for a cafe pulling over 30kg per week and a second machine for a cafe doing over 70kg per week.
      The Idro is a bit slower, so three groups is necessary if you’re going to have rushes. With three, on the Idro, you can run a busy cafe.
      The Spirit is a very different machine. It is a multiboiler and has a flat temperature profile. It also has a low physical profile and is great for talking over to customers. My preference is the Mirage, but it’s a personal thing.

  2. Gracias Michael.. I am like you a lot .. hi tec purist.. Idiocompressor… Thats the true extractor. I will be hoefully opening a new concept in Bali. Are you in Asia ?

  3. Hola, what is your preference the Spirit or the Mirage ?. I really appreciate your intelligence and sharing.
    gracias, khaled.

    • Hi Khaled,
      I’m a huge fan of the Mirage. It’s a very elegant solution to provide steam and brew water and there are less things to go wrong in the machine. Kees continues to upgrade these machines and they are very consistent. I always get the extended tray (the original small one is not pragmatic), foot activated steam valve, bastone levers, progressive pre-infusion cylinders. My favourite version is the Idrocompresso machine, which I always get with the electronic flush system.
      I have one Spirit and it’s a beautiful machine, but there is more that can go wrong and I’m a fan of the temperature profile of the Mirage.

  4. I just found your blog and I am brand new in the coffee roasting business. I truly enjoyed every one of your articles and am left craving for more. I found that most of the sites and info on the internet are so mundane. Yours is one of the few that is truly insightful. Why did you stop? Is there another place that I could get more of your writings and thoughts? I would love to learn more from you…

    • The truth is, François, that I was told by some internet people that I needed to write a blog in order to help out our SEO. I enjoyed writing what I wrote, but wasn’t doing it out of passion. I’ve been busy setting up cafes and two roasteries since I started this blog and I really enjoy being hands on. I’ve also spent some time at origin and the more I’ve seen of the coffee world, the more I’ve come to grasp that I know so little. There’s really no point writing if you have nothing to write and I couldn’t really care less about SEO. I also have three children, and I took the difficult decision to spend more time with them than with the businesses.
      Nevertheless, I now have a few things that I feel might benefit others in the industry, so I’ll try and communicate that over the next while. Thanks for your words of support.

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