TED2010

TEDActive gets a buzz from "slow" coffee

Posted by: Matthew Trost

We visited the Intelligentsia Slow Coffee Bar in Bing’s Innovation Lounge to learn what slow coffee is, and hear about the simple approach that brews a perfect cup.

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“‘Slow coffee’ is an attempt to tackle the notion of quantity and convenience as what defines good coffee. We think the quality of the cup is the most important thing. … We’re trying to elevate coffee to its overdue culinary status. Specialty beer and wine are kind of out there in the public; what coffee gives us is, in your hands you have the opportunity to interpret through many different brew methods: the siphon, Chemex. … Depending on what you like, you can articulate that differently: body, heft, mouthfeel. You don’t have the same level of control or personal choice in other specialty products.” — Stephen Morrissey

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“These gizmos are all intriguing to look at, but they’re just ways to marry coffee and water. Ultimately, these guys are pouring water over coffee, but they’re doing it with care. We’re doing our best to reveal the potential in the raw product. When the cherry is harvested from the tree, it has the highest level of potential that it will ever have. And every step that happens along the way only decreases that. The human element doesn’t add anything — it only reveals the coffee. We can only make it worse. So with every hand that touches the coffee, it’s important that it’s done with the utmost care.” — Kyle Glanville

(Photos: TED / Michael Brands)