If you were hoping for a carefully crafted description of my physique, a demonstration of my stellar sense of humor, or witty remark that conveys my stunning intellect, then you may have been looking for a man seeking something else. Sorry about that. But now that you’ve found your way to my blog – or in case this is where you intended to end up in the first place – please take a look around. Maybe I can help you learn something you never knew about a good cup of coffee. More importantly, maybe I can help you find one.
No matter your original intentions, you’re probably wondering just what is this blog is about. Hopefully, the following will clarify thing for you.
What is Man Seeking Coffee?
Started in October, 2007, Man Seeking Coffee is my contribution to the coffee-centric, food-writing world of blogs. Part travelogue, part review, it’s a record of my successes (and failures) seeking out great cups of coffee.
Why should I read Man Seeking Coffee?
Because you like coffee. Because you want to learn about coffee. Because you want to find good coffee. Because you enjoy my writing about coffee. Because you think I occasionally make interesting insights or point out interesting things about the world other than coffee during discussions entirely tangential to coffee, when I should have been writing about coffee.
As I see it, this blog will: a) allow you to live vicariously through my coffee seeking adventures, b) serve as a resource for coffee research of your own, c) provide you with an opinion to corroborate your own, already well-established opinion of various coffee you’ve already tried, or d) give you an occasion to vehemently disagree with my opinion and subsequently post a comment of your own.
What coffee expertise do you have?
A passion for great coffee. A long trail of good money thrown after bad coffee. A mild caffeine addiction. Endless charm and wit. I don’t really have a good answer.
I am a coffee non-professional and haven’t worked previously in the coffee industry. I have two years running this blog and several years prior reading (extensively) about coffee, exploring cafes and brewing coffee at home. I’ve taken courses on coffee and attended coffee events and continuously seek to learn as much about coffee as possible. Am I a professional taster or a certified coffee expert? Certainly not. Am I more knowledgeable (and obsessive) about coffee than the average person? Certainly so. I’d like to think I lean a little closer to the former, but I’ll let you read and be the judge.
Who is the intended reader of this blog?
I try to write this blog for anyone with an interest in coffee. Hopefully, I make some insightful comments to, or, at the very least, entertain people in the coffee industry and don’t embarrass myself too much in the process. At the same time, I hope I come across as informative and entertaining, and not simply snobby to folks simply looking to love coffee.
Do you have a set of principles guiding your search?
Nothing I’d nail to the door of the Castle Church, but I do try to abide by a short list of ground rules. Here they are.
Rule #1 – Keep your eye on the prize. Think about what you drink.
Plenty of sites already discuss cafe culture, brewing, grinding, tamping, latte art, roasting, barrista contests, coffee equipment, etc. I love them all. But what I really care about is a good cup of coffee. I may mention one or all of these things. I may attend events, discuss cafe design, expound on brewing techniques and contribute the occasional bit of coffee industry gossip. But all that is only a side-trip on the road to good coffee.
Rule #2 – Good coffee isn’t just about good espresso.
I applaud espresso purists. Your dedication to a single beverage is admirable. I also readily admit that those who know espresso, tend to know the other stuff as well. Still, I’ve decided to take a different tack and review coffee brewed in all forms – although admittedly with a preference for drip coffee as compared to milk-based drinks. I sacrifice the singular focus of espresso as a litmus and go instead for a less precise, but more holistic approach.
Rule #3 – There’s no place I won’t look for a good cup of coffee.
This blog has a Bay Area bent because that’s where I live and that’s where I drink most of my coffee, but I look for good coffee wherever I go – local national or international (if I am so lucky). I also write about coffee consumed in places other than cafes – beans brewed at home, diners, hotel rooms, or supermarkets are all fair game – assuming I have some reason to believe that the coffee might just be good.
Rule #4 – Don’t seek out bad coffee.
You may notice a lack of reviews falling into the lower half of my rating system. Please don’t assume that bad coffee has left us. It hasn’t. Don’t assume either that I’m a softy and hate to shoot from the hip. This imbalance in favor of stronger ratings is due instead to my interest in seeking out what I think will be good coffee and having no desire of using bad coffee to explore my ability to rant. There’s more than enough good coffee to occupy my time (you should see my backlog of posts). When I do ding someone for sub-par coffee, it’s usually due to 1) nothing better being available in the area, 2) a debunking of a popular misconception (or otherwise raved about spot), or 3) a piece of constructive criticism that I hope will lead to better coffee.
Rule #5 – Bring enough to share with others.
No. I’m not starting a mail-order business, but I will share what I learn about what I drink. That’s the purpose of this blog.
Thanks. Now on to the coffee…