"Me" blogs may have had their real moment in the middle of the last decade, but a new wave of specialized and thematic online projects focus less on the mundane details of a barista's daily drudgery and more on particular aspects of the coffee-loving life. From fashion-through-a-coffee-filter to a quietly opinionated espresso diary, here are five of our favorite blogs about beans (and the drink they make possible.)
Dear Coffee, I Love You
Brian W. Jones doesn't just love coffee (though, as the title of this blog implies, he most certainly does do just that); he's also a real sucker for beautiful minimalist design, and he uses his blog not only to honor the beverage and beans but also the passion that drives coffee innovators and tinkerers worldwide to improve both the form and the function of their daily cups, brewers, roasters, and even farms.
A designer and artist himself, Jones derives great pleasure out of showcasing the best and the brightest in specialty coffee products and prototypes, with a keenly (and unmistakably) Scandanavian bent: Simplicity and cleanliness drive not only the blog's aesthetic, but also that of the original items Jones offers for sale, like his understated Enjoy Black Coffee T-shirt. Find it at: dearcoffeeiloveyou.com
Verve Coffee Roasters' Blog
One of the country's best roasters also happens to have one of the Internet's best coffee blogs: Santa Cruz, California's Verve. The site is coffee infotainment at its best with funny-smart videos—most of which feature the natural charm of training director Chris Baca—waxing street-smart about everything from proper water temperature to brewing enough Chemex coffee for three people to Instagram latte-art contests.
If you're looking for some real coffee smarts minus the pocket-protector geek set, Baca and Verve are probably right up your alley. Check it out: blog.vervecoffeeroasters.com
Street style with an espresso attitude, smdlr—which stands for the abbreviations of cup sizes small (s), medium (md), and large (lr)—is the alter ego of Chérmelle D. Edwards, a self-identified Coffeetographer who is obsessed with the culture of cafés, popping from one to the next in search of unusual and interesting people drinking unusual and interesting beverages. If you ever doubt that beautiful people hang out in coffee shops, well, one spin around the posts on this blog will definitely set you right.
In addition to her chronicling of fashion and foam, Edwards also keeps her ears open in her travels, and often shares playlists of the tunes she experiences in the shops she visits, as well as the music baristas use when they're deep into competition concentration. Here's the link: smdlr.com
A Cuppa Day
Who says the above-shot of food and drinks is over? Not Mike White, the espresso-obsessed iPhone photographer behind this oddly mesmerizing Tumblr of just-emptied demitasse cups. There's something very Zen, if also very caffeinated, about the long scroll of pictures, and scanning through them a reader can very easily lose an hour before she knows what hit her.
Matter-of-fact details accompany each image, with the espresso's ring-around-the-collar standing in for the drink itself: White's comments are always honest, sometimes evasive, and occasionally glowing—the latter infrequently enough that it almost makes one's heart leap to read that he managed to be served something truly noteworthy. Start here: acuppaday.tumblr.com
Birds of Unusual Vitality
Coffee people tend to be unusual, that's for sure, and many are also characterized by their striking vitality: Barista, photographer, writer, and lover of interesting humans Eileen P. Kenny started her blog, Birds of Unusual Vitality as a way of showcasing some of the personalities and professionals behind specialty coffee.
Interviews and profiles of farmers, green buyers, baristas, and myriad other caffeinated characters give life and face to the forces behind the beans, and Kenny's lovely portraiture often captures the subjects outside of their normal coffee environments and simply existing in and among the world at large, just like you and me. Give it a look: cargocollective.com/birdsofuv
Have any other favorite coffee blogs? Do tell! We're always looking for new things to follow.
About the author: Erin Meister trains baristas and inspires coffee-driven people for Counter Culture Coffee. She's a confident barista, and an audacious eater, but she remains a Nervous Cook. You can call her just Meister.