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Coffee Wars Reheat

  • Forbes, Friday, October 28, 2011 10:28 AM

Patrick Hanlon, CEO of consultancy ThinkTopia, writes that new ventures are challenging Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.

Pete Licata was named best barista in the country at this year’s United States Barista Championship in Houston but he doesn't work for Starbucks; he works for the Honolulu Coffee Co. group in Hawaii. Licata then went on to international competition in Bogota, Colombia.

"America’s (and the world’s) coffee palate has changed, evolved, and the new coffee culture finds itself sitting in cafes discussing the arcane attributes of Kenyan Peaberry, Brazilian Serra Negra, and Grand Cru," he writes.  "Restaurant menus respond to the new coffee connoisseurship by describing coffees the way others describe wines." He writes that artisan coffee shops like Blue Bottle, Brooklyn Roasting Company, Dunn Brothers in Minneapolis, and Ninth Street Espresso in Chelsea Market present thicker, chewier lattes and more robust morning roast, focused on what they claim Starbucks started but did not finish.



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