Freitag, 11. Juli 2008

Panama Esmeralda Special

On TMC and the Kaffee-Netz I expressed that I'd love to taste some of the Panama Hacienda Esmeralda Special Batch 5 (see the auction result). You can guess my puzzled face when I opened a parcel from Austria that was eagerly awaited: my latest shipment from Walter that not only contained my order, but also this little gem:

Panama Hacienda Esmeralda Special Batch 5 sample

Yes, Walter really sent me one of his last samples of the Batch 5! I can't wait to get my hands on a sample roaster and finally try it out. Thank you so much Walter, you made my day (and probably the days of the next weeks also. And after that the next months, until I can actually order that coffee from you, when you'll make my days again!)! Oh and by the way, your 'special blend' tastes damn fine (I'll get back to that once I had a few more shots of it)!

I'm stunned. This is just awesome!

Mittwoch, 9. Juli 2008

GnuPG frustration

Now I know why secure encryption hasn't made it into the daily use of the masses yet. When it isn't even possible to do simple things for developers, how are developers supposed to make it easy for users? Yeah, crypto is hard'n'stuff and I'm no crypto expert at all. But heck, there should be a working way for generating keys, encrypting, decrypting and signing messages using non standard homedirectories with python and gpg.

Gah. I need easier crypto.

Freitag, 4. Juli 2008

Rewrite of the mokeladmin management tool

This might be shocking, but this post is actually not about coffee.

It's been a long time in the making, and it's still far from finished, but much of the work to get a first release is now done. Amazing that this little project is already two years old and has already undergone the odd rewrite.


What am I talking about you might ask? Right. The mokeladmin. Currently, it's an application to manage mail accounts (smtp/imap/pop3), aliases/forwards and xmpp/jabber accounts. It has a web frontend for admins, written with the incredible django framework. The basic features currently implemented are:

And probably many things I've forgotten.

The minimum requirements are a sane admin who knows what he/she's doing. Seriously. We support postfix and dovecot and ejabberd. Definitely planned for the near future are:

Why am I making this public? Well, currently, it only runs on one server (this), but it needs more work and it has potential. I just wanted to have this out of the bzr repository into the public. If you, dear reader, really want to try it out, the code lives in the bzr branch

which you can checkout with
bzr branch mokeladmin
if you happen to have a recent version of bzr installed. Yeah, the little documentation that's there is out of date (you guess). Setting up the web frontend is the easy part (go over to the django tutorial for info on that), wiring everything with the respective server software is the hard part and needs to be done quite manually and is the main reason why this requires an admin and is completely uninteresting for anybody else (I think). Oh and you need the newforms-admin-branch of django, which will eventually get merged to the main developement branch which will eventually result in a 1.0 version near the end of this year. If you like python and what we've written here so far, feel free to contact me (or send patches). I especially welcome input on that gpg-encrypted-maps-over-http-part.

Thanks Jan for writing the powerdns part, we will get that working again eventually. Thanks to jcs for the hours of SQL-juggling with the old version and the help with rewrite and the web fronted. Thanks to Ingo for the visual inspirations!

Freitag, 13. Juni 2008

Life update

A short list of coffee-things I've been up to lately:

Donnerstag, 20. März 2008

Starbucks to buy the Coffee Equipment Company

Starbucks bought the Coffee Equipment Company, renown for it's Clover single-cup semi-automatic coffee brewer.

Clover T-Shirt

I'm shocked. But this is also way cool at the same time. A very smart PR move from Starbucks, and I bet a very smart business move from the Clover guys. There are interesting and insightful threads on and and probably many more sites, and also probably many more people have blogged this and as such have helped Starbucks in gaining more PR. But credit where credit is due. This move is very smart, and it will raise the bar for quality in Starbucks (if they manage to back off their dark roast a bit) and highlight good coffees. Who knows, in the end the Clover might even cost less than the $11,000 where it's now? Or some smart people invent an even newer and better method for extracting better coffee?

But one thing's for sure: this is a little earthquake in the industry. At least it feels as such. Until yesterday, Clover was the tiny, independent flagship of quality coffee. I just hope Mr. Schulz and the Clover people are doing things right.

Mittwoch, 19. März 2008

A good day for freedom in germany

Today, the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundersverfassungsgericht), the highest court in germany, decided in an express resolution that the lawsuit of more than 34000 (that's thirty-four thousand!) people against the federal republic's gouvernment that the six month data retention law (all connections to the internet; all email (sender, subject, recipients, date); all mobile communication (caller, location, callee, date, duration) and others) is in parts against our constitution. I'm quite happy, though not satisfied - the data retention itself is still legal, just the access to the data is permitted only when a severe crime can be attested.

A proper trial will not be held before the end of the year, so a final decision is far away. See also (german only):

At least, one good day for freedom in these times.

Dienstag, 18. März 2008

Rossi needs intarnet

For future reference: the address of Cem Selek's S.Rossi in Hannover is

Weidestraße 6 Limmer 30453 Hannover

He seriously needs some sort of presence in the web. Hard to find this beautiful and passionate little Café is!

Sonntag, 16. März 2008

New York C-market prices

There is a very interesting discussion about the 'traditional' coffee market/futures trade/current price raise on I don't know nothing about commodity coffee trade and find that thread highly interesting.

Dienstag, 11. März 2008

New Developments

For one, it's "bzr branch" - an afford to rewrite our mail(/dns) management platform by mostly Jan-Christoph and I. And then, I'm now famous. Don't believe it? Have a look here (at the bottom, under 'Aficionados'). Thanks for linking, jr! And then, there's a new Münster-based coffee startup called sonntagmorgen (sunday morning), that let's you blend your own blends online. I'll visit them this week and see what their coffee is like and what they do. And then, there's roasterBase, a coffee roasting profile database (sort of), that soon might get a web two dot zero beta social community component to it. And then, there's life, that's in between everything. And then, good night!

And then, in an update, there's a list of blogs that I read and might update every now and then. Suggestions welcome.

Montag, 18. Februar 2008


During the cuptasting competition, I started to have doubts about my passion for coffee. There was the table, eight sets of three coffees, sixteen different coffees, and I started slurping away. I did the same mistake as nearly everybody else did: I trusted my first impression on the first set of three - and pushed the wrong cup away. Everybody did that. Next time I won't!

But the further I got along the sets, I kept thinking to myself 'Well, this is a very nice boring coffee. A little bit of fruit in there maybe ...' and 'that's another boring coffee, ah, a bit more body' and 'oh yes, boring again, a little more spicey than the others'. On that whole table of sixteen different coffees, most of them were just plain boring with only slight differences in the cup profile (ok, I guess that's quite the point of such a competition, but nevertheless ...). There was a Kenyan which I thought spiced the table up a bit, but it was not very distinct.

And near the end of the table, I had one cup that blew my mind. I immediatly thought Hell Yes, that's one of the coffees and one of the reasons I do all that for. One of the reasons for me messing with coffee the last couple of years. It had more taste sensations than all the other coffees on the table together (at least it felt like that in contrast to the others). Very sweet, very very rich in flavour and aroma, a nice background chocolate, utterly intense, though smooth and very complete. Every sip I took was satisfying. I'd love to taste this one in an espresso.

After the competition (did I already mention that I placed eight, with guessing six of the eight sets correct? Yes? Oh, I'll mention it again anyway ;)), they lined up the thermos flasks for collective coffee drinking pleasure, and it was pretty obvious which coffee was it that blew my mind: the flask was labled 'Best of Brazil', and I enjoyed it until after the fair all the way back to my little brother, who very kindly lend us a pillow while we were there.

Why oh why don't we have more of coffees like that here in germany?

Or better: where oh where do I find more coffees like that in germany? For the time being, I'll order from Walter, because that's the kind of coffee he has.

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