More About CoffeeCurmudgeon

CoffeeCurmudgeon is an intentionally provocative look at coffee by someone who has been working with and writing about the stuff for over thirty years. The topics here are divided into those addressed to the coffee drinker and to those who work with coffee. (But you are allowed to read both.) I have yet to figure out how to separate the two, but when I get a few posts up, I will get to that. Or it might just be obvious and I will let the reader figure it out?

The name “CoffeeCurmudgeon” reflects a confidence and grizzled wisdom that I don’t have, but I have owned the domain for years, I like the alliteration and I am hoping that by thrusting these qualities upon myself (or my avatar) that I (he) will become, or at least assume, something of that mien. (Yes, I like words like that, sorry to all the “Elements of Style,” lovers and devotees out there…)

The purpose of the entries here will be to jostle accepted knowledge about coffee and to see if there are some gaps and issues worth exploring, or raising again. For example, I have written about an over-confidence that our industry has in “cupping,” the ritual of evaluating coffee according to a codified protocol.  Over the past several years, with the adoption of various scoring systems, I think that tendency has grown even more extreme, not better (so much for the influence of that first article!).

Others (well, at least two people I know) have referred to themselves as coffee curmudgeons as well…I would welcome their input here (but would not welcome their claim to the domain name, actually I asked and they said “OK,” I hope they remember).

I’m also in the process of including some articles here I’ve written over the past several years (mostly for Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, a coffee trade magazine) of which I am especially proud. These articles are, generally, also purposely provocative, or at least were at the time.  I will be so bold as to imagine that they’ve been at least a little influential in shaping the evolution of the specialty coffee category over the past couple of decades (except for, perhaps, the one on cupping to which I refer a couple paragraphs above…). A few of these articles are up already, there rest will be “soon.” (In other words, who knows…)

What’s on your cupping form?

The language of coffee

Is espresso bad for coffee?

The Limits of cupping….

Do chefs hate coffee?

Is Fair Trade Fair?


Who I am:

Timothy J. Castle

Coffee Broker and sometime writer (about coffee)


The Perfect Cup, 1991, Perseus Books


The Great Coffee Book, 1999, Ten Speed Press,

My Email Address:



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