A friend in the coffee business (hard though it may be to believe that I have any remaining) was kind enough to point out just how arrogant my original description of my intention in doing this blog came off. When I said that I hoped the site would be a place "for informed, critical writing about coffee" it made it sound like I thought there weren't any places on the web for such writing - which wasn't at all the case, but that's sure how it sounded.
There's a lot of great writing about coffee on the web, but what doesn't seem to exist is any sort of magazine, journal or column, either in print or online, that offers the kind of critical writing about coffee that I enjoy reading about food in general, wine, beer and so on. We have trade journals that are, understandably, leery of offending roaster or retailer advertisers, and then we have uncritical, often fawning articles in newspapers and occasionally in magazines like Saveur or online news sources such as Huffington Post.
In retrospect I should have shelved most of the posts on this blog and put energy into trying to find a venue for this kind of writing. Better still, I ought to have networked with others in the trade to see if there might be interest in creating a web site where a wide range of folks with industry experience and an insider's perspective could post their writing.
I'm going to leave Coffee Contrarian up and running simply because there have been some interesting discussions that have taken place as a result of the posts. It's not the Wine-Advocate-meets-Art-of-Eating venue I dream of, but it's a start. If I had it to do over perhaps I'd have named it A Dinosaur's Diary as truth-in-advertising.
I've included links to a few blogs and web sites whose writing on coffee I consistently enjoy. There's Tim Castle's Coffee Curmudgeon (any similarity in the names of ourblogs being due purely to my desire to only imitate the best); Sweet Maria's, which surely must be the most amazing coffee info source on the web; and Coffee Review, featuring Kenneth Davids, whose consumer-oriented writing about coffee has been an inspiration and tough act to follow for decades.