Steve Grunwell

Open-source contributor, speaker, and electronics tinkerer

Tag: Reviews

Two coffees from Fire Department Coffee surrounding a coffee mug with a dripper

Reviewed: Spirit-Infused Coffees from Fire Department Coffee

A couple weeks ago, Madeline Hayes, the Community Manager for Rockford, IL-based Fire Department Coffee, reached out after stumbling upon my post on roasting bourbon-infused coffee.

As it turns out, Fire Department Coffee has a whole line of spirit-infused coffees, and she was gracious enough to send me a sample. Never one to say no to free coffee, I quickly replied and mere days later a package was on my doorstep containing two bags of Fire Department Coffee’s spirit-infused roasts.

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An employee sitting across the table from two other people

Preparing for your Annual Review

The annual review can be a sink-or-swim moment for many employees, but I've seen far too many people – myself included – let a good opportunity to talk about growth and trajectory pass them by when review time finally comes. The review can and should be a time to reflect on your successes, reinforce learning from mistakes, and set goals for your future at the company.

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A pack of elephants bathing and drinking at a watering hole

Review: Building Exceptional Sites with WordPress & Thesis

While I was in St. Louis for php[tek], php[architect] announced the release of their latest book, Building Exceptional Sites with WordPress and Thesis by Peter MacIntyre. php[architect]’s Editor-in-Chief, Oscar Merida, asked if I’d be willing to read through the new book and offer my thoughts, and I quickly accepted; not only have I been looking forward to meeting Peter in-person (he’s one of the organizers of Northeast PHP, where I’ll be speaking in early August), but the book’s forward was written by my close friend and mentor, Eric Mann.

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The handsome, brown paper packaging with the Driftaway Coffee logo stamped on the front

Review: Driftaway Coffee

The other day I was contacted by Suyog Mody, co-founder of Brooklyn-based Driftaway Coffee, welcoming me to the world of home-roasting. As it turns out, he also started his home-roasting adventure on a popcorn popper before moving onto bigger and better roasters; a popcorn popper is great for starting out and for personal roasting, but wouldn’t be suitable for roasting at a distribution scale.

I did some digging, and found that Driftaway’s offerings were pretty cool: after determining each customer’s taste preferences, Driftaway roasts and ships fresh bags of coffee to your door every two weeks. For a suburb-dweller such as myself this is huge, as one of the main reasons I got into home roasting was to avoid making weekly trips downtown to buy fresh coffee (believe it or not, big-chain grocery stores don’t always have the freshest coffees). The beans will change over time, but Driftaway tracks the types of tasting notes that each customer likes (their “Coffee Profile”) and sends small-batch, hand-roasted coffee fortnightly to match.

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Be excellent to each other.