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Callus Coffee, a pre-review

Don't tell the bros of Callus Coffee, Seattle's newest coffee pop-up shop, that 2017 may be a little too late to get in on the trend of infilling America's urban cores with third-wave coffee bars bearing unfortunate, esoteric names. 2017 is a year of political upheaval, a year when the wheels of #resistance are turning, resolutely focused on forestalling #Trumpocalypse by galvanizing the American left in a united front the likes of which we haven't seen in generations.

It's time to retrench, for us all to focus on our essential values and ensure that our democratic institutions have the fortitude to provide for a viable future. This requires constructive anger. Apathy is not acceptable -- if you aren't angry, you aren't alive. It's difficult to maintain one's righteous fury when sampling the single-origin pour over offerings and mulling the purchase of artisanal coffee mugs at a new coffee bar in a former industrial district, all the while dicking a…

Tycho: ambient music for those who are succeeding in our contemporary economy?

There's a moment roughly 30 seconds into "Montana," the second track on Tycho's breakout 2014 album Awake, when you realize that the people who created this music can't possibly have experienced any adversity in their lives. For nearly 6 minutes, its mannerist, echo-ey guitar noodling melds with hazy synths and just noticeable bass over competent live drumming. It sounds great, the type of warm, organic electronic music that makes you feel as though the world is a place of unsullied wonder filled with promise and opportunity and absolutely lacking in the structural hurtles that have come to define our political moment. The euphoria it inspires is the pleasant, genteel kind bi-coastal types get from legal marijuana, a euphoria from which you can quickly sober up before heading back to your six-figure tech job, not the Rimbaudian sensorium-fucking kind which, though you might survive it, you will not come out of it whole.

It's the perfect sonic backdrop for an o…

Seattle: the last, best refuge from #ThirdWaveCoffee?

A quick preface: I’ve had a lot of great coffee at Third Wave shops over the past few years, often served by really lovely and knowledgeable baristas who clearly enjoy what they do (and whose enjoyment enhances the customer experience). I also feel strongly that the Third Wave is a deservedly important strand of the broader historical development of coffee from which coffee lovers have benefited greatly. Here, I’m really taking issue with the Third Wave orthodoxy, its ridiculous tropes of artisanality, “honesty” in roasting, and rigidity in preparation methods, as well as its clear solipsism and sense of superiority with regard to pre-existing coffee methodologies. 
The ideology and practices writ large, in other words, not the people.
The Third Wave Experience It used to be so simple to get a good cup of coffee. Or so we thought. The doyens of the Third Wave Coffee movement, today’s dominant coffee purveyors, would have you believe that, prior to its onset ~15 years ago, coffee was …