Oliver Strand has been writing the very fine column about coffee Ristretto on the New York Times' the Moment blog for nearly three years, and sad news: today's entry will be its last. Reached for comment, Strand tells Eater: "I was told this week that Ristretto and all the columns on the Moment were being cut as a part of the changes underway at T, the New York Times Style Magazine."
He'll still be writing for the Times, and he'll still be writing about coffee, but Ristretto is done. Strand is currently working on a book about coffee. As he said back in 2011, it'll cover "coffee today: where it is, where it's going." Here's the statement he sent Eater:
I was told this week that Ristretto and all the columns on the Moment were being cut as a part of the changes underway at T, the New York Times Style Magazine. I will continue to write about coffee (and other subjects), and continue to write for the New York Times (and other publications), but the column will no longer run.
Part of me is surprised/pleased that it ran for as long as it did. Coffee is a particular topic, and I tend to be an esoteric writer - I didn't mean to go out with a post on a digital scale, but it's pretty appropriate. Digital scales might seem super-geeky, but now they're standard equipment for brewing coffee, and Hario recently introduced a model that addressed some scale-y flaws with a gadget that also happens to look good. Plus, I could make an argument for why you should brew coffee in grams. Underline this if you can: I am extremely grateful to Jane Herman Bishop, the editor of the Moment, who gave me a long leash and let the column find its audience.
Because part of me knew that there was an audience for serious coffee journalism. I don't want to point fingers, but so much of what's out there is superficial or poorly reported (elephant dung coffee? come on), and it seems to me that readers want substance. It was a kick to try to address that by writing about George Howell, or Bear Pond Espresso, ice brew coffee, or the scene in Oslo, or New York espresso, and to follow the reactions and comments. I hope it was as good for the readers as it was for me.
[Photo: Oliver Strand]