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Proposal: Coffee

I believe this proposal is too narrow. You will run out of questions that can be asked after 6 months. Suggest merging this with a broader topic such as Cooking or Brewing.

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    You criticize the proposal for being too narrow, but you refrain from actually supporting this statement. Please explain how you estimated the 6 months duration. I can easily mention a few coffee related forums which have existed for more than 5 years and are increasing in activity year after year. – JavaCake Mar 24 '14 at 9:15
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    I know enough coffee nerds to disagree here. Apart from programming and academic fields, I can't think of many topics better able to support an endless flow of questions and answers. As an example, every coffee nerd I know possesses at least 4 different technologies for the making of coffee. Some of these involve bunsen burners and laboratory-grade scales. Trust me, if they can bring the people, the topic will be sustainable. – Jonathan Van Matre Mar 24 '14 at 22:36
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    Ok so 6 months was something I pulled out of a hat. But think about it: if every topic had a separate Q&A site then there would be far too many sites on SE. It is far better to have merge related topics into one rather then split them up into many. Just imagine instead of StackOverflow, we had individual sites for each programming language and technology! – bobbyalex Mar 25 '14 at 1:29
  • @JavaCake - Forums have a different format from Q&A sites like SE. Since forums allow discussions, a thread seems to go on forever. This is not the case with SE sites. – bobbyalex Mar 25 '14 at 1:33
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    In the case of StackOverflow, programmers often have expertise in multiple programming languages, so having all languages together gives a question about any given language a much higher chance of connecting with an expert who can answer it. I don't see a similar synergy between Coffee and Beer, for example, because beverage nerds don't have the same tendency to be polyglots. Coffee and Tea, possibly, because there's a decent amount of expertise overlap there. – Jonathan Van Matre Mar 27 '14 at 19:43
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    Yeah coffee culture goes pretty deep. Like, all the terroir etc. involved with wine plus all the geeky hobbyist/tech stuff involved with various brewing techniques. I think it deserves a place of its own. – brendan Mar 31 '14 at 15:39
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    @JonathanVanMatre I would like to point out that StackOverflow contributes to programming knowledge (yes, in multiple languages) which facilitates computer functionality (PC, tablet, iOS, Android, etc) for personal, professional, and academic purposes (yes, programming for the sake of programming). However, let me point out that the prospective Coffee.SE will contribute to coffee knowledge which will facilitate coffee functionality, if you will, for personal, professional, and academic purposes. A programming language is not to programming as coffee is to beverages, as you suggest....(cont.) – Patrick Sebastien May 9 '14 at 11:55
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    @JonathanVanMatre Rather, coffee is a vast category all of it's own. Coffee has subsets such as different brewing methods. Knowing how to effectively make drip coffee and espresso are just as different as programming in two different languages. There may be similarities (which allows the connection of the subsets - which EXPANDS a SE website), but they are still two distinct things. Add in there all your different equipment and different brewing purposes... IMO, it's quite vast. There is a certain synergy between beer and coffee actually, but coffee is big enough on it's own. – Patrick Sebastien May 9 '14 at 12:02
  • I think perhaps a good point was brought up about coffee and tea being related. Perhaps the scope should be changed to include tea. Then I truly believe that the questions would be never ending. – RubberDuck Nov 18 '14 at 13:07
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It's definitely not too narrow, but the breadth might not be immediately obvious. I have no doubt that this site will gather the momentum it needs to get out of private beta, if it manages to sustain itself through commitment.

You've got:

  • Thousands of various kinds of brewing contraptions that aren't always intuitive to use
  • Hundreds upon hundreds of varieties of several kinds of beans alone
  • Roasting, which is a very deep rabbit hole
  • Blending of beans to produce various kinds of flavors
  • Brewing, itself, which is a bit of a science
  • Different kinds of drinks you make with coffee, including some rather exotic ones
  • Sourcing (which we can explore in beta), which can be tricky. There are some very exotic coffees, as well as hard to find machines (and replacement parts)

.. it just goes on from there. People invest thousands of dollars in making good coffee just at home alone, not counting the hundreds of thousands of dollars good coffee shops put into equipment. When I'm looking at putting $600 into a grinder alone, I'd like to know if it performs certain functions as advertised from someone that owns one, and that can be asked objectively.

Why not follow it, and see how much there really is to talk about :) Coffee is a very deep thing.

(Disclaimer: I'd rather survive on Ramen than go back to drinking bad coffee)

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    This is very well said. I agree completely... may I also add that the economic side of it may be a possible topic as well? For example, skill sets relating to employment in a coffee or coffee-related industry? Essentials for prospective owners? These are just thoughts. If I could give 10 upvotes to your post, I would. – Patrick Sebastien May 9 '14 at 11:45

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