Black Drop Effect Coffee
With the 2016 transit of Mercury occurring on May 9, it's time to revisit the black drop effect. The following is adapted from 2012 article at transitofvenus.org.
Victorian Pantry in Granger, IN, unveiled Black Drop Effect Bistro Coffee, its contribution to the 2012 transit of Venus celebration. The very dark coffee pays homage to the famous black drop effect, a visual anomaly when circular Venus appears to elongate like a drop when it is near the inner edge of the sun. Astronomers attempting to gauge the instant when Venus just "touches" the solar limb have been confounded for centuries by this ill-timed quirk.
Chef and bistro owner Steve Stogdill roasted Black Drop Effect Bistro Coffee to be "characterized by high grade beans, heavy body, and low acid with a special finish on your palate." Living up to its name, the coffee is very dark, yet Stogdill notes, "Dark coffee does not need to be bitter, and this proves that."
In 1999 the TRACE spacecraft imaged a transit of Mercury, from which astronomers determined the black drop effect is not a function of atmosphere but more a function of the telescope optics and of solar limb darkening.
The Black Drop Effect Bistro Coffee label pays tribute to the stained glass window of St. Michael's Church in Hoole, England, where Jeremiah Horrocks first recorded a transit of Venus in 1639. In subsequent centuries the church has commemorated the historic sighting and Horrock's character with architectural details such as the stained glass windows. Each pane is filled with an image related to the transit of Venus. The text within the banner, Come Sip or Ship, invites patrons to enjoy the coffee at Victorian Pantry or to purchase the coffee and have it shipped.
An 11-ounce foil pouch of coffee, whether whole bean or ground, costs $11.99 USD plus shipping. To place an order, email Chef Steve at BlackDropEffectCoffee@gmail.com.