This weekend marks the beginning of The Portland Rose Festival. And unlike many years, it looks as though the weather will be stellar. It all begins this Friday evening with opening night Fireworks and continues on for the next couple weeks.
For those of you from outside the Portland area, the Portland Rose Festival is an annual celebration which has been going on for over 100 years. There are parades, firework displays, concerts, etc. Pretty much something for everyone.
Last week, we had the pleasure of traveling to Scotland. It was my first trip to Europe and I must say, I've never heard many good comments about the coffee so of course, I had to check it out.
And, I was pleasantly surprised. There seemed to be limited choices from grocers but what was available in the cafes was for the most part, pretty good. However, there were only limited options when it came to organic coffees. We only found one cafe specializing in organic coffees and healthy food options.
Perhaps it's time to open a second location of St. Johns Coffee Roasters in Scotland?!?!
We also had the opportunity to have "high tea" while in Scotland. We went to the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh which was quite special.
As many of you know, one of my favorite methods for brewing coffee is the pour-over. After seeing the server pour our tea (photo attached), it gave me new inspiration for the "art of the pour-over" presentation. However, don't count on it anytime soon. :)
And the BIG NEWS is, next weekend (June 4th), is the opening weekend of the St. Johns Farmers Market. It always a big day with lots of new vendors as well as many who have done the market since its inception.
We'll be ready with plenty of both hot and cold brewed coffees as well as healthy snacks, organic juices and sandwiches. We also have received a new shipment of grinders from Baratza as well as Hario hand grinders, perfect for camping trips.
Speaking of camping, we also have the Aeropress coffee brewers in stock which include a zippered tote for simplifying travel.
I think that's it for this week. Many thanks for your continued support and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
Memorial Day is generally the kick-off to a season of bbq'ing so I thought I'd share a recipe for dry rub for any type of meat you choose. Oh and of course, one of the ingredients is coffee. Duh!
Many of you probably remember the amazing Brazil Grota Sao Pedro we had last year but sold out. Well, I have good news. It will be returning to our line-up in the very near future. Last time we described it as being like drinking Cremè Brulee and I have a feeling this year's crop will be comparable. Perhaps more like Tiramisu. :)
If the Memorial Day weather proves too hot to serve your guests hot coffee, consider brewing some cold-brew coffee. We have a large selection of Toddy Brewers and accessories and are happy to teach you the process. It's quite simple. Or, if you decide you'd like to serve something with a little "kick" to it, consider a coffee martini. We can show you how to make those as well! They're delicious!!!
Meanwhile, have a great weekend and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
This week we'd like to welcome another new member to our staff. In addition to a passion for excellent coffee, Kirk Sanchez brings a nice quiet energy and attention to detail and I believe is going to be a nice fit here at the shop.
This Saturday is the 54th annual St. Johns Parade and 10th annual St. Johns Bizarre. The past few years we've been blessed with beautiful, sunny weather for these events but it doesn't look like we're going to have a repeat performance of that this year.
These two events draw thousands of people come from miles around because it is the proverbial "small-town" parade filled with marching bands, car clubs, etc.
In any regard, we'll be here ready to serve lots of organic and fair trade coffees, both hot and cold-brewed as well as delicious French pastries and Spielman bagels to keep you fueled.
And don't forget, we now have a nice assortment of organic juices from Columbia Gorge Organic Juices.
I'm often looking for different ways in which coffee can be used and found this recipe the other day which sounds like a splendid refreshment for a hot summer day.
Beginning today, St. Johns Coffee Roasters' coffee will be available in the Greenway location of Whole Foods Markets. If you live or work in the Southwest area of Portland/Beaverton, stop in and check out this beautiful store. It's located at 12220 SW Scholls Ferry Road - Tigard, OR 97223.
And this Saturday, Greg will be handing out samples of our coffee at Chuck's Produce in Vancouver from 11 am - 2 pm. Stop by and say hi if you're in the area and sample some REAL.GOOD.COFFEE.
We're also scheduled to receive a new shipment of the Baratza grinders tomorrow. We recently sold out but thankfully, the company is located in Seattle so it was a quick-fix. If you're not familiar with the Baratza grinders, come in and ask for a demo.
This was the grinder that changed my life.
Meanwhile, have a great weekend and keep the coffee flowing. I hope you're able to make it to the St. Johns Parade and St. Johns Bizarre.
So it's tax day. I'm not sure what else I can say about that. :) I'm always reminded of the Beatles song, "Tax Man", on this day.
For those of you who need a little more "mojo" to get you through your taxes, we have plenty of caffeine related beverages and whole bean coffee to help you.
It has been a huge week for us here at the shop. We worked very hard to deliver our first order of organic and fair trade coffees to Made in Oregon stores in addition to our regular group of retail stores offering our coffees.
Made in Oregon stores are located in all major Portland shopping malls as well as three locations at the Portland International Airport.
One new addition to our line-up is the Market of Choice store in West Linn. They'll be offering two of our coffees in bulk bins as well as an assorted variety of our packaged coffee. If you live in the West Linn, Clackamas or Lake Oswego areas, there's now a new location from which to purchase our coffees.
And, we've added a new sandwich to our line-up of healthy food options. It's a toasted brioche with sunflower butter and apricot jam. Check it out when you're in the shop next.
New coffees were ordered this past Wednesday and are scheduled to arrive next Monday. Among them are a new Ethiopian Dry Processed Yirgacheffe which differs from our current "washed Yirgacheffe". Typically, dry-processed coffees yield a fuller body as well as possessing all the characteristic flavors so I'm very anxious to try it.
We also purchased a new variety of coffee from Sumatra. I was told it has prominent notes of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. Sounds like a Snickers bar in a cup! I can't wait to try that one!
And just a bit of a warning... the delectable Guatemala Finca Bourbon is getting low. We've ordered a new Guatemala to take its place which we've had before and has always been very very good.
But for those of you who have developed a fondness for the Guatemala Finca Bourbon, there's no time like the present to enjoy it.
Taryn is on her way out the door to the Hillsdale location of Food Front Cooperative Grocery to sample some of our coffees available there. If you're in the area, stop by and say hi. She'll be there from 11 - 2 today.
Meanwhile, I hope you have a fantastic weekend we'll hope to see you in the shop.
Mount & Crew
Another year, another spring break. I hope everyone has had an enjoyable Spring break, for those of you who've been able to take some time off. It's hard to believe we're approaching the end of March already and in another month, talk will shift to the opening of local farmers markets.
It's meant a very busy week for us here at the shop. Lots and lots of people coming in to enjoy some down time and relax with their favorite caffeinated beverage. And, despite some rain, there have also been some sun breaks so people have been able to sit outside and enjoy some fresh air.
In the midst off all the busyness this week, we embarked upon a major reorganization of our production area. Things were feeling very cramped and we oftentimes felt we were stepping on each other.
It's already feeling more spacious and efficient, which is what we desperately needed. We're about 90% completed with the remainder wrapping up by Monday.
The other accomplishment of this past week is the transition to digital roast logs. I don't know how many of you have noticed the numerous 3-ring binders that have occupied a large shelf next to the roaster?
For each batch of coffee we roast, a profile sheet is completed including notes of time, temperature, airflow, etc., a necessary part of the roasting process. However, it also consumed copious amounts of paper which has always seemed so wasteful.
This past week we finally made the switch to digital record keeping of all roast logs so the numerous 3-ring binders will be going bye-bye. A great feeling!
More and more people have been enjoying our new, locally-made baguette sandwiches and hummus snack boxes. It's an easy solution when one comes into the shop to pick up their morning coffee and can grab a healthy, delicious sandwich for lunch at the same time.
Everyone in the St. Johns Neighborhood is abuzz about this past Wednesday's opening of the University Park New Seasons Market. As with all New Seasons locations, are coffees are represented and we will be there Saturday morning beginning at 11 am, handing out samples.
In the coming weeks, look for the new, "University Park Blend", available exclusively at the University Park New Seasons Market in the bulk bins.
For those of you in the inner SE Portland area... Taryn is currently at Sheridan Fruit Company sampling some of our coffees they have available in this iconic Portland store. Stop by, try some coffee and enjoy the varied offerings of this great Portland grocer. She will be there until 2 pm today.
Many thanks and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
There are a few things to top off this week's newsletter. First of all, big congrats to our customer, GiGi's Cafe in the Hillsdale neighborhood of Portland. They were included amongst the top 15 breakfast locations in Portland this past week!
Secondly, in addition to now offering fresh-made jams, two days ago we added fresh-made hummus. Many have requested an option to the cream cheese spreads for bagels. The hummus is delicious, very nicely balanced with a nice texture.
There are of course, many ways to brew coffee and we're constantly asked which is the best. One of my personal favorites is the Stove Top Espresso Maker, aka, Moka Pot.
The Moka Pot brews an incredibly rich cup of coffee (I'm not talking mug here). The size categories of Moka Pots is shown in cups but they are referring to demitasse size cups.
Many customers have told me they purchased a Moka Pot but they don't particularly care for the taste because it seems bitter. When asking about their brewing technique, it becomes apparent why this is.
Some have said they've used a powdery fine espresso grind that they've tamped into the filter basket, compacting the powdery grounds similar to what a barista does with a conventional espresso machine with porta filters.
The first thing to understand is that these Moka Pots are NOT espresso machines and as such, function differently.
A friend forwarded me an article this past week that appeared in Splendid Table and which describes the process of using a Moka Pot. I will include the link so you can read the article. http://www.splendidtable.org/story/tips-great-coffee
However, my method differs from what they suggest so I will attempt to describe that so you can try both approaches and see what works best for you.
To start with, I fill the base with fresh, cold water up to the bottom of the threads. I then insert the filter basket, hold over the sink and invert the base to dispense any excess water.
The next step is to grind the coffee. After much experimentation, I have settled on a coarser grind than what many suggest. I use a grind just a bit coarser than one would use for a "fine/cone filter" type grind.
I also found that by using less coffee, one gets a better flavor from the Moka Pot. I pour the ground coffee into the filter basket so it forms a bit of a pyramid with the sides tapering down to being about 1/4" below the top of the filter basket.
Give it a gentle shake to even the grounds then tightly screw the top half onto the base. I DO NOT TAMP the grounds as is done with conventional espresso machines with porta filters.
Set the Moka Pot on a burner and set the heat to a medium setting. Do not set to a high setting. Just be patient. This is the perfect time to select your cup and any desired accoutrements (twist of lemon peel, sugar cube, etc.)
Once you start to hear the contents "rumbling", turn off the heat and let the Moka Pot just sit for another minute or so to finish the brewing process.
The final step is to pour into the cup of your choice, grab a copy of the New York Times, sit back and savor the delicious coffee.
As with anything food related, taste is a very subjective thing so I would encourage you to experiment. Just know there is potential for a great cup of coffee from the Moka Pot.
And this just in.... There have been a few times since the inception of this business where I've had to "eat crow". Well, another of those times has arrived. As most of you know, we used to have "frequent flyer" cards for whole bean coffee as well as beverages.
We received a lot of comments from customers expressing both pros and cons to doing something like that. So, we transitioned to a digital version of customer loyalty program. However, that didn't work nearly as smoothly as I'd hoped so we abandoned the digital version.
I believe rewarding repeat customers is an important aspect of doing business so we have gone BACK to the original punchcard. They just arrived about 30 minutes ago. The details remain the same. After ten purchases of either beans or beverages, the customer will receive a 20% discount toward the purchase of anything we offer.
That's right, anything - cups, hoodies, grinders, etc. Next time you're in, be sure to ask for yours. And, we will continue to honor any of the old "frequent flyer" cards. And, if you'll post a review of us on Yelp, we'll add an additional punch!
Many thanks and keep the coffee flowing!
Mount & Crew
Customers often seem bewildered when we start describing coffees as having, "notes of macadamia nut, cinnamon, blueberry, anise, etc." I've contended for a long time that a lot of developing those olfactory senses is simply to slow down and take the time to savor what you're tasting and/or experiencing. This principal does apply to many more things than just coffee!
There are those who just seem to posses a much more sensitive palate than others. I don't consider myself to be blessed with that quality. However, a large part of developing those senses is a "learned" trait which benefits from just slowing down.
Prior to getting into the coffee business, my choice of coffee was primarily based on, "this tastes great or this one doesn't." But that was the extent of my criteria. I never took time to analyze the characteristics that defined either classification.
As we rapidly approach our 8th year anniversary, I feel I'm finally getting a much better grasp on identifying those various profiles which define the taste of the coffees.
Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting people turn their morning coffee brewing into a science experiment. I would just encourage you, when you take that next sip of coffee, truly sip it so the coffee hits as many taste buds as it can and ask yourself what is it you're tasting.
If you would like to practice, please join us tomorrow (Saturday) at 2 pm in our tasting room as we sample three of our newer coffees. The El Salvador El Pilon, the Costa Rica La Amistad and the Rwanda FTO Coopac.
A friend/customer just shared a great article related to this topic. If you care to read more, just click on the following link. It's a quick read but very informative.
A huge congratulations this week to our customer, GiGi's Cafe! They were just included as one of the top 15 breakfast locations in Portland!!! I'd like to think it's because of our coffee but, I'm sure it's more than just that. :) Congratulations Mike and Charlene!
And finally, we would like to welcome Chuck's Produce & Street Market to our list of grocers in the Vancouver, WA region. Beginning Wednesday, February 24th, our coffees will be available at their Mill Plain store. Greg and I just visited them yesterday and it's a beautiful store.
That's it for this week. Many many thanks for your continued support and keep the coffee flowing!
Mount & Crew