This past Monday we received our shipment of pottery from JMB Talavera in Delores Hidalgo, Mexico. And is usually the case, it exceeded our expectations. It's beautiful. New colors and patterns in demitasse and cappuccino cups as well as two sizes of serving platters. I long for the day when I can return to Delores Hidalgo and visit the potter in person.
With last week's Greenpeace protest now history, I expected this week to be a bit calmer. However, that wasn't the case. As a result, there were a few times when we just couldn't keep up with coffee brewing. Tomorrow I'll be ordering a larger capacity brewer to avoid situations like that in the future. Another one of those "growing pains".
Another recent growing pain has been trying to figure out the best mix of prepared foods from Molly's. We found we were running out of some things and had an abundance of others. Beginning this week, you can expect a larger selection of breakfast items as well as salads, wraps and a couple sandwiches.
I've mentioned the fact that the Guatemala Finca Bourbon has returned to our inventory of coffees. We did another cupping of it this past Monday morning and DANG! It is SOOO good! Obviously, we're not the only ones who feel that way. We've consistently been selling out of it from each batch that's roasted. I encourage you to come in the shop and let us do a pour-over of it for you.
It's hard to believe that just a week ago it was almost 100ºF! I'm grateful it has cooled off so pleasantly. It has made for great weather to enjoy sitting outside the shop, sipping on a coffee and eating a pastry or bagel. Not to mention better sleeping and better motorcycling weather!
My staff has been encouraging me to take a few days off so I'm in the process of trying to figure out how to make that happen and where exactly I'd go. I think I could squeeze about four days away from the shop.
I'm considering the northeast corner of Oregon, around the Joseph area, the southeast corner around the Steens Mountains, the Olympic Peninsula or northern California. If any of you have suggestions for good motorcycling routes to any of these areas or others, I'd welcome suggestions.
On that note, I'm going to begin looking at some maps.
Many thanks for your continued support. We appreciate your business very much. Don't forget to mark your calendars for Saturday, September 19th for our grand opening/first-year anniversary celebration.
As many of you know, this past week has been pretty exciting here in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland.
Greenpeace activists held a protest against Shell Oil Company's repair of an ice breaker, headed to Alaska for assistance with off-shore oil drilling. The activists hung from the St. Johns Bridge in an attempt to block passage of the ship after having been repaired in dry dock.
The event brought many new people into the neighborhood, most of whom needed copious amounts of coffee. Our shop hosted journalists, activists, emergency personnel as well as sightseers. It was all pretty exciting.
Last Friday's reception for painter, Jeanne Levasseur was great. Many showed up to meet Jeanne and see her work first-hand. Jeanne brought in a selection of post cards of her various works which she left here and are available for only $3.50 each. A very affordable alternative to a full-size oil painting.
There's a new face at St. Johns Coffee Roasters who you will be seeing in the coming days. Her name is Katherine Johnson. She just began today and I believe will be a nice compliment to our existing staff and shop. However, she does present a bit of a problem in that we now have two "Katies". This morning I referred to them as "Katie #1 and Katie #2" but I know that can't last long.
We're doing all we can to help people stay cool and caffeinated with an assortment of cold-brewed coffees and iced teas. While I'm not crazy about the heat we're experiencing, the realization that tomorrow is August 1st is far more distressing, signaling the approach of Autumn. Don't get me wrong, Autumn is one of my favorite seasons but, it doesn't always lend itself to good motorcycling weather. Not that the world should revolve around me but...
Following is a link to an article from The New Yorker, shared with me by a friend.
While it deals specifically with wine, I believe a lot of the context transfers to the coffee industry as well. Sometimes when I read cupping notes or hear someone remark about their experience with various coffees, I think to myself, "Am I completely inept?" "Are my taste buds completely dead?" Or???
My point is that I believe many people are intimidated by the feeling they should be capable of detecting each nuance of a wine or coffee, and they should be looking for the most arcane characteristics. ie - mulled mint leaves infused with a hint of poblano pepper.
In my experience, each time I taste a particular coffee, or wine, I often notice something I had not detected previously. And it is all variable according to time and temperature. And, I think it can be much simpler than some would like to believe. I think it's fun to try and detect the various component flavors of a coffee or wine but the most critical factor is, "do you like it"?
A while back, I included a graphic of a wine tasting wheel. I'll include it again so you can do your own experiments and see what you think. Ok, I'm coming down off my soapbox.
We hope you'll stop by this weekend and select from over 20 varieties of organic and fair trade coffees or choose your favorite coffee beverage.
Meanwhile, many thanks for your continued support and we hope you have a fabulous weekend!
Mount & Crew
We've been hearing from a lot of customers lately how much they appreciate the fact that we offer decaf cold-brew coffee. Apparently, we're one of the few places in Portland that offer it. It seems like a no-brainer to me since it makes such a delicious afternoon beverage when one doesn't necessarily want the caffeine component.
We'll have plenty of it ready for the weekend when it appears the temperatures will be climbing once again. Like many, I have really been enjoying the cooler temps we've been having this week but hey, it's summer so I guess we shouldn't complain.
I received an e-mail from my supplier of Mexican pottery this week indicating my order has been completed and was being prepared to ship so look for a new assortment of espresso cups, cappuccino cups and platters in the near future. I would guess it will probably arrive around the first of August.
And keep your fingers crossed... the mugs with our logo which had to be remade are scheduled to arrive this coming week. If the quality is what is expected, they'll be available for purchase next weekend.
Don't forget to mark your calendars for next Friday evening's artist reception. Jeanne Levasseur's beautiful oil paintings have been on display at the shop for the past couple weeks but next Friday, you'll have the opportunity to meet Jeanne and talk with her about her inspirations and paintings. Snacks and beverages will be provided and kids are always welcome.
Some of you may also have noticed that our outdoor furniture is, transitioning. :) We discovered a problem with our original set of furniture and are replacing them with something which we believe will work better. However, we're working on the combination of sizes so we still have plenty of sidewalk clearance. So thank you in advance for your patience while we get this resolved.
And finally, we've received requests in the past for a multi-grain option for bagels. We've just begun bringing in some multi-grain, Everything bagels to meet this demand and, they are very very good. Give them a try next time you're in.
Meanwhile, I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. Stop by for one of the largest selections of coffee available anywhere. Whether it's espresso, drip, pour-over, cold-brew coffee, hot or iced teas. Accompanied by great original boiled bagles, French pastries, salads, wraps or sandwiches. Can you tell I'm hungry? :)
Many thanks for your on-going support.
Mount & Crew
It's that time of year again when school is out. There've been a number of folks in the shop this morning with their children, celebrating the beginning of summer vacation.
And a perfect morning it is for drinking coffee, having a pastry, and enjoying the brisk morning air. A perfect morning for a cup of French Roast. If you haven't tried our French Roast lately, I invite you to do so. I've adjusted the blend a little bit and it's now a little smokier (still without being burnt) and a bit more chocolatey.
I had hoped our new logo diner cups would be here for this weekend but alas, they won't be here until Monday. However, they'll be here in plenty of time for Father's Day gifts. If you'd like to pre-order, just let us know and we'll put some aside for you and can deliver them to you with Wednesday coffee deliveries. They sell for $10 each.
The new coffee additions are proving to be very popular. We've been doing a lot of pour-overs of the Costa Rica La Amistad, the Honduras Alto De Los Santos and the Colombian FTO Red Ecolsierra. Each work extremely well as pour-overs as well as in the French press or brewed conventionally. As I've said before, the pour-over brewing method is my absolute favorite. If you haven't tried it, I invite you to come in and choose from our selection of nearly 20 coffees to have brewed individually for you.
The first shipment of coffee went out this week to Tired & Pour Coffee located in the cart pod at 3423 SE Belmont St. Along with our delicious coffee, they'll be serving up an amazing selection of Pizzelles (delicious Italian cookies). They'll be opening this weekend so please stop by and show your love.
We also have a new addition to the beverage menu. Introducing the Matcha Latte.
A green tea latte that is refreshing and yummy. We've done a "soft introduction" of it this week and people are loving it! A great alternative for those who do not drink coffee. (If there really is anyone who doesn't drink coffee.)
We're getting very close to bringing in some new food items. We received some samples this week and they were delicious. I'll be meeting with the folks this next Tuesday to firm things up but it's looking good.
All their items are organic and ingredients are fresh and sourced locally. We'll be offering breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches as well as some salads and wraps. I'll be able to offer more specifics next week so stay tuned.
We're looking forward to tomorrow's farmers market and are geared up with lots of organic and fair trade coffees, bagels and pastries.
Last but not least, we'd like to welcome all 285 new subscribers to our mailing list this week!
Meanwhile, I hope you have a great week and keep the coffee flowing!
Mount & Crew
Late Breaking News! - City of Portland just visited us and measured for our new bike racks!!!!
Last Saturday's St. Johns Parade and bizarre really put us to the test. It was our first experience with this event since our expansion into our tasting room and I feel it went pretty well. It was an absolutely beautiful day and we went through a ton of cold-brewed coffee and iced teas. (Hibiscus tea with rosemary, pictured at right.) Another popular item proved to be the potted coffee plants. We'll have more of those the weekend of May 23rd.
I know I've said this repeatedly but, we feel so fortunate to have such a great group of customers. Last weekend took a lot out of us and several of us have been fighting off various "bugs" as a result. But it has all been made better by incredibly thoughtful people who've brought in juices and the like which are rich in vitamins and are working their magic. Thank you!
In this age of social media domination, I was a bit taken aback this past week when I received, yes, a postcard in the mail. "Real" mail, delivered by the postman. At first I thought it was some sort of promotional postcard but then realized it had been sent by my friend Eric who was traveling across the Badlands and visited the one and only, Wall Drug. Many thanks to Eric for this return to humanity.
This week we'd like to welcome Urban Airship, a new user of St. Johns Coffee. Urban Airship, to paraphrase, is a high-tech business that enables other businesses to optimize the push messaging process in the marketing of their products and/or services. Anyway, we're happy to be able to provide them with the necessary fuel to power their airship.
Customers have really been enjoying our new outdoor seating and the weather has been so cooperative, aside from a rainy day or two. In any regard, it's nice to be able to enjoy the view of the bridge while sipping on one's favorite coffee beverage.
A friend sent me the enclosed article recently about the effects of climate change on the Arabica coffee crop. It's a very informative piece of information on what seems imminent. Trying not to be an alarmist but...
There's lots of freshly roasted organic and fair trade coffees on our shelves so please stop by and pick some up. Or enjoy a cup brewed for you here. Saturday at 1:00 pm, we'll be sampling the new coffee from Costa Rica. The Costa Rica La Amistad. Stop by and check it out. It's delicious!
I hope you have a fabulous weekend. Thanks very much for your on-going support of this passion called coffee!
Mount & Crew
This past Tuesday, our new shipment of coffee arrived and within it, was the new coffee from Costa Rica. It just so happened that I had the roaster fired up so I couldn't resist putting this coffee to the test.
It passed with flying colors! It's called Costa Rica La Amistad. It has a delicious syrupy mouthfeel with notes of melon and caramel, with an emerging Meyer lemon note as it cools.
Hacienda la Amistad, located in Coto Brus, a canton in the province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica, is owned and operated by Roberto Montero, a third generation coffee farmer.
Their seasonal sandwich this past weekend had house cured bacon, egg, cotija cheese, fresh lemony sorrel and a smoky ancho chile sauce. They also offer a home plate with egg, bacon, and greens over cajun shredded hash-browns along with a quiche of the day and a fruit salad of the day. They serve up French Pressed St. Johns Coffee along with a house pressed juice of the day.
Brunch is classic American fare, but made from scratch in all the right places - the english muffins, the house cured bacon, made to order juice, etc. They are farmers themselves so supporting the little guys making and growing exceptional products is what they're all about. They buy direct as much as possible from growers like Kiyokawa Orchards, Maryhill Orchards, Rossi Family Farms and Carlton Farms.When they launch dinner, expect to see house made pasta, southern style home plates, and seasonal salads and soups! This is making me incredibly hungry!!!
And we'd also like to welcome two more new customers to our roster.
Sanchez Cantina at 10075 SW Barbur Blvd., Suite 7 in southwest Portland, 97129. Serving up great Mexican fare along with our cold brewed Latin Lovers Blend!
And coming SOON!!! Tired & Pour Coffee Company. Tired & Pour will also be located on NE Alberta and in addition to serving our coffees, they create some amazing Italian cookies called Pizzelles.
And just a few notes to finish up -
Jessica is at the Laurelhurst location of WholeFoods Market today from 11 - 2, handing out samples of our coffees. If you're in the area, stop by and say hello.
This next week will be Ed's last so please stop by and wish him well on his next adventure.
We are in the process of working toward adding some outdoor seating so, keep your fingers crossed.
And finally, Saturday May 9th, is the 53rd annual St. Johns Parade and Bizarre. It's always a fun day with lots of attractions and entertainment. And, it's the day before Mother's Day so stop in and get your momma some coffee!
Many thanks for your continued support. We really appreciate it.
Keep the coffee flowing!
Mount and Crew
There are two new coffees we're very excited about.
We received our first shipment of the Brazil Grota SAO Pedro. The samples I roasted initially were excellent but now that I've "dialed-in" the roast profile, this coffee is amazing! It's like drinking dessert!
With the first sip, there's a prominent chocolate note accompanied by a delightful nuttiness. As it cools a bit, there's a delicious caramel sweetness that develops. Think creme' brulee' In a cup.
It's also a very versatile coffee in terms of brewing methods. We've brewed it as pour-overs, drip brew and French press and have even used it as a single-origin espresso and each way, it's been stellar.
This is a medium roasted coffee yet provides a nice "fullness" to the body.
The second coffee just arrived last week and is equally amazing. It's an Ethiopian Sidamo Peaberry, dry process. This is also a medium roasted coffee and is full of berries, apricot and tropical fruit with a very syrupy body. It has a lot of complexity, making it equally versatile with regard to brewing process.
So far, we've only brewed it as pour-overs and drip brew but I'm confident it will excel as a French press and I plan to also use it as a single-origin espresso starting this upcoming weekend.
We'll be sampling both coffees this upcoming weekend so I encourage you to stop in and give them a try. The shop will be open on Saturday from 9 am - 3 pm.
We've consistently been selling out of the Brazil and sold out of the Ethiopian last weekend, the first weekend it was available.