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.
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
So far this month's weather has held true to the saying, "Come in like a lion" and, I'm hoping, will "go out like a lamb"! It's been just a little gnarly, making for some interesting motorcycle rides into the shop each day.
However, I know that with this weekend's shift to Daylight Savings Time, it won't be long before the weather stabilizes a bit. I was just reading a book on Scotland last weekend and the author commented that his favorite part of Scotland was the weather.
He went onto say that Scotland experienced all four seasons, sometimes all within the context of a single day. I feel that's exactly what we've been experiencing here in Oregon.
There are a lot of things that took place this week. First of all, we'd like to welcome Sheridan Fruit Company to our growing list of coffee retailers. They're receiving their first order today and Taryn will be there next Wednesday the 16th from 10 am - 2 pm, handing out samples of our coffees.
If you're not familiar with Sheridan Fruit Company, they've been around since 1916 and offer quality fruits, vegetables, meats and grocery items. They also cater bridal showers, baby showers, weddings, family reunions, graduations, bbq's and more. They're located at 409 SE MLK Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97214. I would encourage you to stop by and check them out when you're in the area.
The other big news is we're just about ready to launch an expanded assortment of healthy snacks and sandwiches next week. Starting Wednesday, we'll have three different varieties of baguette sandwiches, featuring premium meats and cheeses from Boar's Head as well as a veggie option. We'll also have some snack boxes with hummus and fresh veggies.
I've wanted to offer something of this quality for a very long time so I'm very excited it's finally happening! Stop in Wednesday and look for the new refrigerator at the end of the counter and feel free to check our Facebook page for updates. Plan on stopping by to check them out. We'll be handing out samples. Heh, heh, heh!
Many people have been commenting on the jams we've been offering to accompany croissants, asking where they're available. Well, they're now available right here in the shop.
Fresh-made jams with locally sourced ingredients made by Mee Mee's Goodies. We're offering four varieties in 8 ounce jars for $7.00 each.
Here's an interesting article I found recently which seems to make no sense whatsoever until you read it. Check it out. It's short but very informative.
I think that's it for this week.
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
Well, the outcome of the Super Bowl certainly wasn't what I'd expected? I thought the Panthers were going to run all over the Broncos. Good thing I'm not a betting person. :)
I received an e-mail from Espro (the company who produces the stunning stainless steel French presses we offer) a couple days ago, announcing the introduction of a durable glass French press. As with the stainless steel models, the design is stunning with the advantage of them having a lower price point.
Two models will be available. One will be called the P5 and the other a P3. I'm not sure of the numerical significance. As soon as more information and photos become available, I will certainly share.
The scheduled shipping date is in three weeks and I've already told them I want some so keep your eyes peeled for those.
In other news this week, I learned yesterday my grant application to the St. Johns Mainstreet has been approved so we will soon be adding some additional exterior lighting to the building which I'm very excited about. It will go along the exterior wall facing Ivanhoe Street.
So, I'm going to get up on the proverbial Soapbox for just a minute and talk about The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Most of you are familiar with Yelp. It's a great resource for obtaining information about businesses one is considering patronizing. St. Johns Coffee Roasters has been very fortunate to have garnered such great Yelp reviews. Until yesterday.
Yesterday we received a scathing review from someone that I feel was completely mean-spirited and wrong. It seems the author had an agenda and didn't have the courage to speak with any of us directly.
That said, I'm not suggesting we're perfect. We make mistakes but I'd like to believe, we do our best to learn from those mistakes and grow. Each of us are very passionate about coffee and the level of service we provide and take those responsibilites very seriously.
So I just want to put it out there that if when you visit our shop, if your experience is anything less than stellar, please ask for myself or mention something to any staff member. We encourage your feedback, good or bad and I promise you, we will listen.
Taryn just left a few minutes ago to go to the Concordia New Seasons Market to conduct a demo of our line of coffees, sold by New Seasons. If you're in the area of NE 33rd and Killingsworth St., please stop by and say hi.
I think that's it for this week. Have a great weekend and keep the coffee flowing!
Mount & Crew
This past week has certainly gotten me to thinking about Spring. Warmer temps and a few dry days even allowed for some motorcycle rides beyond just the usual commute. Always a good thing!
The shop has been busy this week. A lot of people have been enjoying the new coffees from Rwanda and El Salvador. Rightfully so, they're both stellar in their own rights, both of which are medium roasts. The El Salvador has a subtle fruitiness with a caramel sweetness and slight chocolate aftertaste with a velvety texture. The Rwanda is extremely smooth and syrupy sweet with notes of orange, vanilla and a touch of floral.
And, with the warmer weather, people have been sitting outside, basking in the sun while enjoying their favorite coffee beverage.
For those who didn't see my Facebook post earlier in the week, our friend and customer, Andrew Shroyer hung a new sign for us which he created. It's awesome! Check it out if you haven't yet seen it.
I have a question I would like to pose. Over the course of the past few months, there have been a few folks who have asked about our extending our operating hours into the evenings. I'm just curious if that's something that would appeal to folks? If you have thought/opinions/etc, please e-mail me.
While out completing deliveries, Greg has started spreading the word about St. Johns Coffee Roasters and it appears to be working. There are several prospective customers interested in our coffees. If any of you know of restaurants or cafes who you feel could improve their coffee offerings, we would very much appreciate any referrals.
I met with my web designer this past week and he will be updating our shopping cart with all the new coffees we have in stock so stay posted. That said, it's hard to believe but Valentine's Day will be here before we know it.
We have a great selection of coffee related gift items, perfect for that special someone. Travel mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, coffee, Mexican pottery, etc. And of course, there's Bestow for all your floral needs.
And in March, another jazz concert at Classic Pianos.
Monday March 7th at 7:00 pm, George Fendel presents - Rebecca Kilgore, singing songs associated with Susannah McCorkle, featuring Randy Porter on piano with special guest, Marc Fendel on alto sax.
Classic Pianos is located at 3030 SE Milwaukie Ave, (corner of SE Powell Blvd and Milwaukie Ave.), next door to the Aladdin Theatre. Concerts are held in their recital hall which only has a capacity of 100 people, offering an unforgettable music experience.
Reservations are highly recommended. Call Peggie at 503.546.5622.
In the meantime, many thanks for your continued support and keep the coffee flowing. It looks like it's going to be a good weekend for consuming copius amounts of coffee. But then again, what weekend isn't???
Mount & Crew
Last week we introduced you to the new coffee from Rwanda. It has quickly become a favorite among many of our customers (and staff). This morning we roasted some of the new coffee from El Salvador and I'm sipping on some right now.
They just keep getting better! This coffee is SO SMOOTH with a velvety mouthfeel. A bit of fruitiness but not overwhelmingly so, and some delicious caramel sweetness with just a touch of chocolate on the after taste. It's been a few years since we had the coffee from El Salvador but I believe this one surpasses it!
Here is some information on the farm along with a map showing its location -
El Pilon Farm is located in the western part of El Salvador in the Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain
Region. It produces wild Red and Yellow Bourbon varieties in a microclimate of 1500 to 1600
meters above sea level. It consists of an area of 84 hectares, where the temperature all year
round is 7-18 degrees Celsius, with fog that gives the coffee a great density, and lots of juice when
hand-picked in a perfect red yellow color.
El Pilon has spectacular views of Eagle Mountain
near the great Volcano of Santa Ana that in 2005 had an eruption and its
ashes covered all of El Pilon Farm. All the coffee trees lost their leaves, but they survived as the
family continued to care for them. El Pilon farm got its name from the small coffee plant nursery,
it is certified by the Rain Forest Alliance seal. This certification assures the farm is sustainable with the environment and wild life.
El Pilon coffee gets to our Eco-Mill, located at 20 min from the farm, were it is processed by our
team assuring the best quality at the pulpers and washed through a continuos flow aqua-pulper.
Then it is dried on African beds in the heat of the sun. The drying process takes from 12 to 18 days.
After the coffee is dried, two cuppers sample each daily lot of El Pilon Farm coffee
to select the best lots to export.
With the addition of these two new coffees, we are now able to offer 24 different coffees to offer our customers. A perfect opportunity to come in and let us make a pour-over for you. And the weather couldn't be more perfect for drinking coffee!
The new development across the street from the shop is going up at a "lightning-fast" pace. It's sad that we've lost what little view we had of the St. Johns Bridge but it's also exciting to think about the prospective new customers. We joked with a customer the other day that we'll have to install a zip-line between the shop and the apartments to deliver coffee drinks to the residents.
We've also joked that for us to regain our view of the Bridge, we're going to add a rooftop after hours lounge. Trouble is, we'd have to go up two stories and I'm not quite sure that's in the plans. :)
Starting this Friday, January 22nd, we have a special promotion going on. With a minimum purchase of $25, get a free ceramic logo mug. Quantities are limited so don't hesitate.
Until next week, take care, have a great weekend and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew