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