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
As most of you know, this Sunday is the annual Super Bowl. Whether or not you're a football fan, it's oftentimes a great excuse to cook and/or bake.
Here are some links to some of my personal favorite recipes utilizing coffee:
Sunday's weather sounds like it will make it a struggle to stay indoors so I will more than likely, try to get some time on the motorcycle. My son and his buddy plan on coming to my place to watch the Super Bowl so I will be using at least a couple of the above recipes.
Our web site has recently been updated to include all our new coffees as well as merchandise. Just in time for Valentine's Day gift giving! Hint, hint! :)
Many thanks and until next week, 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
I don't know about everyone else but I'm ready for some warmer, drier weather. I guess I shouldn't complain too much after what the folks in the Midwest have been going through.
After the frenzy of the holidays, things seem to have slowed down just a bit although the shop has continued to be busy. A lot of people have been coming back for items they'd had their eyes on before Christmas but which, for some reason, didn't make it into their gift bags.
The Travel Presses and Espro Presses along with the logo travel mugs and ceramic logo mugs have been top on that list of coveted items.
We also did something this week which we've never done before but which I believe will become a new tradition. When I was taking an inventory of the bags of coffee we had on the shelves, discovered there were a few bags which had been there over one week.
So we created a 1/2 price bin so people could take advantage of that opportunity and, it's been a huge success. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the coffee whatsoever. It's just that we like to keep the roast dates on the shelf to be within a week.
We are currently sold out of these bags but when the opportunity presents itself again, we'll put a notice on Facebook. And, I would encourage you to stop by the shop when convenient to see if there's anything available.
Another new development this week was FINALLY finding an organic, fair trade coffee from Rwanda. I tasted some Rwandan coffee several years ago which was stellar and I've never forgotten it. However, the only coffee ever available was not organic so I never purchased any.
However, that has changed. We're expecting our first delivery of it today. Not in time for this weekend but certainly in time for next Wednesday's home deliveries. It's described as having notes of orange, vanilla, floral and is very sweet. I can't wait!
When coffee cherries are dried at the source, they're spread out on patios which are slabs of concrete. Oftentimes, we find pieces of concrete, stones, etc. amongst the beans after we roast them. We've always tried to be scrupulous in searching for these because well, they don't do anything to enhance the flavor of the coffee. :)
As our volume has increased, it has become more difficult to find each and every stone. To mitigate that, we purchased a new piece of equipment called a "de-stoner". Pretty tricky eh? Anyway, it has been earning its place in our shop, doing a stellar job of removing those unwanted items.
I think that's about it for this week. Several of us are doing double-duty due to being a couple people shy of our normal crew. Which means, I'm getting ready to head out and do deliveries.
Until next week, take good care and many thanks for your continued support.
Mount & Crew
Well, Christmas is officially upon us.
It's been an incredibly busy week and just when we thought we'd finished roasting, realized this morning that we needed more so the roaster is fired up and raring to go.
We still have a great supply of organic and fair trade coffees and will be replenishing things as the day goes on. We also have a nice selection of brewing equipment and supplies as well as Mexican pottery, travel mugs, stocking stuffer size bags of coffee and various other coffee related items.
About a week ago, we began offering jars of honey from P&P Apiary. It's the same honey we use and talk about local! The hives are about 1 1/2 miles from the shop so, it is LOCAL! And delicious. It sells for $10.95 for a pint size jar.
After today, we'll be closed for the weekend but we'll be back, ready to roll at 6 am Monday morning.
I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend and we'll look forward to seeing you next week.
Many thanks as always,
Mount & Crew