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
In addition to finishing up the roasting of coffee for tomorrow's deliveries, today was spent cleaning and organizing.
We received our order of Mexican pottery today and did our best to get it checked in and priced so it would be available. Another really beautiful shipment of serving platters, cream pitchers, water pitchers, flower vases and large fruit bowls, for lack of a better term.
I haven't yet had time to photograph any of them but I encourage you to stop by and see them for yourself. You won't be disappointed.
Today I received an e-mail from my contact in El Salvador who will be sending me some samples from their latest harvest. I'm excited about the possibility of once again begin able to offer some stellar coffee from El Salvador.
And, some of you may remember me mentioning a couple weeks ago that we were going to be movie stars.... Well, it's happening tomorrow. The film crew is scheduled to arrive between 9 and 9:30 to begin shooting. I'm sure it will take them a little while to get set up but if you're able to stop by at some point mid to late morning, it would be great to have a nice "active" shop.
I'll let everyone know once the show is ready to "air". I'm anxious to see how it turns out. Seems like a great opportunity to help spread the word about St. Johns Coffee Roasters.
Most of you probably know by now I'm a motorcyclist. Several months ago, meteorologists were saying how we were going to have a warmer and dryer winter this year. I know we need the rain but COME ON! A friend sent me a cartoon the other day saying I was suffering from PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome). I digress...
Lot's of things happening this week. Our new logo travel mugs arrived yesterday and I'm so proud of the way they turned out! Not only do they look great but they're a great design, functionally. Insulated stainless steel and slim enough to fit smaller hands as well as vehicle cup holders.
Yesterday we were visited by a couple of film makers who produce documentaries focusing on small businesses and, they want to feature St. Johns Coffee Roasters in Season Two. Sometime before Christmas, they'll be in the shop filming for what will ultimately air sometime after the first of the new year. I guess I'll need to buy a beret and new sunglasses. :) Anyway, it's pretty exciting! I will let you know when the show airs.
The Travel Presses and Espro Presses are proving to be popular items as well. It's looking like I'm going to have to order more of both these items. We still have some in stock but they're selling well, as they should.
Amidst all of this, we've been busy roasting and roasting and roasting. Our shelves are stocked as well as those of the grocery stores who offer our coffees. Some of the coffees I've been drinking this week are the Honduran, the Ethiopian Sidamo and the new coffee from Java. So good!
Time for more jazz -
George Fendel Presents: Mike Palter and Lynne Jackson Concert
And on Sunday December 13th, we're going to hold a benefit here at the shop. My son, who is a ballet dancer, attends a performing arts high school called Arts & Communications Magnet Academy. The dancers from their dance department, Dance West, will be traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania next Spring to compete in the National High School Dance Competition and are raising funds to defray the expenses for this trip. So on Sunday December 13th, we will donate 15% of the days sales to go toward this effort.
The shop is beginning to look pretty festive. Bestow has a variety of holiday wreaths available, both in traditional styles as well as something more unique.
I think that's about it for this week. I hope everyone has a great weekend and keeps the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
When typing the subject line, I couldn't believe Thanksgiving is upon us. Seems like August was last week.
But alas, back to reality.
The Travel Presses and Espro Presses arrived this week and are beautiful! Both are elegantly designed, utilizing a micro-filter system to yield a sediment-free cup and double-wall stainless steel construction assuring hours of hot coffee.
To be quite honest, I've never been a huge fan of the French Press. I loved the taste of the first cup but subsequent cups were always cold and lackluster
(I prefer my coffee hot).
The Travel Presses and Espro Presses solve this issue with their double-wall, vacuum insulated stainless steel, and will keep one's coffee hot for hours. And the double micro-filter assures a grit-free cup of coffee. These were voted Best New Coffee Product for 2015 by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
Check them out when you're in the shop next time. They'd make the perfect gift, either for yourself or someone special. Travel Presses are available in black, red, and brushed stainless steel. Espro Presses are available in 18 oz. and 32 oz. sizes in brushed stainless steel.
Another variety of travel mug was ordered yesterday featuring our logo. They're also constructed of stainless steel and are sleek enough to fit anyone's hand and vehicle's cup holder. They should arrive in about 2 weeks.
And, we've added a few new art pieces to our offerings. Local photographer/artist Athena Salvador creates art pieces with her photographs that are both beautiful and functional. We have two of her pieces incorporating her photographs mounted on glass which can be used as cutting surfaces and displayed when not in use. We also have some of her market bags incorporating her images of the St. Johns Bridge.
New coffees arrived this week. It was our largest shipment ever and several of the coffees were "staples" to replenish our supplies but there are also some notable standouts.
We received more of the incredibly delicious Ethiopian Yirgacheffe as well as the Ethiopian Sidamo, neither of which we ever seem to have enough.
The Yirgacheffe is a washed coffee, light roasted and full of complexity. Offering a softly fragrant aroma, these coffee beans have a subtle floral scent and a satisfyingly intensified finish that would leave any coffee drinker's palate wanting more. I prefer this coffee brewed as a pour-over.
Processed through the wet-processing method, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe's beans are fermented for over 72 hours after having their fruit and pulp removed by the use of natural enzymes. This process allows the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe to absorb the sugars in the coffee fruit.
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee beans are known for having a warm zing, which makes this coffee bean distinctive enough to rank as one of the finest. However, what makes this African coffee bean stand out is its resonant finish – a highly-flavored mix that does not overpower with an earthy taste.
By contrast, the Sidamo is a dry-processed, medium roasted coffee which yields a fuller body and depths of blueberry notes, chocolate and spice with a wine like essence and a clean finish.
Grown in the Sidamo province of Ethiopia, our Ethiopia Sidamo is an Arabica bean varietal that has been certified Organic and Fair-Trade. Hand harvested and dry processed, this coffee has a very unique flavor profile that you will thoroughly enjoy. This is one coffee that I believe lends itself to the French Press brewing method.
And last but certainly not least is the new coffee from Java. Java Taman Dadar is sourced from family-owned farms located near the villages of Curah Tatal and Kayumas on the island of Java, Indonesia. In the 17th Century Java coffee was first cultivated in low lying areas, but by the late 19th Century coffee leaf rust had destroyed production, forcing new coffee cultivation into the highlands where high altitudes and volcanic soil provide perfect growing conditions. Smallholder organic coffee production is atypical of the region which is dominated by large government run coffee estates established by the Dutch in the 18th century. Taman Dadar, meaning flower garden, aptly describes the way smallholder coffee is cultivated, colorfully inter-cropped with parkia beans, avocados, erythrina, albizia, and leucaena trees, which produce food for local consumption and shade. Java Taman Dadar is wet-hulled, a uniquely Indonesian processing method in which the coffee parchment is removed before the final drying is completed, producing a hallmark Indonesian flavor.
The Java Taman Dadar is roasted a bit darker to bring out the chocolate and smokey notes and works well brewed either as a pour-over, drip or French Press. I purchased the Java to replace the Timor and, I hesitate to say this but I think it's even better! I just made a cup for myself and wow! The Java is more complex, still with a prominent chocolate note but with accompanied by some spiciness and subtle fruit notes.
As noted in the description of the Java Taman Dadar, is the mention of the leaf rust blight, going all the way back to the 19th Century. For coffee growers in Central America, it has risen it's ugly head within the past couple years and has wreaked havoc on coffee crops and the farmers' lives.
Please consider making a contribution to The Coffee Trust's program to help train coffee farmers in Guatemala in organic methods to combat this problem. There is a jar adjacent to the cash register in the shop where donations may be left. This program runs through the end of November so please contribute whatever you're comfortable donating.
From Bestow... whether you're hosting Thanksgiving or looking for a gift for a host, flowers are a wonderful part of Thanksgiving and will enhance any table setting.
Bestow is accepting pre-orders now for custom floral orders. Call 503.208.4395 to pre-order. Hand-tied and jar bouquets will be available for last-minute pickup Wednesday before 5 pm. Contact Nyki at Bestow, 503.208.4395 or www.bestowpdx.com.
Several weeks ago I mentioned we would be reverting to our original Saturday hours for the winter, opening at 8 am instead of 7 am. However, as a trial, we arrived and prepared to be open at 7 am, just in case there seemed to be a need/demand.
As it turns out, there are a lot of people needing coffee at 7 am on Saturdays so we will continue opening at 7 am on Saturdays. The only schedule change for this week is that we will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving. I'm sure everyone reading this probably made that assumption but, just to be clear.
One final note. I'm excited to be meeting with some folks today at a distillery to discuss a collaboration and the possibility of aging some coffee(s) in bourbon barrels. Who'd a thunk?
Meanwhile, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with family and friends.
Keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
Happy September everyone.
Cooler temperatures, rain, and an overall autumnal feel have descended upon us. It feels like this is going to be one of those seasons with no transition time at all, going straight from summer-type weather to autumn. All those add up to perfect coffee drinking weather.
For those of you in the Portland, Oregon area, I have a great route to share with you if you're interested in seeing some beautiful countryside. A friend and I took this route on our motorcycles the other evening and it was quite spectacular.
From Portland, take Hwy. 30 north to Scappoose. On the northern most end of Scappoose, turn left onto the Vernonia Hwy. Follow this for a number of miles (I can't remember exactly how far). You'll reach the intersection of Hwy. 47 which if you turn right, will take you to Mist. Turn right toward Mist.
Proceed through Mist and eventually you'll see signs which if you take the right will take you to Clatskanie or if you bear to the left, will take you to Astoria. Follow the road toward Astoria and go several more miles. You'll then reach another intersection (Hwy 103) which will take you to Elsie if you turn left.
Take that left toward Elsie and eventually, you'll reach Hwy. 26 for an easy return to Portland. The whole ride will probably take no more than a couple hours. I found the scenery to be absolutely beautiful and the light at this time of year is sensational.
This week, In addition to brewing inordinate quantities of coffee, we've been busy working on the final details of our upcoming grand opening/first-year anniversary celebration. I've discovered there's a reason I'm not an event planner.
We're hoping to pull off a very festive evening so please make plans to help us celebrate. Saturday, September 19th from 6-10 pm. There will be an assortment of food, beverages (adult and child), and live music. And all I will say is that there will be a minimal amount of coffee served. I'm hoping for great weather so we can spill out onto the sidewalks if necessary. Stay tuned for more details.
We'll be open all weekend as well as Monday (it is Labor Day after all.) So come see us, enjoy some hot or cold-brewed coffees and pastries and enjoy this amazing weather.
Many thanks as always and I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.
Mount & Crew