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
I guess it's just a natural progression but despite the fact we only opened the tasting room a little over a year ago, I felt the need to change things up a little bit. Nothing major but I'm in hopes the addition of some new shelving will do a better job of displaying our products.
What a crazy week it's been and what a perfect time for my motorcycle to have been in the shop. I digress...
We've added another beverage to our menu this week. The peppermint mocha! As with the rest of our beverages, the peppermint mocha is a perfect balance of mint and chocolate. Not overwhelming and not too sweet. The kids have also been enjoying the "non-espresso" version of this drink as well. Or, if you're really up for an adventure, let 'em have the espresso! :)
'Tis the season for indoor bulbs. Bestow has narcissus bulbs and boy do they smell great! Another seasonal fragrance is all the many varieties of evergreens being put into wreaths and centerpieces.
Swing by for a wreath to adorn your front door and remember to order your holiday centerpieces. Orders placed by December 14th will receive a 15% discount. Call Nyki at 503.208.4395.
The travel mugs have been a huge hit! The vacuum insulated stainless steel interior keeps drinks hot or cold for hours and remains condensation-free and the threaded snap shut lid prevents unwanted spills. They're slim enough to fit vehicle cup holders as well as those with smaller hands.
The ceramic logo mugs have been on order for what seems like an eternity. I still hope to have them back in stock before Christmas but it's going to be close.
People are already talking about Holiday parties and such. If your office is hosting a party and would like to provide brewed coffee, just let us know. In addition to the coffee, we'll provide all the accoutrements so everyone will get to enjoy their coffee the way they like it. Just give us a call at 503.445.2249 to reserve yours.
And if you would like to send fresh-roasted organic and fair trade coffees to friends and family, now is the time to submit your orders. Orders can be placed either through the web site or just call or e-mail. And of course, if you have any questions or need suggestions, we're here to help.
If you want something really festive to include with your coffee gifts, don't forget about the beautiful Mexican pottery from Delores Hidalgo. Always festive and we'll have more next week.
And last but not least, I was finally able to figure out a way to add a donation function to the shopping cart for those would like to support The Coffee Trust's effort in dealing with the La Roya blight in Central America.
I think that's it for this week.
Many thanks for your continued support and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
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 Friday Everyone. As great as this weather is for coffee consumption, I'm not sure I'm ready for the cold and wet but I guess I don't have much say in the matter. I'm sure I'll adapt. However, with the time change and the reality of darkness beginning at 4 pm. Eeek!
For those of you who live in and around St. Johns, I'm sure you've seen the progress being made on the new apartment building going in across the street from our shop and, I just received a note yesterday regarding the demolition of the Huk Lab/Hooka Lounge buildings set to begin this next Monday, signaling the beginning of the large development going in on the corner of Lombard and Richmond. Lots of changes and growth happening.
New small and medium size hoodies arrived yesterday. We sold out of previous stock really quickly so get yours while the gettins' good. This is the perfect weather for a warm and cozy hoodie.
Last week I mentioned looking into the possibility of bringing in some travel mugs. Well, I just placed an order for some as well as some amazing new French presses this past Wednesday.
The travel mugs are called Travel Presses and are vacuum insulated stainless steel with a dual micro-filter for grit- free, press coffee, voted best new coffee product of 2015. Not only can one create a French press coffee to-go but it will stay hot for hours. They'll be available in three colors - red, black and brushed stainless.
The French presses are the same vacuum insulated stainless steel construction with the same dual micro-filter, available in 18 oz. and 32 oz. sizes. Perfect for making French press coffee for dinner guests.
Because both the Travel Presses and French presses are vacuum insulated stainless steel, in addition to their elegant design and keeping one's coffee hot for hours, they're unbreakable and will also work for brewing tea.
The Straw Propeller oatmeals we began offering this past week have been a huge hit. They're a refreshing change to the over-sweetened options typically available. Not only that but the portions are hardy, enough to keep one going until lunch or beyond!
As the holidays draw nearer, coffee makes great gifts, whether it's for friends and family or as corporate gifts. If you have a business and would like to gift special customers/employees with some REAL.GOOD.COFFEE., talk to us about creating custom labels that will make your gift even more distinctive.
We also offer gift certificates and can put together various coffees to create nice gift packs. We'll even take care of shipping. Just let us know when you'd like the recipient to receive their coffee and we'll handle the details. Call or e-mail for more information.
A huge thanks to all who have contributed to The Coffee Trust program we've been participating in for the past month. Your contributions will help the coffee farmers of Guatemala learn new organic methods of eradicating the devastating La Roya coffee blight. The program winds up at the end of November so next time you're in the shop, look for the donation jar and donate whatever you're comfortable with. Every little bit helps.
Also, a plug for Bestow, the flower shop located within St. Johns Coffee Roasters. Nyki just returned from the flower market with some absolutely gorgeous fresh flowers. So even though the weather is getting chilly, the flowers will warm the ambiance and take that edge off. And don't forget the upcoming workshop on creating one's own terrarium!
I think that's it for this week. I hope you have a fabulous weekend, filled with lots of coffee.
Mount and Crew
Well, this certainly feels like the perfect Halloween weather. Blustery, with rain and lots of leaves on the ground. We have the perfect beverage solutions to ward off this cool, wet weather.
Saturday, we'll be doing a repeat of last year for the local kiddos. From 1-3 tomorrow we'll be serving up complimentary hot chocolates for the trick-or-treaters of St. Johns. St. Johns Main Street has organized a "Trick-or-Treating" extravaganza where various St. Johns businesses will be handing out a variety of treats to young children in a safe and friendly atmosphere. It turned out to be a very popular event last year so I would suggest arriving early.
Last week I mentioned the Coffee Fest event which took place here in Portland this year. I was finally able to get down there on Sunday and saw a lot of great things, several of which we'll be offering in the coming weeks.
The first item we'll be adding is pre-packaged oatmeal from Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods located in Redmond, Oregon. I've wanted to offer some other food options for a long time and I believe these will be a great addition.
Their oatmeals and mueslis are gluten free with no additives or preservatives and are absolutely delicious. (I consider myself to be somewhat of an oatmeal aficionado since I've made and eaten it every morning for the past 100 years.)
I've tasted other pre-packaged oatmeals and like a lot of things, are typically overly sweetened and just leave a bad taste in one's mouth. Not the case with Straw Propeller's oatmeals and mueslis. We should have them in the shop beginning Tuesday or Wednesday of next week so look for them.
Another change we'll be making beginning this next week is we're going to be changing our checkout system. I realize this probably seems irrelevant to most people but what I hope to accomplish is streamline the check-out process so wait times are minimized. For those of you who participate in our "frequent flier" program, don't worry, we'll still be able to retrieve previous rewards.
A lot of you have requested we offer travel mugs so I'm in the process of selecting some that we'll be able to offer. I'll keep you posted once the details have been worked out.
Already in stock are a new selection of t-shirts in both women's and men's styles as well as the very popular hoodies.
Many who have been in the shop have marveled at the terrariums available from Bestow. Now you can learn to create your own. On November 12th from 6-8pm, Nyki will offer a workshop on creating one's own tropical Terrariums. Call Bestow for more information. 503.208.4395.
Painter Jeanne Levasseur, whose paintings have been on display in the shop for the past couple months came in the other day and swapped out everything with new work so I would encourage everyone to come in and check it out. As with her other work, it's stunning.
Just a few more weeks remain for The Coffee Trust, La Roya Recover project so please come in to learn about this devastating blight and help support the coffee farmers of Guatemala so they can gain valuable skills in organic solutions to mitigate this disease.
That's about it for this week. Please stay tuned for updated information on new products and coffees. Meanwhile, take care and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
I'm back after an amazing trip into Northern California last week. There were a lot of firsts for me, two of which included camping and seeing a part of California I'd not seen before.
I highly recommend a road trip to the Yreka, CA area, heading north up the canyon to Hwy. 96 which follows the Klamath River. The Klamath River was stunningly beautiful and the Trinity Mountains were breathtaking!
But it's back to work and a busy week it has been. We were visited yesterday by Marina Oriel
and Bill Fishbein from The Coffee Trust. Marina has been my contact for setting up the fundraising program in which we're involved, helping raise funds for the coffee farmers of Guatemala in dealing with the LaRoya blight.
Bill is the founder and Executive Director of The Coffee Trust and is in Portland to participate in this weekend's CoffeeFest event, being held at the Oregon Convention Center. One of the things we discussed was scheduling a time when he can return, probably after the first of the year, visit our shop and share the story with our customers, in much greater detail, of what's going on with the coffee crops of Guatemala. Stay tuned.
This week also marked the opening of the Woodstock location of New Seasons Market. As with all their other stores, our coffee is available there as well. Stop by and check it out. It sounds like an amazing multi-level layout. It's located at 4500 SE Woodstock Blvd., Portland - 97206.
As mentioned a couple weeks ago, the Pumpkin Spiced Lattes have returned with a vengeance. Nothing scary about these. We make the blend right here and as with everything else we offer, it's not syrupy sweet with processed sugars and artificial flavorings. It's just simply delicious.
This weekend marks the end of the season for the St. Johns Farmers Market. And it's looking like the weather is going to be perfect for a farmers market. I hope you'll come out and take advantage of end of the season offerings and stop by our shop while you're in the area.
Beginning next Saturday, October 31st, we are going to return to our "winter" hours. The only thing that will change will be Saturday's opening time, moving back to 8 am. And, just because I'm usually the last one to realize it, the next day, Sunday November 1st is when we go off Daylight Savings Time. I guess the good news is everyone will get an extra hour of sleep.
So enjoy this last weekend of the St. Johns Farmers Market and the sunshine!
Mount & Crew