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
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
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
We've been hearing from a lot of customers lately how much they appreciate the fact that we offer decaf cold-brew coffee. Apparently, we're one of the few places in Portland that offer it. It seems like a no-brainer to me since it makes such a delicious afternoon beverage when one doesn't necessarily want the caffeine component.
We'll have plenty of it ready for the weekend when it appears the temperatures will be climbing once again. Like many, I have really been enjoying the cooler temps we've been having this week but hey, it's summer so I guess we shouldn't complain.
I received an e-mail from my supplier of Mexican pottery this week indicating my order has been completed and was being prepared to ship so look for a new assortment of espresso cups, cappuccino cups and platters in the near future. I would guess it will probably arrive around the first of August.
And keep your fingers crossed... the mugs with our logo which had to be remade are scheduled to arrive this coming week. If the quality is what is expected, they'll be available for purchase next weekend.
Don't forget to mark your calendars for next Friday evening's artist reception. Jeanne Levasseur's beautiful oil paintings have been on display at the shop for the past couple weeks but next Friday, you'll have the opportunity to meet Jeanne and talk with her about her inspirations and paintings. Snacks and beverages will be provided and kids are always welcome.
Some of you may also have noticed that our outdoor furniture is, transitioning. :) We discovered a problem with our original set of furniture and are replacing them with something which we believe will work better. However, we're working on the combination of sizes so we still have plenty of sidewalk clearance. So thank you in advance for your patience while we get this resolved.
And finally, we've received requests in the past for a multi-grain option for bagels. We've just begun bringing in some multi-grain, Everything bagels to meet this demand and, they are very very good. Give them a try next time you're in.
Meanwhile, I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. Stop by for one of the largest selections of coffee available anywhere. Whether it's espresso, drip, pour-over, cold-brew coffee, hot or iced teas. Accompanied by great original boiled bagles, French pastries, salads, wraps or sandwiches. Can you tell I'm hungry? :)
Many thanks for your on-going support.
Mount & Crew
Only a week ago, an engineer from the Portland Department of Transportation visited our shop to assess the location of our proposed bike racks. When asked how long a process it would be once the location was approved, he replied with, "between 6-8 weeks but, there was an off chance it could happen more quickly."
More quickly it was. They were installed this past Wednesday!
For those of you who have visited the shop this past week, you may have noticed the new refrigerator stocked with Molly's Grown to Eat products. People are LOVING the items. Everything from delicious salads, breakfast sandwiches with bacon (a personal favorite), wraps to more traditional sandwiches. It's nice because one can come in the shop in the morning, get a coffee, bagel or French pastry and then pick up a lunch item to take to the office with them.
We're busy preparing for this weekend's heatwave by brewing inordinate quantities of cold-brewed coffee and teas. Personally, I've never stopped enjoying hot coffee during hot spells. I operate with the notion that drinking hot coffee keeps the inside of my body warmer making the outside feel cooler. (?) I came up with that philosophy when I lived in the South. :)
Within the next couple weeks, we should be receiving a new order of the Mexican pottery we've become known for. We'll have a large selection of espresso cups, cappuccino cups as well as serving trays. We still have a limited inventory of these items but will be adding to that. Each time we receive an order, there are different colors and patterns that continually amaze.
This past Wednesday I had the pleasure of being interviewed for an upcoming series of articles called, Defining Extraordinary, a project created by Sentiero Photography. Andrea and Angelina asked all sorts of questions and took numerous photos in and around the shop. I'm excited to read the final article and see what they come up with. It should be completed within the next couple weeks so I will share it once it has been posted. Check out their site here - https://sentierophotography.wordpress.com/about/about/.
Starting next week, we'll have some new art hanging in the shop. Customer and friend Jeanne Levasseur will be hanging her beautiful paintings. Check out her work here - http://www.theskylinestudio.com/ Friday night, July 24th, we'll be hosting a reception for Jeanne so everyone can meet her and talk to her about her work. More details will follow but please make plans to attend. And yes, there will be wine. :)
For some reason, numerous things around the shop have been breaking this week. Cups, plates, espresso grinder, et al. I don't know if it's the moon or something else but it gives me a new appreciation for times when things work flawlessly.
That said, a deep cleaning was done on the roaster this past Tuesday so lots and lots of coffee was roasted on Wednesday and Thursday. Hopefully it will be enough to get us through the weekend. I really don't want to have to fire up the roaster when it's 102 degrees tomorrow. :)
That's about it for this week. Please keep the coffee flowing and many many thanks for your continued support! We LOVE our work!
Mount & Crew
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. It looks like it's going to be a stellar weekend so I hope you get to spend some time with your families, enjoying this beautiful weather. And we have a great selection of not only organic and fair trade coffees but cold-press Toddy Brewers, Aeropress Brewers, t-shirts, Baratza grinders, pour over cones and filters, etc. to help make his day extra special. Something else you might want to consider is making a dry-rub mixture with some of our coffee. It's an excellent compliment to whatever meat item might be going on the grille this weekend.
A big disappointment this week with the arrival of our logo cups. They were a far cry different than what had been expected and promised. I just received a call that the cups will be re-made and replacements should be here late next week. We will keep our fingers, and toes, crossed.
On a positive note, beginning next Tuesday, 6.23.15, we will be expanding our food menu to include some delectable items created by Molly's Grown to Eat.
Molly's buys from the best purveyors in town. All Molly Grown to Eat foods are made with locally sourced, fresh organic ingredients and are pre-packaged, making them easy to take with you. Local vegges, the best meats and eggs and the best bakers providing amazingly delicious, healthy food.
Breakfast sandwiches will include:
A field roast breakfast burrito with chipotle field roast, cage free eggs, organic yellow onion, organic russett potatoes, tomato chutney, black beans and chiles in a white tortilla.
A Start-up breakfast sandwich with applewood smoked bacon, cage-free eggs, tomato, organic caramelized onions, spinach and sharp cheddar cheese on a multi-grain english muffin.
And the Treehugger breakfast sandwich with nutmeg spiced cage-free egg, caramelized onions, wild arugula, aged whited cheddar on Fleur de Lis bread.
Three different salads will be available:
The Grecian with organic orzo tossed in a homemade red wine vinaigrette, kalamata olives, organic red bell peppers, organic spinach, organic red onion and feta.
The Olympic salad with an organic spring mix, organic fuji apples, walnuts, dried cranberries, gorgonzola cheese, lemon wedge and balsamic vinaigarette.
The Mountain Goat with organic quinoa on a bed of organic spinach, topped with goat cheese, green onion, almonds and completed with a mustard thyme vinaigrette.
Sandwiches will include:
The Freebird Turkey sandwich with turkey, peasant levain bread, sun dried tomato spread, spinach and pepper jack cheese.
The Shindig Sammy featuring a pesto spread, roasted red bell peppers, roasted chicken, and organic spring mix on a Pearl Bakery levain.
Mollly's Hero with smoked ham, spicy Italian salami, organic roma tomatao, organic green leaf lettuce with a dijonaise spread on Fleur de Lis multi-grain bread.
And I just had to add another because it sounded so good. The Sage Turkey Toasty with hickory smoked turkey, provolone, caramelized onions with sage and dijon aioli on a Pearl Bakery levain.
Wraps -Last but not least is an item I typically would have avoided, being the certified carnivore I am. But I tasted it and found it to be amazing. It's the Yam & Kale Wrap. This features roasted yams, kale marinated in balsamic vinaigrette, black beans and feta in a white tortilla.
This will be accompanied by the El Compadre wrap which includes chipotle field roast, roasted corn, black beans, cliantro, bell peppers, chipotle aioli, and cotija cheese in a whole wheat tortilla wrap.
Pair any of these items with some of our REAL.GOOD.COFFEE and I'm certain it will put a smile on your face.
We take a lot of pride in the housemade items we offer. Everything from the various bagel spreads to the specialty beverage items. The following review was just posted on Yelp so thought I'd share.
"Peder's "Orange Caramel Late" is the best kept secret in all of Portland!!! Home made caramel scooped into the milk before it is steamed. It's unlike anything you've ever experienced in your life!!! Subtlety sweet and creamy but not too much."
Josh H. - Portland, OR
Many who have visited our shop have more than likely seen the books we sell called "PDXccentric". They're full of various oddities and trivia specific to Portland. Well, next Thursday evening, there's an opportunity to participate in what will no doubt make it into the next printing of PDXcenntric.
It's the World's Largest Louie, Louie Sing-a-long, taking place at Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97204, Thursday June 25th at 5:30 pm. They're going for an entry into the Guiness World Record Book and to really seal the deal, the band who made that song so famous, The Kingsmen ,will be there to perform it! So come lend your lungs and energy and make this event a record-breaker.
We decided this week that we think it's finally time to have a grand-opening celebration. We haven't yet settled on a specific date but will keep you posted. Now that I've said something about it, that means I now have to follow through and make it happen. So stay tuned. As soon as a date/time has been decided upon, we will let you know.
We're ready for the upcoming weekend with cold-brewed coffees, teas and will have plenty of freshly roasted organic and fair trade coffees available so please come see us. It's looking like it's going to be a stellar weekend!
Meanwhile, many thanks for your continued support and keep the coffee flowing!