Toarco, Peaberry, Sulawesi, Indonesia (roasted by Stumptown)

Toarco, Peaberry, Sulawesi, Indonesia (roasted by Stumptown)

Boasting clean flavors of spice, honey sweetness, cinnamon and plum acidity.

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Happy Birthday Heart Coffee Roasters

I was able to spend a bunch of time at Heart today, one of my favorite roasters in town. The owner Wille, pronounced Ville, is a really cool dude and i was able to glean some great tips and pointers from him in this industry. I was also able to grab lots of free coffee (precisely 4 cups: 2 cups of coffee, an espresso and a Capp. That’s why I’m still up at 1 and can’t sleep!) I enjoyed all the coffee cause its amazing and lighty roasted. Congrats Heart!

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Stumptown Coffee Rumors Answered!

I had heard a couple rumors about Stumptown Coffee recently that I needed answered. And to do that, I went to none other than Stumptown on 12th Ave in Seattle. I walked through the cafe and down the stairs into the roastery and training facility and ran into one of the trainers and asked her these questions.
1. I heard that stumptown was actually started in Seattle and not Portland, is this true?
-She simply answered, no. Stumptown began in the Division Street location in Portland.
2. Has the company been sold?
-the answer she gave me was, Yes. An investing company called TSG invested money into the company just because the expansion that has so obviously happened in the last couple years demanded more money. Now, this does not mean that TSG want to change anything about the company and alter things. Duane Sorenson, the owner of Stumptown even told the media clearly “I still own Stumptown.”
3. Can quality continue to be maintained with this expansion? (Less of a rumor than a personal curiosity.)
-She very confidently explained quality is number one with this company and it starts with the green coffee and continues with an emphasis in barista training.
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Stumptown leads the industry in Direct Trade green coffee sourcing and it will continue to happen no matter how many cafes they erect. She continued, “what I do Is crucial:training baristas and everyday coffee drinkers to handle coffee with care and know-how.” It’s starts with amazing green coffee and ends with handling it well.

Roasting: extremely complicated or not?

Ask anyone in the coffee industry and they will usually say that roasting is an intricate, difficult, and complicated process that takes years and years to learn. I assumed the same thing until talking to Collin, a barista and manager at Coffee House North West (Sterling Coffee Roasters) in NW Portland. He said, after hesitating to answer “I’m not gonna say it’s not intricate, cause in one way it is, but I will say this coffee roasting is simply: turning green coffee to brown coffee… reducing the moisture in the coffee, and caramelizing the sugars.” He said “I’ll put it this way, if I put you in front of a roaster, you could be roasting great coffee in 30 minutes.” Often times barista’s and roaster’s try to make roasting this artsy abstract process and claim they are the ones making a coffee delicious, when really, roasting is simply drawing out flavors in coffee that are pleasant, and reducing the ones that aren’t.
Sometimes people will say things like “I was able to draw out the citrus in this coffee,” when really, that coffee was already intrinsically citrusy and he was just simply drawing out that innate flavor profile. It’s as simple as taking a certain coffee and drawing out intrinsic qualities to produce an amazing product. Let’s skip the hoopla.

Seattle Coffee Tour: a Success

This weekend was packed full of coffee and fun. I’m rather surprised that there is not not as many innovative, young coffee shops as here in Seattle as there are in Portland. The few I was able to check out really blew me away and were amazing. There is however no getting around the fact that the origin of specialty coffee started in this city and that’s something to be respected and admired. Here’s a final overview of all the wonderful coffee I was able to find. Thanks Seattle! Until next time…

(Out of 10)

Milstead & Co.-9

Victrola-8

Cafe De Arte-4

Stumptown 12th Ave-9

Vivace-6

Metronome (Tacoma, Wa) -8