New Coffees Have Arrived

Posted on August 27, 2013 by Mount Burns | 0 Comments

Yesterday we received our new coffees from Mexico and Nicaragua.


The Mexican coffee is an organic from Quavicuzas, high up in the mountains near the border with Guatemala. It came with high recommendations and rave reviews so I'm anxious to get some roasted. Over the years, we've had a variety of Mexican coffees and have never been disappointed. With this one being from an area so close to Guatemala, I can't wait to see if it shares some of the same characteristics because the Guatemalans are consistently great.


The Nicaraguan coffee is the Rio Coco. Many of you may remember when we had this coffee about 3 years ago. It was SO DELICIOUS! We rapidly sold out of it so this time I bought, what I hope will be, a longer supply. It's from the northern border of Nicaragua, up around 5000 ft. above sea level.


I can't wait to get some of these roasted and plan on having them for this week's farmers markets.


If you'd like to special order some, they haven't been added to the shopping cart so just send an e-mail and we'll get you taken care of.

Posted in coffee, cold brew, real good coffee, roast

Homemade Cold Brew Coffee (french press method)

Posted on June 03, 2013 by St. Johns Coffee | 0 Comments

You probably know that feeling when you order an iced coffee from a local coffee shop- expecting a cold, refreshing coffee when instead all you get is day old coffee with added ice- which results in an extremely bitter and acidic flavor. That’s right. We know because we’ve been there too. We at St. Johns have decided to ditch the dreaded iced coffee method and master the art of cold brew--the perfect summer coffee drink. The cold brew method yields a coffee concentrate which can be even served hot, over ice, or blended with with ice and other ingredients such as chocolate. This method you can easily do at home, but the best tip we can give you is to plan a day ahead, because in order to master cold brew, patience is key.

What makes cold brew different that regular iced coffee?

Well first of all, cold brew coffee is made by steeping room temperature water over coarse coffee grounds for an extended period of time, rather than letting hot coffee sit until it gets cold, which ends up just tasting nasty, bitter and extremely acidic. In the case of coffee, more heat is not necessarily better, as it extracts the majority of the bitterness and astringency found in hot coffee. By using the cold brew method, the result is a glorious sweeter tasting and much less acidic cold coffee. Less bitterness means that the subtle flavors found in coffee are much more perceptible. (This happens due to the cold water leaching a different flavor profile from the beans than hot water would). In all honesty, cold brew produced a much more lush, flavorful, and incredibly smooth coffee.

We are now ready to pass on the steps to creating the best coffee you have ever tasted using cold brew. Try it once, and you’ll never go back to that regular iced coffee you get at your corner cafe.

4 1/2 ounces coarsely ground coffee (about 1 3/4 cups)
3 1/2 cups room-temperature water

STEP 1: Choose a roast. We prefer to use a medium roast for our cold brews. Our favorites include the St. Johns Guatemala Finca Bourbon, Brazil Nossa Senhora de Fatima, and of course the Misty Mountain Hop Espresso.

STEP 2: Grind. We used a coarse grind for our cold brews. You can experiment with finer grinds as well, and find what suits your palate best.

STEP 3: Pour it. Use filtered room-temperature water and pour it over the ground coffee in a french press. Stir only the solid raft that forms at the top of the press into the coffee, but avoid any other stirring or agitation. Don’t press the plunger down either.

STEP 4: Cover it. Cover the french press with plastic wrap, and let the coffee sit for 24 hours at room temperature. After 24 hours, remove the plastic wrap and press the grinds with the plunger to remove the concentrate.

STEP 5: Filter: Pour the coffee through a fine-mesh coffee strainer over a cup or small bowl.

You are now done! This has made a coffee concentrate which you can dilute with equal parts water or milk, serving over ice and/or blending with ice and chocolate (SO GOOD). If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding a pinch of salt to the diluted coffee. Just trust us on this- your coffee will be so smooth you won’t even be needing any sugar.

Posted in coffee, cold brew, real good coffee

Dark and Light Roasts- the real difference

Posted on April 23, 2013 by St. Johns Coffee | 0 Comments

I’ve always been a firm believer that brewing a large dark roast cup of coffee would wake me up best in the morning. I was one of those “If it’s not dark then it’s not coffee” types of people. However, what I failed to realize was the truth behind different roasts of coffee, and how you might change your mind about the type of roast you will have tomorrow morning.

Roast degree is the number one misunderstood concept when it comes to coffee. There is so much more transformation that goes on between the light and dark roasting process, and this is where the art of the roaster comes into play.

So what is a light roast?

In a light roast coffee, the difference between origins such as our Guatemala Finca Bourbon and Ethiopian Sidamo is most distinct. At this point in the roasting process, the bean has the highest acidity and brightness of flavor, as well as the most caffeine- contrary to popular belief!

As you approach the medium roast, the bean begins to transform into a less acidic and richer body version of itself. Here you will see a decrease in origin distinction and notes in the distinct natural notes of the bean. A medium roast will usually offer a nice combination of acidity and fullness of flavor. This is especially true of our Bolivian Peaberry coffee.

When the bean continues on to the dark side of the roasting process, it starts losing most of its origin distinction. The darker roast will be the least acidic, relying mostly on the roasting process than on the beans themselves. It will have the fullest amount of body at this point, and will have the least caffeine.

Your roaster at St. Johns Coffee is talented enough to be able to achieve a full-bodied flavor from a bean without roasting it too dark. This is why most of our most popular coffees are medium roasts, such as Brazil Nossa Fatima and the Mexican Altura roast. We believe in preserving the natural flavor notes of the beans while maintaining a full flavor and body of the coffee. It also helps to know that the darker the bean does not mean the more buzzed you will be- as the caffeine levels drop as a roast gets darker. *surprise surprise!*

We love serving origin-specific coffees such as the Sumatra Mandheling, made from the beans from a single farm, because in this way the coffee maintains its pure wonderful flavor. The roast then highlights the qualities of the coffee, such as bringing out floral or chocolate notes. Lighter roasts may require some adventurous coffee drinking and skilled roasting but they are definitely worth it.

(•) photo by kuda

Posted in coffee, real good coffee, roast

Why drink Better Coffee?

Posted on April 11, 2013 by St. Johns Coffee | 0 Comments

Cup of cappuccino. Photo by KuDa Photography

It doesn't take much to meet a total coffee nerd in Portland. You might even be one too. If your home brewing equipment rivals that of the local cafe and you choose St. Johns Coffee over any other brand, you probably already are a coffee genius.

Or maybe you’re on the opposite side and really don't have a clue about coffee and a cup of joe is a cup of joe. You're one of those people who don’t make a fuss about what your coffee tastes like, as long as it gets you to work in the morning.

Newb or connoisseur, this week’s post is just for you. Here we will demystify current coffee pop culture and expose the real truth to great coffee and provide you with the knowledge to create the perfect cup, all the time everywhere.

Is there really any difference between gas station sludge and our coffee blends? Here we will tell you why there is, and why you should care.

First of all, let’s tackle the age-old question: What is coffee?

Ask most people, and most have no idea what coffee is other than a bitter-tasting dark bean that magically turns into a beverage when put through a machine. You might already know this from experience, but coffee is by far the most popular drink on earth besides water. In many cultures, coffee plays a main role in everyday rituals. It second biggest commodity in the world besides oil.

So we get it, people love coffee, but there still exists many misconceptions about what makes for a good cup.

So do we really know what coffee is?

Coffee is a seed from the ripened fruit of a shrub tree native to Africa. Before the roasting process, the seeds look like little red berries. The two species which are of most commercial interest are Coffea Arabica (arabica) and Coffea canephora (robusta). Within arabica there are many subtypes with various flavor characteristics.

People in the “specialty coffee” trade such as us at St. Johns Coffee Roasters are concerned about the seed to cup chain, which is the extremely intense process gone through to ensure that your coffee takes like paradise, not poo. We select the cultivar, ensure that the land on which our purchased beans for the coffees is good quality, the climate, the care required in harvesting the beans, the meticulous processing process, the travel of export, and the competency of the roaster, which in our case is in the magical hands of the owner, Mount Burns.

So no wonder there’s been a great revolution in coffee over that past few years as new microroasters appear and baristas have become more serious about what it takes to make a great cup of coffee. There’s an art to all of it, and many people are continuously searching for the next best coffee or coffee equipment.

But for all the noise and hype surrounding coffee these days, most people are still ending up with mediocre and tasteless brews. For most people, coffee still remains something mysterious and intimidating, and we believe that there needs to be changes regarding that. There’s nothing wrong about wanting to drink good coffee, just as much as there’s nothing wrong with someone wanting clean clothes.

So why drink good coffee?

Good coffee goes BEYOND the corporation and commodity system. Most coffee companies like Starbucks and Folgers trade coffee with little regard for environmental damages and no concern for the farmers who produce it. The growing specialty coffee market has changed this game, and businesses like St. Johns Coffee Roasters play a role in creating new ways of economic sustainability regarding the coffee trade. Good coffee is good for everyone- from farmer to consumer.

So why else should you choose good coffee?

A quite obvious reason is that making a delicious cup of coffee is easy when you have good coffee to make it with. The serious baristas at the coffee shops sporting the latest trends in coffee gear may be intimidating, but behind all that expensive technology there is the simple truth that once you learn the basics, a good brew is isn't any more difficult to prepare than a box of pancake mix. (And it’s quite a bit faster).

The one and ONLY case against good coffee is that once you make yourself a cup, it’s impossible to go back to that 7-Eleven sludge which tastes like dirty water..

So let’s all raise our mugs for the good stuff- we at St. Johns make sure you only drink the best coffee available on the market. Real Good Coffee is what we believe in, from farm to roastery we know we do good throughout the entire coffee chain until the moment when the goodness pours into your mug in the morning.

(•) photo by kuda

Posted in coffee, real good coffee

Welcome you to our new blog!

Posted on April 06, 2013 by St. Johns Coffee | 0 Comments

Time is always now for a cup of St. Johns Coffee, enjoy it!

On behalf of St. Johns Coffee, we would like to welcome you to our new blog!

Here you will find updates on our business, monthly specials, upcoming events, and fun posts on great new ways to brew and enjoy our great coffee.

It is a beautiful spring here in Portland, OR, and we are very enthusiastic about our new storefront and the upcoming farmers market season, on which you will find future posts here on this very site. We will also be introducing new  coffees, merchandise and will be sharing dessert recipes using our coffees that will rock your world (literally).

So stay connected with us and we'll keep you wired (pun intended) on all St. Johns Coffee, all the time!

(•) photo by kuda

Posted in coffee

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