Customers often seem bewildered when we start describing coffees as having, "notes of macadamia nut, cinnamon, blueberry, anise, etc." I've contended for a long time that a lot of developing those olfactory senses is simply to slow down and take the time to savor what you're tasting and/or experiencing. This principal does apply to many more things than just coffee!
There are those who just seem to posses a much more sensitive palate than others. I don't consider myself to be blessed with that quality. However, a large part of developing those senses is a "learned" trait which benefits from just slowing down.
Prior to getting into the coffee business, my choice of coffee was primarily based on, "this tastes great or this one doesn't." But that was the extent of my criteria. I never took time to analyze the characteristics that defined either classification.
As we rapidly approach our 8th year anniversary, I feel I'm finally getting a much better grasp on identifying those various profiles which define the taste of the coffees.
Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting people turn their morning coffee brewing into a science experiment. I would just encourage you, when you take that next sip of coffee, truly sip it so the coffee hits as many taste buds as it can and ask yourself what is it you're tasting.
If you would like to practice, please join us tomorrow (Saturday) at 2 pm in our tasting room as we sample three of our newer coffees. The El Salvador El Pilon, the Costa Rica La Amistad and the Rwanda FTO Coopac.
A friend/customer just shared a great article related to this topic. If you care to read more, just click on the following link. It's a quick read but very informative.
A huge congratulations this week to our customer, GiGi's Cafe! They were just included as one of the top 15 breakfast locations in Portland!!! I'd like to think it's because of our coffee but, I'm sure it's more than just that. :) Congratulations Mike and Charlene!
And finally, we would like to welcome Chuck's Produce & Street Market to our list of grocers in the Vancouver, WA region. Beginning Wednesday, February 24th, our coffees will be available at their Mill Plain store. Greg and I just visited them yesterday and it's a beautiful store.
That's it for this week. Many many thanks for your continued support and keep the coffee flowing!
Mount & Crew
The good news is there won't be a newsletter next week. The bad news is, I'm going to complicate things just a bit. Or, I guess you could look at it the other way around. In any regard...
I'm taking a few days off and heading south on my motorcycle for one last hurrah while the weather permits. Rather than try and create this newsletter on the road using my phone, which I did on my last road trip and which was no fun at all, I've decided to combine two ordering deadlines for home delivery customers. My apologies in advance for any confusion.
When submitting your orders, please specify if you want your coffee delivered onOctober 14th or 21st, or both.
This past week has been very busy. We received our biggest coffee shipment ever which was pretty exciting. When you're in the shop, take a look into the shop and you'll see the stacks and stacks of burlap bags, full of coffees from all over the world. So many coffees, so few days. :)
The other big news is that today we received our medal from the Golden Bean Awards which I mentioned last week. I guess that makes it official! It's great to know our coffee stands up so well against over 100 other roasters'.
The other big news is, they're baaaaccckkkk! That's right, the pumpkin spiced lattes are back on the menu so stop by and pick one up.
Another addition to the menu is a cardamom latte. This will be a first for us but we played around with them yesterday and came up with something that is absolutely delicious! Subtle and very well balanced.
As I mentioned in last week's newsletter, we're working with The Coffee Trust to help raise funds for coffee farmers in Guatemala who have been so hard hit by the La Roya blight.
The coffees from Guatemala have always been some of the most popular we've offered. They have consistently provided great cups of coffee with notes of chocolate, nuts and various fruit.
And from a roaster's perspective, they've proven to be some of the most consistent coffees available which speaks to the quality of the plants as well as the cultivation, culling and milling process which occur at the farms or coops at origin. It will be nice to help support this continued effort.
Beginning Saturday, there will be a jar on our counter labeled, "Tip Your Farmer". Please consider contributing to this great cause. All proceeds go directly to help train over 500 Guatemalan farmers on organic solutions to deal with coffee rust.
And just when you thought you'd heard everything...
I've heard of using coffee grounds in compost, to border one's yard to keep neighborhood cats out, as enemas and now, a friend sent me a link to an article in GizMag, describing the process of turning used coffee grounds into biofuel. http://www.gizmag.com/used-coffee-grounds-biofuels/39731/
It actually sounds pretty promising and what an innovative use for coffee. It will be interesting to see where it goes.
Only three more weekends of the St. Johns Farmers Market so be sure to take advantage of all the locally grown/created products while they're still available.
That's it for now. Stay cozy and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
I hope everyone is enjoying this Autumnal weather. It's the perfect time of year for getting out, going for a hike or bike ride, enjoying the cooler temps with the Autumn colors and of course, enjoying some amazing coffee.
Remember, that if you live in the 97203, 97211 or 97217 zip codes, we offer free home delivery of fresh roasted organic and fair trade coffees. Just make sure we have your order by Monday mornings at 9 am and we'll have coffee at your door very early on Wednesday mornings.
Several weeks ago, I shared a route I'd taken on my motorcycle which I felt was the perfect Autumn day-trip. This past Sunday, I rode over into Washington with a couple friends. We rode up the Klickitat Canyon and on up to Goldendale before heading back to Hwy. 14.
It was a beautiful day with some amazing scenery, a very different landscape from my previously shared route. We saw a lot of people fly fishing in the Klickitat River and saw some wild turkeys. We also witnessed the results of the recent fires. Wow! Thousands and thousands of charred acres coming up all the way to the highways.
Starting next week, we'll be bringing back an old favorite for this time of year. (insert drum roll here), The Pumpkin Spiced Latte! Ingredients have been ordered so as soon as they arrive, we'll be serving them up. Stay tuned.
The new hoodies have proven to be a big hit with folks who are looking for something warm and cozy to fend off these cool morning temps. More t-shirts are also on order and should be here by the middle of October in both men's and women's styles, sporting our new "stylized" logo. And... I've also ordered more of the Mexican pottery.
I've decided to expand our Mexican pottery selection a bit by bringing in more serving platters as well as cream and sugar containers. Hopefully these will all arrive in plenty of time for the holidays.
Recently I had the opportunity to submit some of our coffees into a competition which I'd previously never done. I chose to enter the Pamplona Blend in the organic espresso category. The competition included submissions from over 100 roasters from all over North America. The long and short of it is, the judges loved the Pamplona and we won, for whatever that's worth.
Many of you are familiar with the Pamplona Blend. It's the medium roast espresso blend we serve here in the shop but is also delicious as a pour-over or brewed conventionally. If you haven't had the pleasure of trying it, I would encourage you to do so. It really is delicious. But then, I say that about all our coffees. :)
A couple weeks ago, a customer from Nepal came in the shop and was having coffee. He proceeded to tell me his family is in the process of rebuilding their coffee farm in Nepal and brought a sample of their coffee for me to roast.
I just roasted it on Wednesday and it is very very good. Really well balanced, smooth acidity, nice notes of chocolate and fruit. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to purchase some and be able to offer it.
Look for our special program starting mid-October. We're partnering with Coffee Trust to help support farmers and workers in Guatemala who have been so adversely affected by the "La Roya" blight.
I've previously described this blight, also known as Coffee Rust which has decimated a huge portion of the coffee crops in Central America. It has pushed families, who were already impoverished, over the brink. Some farmers have lost over 75% of their income.
Funds raised will go toward helping 500 farmers gain new skills in effective, organic farming responses to fungal infections like La Roya. More information will be available within the next week so stay tuned. To learn more, click here - http://coffeetrust.org/
I think that's it for this week. We have a large shipment of coffee due in next week so please help us make room for it. :)
Many thanks and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
As we approach our grand opening celebration next week, things are coming together and it's getting very exciting. The name of the band is Dina y los rumberos who I heard about a year ago at an outdoor festival and felt from the get-go they would provide the festive music I wanted for our grand opening. I just watched a video of the band on YouTube and I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Check them out for yourself. I hope you can join us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl946Q6Y-yg
We will be doing a give-away the night of the party so be sure to be here and get your name in the pot. Prizes will include t-shirts, coffee, coffee delivery service and other assorted items.
When we remodeled the shop last year, as with any project of the sort, there were a few lingering things that hadn't been completed. Last week I finally completed the shelves for our selection of pour-over coffees which illustrates the concept of us being all about "options". :) So many coffees, so few days.
As many have experienced, when one goes to sign their name on the iPad finalizing their purchase, it's often a futile attempt at getting anything close to what one's signature really looks like. Recently, a customer took an entirely different approach which I thought you'd enjoy.
In last week's newsletter, I described a beautiful drive to enjoy the autumnal colors of Oregon. I had intended it for either motorcycle travel or car. It would be beautiful either way. However, I received a query about the possibility of organizing a group motorcycle ride of this route, starting with coffee at the shop. I had never considered this but thought it was a great idea so if there are others out there who would enjoy something like this, please let me know and we can try to schedule something.
Warmer temps have returned, at least for this weekend so we'll be prepared with plenty of cold-brewed coffee and teas to help keep you cool. The St. Johns Farmers Market will be taking place again tomorrow and there should be an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as some amazing salmon and sausages.
Many thanks for your continued support. I hope you'll come share in next week's grand opening/first-year anniversary celebration.
Mount & crew
Well, well, well. Here we are talking about September already. Schools are starting, the rain is returning, and people are drinking more coffee. It seems like it was only a week ago when the opposite end of that cycle was happening.
The overcast skies and cooler temps create a very inviting atmosphere for enjoying our coffees and pastries outside.
And, when we first mentioned the idea of having our Grand Opening/First-year anniversary celebration in September, it seemed like we had months and months to plan it. Now, it's just a few weeks away. Things seem to be coming together nicely so I believe it will be a fun evening. Stay tuned for more specific information.
This week we would like to welcome two new customers. Our first delivery of coffee to the Airbnb corporate offices is happening today. As you may know, the Airbnb world has grown exponentially. Their office has grown from approximately 100 people at the beginning of this year to over 300 currently. We'll do our best to keep them fueled.
Village Patisserie is a new food cart, opening up in the Sellwood neighborhood, located at 1122 SE Tacoma St. in the new Piknik Park Food Pod.
Village Patisserie is dedicated to bringing you delicious food using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Their team is professionally trained to provide gourmet meals and desserts in the casual comfort of Piknik Park Food Pod.
They serve French inspired bakery sweets and savory cuisine. The cart is open for all four meals. breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert! Village Patisserie is locally owned and operated by husband and wife team, Michael and Tanya. Chef Tanya earned her culinary degree at Le Cordon Bleu in Boston, MA, where she trained in culinary and pastry kitchens and has worked the last seven years as a professional pastry chef in Boston and here in Portland.
Village Patisserie opens tomorrow, Saturday August 29th and will be serving St. Johns Coffee Roasters coffee along with their delectable offerings.
Check them out when you're in the area.
We received our coffee shipment this past Monday which included the new Ethiopian Yirgacheffe 1 FTO Adama Gorbota. I had the opportunity to roast it on Wednesday and am sipping a cup of it right now. It's absolutely delicious! Subtle notes of fruit, a touch of anise, yet not bright or acidic. Very very smooth and flavorful. This is a coffee that could be enjoyed all day long and would pair nicely with just about anything. We will be sampling this coffee throughout the weekend so come in and give it a try.
And now for some shameless sort of "self-promotion". Actually, for my daughter. If you're like me, I regularly wish I was in better shape and had better eating habits. It's not always easy to get started on a workout program without the help of someone.
If you share that sentiment, I would encourage you to check out my daughter's web site and see if it's something that might be of benefit. As a biased endorser, I found in working with her that she is able to tailor effective workout programs for a variety of people with varying skills, including myself.
Until next week, enjoy this cooler weather and come see us when you can. We have plenty of fresh-roasted organic and fair trade coffees available for taking home or enjoying here in the shop.
Mount & Crew