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