Many thanks for your on-going support!
Mount & Crew
The concept of me telling someone not to drink coffee seems foreign. However, this past week, I received an e-mail from someone asking if our coffee was "gluten-free"? My initial reaction was ... I won't mention what I said.
After considering the question, I decided I should do some research to see if there was anything definitive before responding to the e-mail. Here's what I found.
Apparently, those who are gluten intolerant, may experience gluten-like side effects when drinking coffee due to similarities in the proteins present in coffee being similar to proteins in gluten.
Another culprit is when coffee is processed in the same facility as products containing gluten, there can be cross-contamination that takes place. And while I don't believe any of the coffees I purchase have been processed in this manner, I cannot guarantee it.
So the long and short of it is that for folks who find themselves gluten intolerant, you may want to find another option to coffee. I can't believe I just said that!
This Monday, we will be closed for the Fourth of July. If you are on schedule for home delivery on Wednesday, there will be not any interruption to your normal delivery.
The big news on the jazz scene is that on August 8th and 9th at 7:30 pm, Alan Broadbent will be returning to Classic Pianos for two shows. For those of you who are familiar with Alan's music... you'll know what his performances are like. Electric, profound, intimate and humble are just a few adjectives that come to mind.
He's performed at Classic Pianos multiple times and I've attended each of his performances. I have yet to be disappointed. If you would like to experience one of his shows, please call Peggie at Classic Pianos and reserve your tickets. They're guaranteed to sell out quickly. Peggie can be reached at 503.546.5622.
Be sure to check out our selection of coffees on Amazon. You may find them here - www.amazon.com/shops/stjohnscoffee.
Thanks for your continued support!
Mount & Crew
Last week I mentioned we would be receiving a new Ethiopian Sidamo coffee. It arrived late Tuesday and had barely gotten into the shop before we were unloading it from the pallet and preparing it for roasting.
We just did a tasting of it and WOW!!! So full of blueberry!!! And smoothhhhh!!! Very very clean cup.
We sampled it next to the Dry Process Ethiopian Yirgacheffe which is also incredibly smooth but with so much going on! Hits one's tongue immediately and dances around all those taste buds.
Come on in and try them both. They both excel brewed as pour-overs so that would be my recommendation.
The big news this week, aside from the stellar Ethiopian coffees, is that our coffees will soon be available through Amazon.com. Stay tuned for more information.
New products scheduled to arrive next week, just in time for Father's Day:
While the weather can't make up its mind if it wants to be 100º or 60º, it's perfect for drinking coffee. Tomorrow looks like another perfect day for coffee as well as the St. Johns Farmers Market.
Stop by and get fueled and warmed before heading to the market.
Meanwhile, keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
It's time again for the St. Johns Farmers Market to open. The season begins this Saturday, June 4th and continues through November 19th.
It sounds like it will be perfect weather for kicking off the farmers market season. Lots of sun (and heat). We'll be ready with an abundance of cold- brewed coffees, teas, snacks and treats.
One of the most difficult realizations of the coffee business is the seasonality of the various coffees. Especially when we find those that are incredibly special and which we come to love so much. We enjoy them and before we know it, they're gone.
Such is the case with two coffees we've had, the dry-processed Ethiopian Sidamo and a coffee we've purchased directly from the farm in Brazil (Brazil Grota Sao Pedro).
However, I'm happy to report that both will be returning next week to our offering list. They represent two entirely different profiles on the flavor spectrum.
The dry-processed Ethiopian Sidamo has a prominent blueberry note with orange, tamarind, toffee, taffy, nut, and a, soft body.
The Brazilian coffee, if anything like last year's crop, was like drinking creme brulèe. Medium roast with a wonderful caramel sweetness, chocolate and almond and oh so smooth!
We also have another new coffee from Ethiopia. It's a dry-processed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. As with the Sidamo, it's fuller in body while still possessing many of the floral notes of the washed Yirgacheffe which, we also have in stock.
Can you tell I'm a fanatic for Ethiopian coffees???
Now that summer gardening has begun, people are often requesting used coffee grounds to be used in their compost bins. Did you know you can also use them as insect repellants and wood stains. Check out this article - http://theheartysoul.com/coffee-ground-uses/
Furthermore, I recently read an article where a group in Great Britain has begun collecting tons and tons of used coffee grounds from Britain's coffee shops, processing them and creating pellets that can then be used to heat homes. Check out this article - http://cleantechnica.com/2015/09/27/recycling-coffee-grounds-home-heating-pellets/
This weekend marks the beginning of The Portland Rose Festival. And unlike many years, it looks as though the weather will be stellar. It all begins this Friday evening with opening night Fireworks and continues on for the next couple weeks.
For those of you from outside the Portland area, the Portland Rose Festival is an annual celebration which has been going on for over 100 years. There are parades, firework displays, concerts, etc. Pretty much something for everyone.
Last week, we had the pleasure of traveling to Scotland. It was my first trip to Europe and I must say, I've never heard many good comments about the coffee so of course, I had to check it out.
And, I was pleasantly surprised. There seemed to be limited choices from grocers but what was available in the cafes was for the most part, pretty good. However, there were only limited options when it came to organic coffees. We only found one cafe specializing in organic coffees and healthy food options.
Perhaps it's time to open a second location of St. Johns Coffee Roasters in Scotland?!?!
We also had the opportunity to have "high tea" while in Scotland. We went to the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh which was quite special.
As many of you know, one of my favorite methods for brewing coffee is the pour-over. After seeing the server pour our tea (photo attached), it gave me new inspiration for the "art of the pour-over" presentation. However, don't count on it anytime soon. :)
And the BIG NEWS is, next weekend (June 4th), is the opening weekend of the St. Johns Farmers Market. It always a big day with lots of new vendors as well as many who have done the market since its inception.
We'll be ready with plenty of both hot and cold brewed coffees as well as healthy snacks, organic juices and sandwiches. We also have received a new shipment of grinders from Baratza as well as Hario hand grinders, perfect for camping trips.
Speaking of camping, we also have the Aeropress coffee brewers in stock which include a zippered tote for simplifying travel.
I think that's it for this week. Many thanks for your continued support and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
Memorial Day is generally the kick-off to a season of bbq'ing so I thought I'd share a recipe for dry rub for any type of meat you choose. Oh and of course, one of the ingredients is coffee. Duh!
Many of you probably remember the amazing Brazil Grota Sao Pedro we had last year but sold out. Well, I have good news. It will be returning to our line-up in the very near future. Last time we described it as being like drinking Cremè Brulee and I have a feeling this year's crop will be comparable. Perhaps more like Tiramisu. :)
If the Memorial Day weather proves too hot to serve your guests hot coffee, consider brewing some cold-brew coffee. We have a large selection of Toddy Brewers and accessories and are happy to teach you the process. It's quite simple. Or, if you decide you'd like to serve something with a little "kick" to it, consider a coffee martini. We can show you how to make those as well! They're delicious!!!
Meanwhile, have a great weekend and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
There are a few things to top off this week's newsletter. First of all, big congrats to our customer, GiGi's Cafe in the Hillsdale neighborhood of Portland. They were included amongst the top 15 breakfast locations in Portland this past week!
Secondly, in addition to now offering fresh-made jams, two days ago we added fresh-made hummus. Many have requested an option to the cream cheese spreads for bagels. The hummus is delicious, very nicely balanced with a nice texture.
There are of course, many ways to brew coffee and we're constantly asked which is the best. One of my personal favorites is the Stove Top Espresso Maker, aka, Moka Pot.
The Moka Pot brews an incredibly rich cup of coffee (I'm not talking mug here). The size categories of Moka Pots is shown in cups but they are referring to demitasse size cups.
Many customers have told me they purchased a Moka Pot but they don't particularly care for the taste because it seems bitter. When asking about their brewing technique, it becomes apparent why this is.
Some have said they've used a powdery fine espresso grind that they've tamped into the filter basket, compacting the powdery grounds similar to what a barista does with a conventional espresso machine with porta filters.
The first thing to understand is that these Moka Pots are NOT espresso machines and as such, function differently.
A friend forwarded me an article this past week that appeared in Splendid Table and which describes the process of using a Moka Pot. I will include the link so you can read the article. http://www.splendidtable.org/story/tips-great-coffee
However, my method differs from what they suggest so I will attempt to describe that so you can try both approaches and see what works best for you.
To start with, I fill the base with fresh, cold water up to the bottom of the threads. I then insert the filter basket, hold over the sink and invert the base to dispense any excess water.
The next step is to grind the coffee. After much experimentation, I have settled on a coarser grind than what many suggest. I use a grind just a bit coarser than one would use for a "fine/cone filter" type grind.
I also found that by using less coffee, one gets a better flavor from the Moka Pot. I pour the ground coffee into the filter basket so it forms a bit of a pyramid with the sides tapering down to being about 1/4" below the top of the filter basket.
Give it a gentle shake to even the grounds then tightly screw the top half onto the base. I DO NOT TAMP the grounds as is done with conventional espresso machines with porta filters.
Set the Moka Pot on a burner and set the heat to a medium setting. Do not set to a high setting. Just be patient. This is the perfect time to select your cup and any desired accoutrements (twist of lemon peel, sugar cube, etc.)
Once you start to hear the contents "rumbling", turn off the heat and let the Moka Pot just sit for another minute or so to finish the brewing process.
The final step is to pour into the cup of your choice, grab a copy of the New York Times, sit back and savor the delicious coffee.
As with anything food related, taste is a very subjective thing so I would encourage you to experiment. Just know there is potential for a great cup of coffee from the Moka Pot.
And this just in.... There have been a few times since the inception of this business where I've had to "eat crow". Well, another of those times has arrived. As most of you know, we used to have "frequent flyer" cards for whole bean coffee as well as beverages.
We received a lot of comments from customers expressing both pros and cons to doing something like that. So, we transitioned to a digital version of customer loyalty program. However, that didn't work nearly as smoothly as I'd hoped so we abandoned the digital version.
I believe rewarding repeat customers is an important aspect of doing business so we have gone BACK to the original punchcard. They just arrived about 30 minutes ago. The details remain the same. After ten purchases of either beans or beverages, the customer will receive a 20% discount toward the purchase of anything we offer.
That's right, anything - cups, hoodies, grinders, etc. Next time you're in, be sure to ask for yours. And, we will continue to honor any of the old "frequent flyer" cards. And, if you'll post a review of us on Yelp, we'll add an additional punch!
Many thanks and keep the coffee flowing!
Mount & Crew