Well, this certainly feels like the perfect Halloween weather. Blustery, with rain and lots of leaves on the ground. We have the perfect beverage solutions to ward off this cool, wet weather.
Saturday, we'll be doing a repeat of last year for the local kiddos. From 1-3 tomorrow we'll be serving up complimentary hot chocolates for the trick-or-treaters of St. Johns. St. Johns Main Street has organized a "Trick-or-Treating" extravaganza where various St. Johns businesses will be handing out a variety of treats to young children in a safe and friendly atmosphere. It turned out to be a very popular event last year so I would suggest arriving early.
Last week I mentioned the Coffee Fest event which took place here in Portland this year. I was finally able to get down there on Sunday and saw a lot of great things, several of which we'll be offering in the coming weeks.
The first item we'll be adding is pre-packaged oatmeal from Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods located in Redmond, Oregon. I've wanted to offer some other food options for a long time and I believe these will be a great addition.
Their oatmeals and mueslis are gluten free with no additives or preservatives and are absolutely delicious. (I consider myself to be somewhat of an oatmeal aficionado since I've made and eaten it every morning for the past 100 years.)
I've tasted other pre-packaged oatmeals and like a lot of things, are typically overly sweetened and just leave a bad taste in one's mouth. Not the case with Straw Propeller's oatmeals and mueslis. We should have them in the shop beginning Tuesday or Wednesday of next week so look for them.
Another change we'll be making beginning this next week is we're going to be changing our checkout system. I realize this probably seems irrelevant to most people but what I hope to accomplish is streamline the check-out process so wait times are minimized. For those of you who participate in our "frequent flier" program, don't worry, we'll still be able to retrieve previous rewards.
A lot of you have requested we offer travel mugs so I'm in the process of selecting some that we'll be able to offer. I'll keep you posted once the details have been worked out.
Already in stock are a new selection of t-shirts in both women's and men's styles as well as the very popular hoodies.
Many who have been in the shop have marveled at the terrariums available from Bestow. Now you can learn to create your own. On November 12th from 6-8pm, Nyki will offer a workshop on creating one's own tropical Terrariums. Call Bestow for more information. 503.208.4395.
Painter Jeanne Levasseur, whose paintings have been on display in the shop for the past couple months came in the other day and swapped out everything with new work so I would encourage everyone to come in and check it out. As with her other work, it's stunning.
Just a few more weeks remain for The Coffee Trust, La Roya Recover project so please come in to learn about this devastating blight and help support the coffee farmers of Guatemala so they can gain valuable skills in organic solutions to mitigate this disease.
That's about it for this week. Please stay tuned for updated information on new products and coffees. Meanwhile, take care and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount & Crew
Thanks to all who made it to our grand opening/first-year anniversary celebration last Saturday evening. It seemed like folks had a great time and I believe the coffee martinis and band were a "hit".
I had planned to make a brief statement during the evening but the timing never seemed right so I'd like to take the opportunity to do so now.
I would also like to thank the James John Cafe, Proper Eats, Barrique Barrel, Dina y los rumberos and Marly, Becky & Cameron, for making the evening so special.
We had a drawing the night of the celebration and just drew names last night to determine the winners. Congratulations to all of you. We will be contacting each of you to arrange delivery of your winnings.
This week we would like to welcome Sock Dreams to our growing list of offices who are keeping their staff fueled with our coffees. http://www.sockdreams.com/
Time to say good-bye, at least temporarily to two of our cherished coffees. The Bolivian Cenaproc and Brazil Grota Sao Pedro have both run out. I just roasted the last of both coffees yesterday so we have some on the shelf but when they're gone, they're gone. As soon as more becomes available, I'll bring it in.
It's perfect coffee drinking weather with the cooler temps and morning rain today so come visit us. And for those who haven't seen our new logo hoodies, 'tis the season! Warm, soft and cozy with a new stylized version of our logo adorning the back.
Many thanks and keep the coffee flowing.
Mount and crew
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