Coffee Sojourn in the American Northwest: (Portland, OR - Part 1)

Arrival

This past week was an awesome time, visiting friends, clients, and new faces within the coffee industry of the American Northwest. Here we note some of the exciting things that took place within our travels, as well as introduce topics of discussion introduced and discovered along the way. Hope you enjoy. 

We arrived in Portland on late Sunday night, February 26, and caught up with some friends in the area, before heading to our hotel downtown, to sleep away the jet lag.  

Our coffee saga would begin Monday morning at Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers, where we would be giving a presentation the following Tuesday and Wednesday. 

 

Presentation Theme

The presentation was centered around the idea of coffee origins, and was part two of a series in which Sustainable Harvest has showcased different producers from origin, inviting them, and roasters within the greater Portland and northwest region, to share and discourse on coffee at their offices in downtown. We would be presenting on the most recent experiments within the El Manzano Project, during the 2011-2012 Harvest. 

Our presentation would span two days, and included cuppings of 24 different coffees, which we would be presenting and discussing. Therefore, much of our first morning and afternoon was spent discussing the flow of the presentation, getting to know the layout of the conference room and lab, and roasting the first twelve samples. Adam and Kate of Sustainable were great hosts, coordinating the event and hosting us within their offices and lab, (so we extend a big thanks for your efforts, long hours, and encouragement). 

 

Stumptown and the Portland Timbers

After departing their offices downtown, Monday afternoon, we made a detour past the original Stumptown Coffee Roasters on SE 45th and Division, where we meet up with head roaster, Steve Kirbach, whom had surprisingly been seated next to us on our flight to Portland. We discussed the industry, coffee varieties, and trips to origin, and concluded with his contribution to our set of lab tools and specialty coffee. We walked away with an aeropress and two pounds of roasted Ethiopian coffee, both of which we have since consumed and enjoyed. 

We would later meet up with Adam and David from Sustainable Harvest, along with some other friends, to attend the MLS pre-season opener of the Portland Timbers, against the San Jose Earthquakes. Despite ending in a draw, we will save details of the game for ESPN, or another sports analyst; but altogether an awesome time. 

To be continued...Day 1 of the presentation, Varietals and Processing.