open normal july 4th. closed one pm. we have a ton of coffee and cold brew.
New LED edison lightbulb, available only in japan. Very warm like an incandescent.
Bedroom wall at Week- Kamiyama, Tokushima dropping down three stories to the riverbed.
Sapporo, at the top of the winter Olympic ski jump with Organic farmers from Kumamoto, Hey Sapporo, and Amy of Courier/Sapporo
Hey Sapporo Portland/Coffee talk at D & D.
About Life Coffee brewers, serving Amemalia, Onnibus, and Switch. Shibuya- rad. Previously one of the managers was the Tokyo Synesso service tech, very knowledgeable.
Last we guested and spoke with Hey Sapporo, our friends who moved back to their hometown with the radical idea to renovate it. In Japan people do not renovate, they simply tear down and build again. They do have repairs they make, and additions, but restoring older buildings is not mainstream. Repurposing items is definitely something very rare here. Our role was to give people a glimpse of another city, like Portland, but this is hard to imagine in a country where local government makes decisions behind closed doors. We talked in very broad terms about how Portland got to where it is now, not through one person but through private, and public partnership, and many collective groups who each brought to the table their ideas. We also talked about an active government who has done large and small things with the purpose of economic growth such as reducing smog (federal government push), creating natural areas, backing projects that led to downtown development like shopping centers, transit malls, and creating urban improvement zones. Hopefully, through the stories of growing up in Portland, the people we spoke to know a little more about our city and will start asking more of their city.
We stopped in Tokyo for a night, then flew to Tokushima City. Here we talked more, but this time with city officials included. Unlike Hey Sapporo, who wants their city to become more green and sustainable- Tokushima City simply needs some kind of stimulation, since their city is large but the population and business is on the decline. Like Portland was/is Tokushima is a cheap place to live in, the rivers, mountains, and ocean are all close, however the city sprawls. People here complain of dangerous traffic, lack of public transit, and declining city services. All day we held a workshop before heading to Kamiyama, a town nestled in forested hills, on steep roads and slopes sprawling along a tiny valley where we held two coffee workshops.
The outpouring of local roasters in Kamiyama was amazing. We put out the word that at this point we may be running low on coffee to serve, so everyone brought coffee from their roastery. We probably had ten different roasters represented, which we tried to brew. Tokushima University put us up at Week hotel/restaurant- a place to rival Ace Hotel Portland, and not even open yet. The rooms are well designed, and the restaurant has an open kitchen and communal tables, with rotating chefs each night. We kind of made ourselves at home dodging in and out of the kitchen as they prepared dinner for 30 people. They were very interested in pourover technique, the gold filters we used, and roasting style between japan and Portland, which we led a demonstration on followed by sharing a lovely meal together.
At this point we are in Niigata, for the main reason for our trip, the death anniversary of my grandfather and grandmother in-law. Sakiko’s parents are rice and soy farmers (depending on what the federal government tells them to plant each year). The neighboring towns are mostly closed shops. Today we take bikes and ride to Sanjo City to explore what is left. I personally think this would be an awesome place to revitalize. Yesterday we visited the most promising roaster for miles Nakamura Coffee. They are one of the many new roasters using a 10 kilo Probat. Highly recommended. We have visited Snow Peaks Worl Headquarters in Sanjo, but want to see more factories and Sake Breweries. This is our last full day in Niigata before heading back to Tokyo.
tokushima city, biking with students from the University on our 450 Yen a day bikes.
Switch Coffee, Meguro- the quietest roaster.
Nearby, Yoshida Senseis new shop- really good feeling here, a place you will feel welcome at.
In Hayama we make a coffee roaster with parts from the hardware store, and hold a roasting workshop in collaboration with Noninoko Family, and Ends & Means, which includes a bakeshop, coffee bar, rare japan vintage, Himmeli workshop, and Japan made clothing. Many beautiful people.
five beans coffee roasters Hayama
back in tokyo, some things are like Portland. Coffee talk in Tokyo, brewing Courier Coffee and talking about Portland and Coffee culture.
We head to Hokaido, where Sapporo is a little more green than other big cities. Meet up with Amy of Courier, who is back in her hometown. Guest speak about Courier and Portland, check out a few of the local coffee roasters.
Our trip to Japan has included speaking at three events, and two roasting workshops. Making and talking about coffee is a blast, and our schedule is pretty structured. We are in Sapporo now, and had a lecture last night, later midnight ramen shop, followed by grocery store beer. In a few days we travel to Tokushima to give another talk. Japanese technology is so so cool, as are their crafts. We have definitely visited our fair share of Kissatens and coffee roasters, and its just a little overwhelming how to transmit all this. all the best-j&s
Rosario farm El Salvador, Bourbon varietal.
Las Delicias farm, El Salvador, Pacamara varietal.
Decaf Chiapas Mexico organic grown water decaf.
Kebel Aricha Mill, Chelelektu, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia.
Hacienda Supracafe los Naranjos, Cajibio, Cauca, Colombia.
Ikawa Cooperative, Dukorere, Burundi.
We closed last Saturday for staff training, where we kicked off the morning roasting coffee in a steel drum sample roaster in the doorway of 923 sw Oak, before going over pourover technique, and customer service, followed by plating. The end of the day saw us sharing a beer and watching the Starlight Parade marshall. We want to thank you for your understanding in our closing for the day.
I am currently in Chiba, Tokyo, Japan, and am preparing to teach a workshop on home coffee roasting. Yesterday we went to something like Home Depot, yet more comprehensive and less gross. With an empty paint can, a two foot steel bolt, metal cutting scissors and thermometer coming in under $15 we will make our drum roaster today including a hinged doorway to pull samples from. We will then season the roaster by burning it in. The shiny metal of the paint can is less than ideal because we dont want reflective heat so much as conductive, blackbody heat, and of course a heaver steel would be more ideal. And we dont have any mixing vanes yet for the drum, but these issues will all be solved today.
Shopping for green coffee in Tokyo is very easy, but off the shelf price will run $50 for 1000g, and this is past crop coffee. In the US green costs around $12 for 1000g. Keep in mind you can buy Stumptown Coffee here for $30 a pound. The basic end to the math here is that Stumptown coffee shipped from Portland is the same price for green coffee. Actually buying green unroasted coffee here is more expensive than buying roasted coffee. I have yet to wrap my head around the logistics of this, because $30 a pound for roasted coffee is actually on the higher end here for bulk- yet cheap compared to that an average pourover coffee is $5.
Buying green coffee just by looking and smelling, and without cupping is kind of another level for me. Yesterday i basically went on freshness, and visual moisture consistency. We picked out a kenya from last years crop, and a current crop honey processed brazilian (basically on look and smell alone). ill try and post some photos here soon. best joel ccr
Lets talk about whats happening at Courier. The book Catch 22 is pretty apt, except on the reverse- we love it. At this point you should probably read the book.
I am going back to Japan in June- all of June. This coincides with my Grandmother in laws death anniversary- super important- and my grandfather in laws 20th i think. Sakiko is very close to her grandmother, and for the family this is an important event. I got married into a rice farming family in Sanjo, Niigata a year ago, because….. a young beautiful Japanese girl frequented our coffee bar…
We have been running our bar for four and a half years. In a wonderful, and really for the best way our permanent staff made their way into better things, while also those of us who are here are in store for maybe better things. We are all moving onward and upward I hope. Through this we have met amazing new people, and rejoined lost friends, geez its been so rad.
The challenge is stepping away for a bit. Luckily Jeremy is going to be running the show in the background while i am gone, and thank goodness for David Evans, what you would call your modern day bar champion.
I have fallen in love more than ever working bar these last months and could wish nothing better. While in Japan it seems i will be doing a workshop on coffee roasting, build my own roaster, probably source green coffee and open a coffee stand- i will make no money at this, and i have absolutely no plans of opening in japan. but my good friend Sensei has a place called coffee elementary school, where i will be all the time and my friend Matsushimasan has Paddlers coffee serving Stumptown, where i will also be. but your best chance to find me is in Chiba, Yokohama, Hayama, Sanjo, or… perhaps Sapporo with Amy of Courier.
Please go easy on the bar while i am away, the hands that i am leaving it in are more than able, and the new people on bar i love ( grains of salt- ha-xox).
all the best-j
pre-release coffee for Jackpot records- Hacienda Supracafe Los Naranjos Yellow Typica varietal Cajibio, Cauca, Colombia elevation 1500 meters, fully washed and sun dried. limited to 100 bags at 60 grams each.Roasted this morning at our workshop, bagged and delivered by bicycle.
Surprise- La Esperanza Farm coffee from Huehuetenango is back. We were actually surprised when it showed up at our door and the driver told us we had 1500 pounds of “samples.” Imagine some quick long distance phone calls to Guatemala after that.
On the books our coffee shop has been getting busier. Interesting cash sales are on the decline while credit card is increased, when i am dead someone will probably buy an ipad and square pos.
we have been thinking a lot about the economy of Portland, the cost of living going up is not great, yet wages going up is awesome. Courier is kind of in the boat. Our Eggs are 7 a dozen, our vegan cane sugar more expensive than anything, and our chocolate pricey, but it all makes sense to us. As Portland changed its commercial composting rules that made sense too, that we buy compostable cups that are not compostable totally makes sense. There was once a business in LA that prided themselves on struggle, and we have always admired them, or maybe the idea of working, hence bicycle delivery.
The best thing is that we are able to serve people. We officially signed the lease on our Oak street location 5 years ago, and our coffee roasting space about ten years ago. thanks for being with us.
Just got the Snow-Peak CS-270 kettles for brewing at Record Store Day on Hawthorne outside Jackpot records.
Today on bar we took dimensions of our refrigerator, milk storage vs keg storage, and asked ourselves about the summer.
The new SS steam tip from Synesso is amazing and if you have not noticed has changed the definition of our milk. we may have just moved to a world that is finely defined through texture that did not exist before, or that we had difficulty creating. Our latte milk is more fluid, and our cappucino milk more textured. It is a bit slower though
Since our business is partly bicycle delivery we paused to check out this stripped bike- note the sugino cranks are still there, which we think were probably the best part of this frame. amazingly the lock is in tact (wouldnt it be easier to take the frame instead of stripping as you go?). we hope your bikes are safe.
Blood oranges were back on bar this morning. Mid day tuesday we receive more green coffee. The strike on the West coast is still affecting incoming traffic of boats (coffee).
replaced the spindle bearing in our technic sl-1200. as removing the circuit board we dusted the body out with Argon. used original Technic spindle-deadstock from 5 years prior (you can see the brass filing on the old spindle above). Work slowed down Sunday on Bar, so Jeremy and I did some maintenance and cleaning.
Amy Suzuki Barrett, of Courier Coffee, now has her artwork up on bar for the next ten days before she heads back to Hokaido to finish artschool, we look forward to her potential return to Portland.
Tuesday evening we hosted a showing of Kamanakas Interviews and video artwork in the evening on bar. The screening was entirely in Japanese, and marks the anniversary (3.11) of the major earthquake in Tohoku, Japan. This is our second year of showing Kamanakas reports, with permission.
On a related/unrelated route the Owl lives in my backyard, and maybe eats mice. we do not use pesticides or chemicals, but our neighbors do for sure, At the roastery this is something we think about for sure-outside impacts. why do people do these things that indirectly impact them..
We unboxed our new 1mm orifice 6 hole stainless steel steam tip this morning and installed. It is almost the same as the 4 hole 1.5mm tips.
Technically the speed should be the same, but the affect is better due to a greater distribution i.e. smoother.
Synesso standard was 1.8mm 4-hole tips, however we set our clients up and have always recommended the 1.5mm orifices as that had the best effect for us.
cumulative 1.5×4= 6 output. Our new SS tips are 1×6= 6 output. The reason for the switch is that stainless steel will be much easier to clean. It takes a lot of money to caste your own forms out of stainless steel, so the normal route is to make it brass and then chrome plate. Our previous tips were all chrome plated brass, and sure the chrome flaked off, and chrome is not the best clean surface, but way better than brass or copper.
[apparently] six holes at 1mm, and 4 holes at 1.5mm do not equal the same thing because.. is it pie r squared? I am not a math person, but im going to look this up and update this post.
On bar the question was asked- whats the difference. Technically smaller holes put out higher pressure with lower volume over time. Larger holes are lower pressure with higher volume. The pressure in the steam tank is a constant, or lets say it is for the sake of discussion. if you put your finger over a hose nozzle the water will spray out much faster, but the amount of water decreases. steaming milk type products requires a certain amount of turbulence to mix air into the liquid and add texture (kind of like making amazing foam in a bubble bath). we can try to foam something up, but the deeper question is what allows us to create tight foam. Fats and sugars are the answer, as well as increasing those through developing them with heat, which is what we do when steaming milk. and the crazy thing is we think about this everytime we make your latte.