Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Last time we cut up the pallets. The next step was biking 300 pounds of pallette wood 5 miles deeper into southeast Portland. A normal 20 minute ride took one hour. We fell over three times on an uphill climb, once nearly missing a parked car. It was awesome. Distributed nice clean small cuts of wood to a community garden for their fire pit or building pleasure, then sections of partial cut palet with nails to my yard? for planting beds.

The coffee at Jackpot went super smooth- brewed all the coffee pourover style using gold plated filters from Zip. The first batch we attempted a different method- which while sludgy tasted great.

The last week we bled, and flushed the mineral oil from the cargo bikes rear Saint hydraulic brake line. super easy- nice and tight. except we ruined a half used set of pads. the oil was pretty dark. We pushed oil from the calipers up to the handlebars while keeping the line vertical. pushed some to flush out, and another to bottle up in the line. cleaned the ceramic pistons with some degreaser first and then a ton of rubbing alcohol before pressing them back in. lucky we have extra pads always for the saint pistons- although 50-60 dollars a pair, but the cargo bike needs those cooling fins on the pads for sure.

some may have noticed that we replaced our chairs downtown that were from IKEA (yellow)- with some vintage 1970′s chairs (orange). We are working very hard on those cheap yellow chairs with different disposable allen wrenches here at the shop. The issue with our orange chairs is that they are orange but the reason for the switch is because the yellow ones were falling apart.

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Installed a new Grove Gear wormgear reducer box on the SF-25 San Franciscan roaster, have not aligned the box properly yet to get a nice chainline. Last week our keystone worked itself loose and we scuffed up the paint a little re-setting the Martin 40 tooth sprockette, using an interesting tool steel spike like crowbar (oTc 7164). This was in order to line up the keyway. Too hasty installing the gearbox.

This week we cleaned out most of the 9-block pallets from inside the roastery. Since we cannot find a pallet person, or find a taker on craigslist for these things we had to cut them up for firewood. De-spelled the myth that pallette wood was soaked in chemicals by talking to a few folks, so its ok to use for a fire or woodstove. Must have been between 2-3 hundred pounds of wood we biked back home, turning a 20 minute ride into an hour. Cuts were made with an old Skillsaw which continued to cutout because the hot and ground wire kept connecting, our fix for this continued to get better.

The Shutter Precision dynamo hub on the cargo bike is working awesome. It is so sweet to have a rear and front light always on. We used a piece of chain from the roaster to hold the Supernova seatpost light firmly, and later some security screws for all. Very much thinking of making my next personal front hub a dynamo hub.

While we have the new coffee from Uganda, and two new Kenyan coffees we are still thinking about how best to roast them. Our espresso Guatemalan coffee continues to challenge us but lately its gotten a lot better- as it always does when there is less than a hundred pounds left (ASDEFLOR cooperative, Todos Santos Cuchumatan, Huehuetenango, Guatemala 2016 crop).

Brewing coffee for the line at Jackpot on Record Store Day went ok. Only was able to use one glass thermos, but the main challenge was pourover brewing such a huge amount. More than sure some of that coffee was made way too strong- but it got there- and it was the first preview of one of our two new Kenyan coffees. We brewed using gold plated steel Zip filters (Germany), into quart jars, grinding courser than normal and timing to 3 minute brews especially since we were using super super freshly roasted coffee. Decided wisely not to offer cream or sugar, but put the main effort into clear labeling of the farmer, and lot of coffee.

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

sample roasted new crop Guatemalan coffees yesterday, we have locked in our order for two new coffees from Huehuetenango and its now a matter of shipping.

Free Courier Coffee this Saturday for the line at Record Store Day on Hawthornes Jackpot records. Unsure what to make- new Uganda coffee arrival? for this record store day we want to do something interesting- going against the grain. We know, and have pushed, stainless steel lined airpots (or thermoses). Pretty much every coffee shop and roaster in the city uses these because they tend to break less than glass thermoses, and can hold a little more volume. But glass keeps heat better, and also tastes better since there is no steel to react with the oils. Money over quality is what it breaks down too. sure your coffee is rad if you toss it every 40 minutes after brew, and honestly coffee that sits in a steel thermos for a few hours is surprisingly ok. but glass is best. so for this record store day we will be brewing ahead and serving in glass lined carafs.

We still expect new crop kenya and uganda in tomorrow. also we recieved more kenya and colombia samples last night which we will roast and cup today.

Monday, April 17th, 2017

the new teapots on bar are from Sanjo, Niigata, Japan. They were made to order, and are a product of our recent trip.

New white cups arrived today- Ancap- made in Italy. These will be our third round of cups for the shop, and our second time ordering Ancap. The first time we stocked ACF, or FAC in brown, along with Gretchen Vaudt’s hand made cups.

New crop Kenyas are in, well almost, they will arrive in Portland Friday, along with new crop Uganda coffee. Our Guatemalan samples got delayed but new crop Guatemala coffee is so so close. New lot of Sulawesi is also going to start being on bar at the end of the week.

At the roastery we have a new front wheel for the cargo bike- with a Shutter Precision dynamo hub, laced to a G-Sport ribcage rim. This is our first foray into Dynamo lighting, and we picked up Supernova front and rear lights. The mounting needs work but its going to be awesome, well, unless they get stolen.

We are swimming in pallets that no one wants to reuse (stacked inside our small space), time to make firewood.

lastly but most importantly Vanilla prices are crazy, despite that we give out Vanilla syrup as a courtesy, times are changing. Vanilla is very scarce after the category 5 hurricane wiped out 70% of Madagaskars Vanilla bean. We wholesale it for $375 a pound currently (eighty beans in a pound last count). Madagaskar produces over 90% of the worlds Vanilla. Did you know that Vanilla comes from an Orchid, and it takes three years for this orchid to bloom and when it does there is only a day the flower has to be pollinated.

soon soon-ccr

worm gear or gearbox for sanfranciscan sf-25

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

Our coffee roaster uses a gearbox, wormgear, to take a fast moving motor and reduce speed in a 40-1 ratio, while also increasing torc. Worm gears have much more frictional force internally than straight gearing, and their benefit is that they are very compact, yet at the same time a little louder. even if you specify the same gearbox as a previous model you have there is more than just a model number that should be matched.

We are now on our second Vortex gearbox in 6 months (where our previous Morse-Emerson lasted 15 years). What we have learned is that efficiency of the gearbox and output torc changes differently with different brands as they heat up. a worm gear has a lot of friction and heats up quickly. Vortex is made in China, and perhaps the gearbox industry is not thriving there. we are now awaiting a Grove Gear wormgear- supposedly awesome, and it keeps the same output torc at start and when hot, where as the Vortex loses something like 55% of its output torc as it heats.

We do keep a logbook of the roaster maintenance, and the entry for this gearbox is much more in depth than what is written above. Its been two weeks on the intermediary Vortex and we bled the oil (which was filthy with metal shavings), flushed, and weighed in new oil. The Vortex leaks from the sightglass, and drips from the expansion valve whenever it is running, so we are looking forward to swapping it out as soon as possible.


Monday, March 20th, 2017

kind of awesome that its all at one time.

our fridge broke, cargo bike wheel (not sure if they are bearings or sand), roaster stopped turning (fixed now), potential natural gas leak- turns out sewer leak (its ok), toilet seat held on by tape (fixed), espresso machine drain line leak ( ehh). sink faucet complete fail (fixed). thats a lot for us in a week.

we have a new colombian coffee and a new sulawesi shipping on wednesday. we have a bunch of new crop guatemalan samples shipping today.

other news my daughter can walk. she is a year and a month old. she is in japan and coming back soon. id like to attribute all the broken things at courier to good luck. its pretty rad that this all occurred in one week when we have time on our hands.

thank you all for being with us. best joel

Canele at courier coffee

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

We make simple Canele (accent that last e for me).

Portland Monthly magazine did a lovely article in their latest, so we have been selling out of our 18 Canele that we make each morning in the first few hours.

We make all of our baked goods at the shop. Pasture eggs from the Obrist family (formerly Hermans Honey at Peoples Cooperative Wednesday market). there was a time we got our beeswax from them as well). Shepherds Grain low gluten flour, Creme Classic butter, Maldon salt, Sunshine Dairy whole milk, Madagascar vanilla bean, Meyers Rum, and GloryBee vegan cane sugar are what we use. Copper forms from France (courtesy of brittany and michael parich).

The forms are very special. Copper is expensive, but in France its a little cheaper. We are happy to sell out early because canele are better in the morning.

For those of you who come and find us sold out, we want you to know that our oven is a half sheet oven and only has three racks. We also hope you do get to try a fresh canele. best best

from Tsubame-Sanjo, Niigata, Japan. Also the reason why the courier phone number doesnt go through.

Friday, February 24th, 2017

We left for Japan on the 13th and have spent nights in Tokyo (Naka-Meguro, Setagaya, Tsukiji), Hayama (coastal town south of Tokyo), Kurashiki (Okayama), and now Tsubame-Sanjo, Niigata. Our daughter Ryoku-chan had her one year birthday days before we left, and she is now visiting Japan for the first time. It is snowing constantly here in Sanjo, it is freezing cold, and Ryokucchans grandparents house is also freezing cold. You can see your breath in most of the house, and each room has a few kerosene heaters. Only the small family room has a running kerosene heater, and a kotatsu electric heater under the table. of course all the toilet seats are heated (i am very seriously thinking about this for courier, but no time on this trip).

We drank Courier’s Santa Barbara farm El Salvador coffee for the first week, also giving it away as gifts. we brought 50 pounds in one checked bag of clothing, two laptops, toys for Ryoku. And a second check suitcase (50 pounds) of just gifts as it is traditional to bring everyone a gift after traveling. in Hayama we visited The Five Beans where they made us coffee, and where we also picked put 300g of Sumatra coffee. They also graciously gave us samples of 6 other lots of their coffee.

Thanks to our Hayama friends the Noninoko family we were also gifted a beautiful vintage Konos coffee mill, made in Tokyo, We are using this now after a quick cleaning with fresh rice from our familys rice farm, located directly next to our house here in Sanjo.

Having a small child makes everyone your friend in Japan, and i guess everywhere. In a country where people try to keep a straight face and be very closed in public, little kids have people opening up and smiling more.

Lets see, trip highlights:

ramen at dennys, coffee at service areas off the highway from automatic machines, “Boss Black” can coffee (utterly terrible, and i actually like canned coffee). kissaten after kissaten- literally old style coffee houses with mostly diner coffee made in large batch brew- but some of them brew to order. Kissaten often offer things in a set- like toast+coffee+boiled egg+ green tea. Kissatens are anti trend in Japan- and so are wonderful places. people watching is amazing here. really cool jumpsuits, escalator ramps, and public bathrooms that talk to you when you enter.

Making coffee at other peoples houses has been interesting. even with the same coffee we find ourselves making coffee with different tastes each time.

as some have figured out i took the courier phone on our trip, but contrary to our plans verizon stopped supporting international roaming with my phone. so call and you will be given a email for me if you need, but please be aware of the time difference. best from Japan- us.

all the updates

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

We just finished employee reviews at courier. we have not done these often in the past but one on one check ins just to check in.

We have serviced the front bearings on the cargo bike, and are working on the back, although our white industries rear hub has proved a hundred times better than philwood. its rolling way smooth and doesnt need servicing everythree months (try every two years). White industries awesome.

I am heading to japan in a week. means the courier phone number for your telemarketing needs will have a little delay. when calling or emailing please remember to adjust for Japan time. This is a family thing mostly, but we have (and i will need) to visit a lot of coffee shops. shops that sprudge never mentions in japan. this time we are concerned about Japan closing the tokyo fish market, and the tokyo olympics. we will also be in Okayama for a friend, but a rich coffee culture, which i may be able to describe later ( this will be my second time to okayama).

More more in a day or so.

Starting on a SF-25. SanFranciscan 25 pound roaster made by Coffee/PER

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Think whether cleaning chaff from the poorly designed SanFranciscan 25 pound cyclone is necessary (roaster afterburner/cyclone combination), Flip the lightswitch on the SF-25 and wonder if it was ever meant for 220v, cut draft using damper, open gas valve, attempt to cut more airflow so that the natural gas lights, check that flames are lit. Maybe before, maybe halfway through, brace yourself for the terrible sound that a worm conversion gear box makes.

Worm boxes- while super cool, are terrible things.

Anyway- in the process we wait till outbound air temperature from the drum reached 500F, about twenty minutes. and throughout the process the efficiency of heat, emitting/absorbing/reflecting, and most importantly the draw or draft will change. being mindful is important in all things.

coffee pretty much roasts itself. (jk)

now that the cold is over and its summer in Portland, biking has become awesome, although a couple of our friends have totally fallen while biking through all the gravel- we are just enjoying the sun from yesterday and the magic of fog and ice in the morning.

so many things to work on, great to stay busy.