Archive for the ‘what we’re serving where’ Category

another new espresso, with the farmers

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Turns out the Costa Rica makes for thin espresso, but pretty awesome in milk drinks. Almost as soon as we discovered this, we started sending out our winner- Brazil Cerrado (region) de Minas (Minas Gerias is a state) fazenda (farm) Serra Negra (farm name). Thats: Brazil Cerrado de Minas fazenda Serra Negra, and the farm is run by Pedro Luis Rossi. He was actually here, yesterday, at our workshop. We told him how lovely his coffee was. We pulled him a double espresso of His coffee roasted nine hours prior. Then we proceeded to siphon coffee of the same lot roasted a different way. If anyone wondered why we were so late yesterday, it was because three farmers showed up, unannounced, at our workshop.

If anyone remembers our summer run, of Brazil Cerrado de Minas fazenda Chapadao de Ferro, well, Ruvaldo Delarisse was here yesterday too. Yesterday was kind of exciting. That coffee had much minerally salt. Chapadao de Ferro in Portugese means, really big plateau of iron. Take that to mean extinct volcano.

The faz. Serra Negra, lot #811 is a true natural process coffee, meaning the cherry dried on the seeds. This is why the coffee is so sweet, much of the fruit sugars soaked into the seed, in the process of drying. We had thought the coffee was 100% red Catuai varietal, but we learned Mundo Novo varietal is also included. The farm size is 90 Hectares (Ha), pretty big, and they also grow yellow Catuai.

We were sleeping on the Serra Negra, and now you have it for espresso. At this point it has been biked to the four corners of Portland. We thought the Costa Rica was fun, but perhaps not so fun for the straight espresso drinkers.

Much happening in our coffee world. Dinner with friends. Courier is going to get a whole lot more exciting soon. One tidbit: we have a new Ahearne bike coming our way for trials this weekend, a cycle truck. Check it out.


new espresso

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Thats right, new espresso. Costa Rica los Santos, Tarazu, Caturra and Catuai varietals, from a bunch of farms averaging 1-5 Hectares (Ha). Lot arrived March 14th in Oakland. The seed is super dense, and we are working to open up that density with heat. With espresso we attempt a closer distribution of colors, denoting a more like developemt of sugars/whatnot. Distribution from the outside/surface to the inside/heart. Break a seed open and you will see a change in colors. In this way we may see how heat has moved through and bounced back upon itself. We would like to get less variation in color gradient with this coffee. It is pretty wild right now, and very fresh. It could be that if we let it sit for a month before roasting, the moisture would even out in the seed, making for better heat transfer. We like freshness though.

The food pics of deviled eggs are from the Half and Half Cafe. The diced chives, parmesian, wine, butter & flour (for savory biscuits) are from Matt (CCR) and Daphnes kitchen.



searching for a new coffee

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Coffee is being harvested at this moment. All of the laborsome work to remove the cherry and dry the seeds , carefully sorting through all the seeds and conditioning each so that it is stable for shipping. Buyers are being found. Large freighters are moving steel shipping containers across the ocean. With the many coffee producing areas staggered roughly within 15 degrees latitude from the Equator, there is always someone somewhere moving fresh green coffee seeds. New crops are always arriving. Except right now (sort of).

This time of year slows for new crop arrivals. Kenya fly-crops are coming soon, and a few things from Ethiopia and Peru are moving about. There is a lot to be hopeful for, but not a lot to choose from.

Last Thursday we roasted 17 samples from two different merchants. These coffees had already been purchased by them and we were in decision mode. Four hours of manually turning a drum over a flame, we cupped (tasted) each sample. Today we recupped (evaluated) a few. eh.

Our new coffee for the moment is from Banz, Western Highland Province, Papua New Guinea, Kigibah Estate. It is mostly Typica (Blue Mountain strain) and Arusha varietals. The crop arrived afloat in Emeryville January, and we recieved it last Monday. It has a nice pungency and somewhat darker fruit notes (more on this later).

Lately we have been assessing our sliding track door, eating doughnuts from Doughnut Queen (60th and Burnside recommended, but not before cupping), making nice phone conversation, and roasting a ton of Papua New Guinea Kigibah. Our 800rpm Anfim with Titanium Burrs and Omron timer is on trial at CoffeeHouse NW still. Honestly we are trying to cup and evaluate coffee every spare minute we get. Not just samples, but of our production roasts of the Kigibah to learn what notes we are trying to bring out. New list of our Coffee Offerings coming soon.

Saturday, January 9th, 2010


Half and Half Cafe, 923 sw Oak, bright and lovely. The pies were pretty. Soy cappucino pictured above, with Ethiopia Sidamo grade 4 espresso, grown by the Oromia cooperative.

Best courier coffee roasters. oh and heads up Little Red Bike Cafe is now offering dinner service!! Foster Burger was closed last week for a few days, but they should reopen anytime.

Playing with image quality today. Top three are imbedded from Picasa, cant seem to scale them to fit. Wonder how they scale on different size screens. Lower three are cut and pasted from Picasa, and so the actual image is on the Picasa system. Three months back all of our pictures were from Flikr and they were much crisper. It appears linking to Picasa seems to pixelate image.

Courier keeping holiday spirit, or our vintage three group San Marco Leva

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Weather outside still cold. Mittens, hot drinks, windy bike rides tell us the holidays are still here. The streets were calmer this weekend, but places like Powell’s City of Books were bustling harder than ever. We spotted people traveling more often in groups than in ones and twos. This was most noticeable when looking into cars. People together equals holiday spirit to us.

At Courier we have many exciting side projects keeping us busy in the warmth of the roastery. One of them our La San Marco Spring/Lever two group from 1981. It is now propped on bricks sitting on recycled rubber pads. A stainless steel Synesso drain tray has been temporarily re-purposed to move water from drainbox to sink. We have been grinding and dosing with a Robur 110v grinder, wired with Delta fractional second timer. Last week we adjusted our incoming water line pressure to 25psi. This week we increased line pressure to 40psi, while adjusting the roller cam set screw down. At the peak of the eyelets contact with roller cam, water flow now approximates what we would see at the Half & Half Cafe, or the Little Red Bike Cafe. This is not set exactly and so tomorrow we will measure water volume vs. time.

There is an obvious source of channeling currently, in how we have our group set up. There is a notch at the bottom of every San Marco piston shaft, level at where the screen is held by the retaining clip. Water at pressure wants to go toward this gap, putting more force at the coffee grounds immediately below. Instead of water pressing equally through the puck of grounds locked into the portafilter, more water is pressed through the point of weakness. This part is getting over extracted, so that after all the goodness is pressed out, the awful bitterness is also pressed out. Technique may of course make up for this with the Leva, but why not make it better. Theoretically once the cavity of air above the coffee grounds fills, pressure equalizes between the line and the cavity. The cavity still has its own pressure barrier, the screen.

More positive forces at work this winter include a few new coffee friends serving Courier. Foster Burger opens soon, where Cava once was on 53rd and Foster.  Burgers, Milkshakes, rock and roll! Also Dovetail Baking opens for retail a few weeks into January, 30th and Alberta. Dovetail will be french pressing Courier Coffee all the time!

Just in time for Christmas

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Peru Rodriguez de Mendoza COOPARM Cooperative coffee fresh at the Half & Half Cafe (12/23). Light chocolaty in mouth, mango citrus aromatic, grown organically. Jeff of H&H has told us twice that he likes this coffee a ton.

Our espresso is changing at the Half & Half today, and Little Red Bike Cafe Christmas day (yes, they are totally open normal hours!). Espresso is now 100% naturally processed (grade 3) Sidamo from the Oromia Cooperative, organically grown. We are in experimental/ prototype mode for this new coffee as espresso, and expect it to be intensely fruited, hopefully awesome.

We are not standing around with beers today. So far this week…. OSHA did a surprise inspection (nobody called it, we were assured it was totally random). Agriculture also inspected us, that was today. Yesterday we did a big clean that lasted forever into the night. Alex clocked an eighteen hour day, and Matt Sperry was called in to help from 5-10pm. We flipped all bags of coffee in our cellar (the big burlap bags of green coffee) to flip flop high and low, compensating for moisture and temperature stratification within the room. Over the last week we have been swimming in projects and happily making headway. Achieving sleep at all is pretty nice. When OSHA arrived thats where I was, asleep in a sitting position, with a fake bear hat to keep my head warm.

Oh, and last night the studded bike tires were useful for the second time this season!

Christmas Eve we will be roasting coffee and delivering it by bicycle super early. In the morning we have a few pick ups, and then we are off. Tomorrow we will mostly roast coffee for our family. Any special orders please call them in tonight. Holiday cheer from all of us at CCR

weekend

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Saturday Courier made coffee at the Eyeful Gallery (6th&Everette), which will be closed this week and re-open the Wednesday after Christmas. We pulled our cargo bike into the space bringing stacks of ceramic cups, coffee, grinder, french press.

We then brought coffee to the Half & Half Cafe (923 SW Oak)

Besides biking like crazy around Portland we have found time to grab a beer float at our favorite pizza shop in town, DoveVivi (NE 28th & Glisen 4-10pm everynight). This is our friend Jesse Littlewood, who loved his beer float.

At noon Saturday in BT’s bedroom, BT & Michael Parich, produced a small run (twelve) of Courier shirts in small and medium, printed on cotton American Apparel.

Last minute special coffee orders are still ok. Advance notice would be great. With Christmas coming soon, Little Red Bike Cafe now open seven days a week (including this week!!), and places like the Half & Half Cafe buzzing with people, we are working hard to keep a variety of coffee stocked at each location for retail.

glittering night time coffee delivery

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Last night the streets were sparkling with ice. We have between our front loading cargo bike and my Surly 1×1 one set of Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires, with carbide studs. These offer a lot of rolling resistance, perfect for these icy mornings. Matt and Alex’s bikes run 27inch tires, which unfortunately do not have their own set of studded tires.

We have been tying some of the coffee that goes out with red ribbon. Below is our current offering list. A few coffees are roasted each day as part of 15 pound batches, often we have something roasted here fresh.

Kenya Karatina aa (Nyeri)- spicy, rasberry citrus.

Guatemala finca las Nubes- tobleron chocolate orange

El Salvador finca Alaska- tangerine, kumquat, super juicy and very full sugar

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe grade 2 Oromia cooperative, organically grown- rad.

Indonesia Flores Bajawa Ngura (wet hulled)- peanut buttery, organic grown.

Tuesday we expect two more coffees to arrive and be added to our list. If you would like coffee please just call our number listed on our main page.

Currently we have a nice rotation of coffee going at Half and Half Cafe and Little Red Bike Cafe. Our goal is to always have three different coffees at each. Our espresso is on the way out. Our 100% red bourbon varietal espresso from the Alvarez family, el Salvador, looks like it may be gone by either Christmas or the New Year. We are super in love with this espresso at the moment. Please check it out before it is gone.

gift giving freshness

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Half pounds of coffee make super gifts. They are small, portable, pretty much already wrapped, and the right amount to last a few days (while the coffee is fresh and awesome in your mouth).

We highly recommend getting coffee that has been roasted as close as possible to the date you plan to give it as gift. We think coffee is best enjoyed within seven days of being roasted, kept room temperature, away from draft, and in whole bean form. In these first few days the coffee kind of opens up, peaks, then starts to mellow. There is a freshness to the acidity, meaning the quality of the acidity, not the actual acid content. These first few days are when the coffee should taste like papaya, or tangerines (my examples), or all the wonderful things that you want your coffee to taste like. There is a full spectrum of flavors present and at the very first the coffee shows itself off. As coffee ages it loses its high and low notes. The feel of the coffee in your mouth gets more rounded and syrupy. In the case of ground coffee it ages so quickly that this roundedness happens within a few days (coffee grinders make great gifts too!).

There are some crazy misconceptions that freezing coffee, or refrigerating coffee keeps it good. Do you think anything is as tasty after its been dethawed, or refrigerated? Perhaps if we were in a place where it was impossible to find freshly roasted coffee then we would freeze it, but we live in Portland. There is a roaster on every corner! The refrigerator and the freezer are very dry places. They suck moisture and flavor from the things that go inside them. We do not put tomatoes in the refrigerator for exactly the same reason we do not put coffee in the refrigerator.

As always Little Red Bike Cafe and Half & Half Cafe sell our coffee in whatever amount you should wish. Eastmoreland market also sells our coffee. This year our friend Mark is also selling our coffee at the Eyeful Gallery for the Dill Pickle Club. People are always welcome to pick coffee up at our workshop, and things run a little smoother when orders are called in. Well, often if you drop-in we will have coffee as well. We also do bicycle delivery.

Purchasing our coffee from our friends supports them and supports us. This year we are going to try and set up pre-order lists at each of the above locations for pickup right before the 25th. We really want your coffee as gifts to be fresh. Already one of our major goals is that our coffee shops always have fresh coffee. We do deliveries daily to make everyones timeline, and make sure that our coffee is always enjoyed when its peaking. Holiday orders are totally welcome, and yes when its snowing we will still be biking, albeit perhaps on mini-bikes.

good press

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
IMGP4074 by you.

Heidi Swift wrote a rad article on Courier Coffee that came out in Sundays Oregonian in the Travel section, check it out here. Complete photo gallery here. Heidi also wrote about us here, on her blog The Everyday Athlete.

On the coffee front we have some new samples coming to us from Royal Coffee. Particularly we are excited about coffee from the Cenaproc cooperative in Bolivia. We carried coffee from this cooperative last year and it was fantastic, perhaps one of our favorites from 2008, besides the Koratie cooperative coffee, Ethiopia. Royal only purchased one container this year, hoping there is some left for us by the time we roast and cup the sample.

Currently in our cellar we are offering..

Flores Bajawa Ngura (where Ngura means wet-hulled), organically grown

Ethiopia grade 2 (washed) Yirgacheffe, Oromia cooperative, org grown.

El Salvador Palo De Campana finca Alaska.

El Salvador Borbollon (red bourbon varietal) fincas la Reforma & el Cerro for espresso only.

Guatemala Esquipulas de Chiquimula finca Las Nubes.

Decaf Chiapas Mexico ORPAE cooperative, org grown, water process decaf.

Now we should say that while we have these coffees, they are not always roasted, or being roasted everyday. Half and Half Cafe, Little Red Bike Cafe, and Eastmoreland Market all retail our coffee. Walk ins are welcome at our workshop, but it is always best to call ahead to make sure we have what you want roasted.