Archive for July, 2009

cargo bike update

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

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Our front loading cargo bike is doing well. The giant chunk of gearing on the right still has me a bit unnerved (9-chainrings Sram). Yesterday while eating a Banana & Nutella crepe at Perierra Creperie, 12th and Hawthorne, I was mentioning the new depth of sound coming from the pawls in the rear hub. Lucky for us Miranda of Potato Champion, the neighboring food cart, also works as a bike mechanic. She came out of her cart and we learned a little about cassette hubs.

Parts of our bike that need work are the vertical steering stem, and the front hub. The front hub cones and races are partly eroded, from crud getting into the loose ball bearings. And the steering column has always been rigged, the shaft being non-standard, and a star-nut not fitting for a headset. While we have work to do, we have come a long way in improving the awesomeness of our ride.

The cargo bike visited almost all of our accounts yesterday. Our regular Tuesday morning had Alex out to Little Red Bike Cafe, then over the St. John bridge to Two Tarts in N.W. Portland. After having a crepe I took our cargo bike up to Toast, 52nd and Steel, then to 72nd ave Pub, finally Sellwood Cycle.

This morning I biked through Sellwood, over the Holgate overpass, and up to our workshop, dropping off glass mason jars full of whole bean coffee as I went.

IMGP3129 by you.

-bike frame made by C.A.T. in Eugene, Oregon- additional love from Veloshop Portland.

Perierra Creperie now serving Courier Coffee

Monday, July 13th, 2009

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Perierra Creperie makes crepes on 12th and Hawthorne. Starting tomorrow they will be french pressing Courier Coffee!!! Coffee offering- Guatemala Huehuetenango finca Palhu. Coffee will be served in paper cups, and made often. Bring a cup from home!! Sean of the Creperie is making a large sign inviting people over for coffee, definitely bicycle themed. The crepes are delicious, they are open till 3am, and this is an outdoor food cart- super bike accessible!!

more on our handmade cloth siphon filters

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

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This is a picture of Alex making the first one. The drawstring here is pretty fat. We went with our stitching thread on the next few cloth filters.

Cloth makes a wonderful filter. It lets more oils through than paper, and the resulting product is very clean. This, for me, is one of the defining points of siphon brewing using Hario tabletop brewers.

The cloth filter may be reused many times. We rinse ours with hot water and then store in the refrigerator, also in water. We make sure to keep the water that the cloth filter is stored in fresh.

Other news: The last batch of Brazil fazenda Nossa Senhora de Fatima was roasted today. This was a beautiful coffee and we are sad to see it go. If you are having dinner at Dovevivi in the next few nights it should be available for french press, please ask your server. Also there is a new spot to serve Courier Coffee on the eastside. I will have more on this super soon. What I may tell you now is that they have never served coffee before, but that fresh french presses of Courier will be very available.

hand stitched Hario siphon filters

Friday, July 10th, 2009

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Three hand stitched Hario siphon filters, made by Alex Geddes of CCR. The cloth is reused from bags Royal Coffee packages their green coffee samples. The thread is 92 weight long stranded polymer, the same thread holding the CCR messenger bags together. One of the threads on each piece of cloth is actually a drawstring, that will be pulled tight and tied on the stainless steel filter holders common on Hario, Yama, and Tokio siphon brewers. Alex’s first cloth filter was made one week ago. The cloth we are using is 100% cotton and higher thread count than Hario made filters, yet the draw down time is unaffected. Our cloth might actually be a little bit more porous, still it lets no sediment into the lower glass.

Hario siphon brewing has been a favorite at CCR for months. We have now catered more than a few events with this brewer, biking all the glass, demitasse cups, water, kettle, fuel. Making our own filters was a natural next step. We will be making these available locally upon request.

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Finally, a world atlas!

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Courier Coffee tripped to the coast Saturday July 4th. We went to Neskowin, a little town above Lincoln City. Leaving Portland early we arrived for the morning parade. Following, coffee was made and then to the annual book sale. We ended with an entire box full of books, one of them was this world atlas from 1984. Below is a snapshot i took of Sulawesi.

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Sulawesi Toraja is about where the bulge on the left is. The lower left leg of the island is South Sulawesi. Coffee from Toraja currently makes up 50% of our espresso mix. The other half comes from a cooperative in the Sidamo area of Ethiopia. Our Sulawesi coffee arrived in Oakland December/January. We cupped eight different lots of Indonesian coffee sent to us from a few coffee merchants. This lot of Sulawesi Toraja stood out, and it has only made it out into the world for drip or french press coffee a few times. I am not sure we really understand this as a coffee coffee a whole lot yet. It definitely has not made it onto my kitchen table, but I have loved it in the espresso. Oh, and the atlas is rad.

Working on the Guatemela Palhu, calibrating our hygrometers, biking loops with the cargo bike

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

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A quick reflective cupping of Guatemala Huehuetenango finca Palhu, May crop arrival into Oakland/Emeryville through Royal Coffee. Palhu is a 33.8 hectare farm; elevation 1550-2000 meters; cultivars: 75% Catura, the rest Bourbon, Catuai, Mundo Nuevo.

We’ve gradually been finding our balance on this coffee. At the beginning of last week we were developing more of a chewy mouthfeel at a medium roast, slightly too much in the end, and we found ourselves liking the lighter roasts. Our Friday and Sunday roasts were comparatively light with flavors of Ceylon tea and lemon. Now we are slowly working back into developing the sugars without taking away the crispness in the acidity.

IMGP3017 by you.In other developments, we have re-calibrated our hygrometers using table salt and Ziploc bags. Pictured above is a worthless Taylor hygrometer.There is actually no way to calibrate this except by bending the needle, and even then it is garbage. Synthetic hair hygrometers are the way to go, the best from Duro-Therm. Hair expands and contracts with humidity, and is a pretty accurate way to measure relative humidity. The one we are currently using is an older Duro-Therm I got off eBay. We used to use a wet/dry bulb method that we combined with a vacuum cleaner to draw air across the wet bulb, kind of like a sling psychrometer. Our cellar has been a little moist, to be expected for a basement. We have a wine humidifier running all the time but it struggles sometimes with the amount of moisture. We are currently at 68% RH and 55 F. In a beautiful world I would have us at 55% RH and 60 F. I am sure we need an above ground silo to store our green coffee. Moisture and temperature are important for keeping our green coffee fresh for as long as possible, but at the very least our store room is highly stable. Our recent investigations are part of a long term study in green coffee storage. Today we are just excited about our high tech method for calibrating our gear.

Other news: the cargo bike had a long run yesterday from 40th & Hawthorne, 52nd & Steel, Milwaulkie & Tacoma, Fremont & Mississippi, 18th & West Burnside, Knapp & Milwaukie to 40th and Hawthorne.