Archive for March, 2013

Noble gas Milk Bar + 200 records

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

James biked the Argon in from NE. The Morse hole-saw bit (purchased later from Hall) fit the gas line through our bar fridge. Preliminary testing shows that Milk at 18 psi is enough to seal, and does not affect taste. We now think in the absence of O2 the life of milk may be extended. The next step is the Column, to house the shank and tap.

After three years of use we are servicing the doser on our Robur for the first time (later this week). The star is not connecting fully, but that spring is solid (we have replaced the collar screw twice to aid adjustment however).

Two new coffees on bar. The espresso (which is so so so lovely right now) only has a few days before we are out of the Ileja, Mbeya as well.

Thursday evening extended hours to receive a show curated by BT (oh and a customer just sold us her collection of vinyle- thank you- you records are rad 200 new ones on bar). best ccr

Courier Coffee Trinidad

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Sizzle Pie/ Veloforma- the bike racing team we sponsor- is killing it. They just did some grass track racing in Trinidad, which means our logo and branding is probably doing its work and Courier is huge on the island. Check out the story here.

Brent of formerly Veloshop, now Portland Bike Studio, races with team Sizzle Pie/ Veloforma, hence our connection. We still have fond memories of having a bike shop on the block. The bookstore that has moved in is awesome though (Division Leap is truly a wonderful store), and we get to keep ties with the Veloshop crew.

This week Alex of Courier is on a West coast Tour with one of his bands The Woolen Men. They have just released their second album on Vinyle (both albums on bar at Courier). im going to link to bandcamp because i cant bring myself to link to fbook. They go on an east coast tour in a few months as well. With Alex away we are too busy to hire anyone and its very much a catch 22. So both Courier and Speilman Coffee are missing a roaster this week.

Our spare bike was rebuilt by WTF this week. Sturmey Archer two speed kickback hubs are indeed superior to Bendex. The next time one of our fast bikes burns out you may see us riding a beach cruiser on delivery (mental note- get a rack for said cruiser).

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

espresso on bar at Courier and Kenilworth- Ileja, Mbeya, Tanzania “hope” project N5 and N39 varietals, January arrival Oakland. After a perhaps too long stretch of Gakenki, Rwanda espresso that held a gritty finish, the Ileja comes as a sleeper. It took the staff more than a second to realize the Ileja kills it as an espresso. Order a little buddy and see how this opens up with a little more water, then wait for it to cool and the true depth of this coffee will show. Super lovely, and we have not bought much of it, so expect it not to be on bar long.

On the home front WTF bikes is hooking us up with a Sturmey Archer 2 speed kickback hub for a 1991 Shimano beach cruiser, kind of an awesome bike and kind of not. It was perhaps all the wrecks on this bike that led us to the safe business we are now- that and our monthly OSHA meetings (hahaha).

Portland in a day

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

We took an editor from Tokyo around the city (by car- yeah we know- but he rented a bike the previous day and rode the city). There was urgency, because we were attempting the impossible. The focus of the trip was coffee culture, and mostly Stumptown Coffee (interesting right?). Stumptown Coffee is the first coffee from Portland to be served in Japan, or outside the US and Canada (except for that summer in the Netherlands). Stumptown, despite their growth, started in Portland, which is their hub, and has retained many qualities of a caring and compassionate business (which would be awesome for a growing rad coffee culture). And so this is how we started on our Wednesday, rainy all day, in Portland.

Our trip, and i want you to know we pointed out everysingle coffeeshop, roaster, breakfast spot, record store and bike store along our travels and whose coffee they served.

- Stumptown/Ace Hotel pick up, Sterling (rad rad rad), (point out world cup roasters), Stumptown Belmont (thanks Jason), Pine State (the girl at the counter was the sweetest ever), Courier Roastery to eat our Biscuits (test ride cargo bike in Parking lot), Waffle Window, Fresh Pot Hawthorne, Petes and Starbucks point out, Woodsman Tavern (we found the door unlocked and toured!), Woodsman Market (we pointed out all the Housemade and Locally made products, and the girls probably thought we were nuts, but they said Duane was just there- founder Stumptown). Stumptown Division- meet Duane- enjoy a macchiato, point out bake goods from Little T, head to Little T American Baker and buy Croissant and salted Foccachia, Broder (meet the chefs and watch food being plated), head to St Jack (she said the best Cannele in Portland- sweet- different than ours, and you should try!, great crust), Speilman Coffee Roaster (Rick Speilman can speak Japanese- purchase a bagel), A Better Cycle (our guest almost cried), New Seasons.

Now at New Seasons i think our visitor almost cried again. We did taste a French Roast from Portland Roasting, we looked at all the coffee on the shelf and their color, we talked about cage free vs free range vs pasture raised, but the produce section was Mindblowing. Tags in green and red for seafood that are Abundant vs Overfished. Bulk bins. OMG the produce is just sitting there- not individually packaged. You mean we can buy by weight- very very very cool for Japanese people. Hey, look up, there are pictures of the farmers who grown the produce above!!!! Beer and wine section, what!!!!!! look at all the oregon beer. run run run to next location. Water Avenue Coffee (on the way point out Apex, IPRC, EM Space, then its to Stumptowns new HQ to meet Matt and Bob.

After Stumptown we head to Keegan and Meegans Studio, then Joseph Ahearne bicycle frame builder (again tears, but now jumping up and down- questions- why are the bikes light, why does it feel so solid, how can steel be so light. Lowell (point out all the locally made stuff, Eggy Records, Angies metal work, Leather), Beam and Anchor (poin t out Widmere en route), look upstairs at B&A (wow, wow). Stumptown Printers (Linotype!, unbelievably nice), Liberty Glass for pints of Beer, first time having Mac& Cheese (mindblowing), Por Que No? tacos, Rebuilding Center, Altura Furniture self tour, (point out Albina Press), Mississippi records, Portland Museum of Moder Art, Saraveza beer tasting (such cool people), Red E, Peoples Farmers Market (nori in bulk bins, radiation testing, OMG everythings in Bulk bins and you can bring your own containers from home to fill- laundry soap, honey, nut butters, spices OMG OMG OMG), Meet the farmers!!!!!!!,

AND Then- we head to a lovely Portland Home where the Portland Preservation Society is meeting, courtesy of Brooke Weeber. Thirty people met where there was wine, and beer and snacks in abundance and people brought preserves to trade and showcase (love). Then visit another Portland home, stop by Dovevivi Pizza to get our order, head to the Record Room to see the Woolen Men play a show- cool.

We drove by parks, though Tabor, pointed out forest park. Its nice to get perspective on things, and of course living here its a great goal to see if you can visit everything in a day. We are thinking. Perhaps this trip will have us generating new ideas at Courier for the Summer, and if you are in Japan please visit Paddlers Coffee and say hi to Daisuke- LifeSon restaurant with Tarui Bakery, Shibuya.