September 17th, 2015


The most exciting project personally right now is fixing the shimano saint dual piston hydraulic brake action on the ceramic pistons.Shimano does not make replacement parts for this (very expensive) item, and so its been difficult even talking to people about our issues- but thats when we came across one awesome bike shop which gave us some tips. Today we are cleaning around the ceramic pistons with mineral spirits and really trying to clean the action up.

Tomorrow we wait for a semitruck of green coffee to arrive. The trick is that even though they have promised to deliver by a certain time we are most likely at their mercy. We could be stuck all day waiting, which is the way it works, and we have no recourse.

checked bases with city bikes and they may help us carry some sweet bike lights for everyone stranded near our coffee bar in the dark. it is not a done deal yet, but City Bikes is always ready to help us out. We have many bike friends but there is one little rear light we love and they carry it.

Downtown some may have noticed that the chairs are still horrible, but we have visually cleared space above the front door. The next move is to increase seating very slightly while still making a generous space for wheelchairs (and bikes should you bring them in).

Friday (tomorrow) we have three new coffees arriving at the roastery (as some point) means you wont see them untill slightly later.

all the best-us-courier

September 14th, 2015

We have two new coffees. one a Natural process Chelbesa Mill lot (Gedeb,Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region of Ethiopia). One La Providencia Farm from the municipality of San Pedro Necta, Huehuetenango, Guatemala (with the name they gave the lot ‘Palhu’). The first is pretty funky, berry aromatics, grassy as it cools. The second is more earth, and a sugar that holds a caramelly body at medium roasts, with a bakers chocolate component.

Next week we will have at least two new coffees on bar, let you know about them then. We will also start to have housemade Muesli and Granola, and are working on being able to offer bike lights for sale as a convenience to the neighbors since it is getting dark earlier.

We are ten years old as a roastery, but it feels like we are just learning all the time so much. i think im going to take a break here on writing and follow up soon.

August 18th, 2015

roasting summer

August 1st, 2015

The process of roasting coffee feels like it occurs faster in the summer. we are not sure if this is for better or worse but we do like hitting orange/red colors at 4 minutes- something people roasting on a 1950s probat probably have an easier time at. Since the roaster feels like it is going faster we are roasting (I am roasting) slightly larger batches of green coffee. And it appears i am finishing them faster with similar results. ive easily been doing 10.5 minute roasts of coffee.

This could be attributed to the room temperature (100F), or maybe the humidity is helping the roast. Now, will you taste this in the cup, probably not. Will there be a difference from this over the winter, probably not. However we feel like similar and maybe imperceivably better results are happening in the summer. The mood we are in certainly does affect the roasts, which, we are happy the summer is helping the roasts.

back from japan

July 23rd, 2015

its pretty hard to write entries.


biked by heart coffee roasters new space today- they are growing. everyday biking by “good coffee”- have not been there,but.

Japan- we did not visit blue bottle at all. we did not visit the portland themed restaurant named burnside. we loved coffee elementary school- third wave japan eat that. PADDLERS COFFEE serving Stumptown, the new location is more than rad-i more than recommend looking them up and, letting them be ambassadors for Stumptown Coffee Tokyo.

Coffee Elementary School is probably the most third wave shop we experienced. if you saw us there thats how much we love you. Onnibus Coffee Roasters I claim full responsibility for stealing your umbrella.

Back in Portland we have a guy calling us about his espresso machine- awesome-thank you. We just got our first 3 star review on google-EVER. thank you, and you are lucky we are internet savy.

4 years is a lot of wear and tear. the staff is fresh. what do we do. grab a beer together. probably.

i want to thank you. so so much. making coffee is the same, but always different and we appreciate you. thank you

July 3rd, 2015

open normal july 4th. closed one pm. we have a ton of coffee and cold brew.

Japan trip part 2

June 24th, 2015

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.

Tokyo streets.

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.

Kamiyama house.

tokushima city, biking with students from the University on our 450 Yen a day bikes.

japan trip

June 11th, 2015

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

June 8th, 2015

New coffee-
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

a personal post

May 18th, 2015

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