worm gear or gearbox for sanfranciscan sf-25

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.


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

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.

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

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

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.

closing early today 3pm

January 21st, 2017

staff holiday party had no idea about the womens march. luckily everyone can do both. although we opened throughout the snow we close to celebrate the new year. best ccr

exploring a new menu format for coffee shop

January 20th, 2017

Many projects.

We tried to make a menu that would be simple, yet have a little information- the necessary kind. This occurs at the risk of much mystery over what you will get as a customer.

There are many ways to receive a drink. There is no right or wrong way. Compare a starbucks macchiato to a Portland one- which by the way the term is from Italy, so before someone looks down on starbucks, maybe we should consider the differences.

Looking from the other direction it is the staffs job to be mindful of the customers preference, which may just come down to judging them and stereotyping, or making assumptions. After all a bartender must read the setting in order to make a drink.

Currently im thinking a bigger menu might be in order. perhaps a vertical trifold- with a simple menu with pricing, very visual and uncluttered on one side, and a detail on the back, very technical. The affect would be the more customers know about the drink, the more detailed their standards could be, and wouldnt that be a great thing. so making a menu for someone who just wants a black coffee, but also someone who wants a 10oz cappuccino with lots of foam.

As always if you are unhappy with us, please let us know direct, and if you are happy tell a friend. We want to continue to roast coffee that is enjoyed, and provide service that is welcoming.

best best- ccr

much snow

January 11th, 2017

broke a derailleur hanger today on sakikos bike. no time to jb weld it so i plan to destroy my sisters bike tomorrow.

unfortunately i find it fastest to bike on main roads in the snow. too bad all the bike shops are closed, guess ill just harvest and ziptie parts from the garage.

loving the snow. if you get bored please “make” us some customers out of snow at the shop. closing an hour early today. open again tomorrow 7am.

growing older, perhaps a recap and reflection.

December 31st, 2016


My name is Joel. In 6th grade my art teacher asked us to build our future place of work, and our homework was to figure what we would do when we grew up. A computer program that would simulate the next 60 years of our lives, forecasted my future occupation as a firefighter, I decided to start work building a coffee shop. (this was DOS prompt, when the internet started and we were building black boxes still to trick the phone company into long distance calls out of eggbeaters and copper wire. chat rooms with secret codes to get into other chat rooms, wardialing etc. I think my favorite “shareware” was ZZT- geez that game was awesome.)

At the end of the year i can only think of the most recent things. As i walked through the lego section of Fred Meyer yesterday, i was thinking about how much more awesome things would be if i had a Lego Deathstar. Instead of this I went downtown and picked up an ADCOM 555 power amplifier. I imagine that either a Deathstar or the Adcom 555 would be equally awesome, but last night into now i know that life is better.

In school a grim reference was made to the human dimensions of global climate change. It is called boiling a frog in water (vegans can stop reading at this point). if you place a frog in a boiling pot of water it will jump out, but if you place a frog in cold water and bring to a boil the frog will not notice and just boil alive.

The game in Wargames they played was______________.

shifting gears- many know i married a girl from Japan. Today, new years eve, means very little to us. At midnight in Japan one goes to a shrine and rings the bell. You eat noodles, particularly soba noodle, called crossing over noodle to signify the connectedness of the years. and in the morning you watch the first sunrise of the year.

I hope tonight everyone eats noodles at midnight, and for the next few weeks please gather with your friends for meals. we thank you for having a cup of coffee, we will be raising a glass to you. Thank you for being with us. Happy new year.