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.

learning how to “heat” water, and avoid “boiling water”- also holiday news.

December 26th, 2016

Boiling water for coffee has been out of style many years- except in the middle east (you know Turkey, Serbia, Iran etc.)- and Italy, where almost everyone prepares coffee at home at a boil. New coffee house style is espresso machine, and drip brewer, french press, and pourover. One of the most popular and prolific Portland coffee roasters swears by the commercial drip brewer. I guess you could say that if Portland coffee style is trending, then boiling would be anti-cool.

choose vocabulary carefully about water, because your highschool chemistry teacher would be sad. Many many people advise water be below 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and necessarily above 180F. Boiling for most of us is much greater than 200F. So letting that kettle whistle on the stove means it is too hot. So we want to create hot hot water, yet below boiling, how to achieve?

The best way would be to get a feel for the signals that your water is ready. Heat the water, and get a temperature reading in the kettle before it is poured. Know your thermometers accuracy and response time. Make sure the thermometer is calibrated and accurate. For us at home we pull the kettle just as soon as steam is coming out of the kettle in more than a whisp, yet almost steadily, but not forcefully. a fun experiment is to also boil water in an open pot and look for the water bubbles forming on the bottom of the pan, while reading a thermometer as an indicator of temperature. Heating water is a science, but it can be an art as well if you are able to work with your senses. for us making coffee is part science, part art. we need some sort of scale, yet we also need to engage the senses that we have.

Please get the water hot, and if you need (for your purpose) then boil it. I think i can already feel the scorn both my chemistry and physics teachers at Cleveland would have for this description, since i was a pretty serious c plus student. Boiling point always eluded me, but i will give myself at least a 60%score on this post.


The atmosphere this week at the roastery is pretty laid back, because many are shut down this week, but a little tense because things are unpredictable. we are keeping retail coffee limited and trying to be ready but its hard because we dont want to roast too much or too little. a few of the staff are on holiday. we enjoyed the sunday off, and looking forward to New Years Day off. best best-joel ccr

sleet and coffee roasting

December 19th, 2016

Theoretically we will be open until Christmas eve. closed the day of and closed only New Years Day.

I am working especially hard to nail all the holiday coffee roasting, but please feel free to call or email in with the feedback.

We, as always are trying to keep a tight schedule on roasting and are trying to keep all the coffee fresh for you for the holidays. if you need any help call us. please check your roast dates (on any coffee you buy). and please be safe this holiday season.

best best joel ccr


December 8th, 2016

Normal hours.

come for a cup of coffee.

Currently we are debating a rotel integrated amp over a nad integrated for the shop. Our marantz pm7000 was deemed a lost cause. its a pity there are only three decent techs in the city (thats what people say).

a day ago we brought a rio (half and half cafe- and now Kenilworth coffee) back to life after a bad water level controller failed- thanks to parts from Arthur Springer- pretty much the best parts supplier in Portland for espresso machines.

Looking forward to the ride home. taking some air out of the surly 1×1 tires. greasing up the chain for the ice. best us-

Thanksgiving hours 7-1. The day after 7-6. Saturday wear something warm….

November 24th, 2016

and come enjoy Japanese Shaved Ice 11-5 on Saturday (shop hours 9-5 on weekends.

We have a ton of freshly roasted coffee at the shop, and have just stocked La Bouffe International Market with 8 jars, and Food Fight with 8 3/4lb bags.

Thanksgiving is to celebrate the harvest, perhaps after a wonderful summer of fresh food. Please also celebrate the wonderful coffee harvest this year.

much work.

November 18th, 2016

The drum shaft on our SF-25 San Franciscan could be slightly not true- for the last 3 inches, leading to a slight balance issue. But the drum was not balanced before.

We researched worm reduction gear boxes and they seem similar. sliding friction force is not quiet, but it is the most compact way to reduce speed and increase tork. Our new Vortex gear reduction j-box has a sight glass for the oil. We are past 20 hours of recommended break-in, and this weekend it will be time to bleed, flush, and add new synthetic oil. We have been reading up on different weights of oil as you can imagine and taking temperature of the gear box to make sure that we select the correct weight. fun.

On other fronts our Marantz integrated amplifier graced the shop last weekend for ten hours before blowing its outbound circuitry. anticipating the quality of our speakers being called to question we have turned them back over to Brent at Freds Sound of Music. There seems to be a leak in current and everyone is puzzled.

At the roastery its either too hot or too cold. Downtown again this Saturday we will be making shaved ice. we will also be researching heaters to keep people warm (courier has never had heat before- just the espresso machine). Yet courier has never really been that cold.

I remember my second coffee job ever having to siphon heating oil with my mouth to get the furnace started each morning because you could see your breath but we were too cheap to buy heating oil or electric heaters. or to fix our furnace.

saga- sf-25 San Franciscan roaster – unbalanced drum.

November 6th, 2016

Purchased a new 40-series chain for the roaster, which came with a masterlink, and then a chain breaker for such a chain (McGuire Bearing said a bike chainbreaker would work with a 40-series, and we misplaced our two chainbreakers, but i have my doubts). Always excited about getting a new tool.

Installed a new motor driving the drum, the main reason is that there has been an awefull sound lately. Installed a new chain to drive the drum, and… we messed up having to install two masterlinks (for now- need a shorter length to use an idler sprockette instead of idler wheel).

The main loudness in the system, which gets worse as the motor heats up, is the off balanced drum affecting the worm gear conversion box which the motor mounts too. and its a shame because really this is how its been the last ten years, but now the sound is killing us. The solution is to rebalance the drum (comical because Coffee/PER did not care at all about balance when this thing was made). we really hope the company cares now. They have been extremely helpful on the phone lately.

unfinished story- to be continued..

The San Franciscan 25lb roaster gear reduction issue, more issues.

November 2nd, 2016

Id like to get highly technical with this entry, as we have replace motors before, and also have drained the gearbox before.

Our two sources in Portland for parts are McGuire Bearing- where you probably have to be more knowledgeable because exact matches have never been matches for us- and after all the machine we have was never exactly made as it was intended to be made- more on that later. Second place and they have never let us down (fingers crossed because we get a new motor today is) Conrey Electric.

What happened is our gear reduction box, mounted directly to the motor that drives a chain turning the drum failed. It was a two part fail- one the gear stripped, and the slow fail was that the key between the two wore its own new keyway out, sending metal fines into the motor shaft and digging a trench into the motor. This is one tough roaster so this issue has probably been happing the entire life of this machine. Our immediate thought was to get a new gear reduction box or j-box as Mcguire insists.So we did yet the exact match had a larger shaft and sprockettes at 47 teeth accepting a 40 series chain are not readily available. At this point its saturday- the worst day to get parts, or for something to break (things always break on a Friday). Luckily we thought of, and got in touch with Ken Miller, who works at City Bikes, and does freelance work in remodel and construction of pretty much everything- who has one of the most awesome machine shops. Ken saved us. He helped deepen the keyway on the sprokette and enlarge the bore to match the new gearbox. kind of an awesome experience.

Ken emphasized the importance of chain alignment, and now we have noticed perhaps further issue which is why we are installing a new motor today and reducing the length of chain on the drum.

The roaster has been working since saturday, and now we have more work.

more on this soon-joel ccr

update on the month

October 11th, 2016

Fall is here.

Our daughter Ryokuchan started to crawl on september 21st, and David of Courier Coffee’s bar got his first cat.

Japanese Shaved Ice every Saturday has done very well, and we are now committed to keeping this up until the end of December. If you have not heard Courier is the Only coffee roastery perhaps on the West coast to make Japanese shaved ice. Japanese people say its perhaps the best shaved ice they have ever had (insert source here). But serious- people say its rad. Saturday 11/12- close.

Of course we have all new delicious coffee to roast and provide, we are falling in love with all of our coffees. While the menu has changed, our offerings continue to represent single lots of coffee.

The roastery is looking great. just broke down and rebuilt our Ditting (just cleaning). We have two tables propped on sawhorses that have created a great area to package and prep coffee. We have branched out and are now providing a housemade record cleaning fluid to our accounts along with their coffee. Just installed new shift cable and brake pads on our cargo bike (shimano saint dual piston).- fully cleaned the ceramic with spirits, and broke in the pads gently before the ride.

New projects include figuring how to make our own baby changing station , figure out how to heat the coffee shop in the winter, well lots of other stuff.

more soon- thank you for being with us. best ccr