December 4th, 2012
All the news.
Thursday we invite you to receive EGGY RECORDS. We will close bar at close, then reopen randomly for coffee service well before 9pm PROMPT for the WOOLEN MEN who will be playing a show. The pleasure of your attendance is requested. In a way the spirit of Eggy Records draws from Half and Half times when their tapes were sold on the peg board, next to the pies and sandwiches of old. Back in 1999 when coffee shops sold underwear.
The Phil Wood hub on our Cargo Bike has failed after 3 years (pawls are not engaging teeth). We are told the parts are corroded, but the teeth are good. If you have ever had your hub not engage you know this could be scary. We dont know what to think since our White Industries Freewheel after ten years has never failed once, with the same pawls and teeth.
We found two bike gifts if high quality this year. Bike bells, specifically the Bell sold at Canoe, or the Crane sold at Bike Gallery and Western- so so kick ass. We were haters until recently, and bells are fun. come to Courier and we will model them for you. Second- Serfas usb bike lights- Joel and Tyler on bar have these with them if you want to check them out. They are SUPER bright and rad, with the downside fo short battery life. However we are won at the moment. There is always coffee, but safety first right?
This Sunday we will start to be open. Hours 9-4 (hours subject to change). The weekend in winter is slower time for us and while we would like to be open all day we are just not sure how to do this. Talk to us, let us know, we value your support.
December 3rd, 2012
Mason jar cozies, by Michael Parich. material- Pendleton wool. Available at Courier.
Sunday bar hours this week. Later than normal First Thursday reception played by the Woolen Men.
November 29th, 2012
We met at Tugboat brewing, gathering the roastery and bar staff together to chat about the future of Courier. The most significant discussion revolved around getting business cards printed, stamps made, and in general advertising/ better representation and labeling. Looking forward, the next step is to sell wholebean coffee directly from the roastery. December will be a busy month, but now we have a project list taped to the side of the fridge downtown!
We would like to start serving coffee on sundays, figuring out the time to open is the thing now. Ideally this will start December. Eggy Records will be showcasing their discography December at Courier downtown, we will have an opening reception First Thursday where the Woolen Men will play starting after 9pm. Prior to the band we will be playing music from the Eggy Records Label from cassette tape. These tapes will be available for sale during the month of December.
November 14th, 2012
The process for sample roasting at Courier involves a garage full of spiders, a partially full container of propane with half working barbeque, and our custom steel drum welded by Sherman Dodd formerly owner of Coffee/PER (maker of the SanFranciscan Roaster).
There is a brick we set on one side of the drum, and the sawed off L-brackets that hold the spit need constant readjustment. With drum angled slightly the end of the rotating shaft rests against a scythe blade, jammed between L-bracket and barbeque.
It used to be there was a temperature coil magnetized to the side of the drum, but that must have gotten lost. Now to make sure of temperature we hold a hand over the drum, and to check how we are doing we examine seed color.
This morning we roasted a pound for Daisuke from a farm he worked on in HueHue, which got put on a plane with Sakichan for Tokyo. It has taken a lot of coffee and a lot of time to roast consistently, and even with advanced equipment it takes time. Our roasts that we sell come out of 40th and Hawthorne on our 25 pound San Franciscan. Roasting daily.
November 7th, 2012
Twenty pounds beeswax from Hermans family (Peoples Farmers Market), more raw than we thought (use imagination here), and much more honey sweet. This we found today for the Canele forms, incredibly awkward to bike with. This family is incredibly passionate about their farm. They do not use pesticides, and their bees are surrounded by their large property. This same honey is on bar at Courier for adding to drinks.
Brilliant orange squash (pumpkin?) from Groundworks Organic was mixed with mollasses, clove, cinnamon for pumpkin bread today. Yesterday we added Brandy again as a house staple because the apple brandy pie at Navarre sounded so good. We now have apple brandy muffins, with fruit from Old World Apple, who we highly recommend at the NW corner of PSU’s Farmers Market (organically grown).
Monday we were out with tools repairing espresso machines for two other roasters. Hours later our billings came to less than twenty dollars and we were enjoying whisky at TIGA with Chris Brady of Extracto. It is really something else to set out on a four hour journey weighed down with steel tools, brass valves, and caste iron pipe wrenches pulled tightly to ones back.
At the end of the day we wrapped up with repairing chipped edges for a customer of their Global knife (Niigata, Japan). A few hours working 500/1000/5000 grit stones, because care is important in all things (even if they are not your own). A nice knife is worth working on, even if it is so far flung from our business.
October 28th, 2012
The Willamette Week Food Guide notes Luc Lac for their coffee service. Their preparation with coffee is next level, with smoked salt, bubbly water, and sweetened condensed milk. Not only a cozy downtown hideaway for Vietnamese comfort food, their bartenders are rad, preparing Courier Coffee in a way we never could. We roast french roast for them, to be brewed in Vietnamese drippers. If you ever longed for dark, sweet, and creamy Courier Coffee on a fall day, SW 2nd and Taylor is worth a visit. Their preparation is awesome, and such a different way to enjoy our coffee (we love them a ton).
Elizabeth of Sahagun Chocolate, has recently brought something else to the table making chocolate like bars with our coffee. Totally unique she uses coffee ground with cocoa butter, where the look is like chocolate, the texture not, and the taste like eating coffee beans. We know of Sahagun from Cacao Chocolate, an exceptional importer of chocolate into Portland, where Elizabeths Kapow Bars may be found.
So last week we received a bottle of ginger syrup from Tokyo, to compare with our own housemade ginger syrup from local fresh ginger. We have been carbonating our own water at the bar to test ginger ale, which has been pretty fun. Our bar has probably too much going on including roasted sweet pumpkin, heirloom carrots (we have a ton), and heirloom apples from the Old World Apple stand at the PSU farmers market.
In the rain ants have fled neighboring bookstores for Couriers bar. The side project has been locating their entry points and running beads of caulk to seal them up.
Lastly the roastery still has parts neatly laid out. We love to see all the tools side by side, and at a glance to check the inventory of valves and fittings. It is super satisfying to not only see coffee, but a full scale workshop. This means that we are working…
October 22nd, 2012
The roastery has been more fun than its been in ages. There are live exposed electrical, and water tube, and the parts have been neatly laid out. The work that is done here is pretty sound (no electrical tape, no teflon, and almost all parts from the manufacturer). For the first few years of Courier any extra funds went into our tools, and our bikes. We have gone out of our way to support the small family tool businesses (not franchised). Currently we are going over a two group Synesso Cyncra pictured way back. Working on this machine is really fun.
October 15th, 2012
Very little separates coffee from the rain. It is perhaps an old cardboard box, or a sheet of plastic from shipping material loosely covering the coffee. Yet we are still moving what we roast across the city by bike.
This week we have been digging out bicycle fenders, and have started to be more attentive to charging our bike light batteries. Also our favorite bike tires for the cargo bike have just come back in stock- Schwalbe Marathon Pluses, which we plan to stock up on.
Downtown we have eight quarts of housemade ginger syrup, and in one of our bags lies the missing piece for our carbonation system. Our Honey supply is at 3.5 Gallons, and if anyone notices the 200 pounds sugar and 200 pounds flour they may want to place bets on how much our shelf may hold (because our records weigh a ton). Our favorite varietal of Pumpkins are almost in season, and cranberries are coming fast. For the third time we replace the thermostat on our glass door beverage cooler, happily averaging 37F now (although the part inside is no longer within spec.).
The roastery is also pretty stocked with the current coffee offerings, but we are trying to buy more as soon as we may.
October 11th, 2012
Our new delivery bell is so so rad. Actually, tonight through downtown a loud motorcycle came up behind us and rang a…. bicycle bell.
While working through how to carbonate our tap water at Courier ( part of our ongoing project to make fresh local grown and produced ginger ale), we were reminded that length of tubing affects pressure. Steinbarts reminded us that the length of dispensing tube leading from pressurized container that they sell (pre assembled for home brew applications) is designed for beer pressures of 20 psi, while carbonated water at 40psi is going to need a longer tube to reduce the flow rate. This- sort- of- makes-sense. A longer electrical line conditions and reduces amperage. A longer water line conditions pressure, but it seems to take a lot of line to do this… perhaps a longer HVAC. Well tomorrow we pick up a missing piece from Steinbarts.
Other news- Michael Parich has issued a new line of Coozies for wide mouth jars, available at Courier. They are handcrafted of Pendleton Wool, and now have labels made by BT Livermore.
October 2nd, 2012
We traded coffee for ginger at the PSU Farmers Market c/o Groundworks Organic, who we have a lasting relationship with. Ginger in the Pacific Northwest is rarely grown, yet when its found it may be harvested around this time of year. In Japan, ginger may be kept for the rest of the year by burying it in soil, where it keeps well. To prepare ours we washed, and removed some of the brown skin. Slicing into discs we weighed out equal parts of cane sugar, and put the two in a bowl together to rest overnight. Water, clove, and cardamon were added and simmered over low heat for roughly 40 minutes. Currently the strained out ginger slices are being dried in our oven on sheet pans. ginger apple things sound pretty good. Thanks to Groundworks Organic for growing ginger close to home.
Now that the Cargo bike is workable it is time to ready our delivery bike for fall. In two weeks we will get our brakes adjusted, but for the moment we are going to add a new bell that we picked up at Canoe (13th and Alder). Canoe and Beam and Anchor are both offering smaller brass “bell” brand bells, but the word is that Western Bikes has the slightly deeper sounding brass “Crane” bell. Shopping can be fun. We have also purchased perhaps our tenth set of Planet bike lights to be ready as a back up, or for friends. There should always be an extra set at both the roastery and Courier downtown- safety first!!