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          Archive for March, 2010

          weekend bicycle coffee delight

          Monday, March 29th, 2010

          Saturday started out windy, with little rain. Mostly, rain could be seen in the distance. Morning run, to Little Red Bike Cafe (4823 N. Lombard), with setbacks. Interstate to downtown. Visit Two Tarts Bakery, where they give delicious cookie. Sterling Coffee for double espresso. Emergency coffee order, PorQueNo Hawthorne, where we trade cargo bike (yes its back!) with single speed. Through Brooklyn to Sellwood. Over the Sellwood bridge. Bike up the graveyard to Sprout Cycles, noone home. Over to Lucky Lab Multnomah for a pint of SuperDog. Bomb down Barbur to Downtown, to the Half and Half Cafe. Then its up up up to the CCR roastery. Roast till 830pm. Sleep 930- 330. Then its much wind and moving fast southward. Much fun until the cold cold rain soaks through (supposedly) waterproof clothes. At 730am Alex takes the morning route over.

          Tyler, of LRBC, made a gorgeous double espresso, of our current offering- Ethiopia Sidamo grade 4, Oromia Cooperative. Vivid canned peaches. Peach is something we just started discovering in this espresso.

          Toast Restaurant Brazil Serra Negra

          Friday, March 26th, 2010

          Soon everyone will be serving Brazil Serra Negra coffee, lot 811, January arrival (everyone serving courier). On the whole this might be a nice experience. Hash Restaurant (serving breakfast) ,8728 Southeast 17th Ave, has already commented that the Serra Negra pairs wonderful with breakfast. Toast, 52nd and Steel (Breakfast and dinner), is just about to start serving this coffee for the weekend.

          The first picture is Joel of CCR roasting samples in his garage at home. The roasting of samples is occurring more often. Samples were roasted this morning actually. Notice the red hat that Joel’s sister gave him for Christmas. All other pictures are breakfast delights from Toast Restaurant.

          Brazil Cerrado fazenda Serra Negra

          Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

          Cerrado (pronounced Cehado, yeah, CCR master of fonetics) is a region in the state of Mina Gerias- Brazil. The farm, or fazenda (in Portugese) is named Serra Negra. Brazil Cerrado de Minas fazenda Serra Negra, lot number 811, January crop arrival.

          This is either a natural, or pulped natural (of somesort), of this we are unsure. Either way, the coffee is most likely red Catuai varietal. Because the sugars of the cherry soak/absorb/dry into the seed in these types of processes (common in Brazil), the seeds/beans have more sugar content (sweetness). In our roasts this comes in the form of much raw undeveloped sugars, paired with the developed, or processed sugars. Sometimes these developments are talked about in terms of caramelization, which i am unsure is entirely accurate.

          When we roast, we move sugars from raw/unprocessed sugar, to developed/processed sugars. I think the difference is sucrose vs. glucose. The type of processing determines how clean, or dirty the flavors are. Usually increased sugar content adds to the thickness and takes away from the clarity of the flavors. Sugar may add to many flavors, but it ends up, in the cup, to make for slightly sweeter coffee.

          This Serra Negra does feel like it has more sugar. We get mushroomy flavors, barley, paired with fruit sugars like strawberry. There are tinges of dark, over caramelized sugars, which we currently struggle with, as we try to make the fruit sugars and the mushrooms come out clear. We think this coffee is excellent with (for) breakfast (our breakfast so far). Yesterday Alex cupped out (tasted) all roasts from the last week, picking out favorites, and thinking about what should be brought out in the roasts. This is pretty much all we are serving/biking out this week. Our cellars are low, and its time for change! New crop arrivals coming soon.

          biking the bike, Tyler of CAT/HPM welds the crosspiece supporting our flatbed

          Monday, March 22nd, 2010

          Biking double trips the last two weeks has kept us hungry. Deliver coffee to everyone Friday, then within the next 24 hours they call for more. Perierra Creperie (12th and Hawthorne), one of our loving accounts, keeping us fed.

          John of PICNIC fame (soon to be foodcart), and already spotted in 2009 serving up delicious housemade food/drink, saved Courier Coffee this weekend by taking its Cargo Bike to Eugene. The cargo bike got washed before it took its bike journey to Johns house, frame slung over the shoulder, wheels and seatpost removed.

          Then, CAT (Center for Appropriate Transport), or really a part of CAT- Human Powered Machines (HPM) gave our bike a thicker steel cross piece. Tyler did the welding, and Jan gave John a tour of CAT. The steel certainly is thicker. Extras came in the form of bumpers for the kickstand, hooks to better strap loads, and new heim joints for the steering linkage. Huge thanks to CAT and HPM for covering our bike, and keeping Courier Coffee biking big loads.

          samples, stitching our bags

          Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

          Its cold in the garage. The samples come in little bags. We pour most of a sample into a soup can, making sure to hold a handful back in case we need to re evaluate later. The can has a pour spout to load our steel drum. My garage at home is where our sample roasting is done. It gets pretty smoky, the smoke is oily organic matter smoky.

          Much may be figured by the smell of the smoke. Unlike a commercial roaster, here, in the garage roasting, the person turning the drum is in the line of smoke at all times. When it gets a little colder in the winter, one may lean over the roaster to keep warm. Turning the drum is pretty tedious work.

          The beans (coffee seeds really) piled next to the drum are samples, that have been pulled out with a spoon. They get broken, or sometimes just looked at, to check color change, how heat has moved through the bean, density, and quality of the cellulose structure. Basically, we see where the process is at , and adjust the flame accordingly.

          This is a difficult time of year to get awesome coffee. Not much is coming in and demand is high. When we sample roast, we are trying to see into the future, determine what a production roast would look like, who would want the coffee…

          Other news- Matt Sperry’s courier bag got velcro finally! His bag always turns heads, with its sparkly blue vinyl. Blue upholstery vinyl is not an ideal bag material, but it sure looks cool. Keeping the coffee dry, when we are biking, it has become trickier with heavier loads, what with our cargo bike down. The Cargo bike, by the way, is on its way to Eugene Friday, courtesy of John of Picnic.

          The news stories of Courier Coffee

          Friday, March 12th, 2010

          This evening 4-5pm Koin 6 is doing a story on CCR. It will be available on their website listed as “Beans to Brew”. You have to scroll through the different videos to get to the one with coffee beans pictures- kind of difficult to find.

          At this point it might be fun to document the interviews of CourierCoffee.

          hot knives

          bike portland



          mixmagaxzine portland microroasters

          add some more in a bit-joel

          Cargo Bike update.

          Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

          Cargo bike cross piece, that holds aluminum diamond plate cargo bed portion of the bike, has broken. You may notice an absence of this bicycle in the coming weeks.

          As a business that wholesales coffee (that we roast) and does all delivery by bike, this is certainly a blow for us. Basically this pairs down to a lot more biking. We now have twenty two accounts spread across Portland. The farthest distance between accounts is ten miles. Besides PorQueNo on Hawthorne our next closest commercial account is over a mile away. We bike to Little Red Bike Cafe in N. Portland minimally two times a week, but more often three. We love the bike. Hopefully the Center for Appropriate Transport in Eugene (CAT) gets us running heavy loads soon. If anyone would help get our frame back to Eugene for its repair please let us know. Our cell number is at the bottom of our main page here.


          Monday, March 8th, 2010

          So much stress. This morning DB Shenker loaded a three group Synesso Hydra we have been holding for Wille of Heart Roasters. The last month a large chunk of space has been occupied by this machine at our workshop. The liability, the thought of throwing our bikes into it, somebody falling, and now worrying about the shipping. We are moving this machine for our friend, but it is not worth it. There is a slim chance, however, that the experience is worth it.

          Underneath all that plastic there is a sick three group Synesso Hydra. Each group head runs independently from the others. The group caps have magnetic stays in them to help better identify the two positions of the paddle (more on this later).

          The last few days have been a hustle. Friday multiple welds failed on our cargo bike causing insecurity of the flat bed. At the beginning of the Sunday run this was noticed. We are currently working with CAT to get this repaired.

          The next few weeks will be done on our single speed bikes. Major thanks to Veloshop for cleaning out the King headset on the Surly. It feels great

          searching for a new coffee

          Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

          Coffee is being harvested at this moment. All of the laborsome work to remove the cherry and dry the seeds , carefully sorting through all the seeds and conditioning each so that it is stable for shipping. Buyers are being found. Large freighters are moving steel shipping containers across the ocean. With the many coffee producing areas staggered roughly within 15 degrees latitude from the Equator, there is always someone somewhere moving fresh green coffee seeds. New crops are always arriving. Except right now (sort of).

          This time of year slows for new crop arrivals. Kenya fly-crops are coming soon, and a few things from Ethiopia and Peru are moving about. There is a lot to be hopeful for, but not a lot to choose from.

          Last Thursday we roasted 17 samples from two different merchants. These coffees had already been purchased by them and we were in decision mode. Four hours of manually turning a drum over a flame, we cupped (tasted) each sample. Today we recupped (evaluated) a few. eh.

          Our new coffee for the moment is from Banz, Western Highland Province, Papua New Guinea, Kigibah Estate. It is mostly Typica (Blue Mountain strain) and Arusha varietals. The crop arrived afloat in Emeryville January, and we recieved it last Monday. It has a nice pungency and somewhat darker fruit notes (more on this later).

          Lately we have been assessing our sliding track door, eating doughnuts from Doughnut Queen (60th and Burnside recommended, but not before cupping), making nice phone conversation, and roasting a ton of Papua New Guinea Kigibah. Our 800rpm Anfim with Titanium Burrs and Omron timer is on trial at CoffeeHouse NW still. Honestly we are trying to cup and evaluate coffee every spare minute we get. Not just samples, but of our production roasts of the Kigibah to learn what notes we are trying to bring out. New list of our Coffee Offerings coming soon.