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          Archive for October, 2012

          Sunday, 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…

          Monday, 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.

          Monday, 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.

          Thursday, 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.

          Tuesday, 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!!