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          Archive for May, 2014

          Monday, May 26th, 2014

          Totally open- normal hours- memorial day.

          water Boil Lifted- safe

          Saturday, May 24th, 2014


          Courier is Open

          Saturday, May 24th, 2014

          First of all we urge you to read this notice by the Portland Water Bureau

          Coffee brewers, hot water dispensers and espresso machine water is all safe for consumption according to the Multnomah County Health Department.

          All of our ice was discarded, cold brew coffee discarded, sparkling water made in house discarded. Hot water from our water tower was used to make fresh ice. Once the coffee is roasted this morning and delivered we will bring a propane tank down and boil a huge amount of water so we can start making cold brew tomorrow morning for sure. Lucky for us we have a 15 gallon kettle and a 50,000 btu burning we use for boiling water anyway.

          Our triple sink for washing dishes has been deemed proper for sterilization, and while chlorine is the best in this scenario we have been told that Quatro-Ammonium (that we use) is also effective.

          Extracto and Sterling coffee have been in communication with us, as we were asking ourselves questions about water temperature for sterilization. What we now know is that water held above 165F for a period should kill the bacteria, that water above 180F is more easily appropriate. Coffee brewers at their lowest point should hold water to at least 180F. Most modern coffee shops have their brewers set above 190F. Espresso machine brew boilers hold above 200F (+/- 5f) and steam boilers 250F (in the steam part). Rinsing milk pitchers between use should be a problem for all of us. Most coffee shops do not have the capacity to sterilize pitchers between use (let alone that much sterilized water, so they will be using tap water (please just know this). The amount of e.coli to trigger a boil of water level is very low, and those with a weak immune system should especially be aware. We are trying our best, and we are also happy the water bureau website has come back online. Luckily this is not an emergency.

          We are now trying to work with the City to find why it took two hours to send an email to those affected..

          We believe there to be little or no risk. Most of this is due to Federal law. There has only been one test at the Tabor reservoir 5.

          boil water notice

          Friday, May 23rd, 2014

          all of city of portland recommend boiling water. more info in a minute or a few minutes

          synesso troubleshooting, traulsen freezers for summer, wiha vs vaco vs P & C

          Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

          Last week our Synesso Cyncra two group espresso machine started to empty water out of its right side (where the drain tray empties to), while also producing an audible pop sound before the water. Our quick staff did the right thing by turning the machine off (at the machine). This was safe enough, however the best course of action would have been shutting it off at the electrical panel (espresso machines should always be on their own circuit/ or breaker). The next step would be shutting off water (although not needed in this case since they called me). so… what happened.

          In this case the sound was the pressure safety ‘popping’ open. The steam tank had filled completely with water under pressure, because the solenoid valve controlling the filling of the tank had shorted. The ‘way’ in which it had shorted is very interesting to me. The natural position of this valve is closed. When current is applied to the magnetic loop the valve opens. Here the current was not being sent on the ‘hot’ line, but we think was bleeding from neutral to ground, and yet somehow running through the loop. This was an extremely corroded solenoid, with lots of rust, and although we did not fully test our theory- well, replacing the electronic solenoid appears to have put the machine to normal.

          Parts in the system to consider are the level probe (sensing water level), the electronic box (relays low current to high current), and the solenoid valve. We start with the solenoid, because its a beautiful and easy part to replace, with almost no tools, and no messing with water. This problem occurred because when wet things are placed on top of the machine, water drains and sometimes hits this solenoid valve. Total time to fix the problem- 30 minutes, with mostly cleaning. Time for temperature stability on the groups 45 minutes (a guess).

          Overall the Synesso is a pretty rugged machine, and fun to work on. The only repeat issue we have seen lately has been when a stainless steel braided cable is pushed inside the machine and is touching the steam boiler. These cables simply break when touching the boiler, or getting too close to the boiler.

          ok- please let us share some other thrilling mechanical news/discovery/revelation-

          Traulsen freezers are so so so much quieter and better made than True (they didnt pay us to say that). Everything made by True refrigeration that we have bought new has failed and has just been poorly made. The best excuse we have heard was that it was made in America on a friday (because Americans half ass everything on fridays right?) On a faith level, currently we have a lot with Traulsen. Many coffee shops probably already know (and bars) that a regular bar cooler cannot actually handle the weight of beer without the floor slumping in, and we dont know if a traulsen does or does not.

          wiha vs. vaco vs. P &C- ok, so you cant buy P & C drivers anymore, and Vaco may or may not have stopped production three years ago, but Wiha’s are still made, and people say they are rad. We have bent, and destroyed some Wiha’s (especially the handle, which was a lovely idea), but Vaco and P&C with their classic resin handles, and especially the old P&C bulldriver with its square neck- you could hammer them, misuse them, melt them in electrical sockets- those are really coming through for us right now (i should probably get you pictures of these drivers. (oh and xcelite small driver sets- maybe the best purchase of drivers we ever made at the roastery, before it was the roastery).

          Lastly, and the most exciting mechanical news of the day. We have installed a rope and pulley system for our front door at the bar. With a window weight from the Littlewood house or Lee’s Better Letters, we now have a mechanical door closer, which will help keep our room cool, and our bills for air conditioning lower.

          It has been too long since we shared with you. The camera seems to be always at the bottom of our bag, and us in a hurry to get places. more news soon- best-all of us.

          Friday, May 2nd, 2014

          Luckily our roastery is sound isolated, and our neighbors who call the police on us are gone. Ill never forget the night four police officers showed, asking ‘who are you”- ‘who are you?’ we say, they answer-

          we are police they answered. is our sound making a problem. no. . cool. why are you here? your neighbors said they saw the lights on. whats that. a coffee roaster.

          Its really loud at the roastery- since our tapedecks need parts we play music by minidisc. the room is too dusty for records.

          Having just cupped 20 samples roasted this morning- late next week we have a new Ethipian coffee and a new El Salvador coffee arriving on bar. The current espresso is an organically grown colombian coffee from the Kachalu Cooperative in Santander. While imperfect you can sort of taste how I am feeling this week as I roast it. Each roast is different, and we are serving it very fresh. Its fun and dynamic, and yet a very muted acidity to work with. This coffee takes heat well but its difficult to create flavor dynamics (word choice?). We try to build a differential between the mid seed and outer seed in the roast with this coffee- more than others. Going to give up half way explaining it and will only mention that this will be the last week we have it on bar. Refuse a couple espressos for us for fun.

          This week we will try to get you more informed on the more technical workings at the roastery. all the best-us.