Here in Portland we have a flair for the sustainable, renewable and organic. In that vein there's a coupon book published (there's a seattle variation as well) called the Chinook Book. I was having some geek friends over for an evening of dinner, beers, gaming and of course coffee, so I decided to hit up Stumptown and treat the boys to something special. Normally I get the Hairbender for my espresso, but I wanted to use my Chinook Book coupon "Buy 1/2 lb. get 1/2 lb of any organic coffee free". I didn't really want to stray from my favorite blend, but i had the coupon and the cheapskate got the better of me, so I got the Holler Mountain and brought her home.
I'm new here so apologies if this is a repeat, and I won't be surprised if it is, but the heavenly fluids that came pouring forth from my Andreja this evening were bar none the finest that I've not only produced, but likely have ever tasted to date.
That's it. Just a gleaming recommendation on a coffee I probably wouldn't have otherwise tried. So thanks Chinook Book and Stumptown. If you're interested, the book has the same type of coupons for a few other Portland roasters, along with a lot of other great stuff. The $20 price tag quickly pays for itself when you're saving $6 a pop on a pound.
As an aside, the double machiatto they poured me at stumptown when I ordered my beans was also fantastic. Even had a machiatto sized bit of latte art to boot.
Another one of the portland roaster coupons is for K&F, has anyone had good experiences? I've had it years ago, but haven't tried it since joining the ranks of prosumer owners. Any other smallish portland roasters you like?
I'll have to burn through the two pounds I have on hand but I'll give it a shot once I'm out.
What can I expect to be different out of a single-origin vs.a blend like Holler Mountain or Hairbender? When I used to drip I'd get single origin sometimes and noticed differences, but I'm guessing I'll find that one or two characteristics are really jumping out at me when making espresso with the same.
So on top of your other duties, do you put in time behind the machine at the shop? I've only been to the Stumptown on Belmont because it's closest, but I'll venture out to the others once I'm beanless.
as a very serious generalization... with single origin espressos you're more likely to get a clearly defined picture of the varietal/terroir/harvest/roast. this can often result in a flavour that is less rounded than what you would get with a blend.
of course - good single origin espressos tend to be wonderful to drink, great single origin espressos tend to be as good if not better than good blends and bad single origin espressos are (to paraphrase Dr Illy) like 30 minutes of dentistry.
i usually work at least two bar shifts per week and rotate through all the locations. right now, however, i'm not working bar shifts for a while due to a broken leg.
each location has its own distinct feeling and style. most people have a favorite for them. i'd suggest trying them all and figure out which one you feel best in.
Checked out division last afternoon and had a very sexy machiatto and was able to get some work done. I'm headed over to NW for a friend's art show this afternoon so I'll stop in at the new store and check it out as well. Just about out of Holler Mountain, I'll take your advice and pick up a couple SO's to try.
Sorry if I'm not supposed to be changing subjects like this but since I saw Chris' reply I hoped to ask a ? about Hairbender. Just went through my 1st lb - Seemed to me to be better at lower temps . Is this generally the case with hairbender ? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
On commercial machines we spec a brew temp of 200F and a brew pressure of 9.1BAR. We also spec 19gram dosing for an OEM La Marzocco double basket and 27 second extraction of 0.9oz per shot. You should get some nice high-toned fruit good sweetness up front, butterscotch in the body and dutch processed cocoa in the finish.
I like it better than hairbender. It seems less harsh than hairbender when I make it at home. I have not had it prepared by a barista in a shop. Most places if they serve stumptown use hairbender. And when I have gone to stumptown directly I have always had single origin or something else exotic.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
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