2nd Story is open!
Our 2nd Story is finally open! Stop by Wednesday-Saturday evenings from 5pm for cocktails, craft beer and wine, and delectable bites. We're so excited to have you come up and see our gorgeous little digs. Check it out, we got a little write up today in Neighborhood Notes. Woot!
Also, Cellar Door will now be open 7am-7pm every day, so you can pop in for coffee and stay for cocktails. Can it get any better?
News, news and more news!
In related news, if you have been in lately, then you've surely heard the nonstop buzzsaw sound above you. We hope we haven't disturbed your studying (ahem, Facebooking) but we're working on building out our new evening spot that will hopefully open by the end of the month. We'll be featuring Erin's spectacular seasonal small plates, carefully crafted cocktails, and delightful desserts for every discerning palate. Enough alliteration. We're really, really excited about this project, but also reaching our exhaustion point, so whatever you do, don't ask Jeremy when it'll open! You'll know when we know . . .
Last, but not least, we're sorry to see the end of our favorite produce and herb store in Portland. Limbo closed this past Sunday, taking with it not only our neighborhood produce store, but also one of our best customers. If you used to buy your coffee there, we hope you'll make the special trip to our shop from now on. We promise to make it worth your while! We also wish the Limbo crew the very best. Thanks!
There I go, shooting my mouth off again!
I've either predicted strong economic growth for our region or a descent into dessert and cocktail-fueled debauchery. Either way, works for me.
Coffee Liqueur Mania is Running Wild!
Pretty intense, amazing event yesterday at House Spirits Distillery. The coffee liqueur that we've been working on with House Spirits was released to the world at last! Bottles went out to California, Washington, NYC, and to select OLCC liquor stores for those of you in Oregon. If you're in Portland, though, the best place to nab a bottle is at the House Spirits Apothecary Shoppe (my name for their beautiful little tasting room and bottle shop attached to the distillery).
If you want a little background, the liqueur is made from white, unaged rum made from Maui turbinado sugar. The same sugar was used to make a simple syrup to lightly sweeten it. The rum was used to make infusions of sweet orange peel and cinnamon stick which were added in trace amounts. And the coffee was Guatemalan shade-grown organic coffee from the Antigua region, roasted by us, and brewed by us into an intense coffee concentrate.
With only about 1200-1300 bottles of total production, this one will go fast!!
HOUSE SPIRITS TASTING ROOM HOURS
MONDAY - SATURDAY
TOURS GIVEN EVERY SATURDAY
For tour availability, please contact
It takes a village to build a drip bar
Kelly and Thomas (a couple of our passionate employees) had been begging for a pourover drip coffee bar for weeks if not months, when the right combination of factors came together by chance (as often seems to happen at Cellar Door).
Why would we even want a drip bar? Well as many of you know, we prepare a rotating selection of our coffees in french press throughout the day, ready to go in an airpot (we only keep the coffee in there for 1/2 hour max). But some coffees just plain taste better in drip. It's like they were born to be brewed that way. So fine, we need a drip bar, but how should we make it?
We wanted something compact due to limited counter space. It had to be sturdy enough that if someone bumped into it, the ceramic drippers wouldn't go flying either. One of our regular customers, John, horned in on the conversation and suggested that we build it like a wine glass rack upside down (check the photo). That way the drippers would slide into their spots and not ever fall off the bar.
I consulted with the friendly and knowledgeable folks next door at Hammer & Hand and learned that wine glass rail stock could be had locally. That was all I needed to hear. A couple of shopping stops and a couple of nights of sawing and welding later, I was rubbing butcher block oil into our new bar. Come try a cup of the coffee of the day!
VIDEO:"the flame-less afterburner"
VIDEO:"Precipitron electronic air cleaner 1943"
Joaquin and Gabriela travel through Mexican coffee country
We arrived in Oaxaca this morning and proceeded to contact the people at CEPCO first by e mail then by phone and then visited their office; Jaime Hernandez Balderas was extremely helpful, in addition to explaining to us the history of CEPCO and the current situation of the communities (7 different regions in the state and 35 cooperatives) he introduced us to the current "Mesa Directiva" (Board of directors) all peasant farmers in a very pleasant environment.
Our plans have changed a bit instead of visiting first Pluma Hidalgo we leave for San Bartolome Loxicha Friday morning (5:00 A.M.) the president of the "mesa directiva" on his way to the coast is going to drop us off in the community and introduce us to the people there.
We were told that San Bartolome Loxicha is one of the communities that is well organized and has the most diverse economy, there are no hotels, restaurants or any other conveniences so we have no idea how this is going to work, we will let you know.
We hope to have them back with us soon! More news to follow.
Coffee 101: Study Abroad
Fwd: FW: $3000 Raised for Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund by The Hurst and Laurelhurst Theatre
Last night 342 members of our community joined us at the Laurelhurst Theatre to raise funds for Mercy Corps Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. In total we raised $3000!!!!As you can see from the pictures, people flocked to the theatre to show their support. Two shows were totally sold out, concession sales and attendance were up on previous weeks. Appreciations to theatre owners Woody and Prescott for partnering with the Hurst, Jeremy from Cellar Door Coffee Roasters for setting up a table in the foyer to talk about his time in Haiti. To Dean and Bruce for supporting the idea and huge gratitude to our community and team members who helped us raise much needed cash. A good time was had by all…I even watched a movie for the first time in
4 and a half years and ate myself silly!
An eager crowd awaits!
Irene did some great glass writing to shout out last night's event
My daughter Lily Belle (4 and a half!!) donates $4 and enjoys some popcorn!
The Hurst team members come out in support and to buy lots of food!
Local Vendor Jeremy (owner of Cellar Door Coffee Roasters) talks to some folks
Folks from Mercy Corps observe Jeremy's display
Jeremy's display of his time in Haiti
Lots of drinking and eating going on!
Two more beers please
Dave the friendly box office guy
January 13, 2010
Also, there's a vigil being organized by the Haitian community tomorrow night at the Mercy Corps Action Center at 28 SW 1st at 6pm.
December 23, 2009
Here's an exerpt from the first post of the Portland Cup blog Jeremy has started, you can find much, much more info on that page:
Compost Wars and Questions to Be Answered
About a year ago I remember a rep from a producer of compostable corn plastic service ware came to visit me at the shop. I told him that our business participated in the Portland compost program and that I was having a hard time figuring out if his company's products were acceptable to the compost facility, Cedar Grove. I'd used some of his products at a previous job and his were the only compostable/biodegradable trash bags my paper distributor carried. He assured me that their products were completely compostable, but that Cedar Grove just wanted to them to pay an outrageous fee for certification of each of their products. Since they produced everything from forks to clam shells to trash bags, the thousands and thousands of dollars for all of this testing effectively excluded them from participation. Sounded like a classic David and Goliath. To circumvent this injustice, his company planned their own composting facilities on the outskirts of Portland. Sure all of the corn to make their products came from China, but ocean shipping is the most efficient form of transport, he said. The guy at the paper company assured me that even though the bags weren't technically certified, they composted just fine and were far cheaper than the "approved" ones. Seemed like confirmation that you had to grease the right palms to play in this hot "green" market.
I felt a little better about using his trash bags until one day I got a memo from the composting facility stating that if I continued using the same bags, my compostables would be diverted to landfill because the bags didn't break down fast enough and thus compost made with them in the mix had lots of ripped up plastic included. Not the sort of thing you want when you're trying to sell the finished product as a premium soil amendment. So what was the deal! I'm paying extra for compost service and don't want my coffee grounds and veggie scraps sent to landfill. I forwarded the memo to my paper company and started poking around.
It turned out that the standard laid out in ASTM D6400 was what set the bar for "compostable" products of the kind my composter wanted. 6400 was an industry standard and not some arbitrary rule set up to exclude the little guys. It however did exlude many of the products that the maker of my bags produced. I recently went to their website to check out their current claims. Now they only say that their main line consists of "biodegradable" products instead of "compostable" ones. They even have a few disclaimers that their main products don't meet the ASTM D6400 standard (they have a couple of other small lines under different names that do, it seems). Still, they also advertise how they helped out a NW restaurant chain to "go green" by replacing 16 pieces of service ware with their "biodegradable" products. They claim that food on their plates will be wholesome while food served on petroleum-based ware will be tainted with poisons, and that their biodegradable products will make a difference by breaking down to benign components in the landfills. Thing is, I would think that what you get from anaerobic landfill breakdown is the potent greenhouse gas methane! Of course I'd guess most of the 6400-compliant compostable cups end up making methane in the landfill too. Especially since compost cans are basically non-existent on the streets.
If you're interested in working with us on this, feel free to drop us an email or comment, and we'll keep you posted as things progress and we try to get down to work.
September 29, 2009: Where are we now?
Speaking of which, the El Salvador is being featured at the Whole Foods on Fremont and NE 15th, where we just started selling our coffee. Of course, they're brewing it in an auto-drip machine, which definitely skews the flavor profile, but stop by and grab a cup and then come by and get one out of the French press from us to see the difference. I think you'll be impressed.
And just in case you need a little something sweet to go with all that coffee you're drinking, check out the new Back to Eden storefront at NE 22nd and Alberta! The serve vegan, mostly organic pieces of heaven. I had a cranberry coconut muffin this morning without even realizing it was gluten-free also. To die for. They're serving Cellar Door coffee from a really cute drip bar, which makes for a tasty counterpart to all that sugar. Plus, you can also pick up a pound of Peru FTO, Guatemala or Sumatra FTO. What are you waiting for? Tell Garrett and John that we sent you . . .
June 17, 2009: Coffee in the Big Apple
Our first stop was Abraço Espresso, where I had a delightful Ethiopian from their drip bar. You'll have to excuse the lack of detail since I wasn't taking notes. (Ahh, vacation!) The place is teeny, tiny, and reminded me that we should never complain about how little space we have in our kitchen and roastery. Damn. Still, it was great to be shoulder to shoulder with the half dozen other people in the room. Everyone was friendly and unpretentious and thoroughly delightful. If I'd had more time I would have come back for more and tried the food!
Ninth Street Espresso serves Intelligentsia coffee, though they make up their own espresso blend. It was a good, classic espresso, sweet and maybe some tobacco-y notes, though seriously, I wasn't taking notes. The menu is short and sweet, if a little stark. I suppose it goes with the decor or something.
Next we went to the Roasting Plant but suffice it to say the JavaBot was a nice gimmick that left me scratching my head. Why use fully automatic espresso machines to showcase your coffee? Honestly, I can say I have no idea whether the roaster knows what he's doing because the preparation was so bad. Everything, down to the designer Dixie cups in this place was for show. My Americano was fairly undrinkable. Next.
Our last coffee stop of the day was a great one: Gimme! Coffee. I'd actually tried a Kenyan of theirs that a friend had brought back a few months ago, and absolutely, really not liked it, so I was a little wary of the hype. Still, my macchiato was delicious and Jenny, the barista, was super friendly. Once it came out that I was visiting from Portland a small discussion ensued about how great Portland is. New York loves Portland, btw.
Speaking of which, it seems I couldn't go even a few hours without stumbling across something close to home. At a little cupcake shop, Butter Lane, I saw this:
Stumptown was everywhere. Like I said, NYC really likes Portland.
During the rest of the weekend I also visited Cafe Grumpy (Chelsea and Greenpoint locations, but no Philip Seymore Hoffman sightings! He must have been in their Park Slope shop), and Oslo Coffee. At the Brooklyn Grumpy I ordered a Kenya AA prepared in their Clover, and it tasted like a Kenyan. Bright and fruity, but not terribly mindblowing. I always wonder how shops really feel about having paid lots of thousands of dollars for those machines. Hmm.
My other Brooklyn coffee experience at Oslo was less than stellar. They assumed I wanted my coffee to go, which I didn't; were surprised I asked for a HOT Americano (sure it was warm outside, but is it that weird?); and then looked at me strangely and said they couldn't toast my bagel. Then to add insult to injury, their water station featured tiny Dixie cups. Am I a small child? Must I seriously refill my water cup three times before I sit down? The Americano tasted fine, but really, if they're going to treat you like that, why bother?
Fortunately, NYC redeemed itself with my final visit to the Chelsea Grumpy. I almost missed my plane, but hell, I was on a hunt for Mr. Hoffman and I thought he might be there. Alas no, but my macchiato was quite tasty, as was the muffin and $7 handmade raw chocolate bar I brought back for Jeremy. No golden ticket inside, but maybe next time.
Wow. That was long. All in all, I had a great time in NYC, but I'm glad to be back in PDX where at least I know where I'm going to get good coffee and where I'll just get 'tude.
May 4, 2009
For those of you interested in reading about the problems with importing coffee from Ethiopia, I would recommend the Royal Coffee blog for a more extensive explanation, but I'll re-post the crux of the issue:
with the start of the 2009 season, a new system known as the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange has been implemented which has completely altered the way in which coffee is bought and sold. Without getting too technical, the new system essentially operates the way the New York “C” Market would if it were the only game in town. By government mandate, all coffee must be sold to the Exchange, at prices negotiated through an electronic bid/ask system (just like the “C”). For example, say an exporter has a contract to ship 300 bags of Grade-2 Yirgacheffe, and he has the coffee in his possession. He must now sell the coffee to the exchange at the daily asking price, and then buy from the exchange at whatever the offered price is. Sounds like the old system, except that when he sells his coffee, it goes into a bonded Exchange warehouse and loses all traceability other than the regional designation and grade (Yirg-2, in this case). That means that when he turns around and buys the 300 bags that he needs to cover his export contract, he has no idea where that coffee is coming from. Take a moment to ponder what this means for quality development: if an exporter cannot possibly know where his coffee is coming from, what incentive is there to undertake quality improvement projects at the farm-level? Or to go the extra mile in processing? Or even to care if the coffee is transported the right way?
Anyway, we're trying to figure out what to do in the mean time, especially since we use Ethiopians in some of our favorite blends, but for now we'll be trying to find some other interesting coffees. Come in a check out our Tanzanian AAA, for some bright, fruity East African goodness. Hopefully this issue will be resolved soon!
May 2, 2009: Back in the Saddle Again
I've been working on transferring our profiles to the bigger roaster, with some minor slips. Despite what I'd heard about the larger Diedrich's driving like tankers vs. speedboats, I've actually found that the baby is a bit of a hot rod, but I think control and finesse are well within my grasp. We've still got some work to do to get the whole space ship shape, but we've cleared the largest hurdle so far.
Anyway, I'll post pictures, and possibly video of our new baby soon, but until then, come see us, try the coffee, and I'm sure one of us will give you the exciting tour of the facility. Yes, we are a little excited about this.
March 13, 2009
So there you go, three articles in a week ain't bad. Now back to roasting!
By the way, if you haven't been in the shop in a while you're missing out on our rockin' Papua New Guinea FTO, and yes, we still have a bit left on the Ethiopian Koratie they reviewed in the article. Come and get it!
March 11, 2009
We were also a small part of a story in The Oregonian that made it sound like we were on the verge of being insolvent. Who let Jeremy do our PR? Sure, this is a tough time to be running a business, but we're fortunate not to be suffering the economic downturn too badly. Knock on wood, quick!
Keep your eyes peeled at the end of the month. A little birdie told me there might be something involving us in Mix Magazine. Until then, hope to see you soon.
February 10th, 2009
- We bought our new roaster, a Diedrich IR-12 and we're currently building out our roastery in the basement, er, I mean cellar. And yes, that's why Jeremy is always covered in dust and grease.
- Portobello Vegan Tratoria has joined us! Jeremy's brother, Aaron, has opened up an amazing restaurant in our space. Vegan or not, you will be amazed at what this man can do with vegetables. Everything is made from scratch and is to die for. Call to make a reservation (required for groups of 6 or more) or run the risk of waiting for an hour! Wed-Sat 5:30-10:30pm.
- We made FOOD Day's 100 Favorite Things list for 2008! We're humbled and happy to be featured alongside Spella. If you haven't been to Spella's awesome espresso cart downtown you're missing out on an amazing affogato experience. Now you know what to do with your next unseasonably warm day.
September 9, 2008: Sip the Summer while you can...
July 15, 2008: Let the media speak!
From The Portland Tribune:
Coverage in the Southeast Examiner:
Interview between Jeremy and Evan Kleinman, host of Good Food on KCRW:
In other news, we have some amazing art up right now from Nicholas Jay Liebrecht. Nicholas' unique style is to my eye a fusion of manga/pop art spiked with a grafiti-like flow and surreal distortions. Hurry, they're only up 'til the end of the month. Here's a sampling:
April 21, 2008
We hosted an opening reception for Carrie earlier this month and it was a huge hit. Congratulations to Carrie on getting her first show off the ground, we're sure there will be many more to come.
In other news, we've had to switch our purveyors of vegan treats. We were really loving Cherry Bomb Bakery's cupcakes among many other things, but alas, the bakery is no more. In the meantime we've been trying to decide which of the plethora of vegan pastry options to go with. As for now we'll have cupcakes from Saint Cupcake, and an assortment of stuff from Dovetail. We may add Blacksheep and Monkeywrench stuff to the mix as needed. Seriously, we can't believe our job entails sampling all of this stuff . . .
Finally, in coffee news, Jeremy's rockin' a great espresso blend right now, and we've just started serving two Fair Trade organic coffees from Papua New Guinea and Nicaragua Segovia. Each one is rich, full-bodied, and delightful. I've also got a Costa Rican coming on soon, and we're getting excited about the prospect of new coffees for the farmers markets! Come in to the shop and try them out. It doesn't take much to convince Jeremy to pull out the Aeropress or the filter cone to showcase something new. Hope to see you soon!
February 15, 2008
Phew. Well, 5 days and no major mishaps later, we've officially ended week number one. Things have been going really well and we feel truly welcomed by our new neighbors. Thanks to all of you who have come in already! We hope to see you again soon. Our hours thus far are Monday-Friday 7am-3pm and Saturday 8am-2pm. We will be CLOSED this Monday, however, in solemn observance of Presidents' Day. Nah, really, we just need another day to finish up some things around the place . . .
In all of our haste in trying to get the place finished we didn't get much of a chance to publicly recognize all the folks who have helped us along the way. Thanks to our friends and family who have helped us with both sweat and real equity. We especially want to thank Grandpa Pat, Noni Carolyn, and Nana Gabriela for taking time out of their lives (and traveling thousands of miles) to come and help us. We couldn't have done it without you. To Opa and Abuelita Lin, we hope you'll be able to visit us soon and see what you've helped us accomplish. We miss you all!
February 12, 2008
Hours for now are Tue-Fri 6:30am-3:00pm. Depending on how dead we are we may be open Sat-Sun 7:30am-3:00pm. We'll confirm on Friday.
January 17, 2008
We've been hard at work on the new space, but as always, it's taking a bit longer than I hoped. We spent more time cleaning before getting started on the remodeling, but now things are definitely underway. Big thanks to everyone who has helped us along the way, especially our magnificent paint crews. Now we just have the floors, ceiling, and counter to take care of. Easy right?
December 19, 2007
Ain't it cute?
Surprise, surprise . . . we recently decided to go crazy and lease a space to open a coffeeshop in January of '08! How on earth are we crazy enough to open yet another cafe in the completely over-caffeinated city of Portland, OR? Well, to be honest, we still get way too many bad cups of coffee in this town, despite its current status as coffee mecca. And yes, of course, we are completely insane.
The truth is that we've been looking for a space for almost 2 years now, so when we found the cute little victorian on a corner with a kitchen already built out we pounced on it before fully coming to our senses. Twelve hours later we were meeting with the landlord to sign a lease. Hallelujah.
So for you curious folks, the new digs will be at 2001 SE 11th Ave (between Hawthorne and Division). We'll be serving French press coffee, espresso, tea and a few bites to eat. You know the drill. We imagine that the bulk of our business will be coming from the surrounding warehouses and offices so our hours will be fairly limited at first, probably something like M-F 6:30am-3pm, unless you start beating down our door, demanding that we be open on weekends. Being the parents of an extremely active (and impatient) 2 year-old, we're trying to save the remaining shreds of our sanity by giving ourselves days off. At least until farmers' market season starts up again and we go back to working 7 days a week. Woo! Can't wait to see you there. Check back for more details soon.
November 6, 2007
October 13, 2007
The farmer's market came to a swift end with lots of rain and soggy table cloths. Still, it was lots of fun and people seemed to appreciate us all the more for bringing hot coffee on such a cold, wet day.
We started our bike deliveries, weaving around S.E. with our trusty Burley trailer in tow. The weather so far has been great so we haven't had to try out our rain gear yet, but I'm sure it's in the cards for us some day very soon. If you'd like us to deliver coffee to your home or office please check out our subscription page or contact us. We have the new Peru and Sidamo also available although their still not on the website. Let us know if you're interested in those also. The Peru is great as both a light or full city roast, and the Sidamo explodes in your mouth with lemony citrus and light jasmine notes. Strange to imagine in a coffee if you've never tried it, but delicious, I promise!
And most recently and very excitingly, our coffee is now available in Limbo (on SE 39th, just south of Holgate, next door to TJ's)!
If you're hankerin' for a little of that farmer's market feel mid-winter there are few places that can beat it. Most of Limbo's produce is sourced locally and is organic, not to mention that they have an amazing herb and spice selection. Please support our local, independent grocers!
Anyway, we're trying to keep up with our small, but expanding business while working a couple other jobs and being parents to a crazy toddler, so please bear with our slow web updates. Go shop at Limbo and Food Fight!
September 23, 2007
First and foremost, please check out our bike delivery options for this Fall and Winter! We're really excited to get started with home/office delivery, so let us know if you'd like to sign up.
Second, last week (or was that two weeks ago?) we introduced two new coffees at the market, our Guatemala Palo Alto Azul Estate, and the New Day Rising Blend, both have gotten rave reviews all around. The Guatemala is a sweet, caramel medium roast that has made several dark roast lovers question their allegiances. The New Day Rising Blend (thank you, Husker Du) can best be described the way Jeremy puts it, "it's your Continental breakfast in a cup -- rich, buttery toast, with a splash of orange juice citrus on the side." How you can resist a description like that is beyond me. Both will of course be available with our delivery subscriptions!
Third, we're busy working on our new batch of coffees, some from Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, and Peru, to name a few new origins on our menu. Most of them are Fair Trade Organic, and of course, delicious. We'll let you know when we add them to the website.
Finally, next weekend is the last for this year's Montavilla farmers' market. We're sad to see it end, but we're glad we got such a great reception from the neighborhood and the rest of the market attendees. If all goes well we'll definitely be back next summer. Hope to see you for the final weekend on September 30th from 10am-2pm!
August 28, 2007
Beginning in October (after the Montavilla market ends for the year) we will also be offering home or office delivery via bike! Jeremy has a sweet new Xtracycle on his bike that he's dying to put to good use. If you're interested in signing up for delivery, drop us a note and we'll keep you posted on the details.
This past Sunday was our busiest yet at the Montavilla Farmers' Market, especially as Jeremy and I had to manage the booth without our lovely brother Aaron this time. We sold out of several varieties -- sorry if you missed out on the one you wanted! Now, of course, we have Food Fight! to help you out with that. We'll also definitely bring more of everything next Sunday . . .
Finally, just a reminder that we're more than happy to take any special requests, whether for half-pound bags, or coffee ground to a certain size. If you call (503-775-3503) or email us by the Saturday before the market we can be sure to bring your coffee and hold it for you at the stand. You could even come pick it up at the roastery if you let us know in advance.
August 14, 2007
The market just keeps getting better and better, more vendors, more happy folks with local fruits and veggies, and cups of french press coffee, of course. We've had a few people ask about half pounds of coffee, ground coffee, and coffee delivery to home or office. If you drop us a line by email or phone, we'll be happy to do what we can to get our coffee to you when and how you need it. We can even point you in the right direction if you're thinking about picking up a grinder or other brewing gear.
On the sustainability front, we're currently working with Transfair USA to gain Fair Trade Roaster certification. Watch for updates on that process and more Fair Trade certified coffees on the menu. We've been doing a lot of reading and talking with folks on this lately, and are floating the idea of a Fair Trade movie and discussion night. Let us know what you think.
Thanks for everyone's support! We'll see you on Sunday.
August 1, 2007
This week we're working on developing a roast for our organic Chiapas. I'm very excited about this coffee as Mexico had a great harvest this year (check out the Oaxaca decaf we're offering as proof) and people have already been showing interest at the market about checking out this coffee. We'll let you know when it's available for sale on the site.
Don't forget to stop by and say "hi" at the Montavilla Farmers Market this Sunday from 10am-2pm!
July 24, 2007
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