Brunch with Stumptown’s Duane Sorenson

10.07

stumptown_duane_ba1

What would brunch be like with Duane Sorenson, the founder of Portland’s celebrated coffee company Stumptown and budding restaurateur? Fantastic. Chris and Sarah Rhoads, from We Are The Rhoads, attended such an affair and captured Duane’s love of coffee and food with friends and family for Bon Appétit.

There was definitely coffee, brewed by Duane himself, but it wasn’t the only thing worth noting. The atmosphere was punctuated by famed artists (both in person and on vinyl), a delectable looking sausage & broccoli rabe frittata, salmon & capers, hazelnut granola and a fantastic looking cocktail called the “Dark Moon.”

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Dark Moon Cocktail

Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups of cold brew coffee
- 1/2 cup coffee liqueur (Duane uses this)
- 1/2 cup spiced rum
- 1 bottle of “Mexican” coke
- 1/2 cup heavy cream

Mix all of the ingredients together (except the cream) and divide into rocks glasses filled with ice. Distribute cream evenly on top and serve.

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View all of the photos and recipes from Duane’s brunch on Bon Appétit.

stumptown_brunch

[Photos: Chris & Sarah Rhoads, We Are The Rhoads]

posted by on 10.07.2013, under Misc.

Caffeination: A Coffee Road Trip Miniseries

08.20

A new video miniseries was just launched by The Pancake Epidemic, the Los Angeles-based division of a marketing something or another, that chronicles an epic coffee road trip across the western United States. The eight part series begins in San Francisco (one of my favorite coffee cities) where the host Brandon Davenport drinks everything from Denny’s to Blue Bottle to Ritual Coffee.

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A lot of ground (and coffee) is covered in just 8 minutes. Davenport consumed 19 cups of coffee in the first video alone, ending with a fresh brewed cup of McCafé. There are brief pop-ins and take-aways as well as sit down interviews, including one with Eileen Hassi from Ritual Coffee Roasters. It will be interesting to see what other spots are visited in the coming episodes as Caffeination works its way north to Portland.

It also feels a bit like a guerrilla campaign for Stumptown bottled coffee.

caffeination_stumptown

posted by on 08.20.2013, under Videos

Video: Stumptown by Trevor Fife

01.15

 

Stumptown just released the latest installment of their video series, which in the past has captured the beauty and the process of hard work that takes place at origin, now highlights the passion for coffee from within Stumptown’s own walls.

The film shares an honest and poetic behind-the-scenes look at Stumptown and serves as a tribute to the coffee loving team who live for the work that they do. It’s a well polished glimpse of the industry for the professional coffee crowd or just the coffee curious, with the kind of aspirational sheen you’d expect from a Levi’s commercial.

Created by Trevor Fife, the filmmaker who’s famous for the opening credits of True Blood and the BMW Unscripted series, does the specialty coffee industry far more justice than the Travel Channel has. Brew a fresh cup and enjoy.

Trevor has been a long-time collaborator with Stumptown: traveling to source with Duane starting in 2006, shooting films on farms like Guatemala Finca El Injerto, and traveling across Colombia, Ethiopia and Kenya, blending clean, pristine digital images with gritty and textural Super 8 and 16mm film. His work is not only easy on the eyes but captures the living, breathing spirit behind the coffee farms and the surrounding communities.

via Stumptown Coffee

posted by on 01.15.2013, under Recommended Roasters, Videos

Video: Stumptown Source Trip in Colombia

11.29

Great video by Stumptown from a recent sourcing trip in Colombia. Enjoy!

Over the last several months, Stumptown has continued filming coffee farmers in their element. The latest in our series of Source Trip Films features Colombian coffee producers and the intense relationship between growers, the coffee and their communities.

Filmed and produced by Trevor Fife.

Below is another video from the “Source Trip” series—filmed in Kenya.

posted by on 11.29.2011, under Misc., Recommended Roasters, Videos

Stumptown X Wes Lang Limited Edition Mugs

06.17

Now available for purchase from Stumptown!

Stumptown’s support of indie art and design has always been a big part of their brand, it’s one of the things I really appreciate about it. There isn’t just one logo that’s applied to everything they produce, the look of the brand continually evolves and changes while successfully evoking a consistent voice and feeling of who they are.

The company recently teamed up with New York artist Wes Lang to produce a limited edition set of Stumptown mugs. Last night was the release party and one of many times I really wished I lived in Portland. Not sure how to get my hands on a set—anyone?

via OMFGCO

posted by on 06.17.2011, under Design, Products, Recommended Roasters

Stumptown Speaks—A Note from Duane

06.08

Duane Sorenson, founder of Stumptown, has finally spoken more regarding new investment into the company. While he doesn’t answer all the questions many people are asking, as I said before, I take him at his word. Keep supporting farmers and selling great coffee and nothing else matters.

At a time when it’s difficult to find the financing to grow, run and operate a quality driven and sustainable business, I am pleased to announce that Stumptown has found an investor to help us offer opportunities and take care of our employees, farmers and customers like we’ve never been able to do before. I have been lucky enough to find an investor that will let me continue to run Stumptown and focus on the coffee.

Read the rest at Stumptown

posted by on 06.08.2011, under Recommended Roasters

Stumptown Hasn’t Sold Out

06.02

After days of rampant internet speculation regarding Stumptowns ownership, a reputable publication did some real journalism to finally uncover some answers. Rumors began after the owner of an east coast coffee roaster, irresponsibly claimed that Stumptown’s owner Duane Sorenson had “sold his life’s work to the highest bidder,” in an “article” for Escquire.com.

Oliver Strand waded through the hysteria, and spoke with Duane to learn more.

“I still own Stumptown,” Mr. Sorenson said in a telephone interview. “I’m still in control of Stumptown, the only thing that’s changed is that I brought in an investor, a buddy of mine, who brought in some money so that I can do the things I want to do.” -NYTimes

While this may not appease all of the doubters calling him a sell-out, there are also people who will never believe President Obama was born in the US. Considering the state of the economy and the costs required to scale from a regional business to a national one, I completely understand the need for investment capital. While they aren’t disclosing the structure of the investment, there’s currently no reason not to take Duane at his word. There seems to be a lot on the horizon for Stumptown, and if they continue supporting farmers and selling great coffee, we should be thanking Alexander Panos and TSG Partners.

[Stumptown] plans to open two coffee bars in Brooklyn, add a bottling facility to its roaster in Red Hook for its cold-brewed coffee and, Duane Sorenson, Stumptown’s founder, says the company will try to open roasters in Chicago and San Francisco. -NYTimes

Read the full article at the New York Times Diner’s Journal. An updated article with some new and developing information has also been published.

[Photo by Todd Stadler]

posted by on 06.02.2011, under Misc., Recommended Roasters

Stumptown brew guides

11.25

During my trip to Portland last week, I got a few goodies from Stumptown. While sitting at The Annex, I picked up this nice collection of booklets and started reading through them. It was a set of beautifully designed and illustrated home brewing guides that included five books: Chemex, press pot, moka pot, cone filter (Melitta/Hario v60), and vacuum pot. My first thought was how smart it was for Stumptown to produce such an obvious product. After asking how much they cost—free—I thought how awesome it is for Stumptown to treat their customers this way.

Last spring when writing about Stumptown’s brand, I hadn’t seen these, but they are another great example of the company sparing little expense to produce cool stuff for customers. Aside from roasting great coffee, that’s who Stumptown is—the first guy in school with a Nirvana bootleg willing to share it with everyone before anyone knew what grunge was. I’ve never met Duane Sorenson, the founder of Stumptown, but I imagine everything I’ve experienced with the company is in some form a reflection of him personally. From the high attention of detail spent on the coffee and the cafes, to the tattoos on the baristas reflected in the artwork on t-shirts and storefront windows.

Stumptown embodies a love for coffee of the highest quality united with the cool-as-fuck attitude expected from the leader of a burgeoning music scene. In many ways, that’s exactly what they are—leaders (along with a handful of other great roasters) in a growing new coffee scene that our parents will scoff at while they continue drinking their Sanka.

Kids these days.

The books were designed and printed by the awesome people at Pinball Publishing, who also made Stumptown these cupping journals to showcase Scout Books, one of their customizable printed products.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/08/health/20101108_thanksgiving.html?src=me&ref=homepage
posted by on 11.25.2010, under Design, Products, Recommended Roasters

DCILY x PDX coffee tour

11.22

Last week I visited Portland, Oregon to see friends, speak with design students at PSU, and drink as much coffee as I could. I hadn’t been to Portland in 3 years and the coffee landscape had grown quite a bit. With a list of roasters and cafe’s to visit—which grew with each person I met—I explored, tasted, cupped, and enjoyed some of the best PDX has to offer. I also met a lot of the super friendly, super knowledgeable people behind the regions top coffee scene who continue to experiment and push coffee into new territory.

Sadly I forgot my camera, so the only photos I have come from a lowly iPhone. Enjoy.

I spent an entire day visiting 4 Stumptown locations. Above, the Belmont shop had a new, custom La Marzocco Mistral on the bar. Lovely

Right next door to the Belmont shop is the Stumptown Annex. A brew bar with no espresso machine. Just a great selection of beans and a relaxed environment to learn about coffee brewing, buy some beans, or take part in a complimentary cupping (every day at Noon and 2pm). I took part in the first one with a spread of 4 different Colombian origins and for the second, I just hung around to watch the brew demo. The crew at the Annex were great and up for talking about everything from the export issues in Ethiopia, to their favorite AeroPress techniques.

The next day I stopped by one of Portland’s newest roasters, Water Avenue Coffee. It’s a nice clean shop not far from Spirit of 77 (the best sports bar I’ve ever been to). I really loved the custom concrete pour over bar and the blue neon coffee sign. Joe from Reno let me hang out a bit while he closed up and talked about the barista school they run in the back of the shop and brewed up a nice sweet cup of El Salvador for me.

Next up was Coava (koh-va), which isn’t far from Water Avenue, and home of the K-One Kone filter they designed for the Chemex. Also open for less than a year, this shop is absolutely beautiful, my photos don’t do it justice, so be sure to check out the gallery on their website. The entire space is huge with the coffee bar tucked into one corner. A wood shop studio shares the space and there’s a collection of amazing tables on display throughout it. At first I wasn’t sure if I was in a furniture showroom, a workshop, or a cafe and hesitated to sit down.

I had a cup of Costa Rican Helsar brewed up with the Kone. I really enjoy how well the Kone retains the bright flavors and a bit of sediment, but not as much silt as a French press. Matt then pulled me a fantastic shot of their Honduras El Limon while we talked about the Kone. He quickly began to speak more like an engineer than a barista. Keith was busy roasting, so I didn’t have a chance to meet him, but I’m sure they’ll still be there next time I’m in town.

I also stopped into Barista for  a shot from Sightglass roasters in SF. I always appreciate cafes that serve a variety of beans. There are too many good roasters out there to stick with one. These are friendly guys worth visiting in a nice shopping district of Portland called the Pearl.

On the morning I left, I met some friends at Crema, a nice cafe and bakery that serves Coava and Stumptown. The barista, Skip, made me a delightful cappuccino with Stumptown’s Hairbender and then brought over a shot of Coava’s El Salvador Santa Sofia to send me off to the airport on a good note.

I know there are a lot of great places I never made it too, but it would take more than 4 days to visit them all. I really wanted to stop by Heart Roasters before I left, but I ran out of time. They just turned a year old and I’ve heard many good things about them. Feel free to share any other cafe’s or roasters in Portland in the comments. I’d love to know about the gems I missed, so I’ll have more reason to go back soon!

posted by on 11.22.2010, under Coffee Touring, Recommended Roasters

Look ma, no espresso!

09.30

Last May during my NYC coffee tour, I attempted to visit Stumptown’s roastery in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Sadly they were closed for the day. But Now I’ve got even more of a reason to go back. Last Friday they opened a new coffee bar in their Red Hook location, but without the most common centerpiece of coffee shops—the espresso machine. In response to the seemingly odd decision to exclude espresso from the menu, Stumptown told the New York Times:

“We’re going all-brew because that’s how most people make coffee,” said Duane Sorenson, the owner of Stumptown. “At our coffee bar in Red Hook we’re putting the focus on the bag of coffee and showing our customers how to brew that coffee correctly,” he added. –NYTimes

Instead of focusing on pulled shots and latte art, the new brew bar will offer coffee in 6 different ways: French press, Chemex, Hario V60 pour over, Melitta fliters, AeroPress, and the Clever Coffee Dripper. By making each cup of coffee individually, and by using methods that can be a cathartic spectacle, it allows the barista time to educate the customer while selling them coffee and the means  they need to brew it right.

This is another great example of Stumptown doing what they know best and executing it really well. I find it interesting, just returning from Europe where most places don’t offer drip coffee—the closest you can get is an Americano—that Stumptown creates the complete opposite environment. It’s definitely a great strategy and shows they know their market well. I know way more people who own a French press than an espresso machine. The guys at Kickstand and Jim Seven at Penny University didn’t seem to have a problem keeping busy without espresso, so I doubt Stumptown will either.

Photos via Mike at Shot Zombies. More photos there and on the NYTimes.

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posted by on 09.30.2010, under Misc., Recommended Roasters