Day 2 – Welcome to Barista Magazine….

November 7, 2007

The second day started with a bang… or actually a Ka-Pow! This little shop was located in a garage(?) just down around the corner from where I was stayed my first night. The coffee was a fairly mediocre “dark roast special” from Delanno’s (sp?) but the customer service and vegan trail cookie were awesome. This shop is known for it’s “ride the S.L.U.T.” T-shirt (South Union Lake Trolly is right next store) nice.

ka-pow coffee

From here I headed directly to the Vivace on Denny St. to spend the first chunk of my morning. I order and receive a beautiful macchiato and head over to one of the many nice large marble counters that over look the park right behind the shop. The shop layout is great. It has plenty of seating, tons of light and stools at the wrap around bar…. I love bars with stools. There is just something special about them. I however did not want to sully the space with a laptop so as mentioned, I chose the window seating. I received yet another surprise at Vivace today as I realized that they offer NO DRIP COFFEE! Forget not offering any drinks over 12 ozs that are not iced, no drip coffee? No COE? No Micro-lot? My jaw hit the floor. Given how well the Baristas pull I guess they just don’t need it. This will not be the first time that I think to myself “this shop would not survive in Chicago…” I follow up the macchiato with a cap adorned less stellar latte art than the macchiato, continue observing and typing away.

macchiato and pastry

My next stop is to pick up my new bike bag, an all together exciting but fairly quick and non coffee related procedure so I’ll move on. The next shop on the list was Vita on Pike. This is their location with a roastery and café. I liked the space but was over all under whelmed by the quality of the coffee and education of the staff. The espresso was thin and flat and I decided to avoid the drip. The folks were friendly enough and they had a nice display case with demitasse from all over in it, but not much else to brag about.

vita
Rich as this area is my next stop was the new pine st location of Stumptown. And so it begins… The shop is nice, my first visit to any Stumptown, it meets my mental preconceived image perfectly. Done up in total retro hip wood laminate with black cushions and a vintage looking stereo to give it all a soundtrack. I order a cup of the Panama Carmen from Adam at the bar a proceed to peruse. They have a more than healthy selection of single origin offerings with several COE and micro lots in the bunch. I talk with Adam about the various beans, the high price of COE and nuances of opening in a new town. I learn throughout the course of our conversation that Mr. Rogers (previously of Intelly fame and now on team Stumptown) is hanging out at their other location setting up the roaster. I score my first shot of Hairbender in town from Adam and then bike on over to the 12th st Stumptown.

pine st stumptown

The 12th st location keeps up with the aesthetic perfectly. Very clean and simple style with a beautiful Mistral on the bar.

12th st stumptown outside

12th st stumptown inside

Instead of stopping to check things out however I head straight downstairs to find the elusive Mr. Rogers. What awaits is almost humorous its so unreal. It is like wandering into the newest issue of Barista Magazine. Going down the stairs I notice and introduce myself to Duane Sorenson, godfather of Stumptown… When I hit the bottom of the stairs I see Kyle Larson running a cupping in a well stocked training room… I see one of the actual “bikes to Rwanda” bikes leaning in a corner… After this encounter Bronwen Serna as she is practicing for the NWRBC… all together a little crazy.

whats in thos bags?

I also find Steven and everything is good. We talk, make crude jokes and reminisce about old times. I am treated to a cupping hosted by Adam who pulled my shot over at the Pine shop. The offering was prime, two Honduras micro lots, a Colombia COE Esperanza, the first place Nicaragua COE, the non auction lot Esmeralda, a Tawar and an Ethiopian Yirg. They apparently do these cuppings for the public everyday at 3 for those looking to taste a range of some great coffees. The Esperanza was smashing, highly recommended. After drooling over the lab (3 group Synesso, 3 group Mistral, 3 group Linea and 2 vintage 1 group Marzoccos) I leave the shop with Steven to wander around putting up posters for their Saturday party with a few stops to drink beers thrown in for good measure. Nick (Intellys new LA tech) joins up and the evening proceeds to go down in infamy before I bike to my residence of last eve, retrieve my rolling suitcase and bike with it in tow to nicks hotel (seriously)… more tomorrow.

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One Response to “Day 2 – Welcome to Barista Magazine….”

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