January 6, 2010

Essential Drink | Stumptown Coffee

Stumptown Coffee

So I'm back and ready to begin this year right.  So I'll start with a confession.

So, I must admit, I'm not much of a coffee drinker, I'm more of a tea person.  I'm not sure whether there was a particular time in my life I decided this, but I somehow always gravitate towards tea.  I mean, I love the smell of coffee, and I love the taste to a certain degree, but I just don't taste much in the way of variations.  Much like a red wine, a Merlot for example will vary in notes and flavor, however I don't get that with coffee.  Again, this is my opinion, but nine out of ten cups of coffee I've had has the same burnt aftertaste. 

However my recent trip back to Seattle reinvigorated my taste for coffee.  I had heard about the craze of Stumptown Coffee here in the city, but I wanted to see what the hype was all about.  So to really test the place out and to see how well it pairs against say Roasting Plant (LES, NYC) or the other formidable coffee shops throughout the city, I went straight for their most basic coffee, nothing to intricate.  And to my surprise, it was the best cup of coffee I had ever had.  I could taste the different notes of chocolate, cherry, almond, and plum.  Everything I would ever want or imagine coffee to be was in this cup. 

I must rescind my past comment, not all coffee is alike. 

Stumptown Coffee, A Brief Overview:

The business practices and standards of quality of Stumptown Coffee Roasters have led to them being recognized as having "revolutionized the coffee business" and helped "refine coffee drinkers' palates" in Portland.  Founder Duane Sorenson and Stumptown Coffee Roasters have been credited as being part of the so-called "Third Wave" of the coffee movement.

In pursuit of the best quality coffee, Sorenson spends considerable time visiting farms in person and is willing to pay high prices for coffee he deems worthy—occasionally three or four times fair trade prices, he once set the record for highest price ever paid for coffee beans.  Sorenson is known for forming lasting relationships with the coffee producers.

The owner has offered atypical perks to his employees such as paying for a compilation album to be produced of their various bands, and hiring a full-time on-staff massage therapist.

They have received numerous awards, including Roaster of the Year 2006.



  1. What a great company! I love coffee, so this would be a delight for me!

  2. "a Merlot for example will vary in notes and flavor"..that line gave me a good laugh. sure you do.


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