Archive for May, 2012

New roasters on the Portland scene

Coffee doesn’t stop for the publishing process. In the year since I wrote the book, a handful of exciting new coffee roasters have cropped up in my hometown of Portland, Oregon.

The Red E

Keith, owner of the Red E, at the new cafe. Photo courtesy of

The Red E has been one of Portland’s best cafes for a few years now. We’re very lucky that owners Keith and Mindy are venturing into roasting their own. The original cafe (on N Killingsworth) manages to be both cozy and a little glamorous, but they also just opened a stand in Portland’s Ecotrust Building in the Pearl.

Case Study

This sweet cafe sits right next to one of the best bakeries in the Northwest, Kim Boyce’s Bakeshop. But that’s not the only reason to go. Case Study is one of a handful of local shops trying their hand at roasting after being trained by local heavyweights Sterling Coffee Roasters. They have a brand-spanking new roaster on the way.

Spielman Coffee Roasters

The focus at Spielman is more on their housemade bagels than their in-store-roasted coffee. On a recent visit some green (unroasted) and recently roasted coffee was sitting in the front window where I could take a look. The green had a lot of visual defects, so I suspect they aren’t buying top-quality beans. They seem to roast right down the middle—a standard full city that goes great with a mouthful of schmear. Though the coffee didn’t blow my mind, it’s a charmingly east-coasty spot in Portland’s inner east side, and worth a visit.

Nossa Familia (*New*—added 6/7/2012)

The folks at Nossa Familia have been operating in Portland since 2006. It started when founder Augusto Carvalho Dias bought a container of green coffee grown by his family in Brazil and Fed Exed it to Portland. Much has changed in six years. For one, starting in February 2012 Nossa has been roasting its own “family traded” coffees.  At the moment, they are the only roasting company in Portland using a Loring Smart Roaster, a hyper-energy-efficient machine that promises up to 80% energy savings. For now, Nossa’s coffee is mostly available in grocery stores, but plans are in the works to open a cafe out of their new roasting facility in the Pearl. Look forward to a more in-depth report in a few weeks.