This post is long overdue. I was so eager to share this with you and then my Mac decided it needed a new hard drive. I lost everything. Needless to say I was distraught. Word to the wise: back up your computers!
Anyways, back to the post. This one is for all you coffee fiends out there. Until a few weeks ago I had never heard the words “Stumptown Coffee.” A sous chef at my job mentioned it and I was immediately intrigued. So I went home and did a little research. Stumptown coffee is a coffee company based in Portland, Oregon and these people are serious about their coffee. Not only are they incredibly meticulous in their coffee selection, they are precise in their roasting and brewing methods.
They are involved in all aspects of the buying process. They buy directly from small local coffee farmers (by directly I mean they go there and sample the beans themselves before buying) from around the world; no middleman required. Their selection of hand sorted coffees come from Latin America, Africa and Indonesia. They also pay more than the fair trade price which makes their coffee a little on the pricey side, but I think it’s worth it for sustainable practices (and damn good coffee).
Bean selection is only the first step to exceptional coffee. Stumptown takes extreme care in roasting the beans. With the help of dedicated personnel, old school steel drum roasters and precise time and temperature, the end result is magic. This “calculated artistry” of roasting, observing colors and aromas, and taste testing, all day every day, is what sets Stumptown apart.
Finally, brewing the coffee. You didn’t think they would go through all this trouble in selecting and roasting the coffee just for people to brew it incorrectly. It’s all about the perfect cup of coffee from start to finish. Their website contains brewing instructions for all types of coffee makers, from french press to espresso machine.
I don’t know about you but I’m sold. So where the hell can I get some Stumptown Coffee!? Unfortunately for us on the east coast the options are limited to a roaster in RedHook, Brooklyn and a cafe at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan (18w 29th street between Broadway and 5th ave) The west coast is better off, with many locations in Portland and Seattle. Middle America, you’re shit out of luck. Just kidding, they have an online store too.
Is it as good as it sounds? Yes. Yes it is. I went to the Ace Hotel location a few weeks ago and had a latte. First of all it was the prettiest cup of coffee I’ve ever had. With my first sip I was overcome by its creamy, thick, nutty, caramel flavor. Soooo good. I went back a few days later for an iced latte. Just as good.
The cafe itself is small, no seating, just a ledge for you to lean on and enjoy your treats. It has a vintage feel to it. The baristas are super cool with their fedoras and neck ties and they’ve always got some sweet jams playing. The lobby of the hotel itself compliments the hipster style. They’ve got super plush coaches, tables and chairs. I’ve never seen a hotel lobby so packed! My favorite part about Stumptown is it needs no gimmicks. They’re cool without trying and the coffee speaks for itself.
If you’re ever in the city it’s a must go. The Stumptown locations often have tastings, and the roasters are also open to the public if you want to check out their roasting process. If nothing else, check out their website for detailed descriptions of their coffees, varietals, brewing guide, and other interesting info.