I was slightly unnerved the other morning when I heard the Stumptown Annex on Belmont is closing its doors at the end of the year. Was it really true that the best place in Portland for learning about coffee will soon be no more?
The answer is yes, but…
The Annex is indeed closing at the end of the year. Coffee enthusiasts will no longer be able to visit Belmont for the free cuppings offered twice a day, where the Annex employees teach you more than you ever thought you could know about coffee. Stumptown Belmont’s customers will no longer have an alternative place to sit if the noisy Belmont café next door is full. Sadly, the Annex in its current form is leaving.
But—and here’s the good news—the Annex is not going away, it’s only moving to the new Stumptown headquarters in the inner Southeast Industrial district. The new space is supposed to be ready by the first of the year, if things go as planned.
Liam, who manages the Annex, told me he’s looking forward to the move because it will allow the Annex folks to be closer to where their coffees are roasted. He also hopes to offer tours of the new facility, including the roasting plant. All of the details have not been worked out yet, but employees are planning as seamless a transition as possible. So if you head to Belmont Ave. in the early next year for a cupping and find that the Annex is gone—don’t be alarmed. Just turn around and head back toward downtown.
In other news, Stumptown has a new website. By itself, that probably is not big news, but I did notice the company has added Los Angeles to its list of locations. L.A. is listed as “Coming Soon”, but its presence on the site must mean that the long-rumored roastery is almost ready to go. Portland’s influence in the coffee world continues to grow.