Flowers and fruits of the fall

This morning, as I hopped off my bike at Oblique Coffee, I saw some flowers growing on the fence outside. I don’t normally notice flowers (I tend to stop and smell the coffee instead of the roses), but these were so unique, I couldn’t help it. For fun, I’ll buy the first person to correctly identify them a cup of coffee at the PDX café of their choice (bonus points for the proper genus). John Chandler, Oblique’s owner, told me what they are, so I do know the right answer.

Inside the café, I tried a couple of nice natural coffees, one from Uganda and the other from the Harrar region of Ethiopia. Both were light and fruity, as you might expect. Lots of strawberry and blueberry flavors in them. 



Just for fun. . .free coffee

It's the first day of the month today, and you know what that means. . . . Tomorrow is the second.

Okay, that wasn't funny-I heard the groans. To make up for you having to put up with all of my bad jokes (and a few good ones), I want to try something. I'm going to give away a bag of coffee to the first person who can identify the café from the picture below. Call it the "It's the First of the Month and I Wanted to Post Something but I was Tired After Yesterday's Marathon Post so I Decided to Come up with Something to Keep You Interested Caffeinated Coffee Giveaway Contest". 

The coffee will be from a Portland-area roaster. It will probably be a 12oz bag, since most places seem to be reducing bag size rather their prices as the cost of green coffee shoots upward. I haven't picked the roaster or the coffee yet (sponsorship opportunity), but it will be a good one. I won't send you anything that is not fresh. However, if you live a long way from PDX, I can't guarantee that the coffee will be fresh by the time it gets to you. Then again, if you live a long way from PDX, you probably won't recognize the picture in the first place.

Each day, starting tomorrow and continuing until someone figures out the mystery, I will Tweet (I can't believe I just wrote that) a clue to help you. If you're not following me on Twitter, it might be a good time to start (obviously, I'm not above bribery). Click the button on the right sidebar to do that (it's the one with the blue bird). Good luck to all, and here goes nothing. . .

Recognize this?Oh yeah, one more thing. You should post your guesses in the comments section below. You get one guess per day. Please don't break that rule. If this goes over without too many problems, we may try something like it again next month. 

PDX Baristas in Action at NWRBC

I spent most of the day on Friday at the Northwest Regional Barista Championship in Tacoma. Brandon Arends and I went up and worked as volunteers, and we had quite a trip.  Portland was well-represented on the first day, with 10 of the 19 competitors coming from PDX. In between cleaning stations and busing tables, I managed to get a few action shots of Portland's finest.  You will probably recognize some of them from some of your favorite cafés.

Unfortunately, I did not make it to Saturday's preliminaries or Sunday's finals, so I missed the five Portland baristas who competed on Saturday (including the eventual champion, Sam Purvis from Coava). I'll have more of a recap tomorrow. 

Ashley Rauch, from Sterling Coffee Roasters, competing in her first Regional Barista Championship.

Kelly Kieft from Cellar Door Coffee Roasters

Kyle Salmi, Albina Press, waiting patiently for the judges


Marty Lopes, Barista. His boss, at far left, looks pretty nervous.

Ryan Wilbur of Stumpton put on quite a show. He ended up finishing second overall, by 0.5 points.

Ray Penrod of Public Domain was stylin'

Devin Chapman, Coava Coffee Roasters, explaining how the cherries and blood oranges blend well with his coffee. In addition to competing in the Barista Championship, Devin won the first-ever Regional Brewing Competition.

Jenny Dorsey, from Case Study Coffee, showed off her cider-making skills in addition to her barista skills.

Adam McGovern, from Sterling Coffee Roasters, holds court.

Thomas Surprenant, from Cellar Door, was the last competitor of day 1. His hops-infused espresso signature beverage was one highlight of the day.