Soaked on Mississippi

After leaving Ristretto, I headed back towards Interstate Ave to hop on the MAX. About two minutes after I left the café, the pleasant drizzle that had been falling turned into a steady downpour. Naturally, I didn’t have an umbrella with me (my native Eastern Washingtonian habits are hard to shake). When I got to Mississippi, I ducked into Mr. Green Beans to check out what they had to offer and to escape the rain for a minute. After reading the Oregonian’s article on DIY coffee roasting two weeks ago, I had been thinking about trying it out. An acquaintance of mine swears by roasting at home. He says that it is the only way to go when it comes to making coffee. “You’ll never have a better cup,” he repeatedly claims.

I’m a little bit skeptical by nature, so when someone tells me that I’ll never have a better cup, I tend to not believe him. Still, I’m open to trying new things, so I plan to try roasting a batch or two for myself someday. Since Mr. Green Beans is where he gets his beans, and since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to stop in at the store and ask a few questions about roasting at home.

A short conversation with the owner, Mr. Green Bean himself (Trevin Miller), convinced me that I wasn’t quite ready to try roasting my own coffee. I asked him if it was a good idea to roast coffee if you don’t have a vent hood in your kitchen. He said probably not and told me that a better place to roast is outside (using a popcorn popper and an extension cord), because roasting creates a lot of smoke. There are home roasters that have built-in smoke reducers, but those are pretty expensive if you’re not convinced home-roasted coffee is the best ever. Since our kitchen has no vent fan and we don’t really have a good outside space either, I decided to wait until we move to another place before trying the DIY roasting. Being responsible for a barrage of Portland Fire Department trucks descending upon our apartment building is not something I want.

I thanked Mr. Green Bean for his advice and left, hoping that my stop in the store would give the rain time to pass. Nope. It was raining even harder when I left the store in route to my train. As you can imagine, when I finally got to the train station, I looked like a wet dog. Water was running off my head and down over my eyes. The rain had soaked through my jacket and I was starting to shiver from the cold. I was grateful that PDX has a good public transportation system. It saved me from a long, miserable walk home.