Cold Grinds, Cool Beans...Mas Mocha

Bailouts for Arts Organizations??

by badbeard 1. February 2010 16:44

Badbeard's has seen a lot of fundraising activity of late, between the Haitian relief calls and local (Portland, OR) arts organizations.  It's refreshing to see the sacrifices being made by lots of ordinary folks who could use a nice bailout of their own.  Providing java for the Portland Youth Philharmonic gave me the opportunity to hear some of our outstanding local talent, conducted by David Hattner (who happily I knew from NYC freelance music circles of yesteryear). Bravo guys and gals!

We're currently working with some other local roasters and importers on securing some fine Haitian Highland coffees, the logistics for which has of course gotten enormously complicated with the earthquake, aftershocks and general chaos.  So much of the arable land there has been ruined it will be no mean feat for farmers to recover, a nd we will support their rebuilding efforts.  Hopefully our customers will help us with this endeavor...will continue posting on this.  Meanwhile bravos to all who have sacrificed to help the Haitians...especially our Portland-based Mercy Corps.

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Portland music scene | The Grind | The Mill

Attention Decaf fanciers

by badbeard 20. January 2010 08:18

The long-awaiting organic Nicaragua CO2-process decaf is in-store and ready for consumption either straight up or in the Ultimate Decaf, where it is happily wed to offerings from Peru and Sumatra. The decision to have three excellent decafs has been driven by customers who were tired of their relatively-tasteless coffees wherever they are!

To refresh, the supercritical CO2 processing of these organic coffees takes place in the US at the Maximus plant in Houston, TX, making it the only American coffee production facility in mainland USA.  We source organic offerings because they start out as great green coffee and seem to hold up better to all decaffing processes than non-organic, and thanks to our partner Elan Organic in San Diego for their assiduous work on behalf of consumers and coffee producers around the world!

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Black Coffee, the manifesto

by badbeard 11. January 2010 11:32

I just watched the first 2 discs of  the sobering, Canadian-produced 3-DVD documentary called Black Coffee, which is interesting historically and a grim reminder of the uphill battles faced by all who consume coffee.  The 2nd disc is quite jarring in its historical telling of the 20th century viz the green stuff, and highlights how far the industry has come and how far we have yet to go to bring some economic equality to the world.  The commoditization (coffee still #2 after oil on world markets) has insured the frankly vile and oppressive behavior of consuming nations, notably but not exclusively the US, towards the producer entities.  Clearly what we are paying for a cup of coffee doesn't come close to rectifying the disparities in general.  One can hardly imagine that the destitution of the average coffee farmer worldwide is healthy for the industry in the future; this status quo has to stop eventually.  Generic coffee is still the king, although it must be said that today we can enjoy far better-tasting brews than we could even 25 years ago.  I enjoyed Dunkin' Donuts coffee plenty in college in the mid-70s, and was able to buy acceptable whole bean java in NYC in the late 70s as well. Oh how things have changed. The numbers of conscientious roasters has also risen dramatically...you (we) go go go!!!

As a roaster who only purchases the highest-end of the available green market; and this takes in equitable trading practices,(transparency, quality, sustainability and such, I'm fortunate that the system allows me to source green beans of discerning quality.  You the consumer as well as the producer benefits when the applicable super-premium $$$ are paid.  As cup quality and origin uniqueness become even more prominent in "the mission" we will right many of the current wrongs.  The socio-economic fragility of "the coffee system" is on the way up, fortunately.  And we hope that you choose to say no to mass-market consumption and experience the little but obvious and intense differences that you can taste between microroasting and "the other"!

By all means watch Black Coffee.  The amazing doc "Black Gold" is another must-see, especially for a brutally honest picture of production in Ethiopia, my favorite country of coffee origin and the birthplace of the bean.  We're happy and privileged to sell the fine products originating from the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU), whose plight is highlighted in the film.

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The Grind

Local press takes notice

by badbeard 6. January 2010 23:28

Y'all know I'm not a horn-tooter but it was almost surreal to see myself in print in Tuesday's The Oregonian and awesome props to all who have supported this guy along the way.  Response has been tremendous and humbling....seems like this happens routinely here in Portland, where I heard that the trademark "Keep Portland Weird" is slowly giving way to "Make Portland Weirder".

Actually there's nothing weird at all. And a ton of coffee.

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The Grind

Badbeard's Daterra Sweet Blue featured in national mag

by badbeard 4. January 2010 08:38

The excellent mixology and all-drinkables magazine Imbibe features our Daterra Sweet Blue in the current (Jan) issue.  An interesting roundup of 5 varietals, including Mundo Novo, of which Sweet Blue is one of the best on the planet. the 2009 crop is set to land here right about now, and there'ssome of the 2008 still at the roastery in its nitrogen-flushed mylar container which has been keeping it totally fresh since it left the mill in Brazil.

an extraordinary coffee as a single origin espresso as well as a fabulous french press prepation.  I could drink this stuff all day and frequently do!

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The Grind

Spella Caffe Part II opening downtown Portland tomorrow!!

by badbeard 17. December 2009 00:08

My best bud and partner Andrea is officially opening his new location in downtown Portland, a testament to perseverence and perfectionism.  We got a nice soft opening today with el generoso Andrea offering free coffee drinks, chai and Stella gelato to a lot of his loyal patrons from the cart on 9th and Alder as well as new friends from downtown.  The magic word was Yirgacheffe and I'd say the newbies did really well pronouncing it!

The Carrara marble tops, 3-group lever pull Rancilio macchina and nifty chandelier give it the real traditional Italian coffee bar touch, not to mention the "real deal" espresso, latte, macchiato tastes of Italy which have been Andrea's holy grail for all the years of hard work in the business.  Bravo my brother and staff, who are trained in real barista tradizione.  This is what you won't get anywhere else in Portland.  Given that this is the tradition which drew me to coffee...5 weeks living in Italy in 2000....thank heaven for tradition.  Bravissimo!

Street level in between SW Alder and Washington Streets on 5th Avenue.  The original Spella Caffe will still be operating, on the corner of Sw 9th and Alder.  Pix to follow....

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The Grind

Rockin' Yemen Mokha Harazi, calling all violists

by badbeard 15. December 2009 23:29

However you spell it (Mocha Harasi is equally popular) this dry-process Yemen which we just picked up flat out kills at Full City+ roast.  Really small, dense & intense beans, quite uniform...and tasty!  Dried apricot, cinnamon, persimmon, 80% Ivory Coast chocolate, sweet.  Have been drinking it as a drip four days post-roast and it's still developing...Deep rich s.o. espresso shots.  And here I thought there'd be no good Yemeni offerings this year...wrong again!  Even more interesting and complex than the excellent Ismaili lot which we just finished.

Charles, if you're listening, this baby's for you.

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The Grind

Symphony Espresso added to Symphony coffee line....

by badbeard 25. November 2009 17:23

Jazzed by the success and reception of the Symphony blend, with a portion of proceeds being donated to my local buds and colleagues of the Oregon Symphony here in Portland, Badbeard's is releasing a Symphony Espresso which will satisfy even the most demanding devotees of javamania.  Extensive cupping notes to follow Thanksgiving chowdown...we should call it Mahogany Friday.  A pound of this blend will make a nice stocking stuffer for your coffee-crazed loved ones and you won't risk stampeding over your favorite barista to get it either!  My guess is that even the lump of coal will smell great after cozying up to the bag....

Symphony Decaf Espresso will be forthcoming....

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The Grind

Tasty new offerings in house and roasting!

by badbeard 24. November 2009 23:02

Like a kid in a candy store, yon Badbeard couldn't wait to start roasting today's new arrivals...four certified organic offerings:  Ethiopia Yirgacheffe and Harar (both from the wonderful Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, or OCFCU, and a pair of the tastiest decafs we've come across in a while.  The first is a high-grown Peru processed using the supercritical CO2 method, and the second a Sumatra Mandheling Mountain Water Process.  Both of these decafs are full-bodied and flavorful and will strain your credulity in the taste department.  They roasted up like regular caffeinated coffees, a rare feat, since traditionally the decaffing process negatively affects the cell structure of the bean. We'll reporta gain after they've degassed and rested another 48 hours, but given the quality of our cupping samples we can say that you'll be pleased.

The Ethiopian javas are truly classic in regional profile.  The washed Yirgacheffe has abundant sweet citrus note, medium acidity and outstanding body and gets even richer as the cup cools.  The dry-processed Harar shows proud blueberry and blackberry notes in both the cup and the ground fragrance, velvety chocolate undertones throughout and low acidity. Both have super-clean finishes. These are coffees you can drink day and night!

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The Grind

First Symphony Blend latte in the Pearl @ Sweet Masterpiece

by badbeard 24. November 2009 10:32

Barista extraordinaire Ty Hauptman makes the first or many elegant lattes to come with Badbeard's new Symphony Blend. Thumbs up from the customers...soon to come a dedicated Symphony Espresso which will incorporate the finest coffees from Brazil, Panama, Sumatra and Ethiopia. 

Baristas beware...Tyler will soon be competing! 

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Portland music scene | The Grind | The Mill