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Hot Coffee: Portland's New Breed of Micro Roasters

(post, Kathleen Bauer)

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A decade ago, Portlander Duane Sorenson founded Stumptown, which, along with other roasters who emerged in the mid-'90s, quickly became the standard-bearer for artisan coffees: well-sourced and roasted to bring out nuances that weren't necessarily in the vocabulary of earlier roasters whose focus was often on deep and dark. Stumptown's beans are brewed around the city, the West Coast and now in New York. And while Stumptown's volume is still small compared to the name-brand roasting giants, in indie-minded Portland, Stumptown might be considered "establishment."

Enter the micro-roasters, people who, like most of their predecessors, were drawn from other fields to the life of a coffee roaster for reasons that aren't necessarily rational, but can be felt by the cascade of beans spilling from a cloth bag, smelled through the waft of coffee toasting in a drum-roaster, heard in the crack of beans as they're transformed from simple fruit to the source of so much pleasure and sustenance for rain-soaked Portlanders.

Read about five of Portland's new breed of coffee roasters in this month's MIX magazine!