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On view May 5th – June 1st
Reception 4-6pm Sunday, May 17th

“I wake up really early every morning and start my day with a cup of coffee in my studio, which is in my basement of my house. I’ve been getting really into a more meditative drawing practice that is focused on action and form over content. Each of these drawings proceeds from a simple set of rules reified into images over the course of days or weeks. In certain cases I have intentionally disrupted or broken the rules with more spontaneous marks, but the rules always provide the basis for each image. I listen to music on headphones when I draw, and this (along with the coffee) has served as a rhythmic pulse and motivating force. I borrowed lyrics from songs as a way to have some prefab content and in certain cases to help the drawings function temporally with a specific flow. The title “Programming the Surface” was chosen as a description of what I was functionally doing (enacting a set of rules on the surface of a page).” J_O_2

 

For more information about this show or exhibiting your artwork with us, please contact the curator. wendy@stumptowncoffee.com.


Belmont Stumptown

3356 SE Belmont Street

 

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COFFEE: ETHIOPIA YIRGACHEFFE CHELBESSA

There are very few places in the world that have struck us like the road to Chelbessa.

As coffee buyers and tasters, Ethiopia Chelbessa is a mecca for us. It’s a washing station in the middle of the lush jungle, and it takes four days to get there, but it’s always well worth the journey.

More than almost anywhere else, the taste of Ethiopian coffee is related to where it comes from – the heirloom varieties specific to the region here date back centuries if not millennia, and taste like nothing else. This is the birthplace of coffee, after all.Blog-Source-Ethiopia-Chelbessa-Resized-7Blog-Source-Ethiopia-Chelbessa-Resized-11

Yirgacheffe is a town and a type of coffee. It comes from the Gedeo zone. Once you cross into Gedeo, the landscape becomes lush. It feels mystical – the air is thick with the smell of eucalyptus and people roasting coffee and burning frankincense in a daily coffee ritual, that shows how much coffee is deeply ingrained in the culture here. The closest town is called Worka, which means “golden” in the Gedeo dialect, and this coffee is most-deserving of such a signifier.

To get to Chelbessa, we travel along the bumpy, partially-paved, potholed road (and yes, there is only one road) the air heavy with copper red dust. Along the way, we always stay at the Aregesh Lodge, and from there it takes us about 6 hours to go 60 miles.Blog-Source-Ethiopia-Chelbessa-Resized

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People are milling about everywhere, walking alongside the road. We stop often for cattle or goat crossing. We bump, and careen and swerve, we get flat tires. The locals always come out to help when this happens, or in one case, invite us to join in a game of pick-up soccer.

When you arrive at the gates of Chelbessa, which sits in a bowl-shaped valley, surrounded by lush coffee farms and jungle, there’s always a feeling of stumbling upon something secret. It feels like you’ve gone way back or way forward in time. Like people have been living this exact way for hundreds of years.

There’s always a coffee ceremony when we arrive, adding to the frankincense smell in the air, which they burn during the ceremony. The coffee is roasted on the spot, ground in a mortar and pestle, then boiled in water, poured back and forth to settle the grounds, and served strong in a small ceramic cup. (We’ve learned the hard way not to drink it after 3pm to avoid psychedelic dreams.)Blog-Source-Ethiopia-Chelbessa-Resized-9Blog-Source-Ethiopia-Chelbessa-Resized-10Blog-Source-Ethiopia-Chelbessa-Resized-8

Every house in this region is unique: the inhabitants paint the shutters and doors with singular bright and geometric patterns, speaking to the expressive nature of the people that live here. There is a bright spirit among them. And it seems that like the terroir, the ancient heirloom varieties, and the careful processing, that this, too, shines through in the cup.

SHOP ETHIOPIA YIRGACHEFFE CHELBESSA >>>

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On view April 28th – June 24th
(Reception tba)

Jon MacNair was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in the suburbs of Southeastern Michigan near Detroit. He graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005, where he earned a BFA in Illustration. Jon’s commercial work has appeared in various editorial publications and mainly been used for apparel and package design. In addition to freelance illustration, he frequently exhibits his personal work in galleries around the U.S. and abroad. Publications like Beautiful Decay, Elle Girl, Juxtapoz and Hi-Fructose have also featured his gallery work. Jon currently resides in Portland where he continues to create and exhibit his art.

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“For a long time now there has been an undeniable narrative quality to my work. I think as a trained illustrator it makes sense that my personal work also seems to want to tell a story. Sometimes I have a narrative in mind that I want to depict, but other times I just let the story unfold as I work. Over the past couple years I have become more and more aware of the self-analytical effects my drawings seem to have on me and the kinds of things I learn about myself in the process. I like to create scenarios that play out on the paper; little vignettes that the viewer can ponder the origins of and hopefully imbue with their own personal meanings and interpretations. There is definitely a sense of darkness, hierarchy and mysticism that permeate my landscapes and characters. Often I place these players in a nighttime setting. At night, nothing is what it seems; shapes shift and shadows loom, tricking the eye and making us question what is real and what is imagined. There’s also an introspective kind of silence and solitude that occurs only at night. The dreary realities of life seem to melt away, allowing magic and mythology to slowly emerge from the darkness to weave fantastical narratives not visible in the daylight. This body of work is a collection of just such tales and the characters that frequently feature in them.

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Division Stumptown
4525 SE Division Street

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Earth Day is today, so we thought it a fine time to talk about sustainability.

A Short History

The history of Earth Day is pretty interesting – it was started in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, who stepped up after witnessing the ravages of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with a consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Green Coffee

For us, it serves as a reminder to keep pushing to protect the only Earth we’ve got. Admittedly, roasting coffee can use lots of energy. So we’re trying to do our part to minimize our footprint. One of the biggest ways we’ve been able to do this is at our Portland HQ to team up with the Energy Trust of Oregon to purchase and install an RTO, or more formally, a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer.

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The RTO is essentially like an afterburner, a machine that captures the heat generated by roasting coffee and uses it to burn off the organic particles released during roasting instead of expelling them out into the atmosphere. The main difference lies in its energy use – it uses 70% less gas than conventional afterburners, which annually equates to saving enough energy to heat 209 homes and is the environmental equivalent of 109 cars off the road.

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Share the Road

Speaking of cars off the road, if you biked to work an average of one day per week throughout a year, you would save over 400 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Considering the average American emits between 11,000 and 21,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, that’s reducing your emissions by between 2-3%, just by cycling to work once a week.

We are a crew of bike enthusiasts at Stumptown, so when we built our Portland HQ a couple of years ago, we wanted to make it as easy as possible to encourage each other to bike to work. Our HQ has a bike room, with lockers and showers, and basic tools to fix flats and work on your bike. Our friends at Sellwood Cycle Repair pop up shop once a season to help get our bikes road ready, and our head roaster Steve Kirbach leads a bike-to-work challenge every year to get us in gear.

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Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

We’re also doing our part to compost where we can. Right now, we’re composting about 24,935 lbs of wet coffee grinds created in our Cold Brew facilities on both coasts. We also compost coffee chaff, a by-product of the roasting process, and we recycle where we can in our cafes, too.

Another thing we try to encourage folks to do to reduce waste is to bring your own mug to our cafes. We even offer 25 cents off your coffee if you do. For further encouragement, on Earth Day this year, we’re offering $5 off our Klean Kanteen online and in cafes. The Klean Kanteens keep your coffee hot or cold for ridiculous lengths of time and are made without BPA, phthalates or lead. Pop by our cafes or pick one up online here. Use the Discount Code: EARTHDAY.

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Happy Earth Day!

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Late night coffee just got a serious upgrade.

We’re very pleased to present our all-new Trapper Creek Decaf. Thanks to new updates to the decaffeination process at Swiss Water Process, we are now able to get unparalleled flavor and cup quality in this decaf coffee.SWP-25

We recently visited Swiss Water Process, a chemical-free decaffeination facility in Vancouver, Canada to check out their processing facility. SWP has undergone huge quality improvements recently and our new Trapper Creek Decaf maintains flavor and origin characteristics in a way we’ve never been able to before. The main changes involve gentler processing, lower temperatures and a more rigorous quality analysis process after the coffee has been decaffeinated.SWP-11-blogSWP-22-blog

These new developments allow the integrity of the coffee to shine through. This involved decaffeination process was patented in Switzerland and essentially uses water and a decaffeinated Green Coffee Extract poured over green coffee beans until caffeine is transferred over and out of the coffee through osmosis.

The folks at Swiss Water Process have similar Quality Analysis labs to ours that ensure that the quality of the coffee is maintained throughout the decaffeination process. This is hands-down the best decaf we’ve ever tasted and we’re very excited to share it with you.

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SHOP TRAPPER CREEK DECAF HERE >>>