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We are happy to announce a collaboration with the very talented potters and designers behind Mazama, a Portland-based ceramic studio that creates clutch-worthy mugs, cups and pitchers.

It’s hard to find a wheel thrown production pottery studio that does this so well, and these folks pay a great deal of attention to consistency and design. ”Even though everything we make is hand thrown, we have a very tight standard when it comes to size and shape,” says co-founder Meghan Wright. “We wanted to make pieces that are simple, timeless, and felt amazing in your hand, and while you drink. We obsessed over the lip of our cups, as well as the handle design until they felt just right.”

The designs of the cups and vessels are very considered before ever even taking clay to wheel – each piece begins with a pencil sketch, next a computer rendering, and finally the pieces are created in clay on the wheel. After a piece is thrown on the wheel, it is dried for a day, then flipped over and trimmed. This is when the stamp is applied to the bottom. Next, the handle is added. Once completely dry, the mugs are fired in a bisque kiln program. The bisque ware is then carefully sanded and checked for flaws, then the glaze is applied.

Meghan says, “The best part of the design process is testing them out, or ‘Research Drinking’ as we like to call it. Have to make sure our favorite beverages taste good in there, right?”

We can relate the family vibe of the studio and can certainly get behind the folks of Mazama who really rally behind creating a community of people drinking things together.

Our custom, limited-edition, hand-thrown Mazama X Stumptown stoneware mug hits the online shop today. Here’s a peek inside their studio in Northeast Portland. SHOP MAZAMA MUG >>

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On view October 8th – November 5th
Reception 4-6 Sunday, October 19th

The focus of this series of etchings was the process in which they were made. Months were spent intensely scratching, scrapping, burnishing, and etching into the surface of large copper sheets. Print proofs were made arbitrarily during this process and then the copper was reworked revealing what lay under the surface.

This series was achieved by adding layers of spray paint, hard ground and sugar to the surface of the copper. Then the exposed areas were bit by acid, scrapped and burnished again and again.

These pieces are a few of the proofs that appeared along the path. A path that continues on, constantly changing.” – Bruce Paulson

Belmont Stumptown
3356 SE Belmont Street


On view October 9th – November 26th
Reception 4-6pm Sunday, October 26th
Artist Talk 4-6pm Sunday, November 23

Local process-based artist and community builder Wynde Dyer worked with a team of neighborhood children, aged 5-11, to design a series of colorful quilts channelling the practices and products of Gee’s Bend quilters. Working with poly tarp in lieu of fabric, the quilts create a dissonance between one’s expectation of a quilt–as something soft and warm–and the reality of these utility quilts, which are cold and hard but offer a water resistant barrier against the wet soil of the Pacific Northwest. Perfect for a picnic after the rain. When displayed with backlight they also conjure a stained-glass effect that will brighten any gloomy room of winter. The colorful whimsy of the utility quilts, however, belies the purpose behind the artist’s process, which involved a self-guided process of exposure therapy to overcome deeply-rooted childhood trauma-related aversions to tarp and young humans alike.


Featuring designs by: Issa Cuanalo, 6 / Fayde Edgar, 9 / Zoey Edgar, 6 / Delaney Johnson, 11 / Elliott Johnson, 9 / Logan Horton, 6 / Frankie Lancaster, 6 / Theo Lancaster, 7 / Angel Marks, 10 / Jonathan Marks, 11 / George Marmen-Zehnder, 11 / Justin McGarity, 7 / Mercedes Plancarte, 6 / Parker Powell-Herbold, 8 / Penny Powell-Herbold, 5 / Sebastian Regier, 5 / Antonio Reyes, 11 / Michelle Ruhmshottel, 8 / Zoë Unknown, 6


For more information see:
Interview with Felicity Fenton

Division Stumptown
4525 SE Division Street


fb_mixteca (1)Summer 2014, Oaxaca, Mexico
Adam McClellan, Coffee Buyer

I’m used to being awakened by cranky roosters and dogs barking at the crack of dawn when visiting the small coffee communities across rural Latin America. There was nothing unusual about those sounds on this particular crisp morning, but the peculiar noise that rustled me awake this time was different. Once I came to I could make out a muffled, echoing human voice projecting on a loud, crackling P.A. system – the morning news and announcements for the town. The news was mostly communicated in the local indigenous Mixteca dialect, but there was enough Spanish mixed in on one featured point that I could make out some of that message. The voice was announcing a reminder to the village: “Our coffee buyer is in town today, and he wants to meet with all of the local coffee farmers at 11 AM in the town square community center.” I distinctly remember thinking nervously, oh man, this could get interesting. This sure was shaping up to be an exciting day in the remote mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico.

After driving six hours or so over hot, dusty roads from Oaxaca city, we had arrived in the darkening evening just after sunset. It’s always fun to arrive to a place you’ve never seen in the evening. The excitement builds as the light of day reveals a new landscape. I rolled out of bed while the rest of the quiet, clean, organized town was still slowly waking up to their morning routines, and walked out to see an incredible sunrise and stunning view from the town which is high enough to look out over the rugged, morning mist-shrouded Sierra Madre Mountains, all the way to the Pacific Ocean in the distance.mixtera (8)pacamaramixtera (10)

I started the day with a hearty breakfast of fresh steak, eggs, tortillas, and salsa with tomatoes from Cecilio’s garden. Then spent the morning visiting several inspiring farms with thriving, pure, heirloom Bourbon and Typica plants. I walked to the farmer meeting which started right after the local youth brass band rehearsal finished. I wanted to bring a clear message to the assembled farmers: let’s start something special here together with Stumptown and La Sierra Mixteca, a newly formed small group of 100 or so focused hard-working small holder farmers eager to access a new market that rewards quality with top price premiums.

Still buzzing from the community discussion, we walked out of town to spend the afternoon under the hot sun checking out plant nurseries, worm composting stations, and more farms. We finally sat in the shade outside the breezy storage warehouse and polished off a few crates of Corona while sharing stories with several farmers. Sometimes it just all clicks, right place, right time.

I couldn’t be happier or more excited to present the fruits (well seeds, actually) of this pilot project in its first year. This soft, mild, pleasantly citric coffee with lingering chocolate sweetness, is best served at dawn.

Get more information on Mexico La Sierra Mixteca here.


A Real or Imagined History.

We don’t know why or by whom coffee seeds were first roasted but we think it was a really good idea.

The theorems of how people came to roast coffee are shrouded in lore. Legend has it that 9th century goat herds in Ethiopia were seen eating unknown red berries and soon after were allegedly seen to be ‘dancing’– naturally, their trusty shepherds followed suit. Down the line, this coffee cherry was named diabolical by monks, thrown into the fire, and the fumes emitted therein were deemed divine. The only thing we can confirm is the nature of that holy roasted coffee bean.

Throughout history, people have roasted coffee beans over fires and in stoves. Later arrived the inventions of larger batch roasters and many of the machines built in the early twentieth century are the grandpaps of what we use now – in fact, most of the Probat roasters we use in our roasteries today were built mid-century. We currently have seven Probat drum roasters. Working with these old guys is like using a seasoned and well-loved cast iron skillet.


A First Crack at Roasting Coffee.

The roasting process is essentially a chemical decomposition of green coffee beans by heating. Things are both lost and created while roasting coffee. A green coffee bean changes as it is heated in many ways, but three of these changes are common in kitchens everywhere. They are known as Maillard reactions, Strecker Degradations and Caramelization – we have these guys to thank for roasted coffee’s aroma, flavor, sweetness and rich brown color. The Maillard is a browning reaction – it’s what makes toast taste different than stale bread. Caramelization is the breakdown of sugar molecules under high heat, which unearths an array of sweet, bitter and nutty flavor molecules. These processes change starch into sugars and then caramelize those sugars.

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What We Mean When We Talk About Roast.

Very broadly speaking, at Stumptown, we tend to roast coffees at a ‘medium’ roast. The whole truth is that we source really high quality coffees and roast each coffee just enough to bring out the best and full potential of what’s inherent in each particular coffee already. Through roasting, we aim to draw out things like acidity, floral notes, chocolate, molasses, and earth. All of the coffee’s flavor potentials are presented at the first crack – an audible signal that happens at a particular point when roasting coffee. After that, we’re roasting enough to add the right amount of body and sweetness, without degradation.

In other words, the goal is to bring out the best acidity, flavor and sweetness in each coffee that’s brought to the surface through roasting, without tasting what we’ve done to it. If you continue to roast past that point, you’ll begin to taste the roast. Now some people love that roasty flavor,  and for you fine people, we make our French Roast. You can still taste some of the lovely inherent qualities of the coffee but you also are tasting the actual roast.

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“We don’t have a roasting approach in general, as much as a general guiding principle in which all the coffee’s potential is revealed to you with nothing standing in the way, ” says Jim Kelso, head of Quality Assurance in our Roasting Department. “We want to honor the coffee producers. We don’t think what we’ve done on a machine is more important than what they’ve done to grow and process this coffee.”

As always, we’re here to help! Ask your cafe barista, give us a shout at info@stumptowncoffee.com, or tweet us @stumptowncoffee for more specific roasting questions.