c[_] Video of the Day

Signature drink... with a little flair!


Friday, November 20, 2009

With Coffee: Visit to Metropol

Metropol Bakery on Willamette street.

(click on image to enlarge)

I used to have a routine when I would visit the 5th St market; order my lamb shawerma plate from Casablanca downstairs. And then I'd turn around behind me and get a french hard-roll from Metropol Bakery which I would use for dipping and eating my lamb, hummus and baba ganoush, instead of the pita flat bread that came with the meal. Perfection! I still love Metropol's french hard roll and was recently thinking how wonderful it would be to have one with my morning coffee. So I made the trek from my home in the Barger/Bethel area to Metropol Bakery's retail shop on south Willamette street. Metropol has done a great job taking a strip-mall storefront and making it into something special. textured greek columns stand to each side of the all glass shop-front and inside: a warm, cozy and beautifully designed & decorated cafe-style bakery. I got my cup of locally roasted Cafeto coffee and, of course, a french hard roll from the friendly ladies behind the counter. There were newspapers provided for reading but I never got that far. Between the photographs and art displayed on the walls, the pastry display case (conveniently located directly behind my seat), the breads displayed in baskets along the bakery wall and the view of all the action out on Willamette street, I had finished my coffee before getting to any reading.
I had a pleasant visit. The coffee was good and the french hard roll was soft and delicious as always! It was tough getting out of there without any of the eclairs, tarts, torts or cake that kept calling to me from the pastry case but I did take an extra french roll home. I noticed that Metropol has a great selection of Thanksgiving offerings including; Pumpkin Hazelnut Torte, Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake and Cranberry Topped Vanilla Cheesecake! I won't give away everything though, you'll have stop in and check out for yourself all their seasonal specials. Have a cup of coffee and a roll at the shop or take home some bread and a dessert to enjoy with whatever coffee you're brewing at home.  c[_]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Coffee Corner: Starbucks' Love Project

The love drawing I made at starbucksloveproject.com

Right now Starbucks, through their "Love Project" will donate 5 cents to the global fund to help fight aids in Africa! And it's fun to do too. Just go to http://www.starbucksloveproject.com and follow the instructions to create a love drawing with their super easy-to-use drawing generator. Believe me, I'm no artist (unless you consider stick figures art) but it only took a minute to figure the tools out and I was on my way. Check it out, it's a fun way to help others. [_]o

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Coffee snapshot: Wandering Goat's Sidamo Natural

Caught on film: Got this shot of a goat wandering across
my counter top just hours before a room mate reported seeing our dog
chase a small chuck wagon through the kitchen. Very strange.

(click on image to enlarge)

I was lying in bed the other morning, it was early and still dark out. That's when it came from the kitchen, through the dinning room- down the hall, underneath my door and woke me. This wonderful, strong aroma was sweet and unmistakable! My newest room mate, in a rare display of I-woke-up-and-got-to-the-coffee-first-ness, was brewing a cup of Wandering Goat Coffee Roasters' Sidamo Natural, a coffee bean varietal from Ethiopia. I'll admit it- I was genuinely surprised and absolutely delighted with how incredible this coffee was. It was absolutely delicious! When my friend and I got to the counter at Wandering Goat I looked over the whole-bean coffee menu and decided on an espresso blend. Fortunately for me they were low enough on their current supply of espresso that they had to save the rest for making drinks at the cafe. My Barista was very helpful and recommended his current favorite for brewing at home; Sidamo Natural. The first thing I noticed was the strong, sweet chocolaty aroma of the beans themselves. And just to make sure, I handed the beans to my friend and the first thing out of his mouth was "chocolate!" It got even better when we brewed and tasted it. A sweet aroma,smooth, hints of chocolate and satisfying. What a cup of coffee! What a way to start the day. Try some of Wandering Goat's Sidamo Natural for yourself or ask your Barista for a recommendation. You wont be disappointed and you may just be surprised.  o(__)

Brewing at Home: Room Mates, Tip Jars and Fun With Filters...

If you haven't noticed yet, I like to have fun with life and that includes coffee of course. I was brewing my morning cup the other day and noticed a glass flower vase in the kitchen and not being able to help myself, I took a 3x5 note card and wrote "TIP JAR" and "Thanks-A-Latte" on it in big letters and taped it to the jar leaving it for my three room mates to see as they came in for coffee. They all got a chuckle out of it... but then something cool happened. The next day I found money in it! It just turned into the household coffee fund. All four of us chip in and I go out and pick a new coffee to bring home and try. Simple, fun and it works!
The other cool coffee related bit from my kitchen that I wanted to share with you was something a room mate did for our pocketbooks and the environment with coffee filters! Lynn is a Food & Bev. Supervisor at an area hotel and when she came home from work a couple days ago she had a good size stack of huge, commercial size coffee brew filters. They were from the hotel restaurant and were the wrong size for the brewer. They were slated to be thrown out when she came up with a great idea! Lynn brought them home, sized one up to our small single-cup brew cones and using it as a pattern, cut them down to size for us to use at home! Awesome. She saved us $5, a trip to the store and some unnecessary paper waste. Good job Lynn! [_]o

What's Brewing in Eugene: Coffee Cupping at Gary's Coffee!

This Saturday, Gary's Coffee (on High Street across from the 5th St. Market) is hosting two coffee "cuppings" (coffee's version of a wine tasting) free for customers! Coffee lovers and coffee professionals alike are invited to come out and learn the art of tasting coffee! Coffee's from around the world, roasted by Stumptown Coffee Roasters will be on display for your sampling and palate-developing pleasure. Learn the three main components of a coffee's "taste" and begin to recognize and identify characteristics of different coffee varietals (single varieties). Just give the people at Gary's Coffee a call to let them know whether you would like to attend the 11am cupping or the 2pm cupping so that they can plan accordingly. It's free and sure to be fun. See ya there! c[]

Gary's Coffee

Friday, November 13, 2009

What's Brewing in Eugene: Free Showing of New Coffee Film!

(click on photo to enlarge)

Here's something for coffee enthusiasts and coffee professionals alike, a free showing of the new film "KNOW YOUR STUFF!", a video about where coffee comes from. The showing is free to the public and will be followed by a Q&A with host Wen Lee. I found this posted as an event on the social networking site "facebook" and wanted to share it with all of my fellow coffee lovers. Below is the information as originally posted on facebook. Hope to see ya there tonight!

What's in a cup of coffee?

Come watch the world premiere showing of

A video about where coffee comes from

Watch the trailer here:

Using a combination of live-action and animation, the show follows Wen Lee as she zips off to Costa Rica in search of a coffee adventure. She tries her hand at coffee farming, chats with local farm workers, visits a coffee mill, and makes some astounding discoveries about the environmental, social, and economic impacts behind the coffee industry. It's amazing how such a simple drink can really be so complicated!

Join us for this exciting event:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 4:00-5:30pm
PLC 180 (University of Oregon)

A screening of the video will be shown, followed by Q&A with Wen Lee.
The event is free and everyone is welcome! Share it your friends!

This video is the terminal project of Wen Lee, master's degree candidate in the Environmental Studies Program. This event serves as a formal presentation to the ENVS program, as well as being open to the public.

Questions? E-mail ylee16@uoregon.edu
The PLC building is located on Kincaid at 14th Ave.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coffee Snapshot: Caffe Pacori's Wood Roasted Organic Sumatra

Barbecued coffee!? Well, maybe not exactly, but the idea of wood roasted coffee just sounds so good. A quick keyword search led me to the wbsite of local coffee roaster Caffe Pacori. I live close to the roaster so I gave them a call to see if I could swing by and buy a pound of coffee for brewing my morning coffee at home but got an answering machine. Luckily for me the website has a list of cafe's & groceries that sell Caffe Pacori in town. I found a pound of Pacori's wood roasted Organic Sumatra, whole bean, in a vacuum sealed bag at the Kiva natural food store downtown. I enjoyed the wood roasted Sumatra from the first cup but I didn't really find distinguishing characteristics in the coffee like I had imagined I would. Now, I admit that I don't have the most well-trained or sophisticated palate and I just knew there were some wonderful things to discover in my cup of Sumatra. So I went with my first instinct and brewed my next cup a little stronger. And viola! Now I had a cup of coffee.
I really liked this rich, earthy cup of coffee. A hint of smokiness and smooth, Caffe Pacori's wood roasted Sumatra was great tasting and very satisfying. I couldn't help but think how well this Sumatra would pair with a good cigar with a little sweet or spicy characteristics to it or any fine dessert. (a chocolate raspberry tort from Sweet Life maybe?) I was sad to see my Pacori coffee bag empty at the end of the week but I discovered a great new coffee to enjoy, one that I recommend to any of my fellow coffee lovers that haven't tried it yet. For your convenience, you can order Caffe Pacori coffee's online at www.caffepacori.com. c[_]

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Coffee Corner: 2nd Annual Latte Art Contest at Perk and Play coffeehouse!

(click on photos to enlarge)

Thanks to Perk and Play coffeehouse, Eugene has its very own Barista competition featuring free-pour latte art. And the 2nd Annual Latte Art Contest hosted by the people at Perk and Play coffeehouse was, by all account, a success. Some 15 Professional and amateur Baristas from the area gathered, along with other local coffee professionals and coffee enthusiasts, to compete for Cash prizes, show off their skills and have fun! Baristas that accepted the challenge represented several Eugene coffee shops including; One Cup Cafe, Gary's Coffee, Vero Espresso House, Wandering Goat Coffee and, of course, Perk and Play coffeehouse. The competition was pretty stiff but remained light-hearted and fun. I was pleasantly surprised by how professionally the contest was put together and run by the people at Perk and Play. Perk and Play's owners and Baristas had a very professional and easy way about them that made for a comfortable and enjoyable evening. And I wasn't the only one to notice. After the competition Randy Stark, one of Perk and Play's owners said, " I was really happy with how well the staff at Perk and Play worked together to keep everything running smoothly.  Our employees really rose to the occasion to help the contestants feel at ease. The crowd was wonderful - [they were]very encouraging to all the baristas who poured." 

Randy Stark of Perk and Play coffeehouse with another competitor in the background.

A Perk and Play Barista stands ready at the scoreboard. A flat screen monitor helped onlookers watch the competition unfold up close.

Competitors and coffee enthusiasts watching the competition.

Okon Udosenata from One Cup Cafe, behind the espresso machine, pours a latte.

Baristas from Vero Espresso House and Wandering Goat Coffee Company made it to the finals of the competition. When the steam had cleared, Johhny Ormsbee of Vero Espresso House took 3rd place and  pocketed a cool $20. Coming in second place this year with a $50 cash prize was Walter Steeb IV of Wandering Goat. And first place honors and a fat hundred dollar bill went to Wandering Goat Coffee Barista Thomas Howard! Congratulations to this years contest winners and thanks to all of the Baristas for puting on a great show. In recognition of Thomas' first place creation his winning latte will be featured in the For Love Of Coffee, website logo for the rest of the month! Also check out the Register-Guard's coverage of the contest in Wednesday's paper.

The first place latte.

The one hundred dollar first place winner of Perk and Play's 2nd Annual Latte Art Contest was Thomas Howard of Wandering Goat Coffee.

The people at Perk and Play, working in the background behind the judges table, were great hosts!

Some of the crowd that turned out for the contest.

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The second place latte.

The fifty dollar 2nd place winner was Walter Steeb IV of Wandering Goat Coffee.

Perk and Play coffeehouse.

3rd place latte.

The twenty dollar 3rd place prize went to Johnny Ormsbee of Vero Espresso House. 

The three judge panel.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Each latte was scrutinized and scored by a three judge panel. The judges rated each contestant's latte art in four categories; Clarity, Balance, Creativity and overall appeal. There were a lot of beautiful latte's on display throughout the evening and most of them were close to each other in quality and artistic creativity. The real difference that I noticed between the higher and lower scoring drinks was the clarity of design on top of the latte. Though I didn't see the judge's final scores, you can see the clear contrast between the lighter milk foam and the darker espresso crema on these top three-placing lattes. Beautiful. c[_]


This Barista showed personality too, an attribute of a top notch, spro-slingin' pro.

Perk and Play coffeehouse

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's Brewing in Eugene: Calling All Baristas!

This Friday, the 6th of November at 5pm, Perk and Play coffee house on Crescent Ave. in Eugene is hosting their 2nd Annual Latte Art Contest for local Baristas! With a $100 top prize, the competition is open to baristas working in Lane County. It's only $5  for the Barista entry fee and it's free to come watch and cheer on your favorite local Baristas. So come on out and see some of the best in town work their magic with milk and espresso. email Perk and Play at perkandplay@gmail.com for details, rules or questions. Preregistration is recommended. See ya there! c[_]

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Coffee Corner: "Mobbing" the Eugene Coffee Company!

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It was a full house when I arrived at Eugene Coffee Company on Halloween day, but I didn't mind waiting in line for my eggnog latte. We were all there to put our money where our mouths were, showing support for the coffee shop that we collectively voted as Eugene's greenest. The Eugene Carrotmob invited area coffee shops to participate in this years Carrotmob competition and of the three that accepted the challenge to 'green-up', Eugene Coffee Company received the most votes. So today we "mobbed" the winning business with our patronage, which was the dangling carrot incentive for the competing coffee shops to look for more eco-friendly, sustainable ways of doing business. My eggnog latte was yummy and I got to meet Sue Harnly, owner of Eugene Coffee Company (Sue's one of those people you just like instantly). E.C.C. serves locally roasted and organic Cafe Mam coffee. They also offer a nice assortment of pastries including toasted bagels and donuts. I had a nice visit. My drink was good and the people were great. Stop by and check out Eugene Coffee Company just off of 18th Avenue on Chambers street if you haven't already. The shop is wheelchair friendly, handicap accessible and has a drive-through window if you don't have time to stop in to have your coffee. c[_]

Follow 4loveofcoffee.com, Win a Carrotmob T-shirt!
Just click the FOLLOW button in the left hand column of this page using your Google, Yahoo or OpenID and you'll automatically be entered to win one of 9 Carrotmob t-shirts courtesy of Eugene Coffee Company, this years winner of the Eugene Carrotmob for "greenest" coffee shop! Next weekend (7th & 8th) 9 winners will be picked at random from among "Followers" of For Love Of Coffee! So please take a moment to become a follower of For Love Of Coffee and good luck!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Coffee Corner: Starbucks' First Customer

Here's a trivial but fun bit of Eugene coffee history for you. My Mother, Lynn, and I were across town yesterday running some errands and after enjoying a breakfast at Brails cafe I decided to go over to the Starbucks on the corner of 18th and Pearl, a Starbucks shop I feel a personal connection to. This particular store was Starbucks first in the Eugene area, opening some 16 years ago. My friend Kammi B. & I were both Baristas here in Eugene, we loved the coffee business and Starbucks finally coming to town was an exciting prospect. So in our quest for coffee fun we decided that we wanted to be the first official customers at our town's first Starbucks! (for fun and for bragging rights of course). We arrived at the new shop a full hour before they opened that first day, waited patiently for the doors to open and had a good chuckle over what the Baristas inside must be wondering about these two people sitting out in front of their store.. and nowhere close to opening time. When we did get inside I let my friend order first and I paid for our drinks, making us both the first customers. My friend has since moved from Eugene but I still enjoy visiting Eugene's first Starbucks from time-to-time and reminiscing over a cup of house coffee. c[_]   

Eugene's first Starbucks. 18th & Pearl St.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cafe Snapshot: Vero Espresso House

I finally got a chance to visit Vero Espresso House on 14th & Pearl Street downtown yesterday evening.  You may remember the women's used clothing boutique that used to fill this old two-story house on the corner. The first thing I noticed walking up to Vero was the care and imagination put into making use of a number of outdoor seating opportunities. From park style benches, to table & chair seating and a covered, lit seating area. And things only got better when I walked inside to find possibly the most beautiful coffee shop interior I've seen in my coffee travels. I looked around for a little while and waited in line for a while and just couldn't get a smile, a "Hi" or any other type of acknowledgement, which is always disappointing. But I still enjoyed soaking up the ambiance of this great old house and the gorgeous shop interior. It's always nice when a shop's owner is hands-on a part of the operation and I got to meet Sunny Seo, owner of Vero Coffee House. Sunny and her staff at Vero serve up Stumptown coffee and a great selection of delicious foods including Panini sandwhiches made with quality local and organic ingredients. With Stumptown coffee, delicious food, a warm & comfortable atmosphere, a meeting room with conference table & flat screen t.v.on the wall, free wifi and convenient downtown location you can't go wrong with Vero Espresso House. I highly recommend you check it out for yourself. You'll probably fall in love with it!  c[_]

Vero is having a cool contest this Halloween
 season. Just carve your best jack-o-lantern and
bring it in to add to Vero's collection and get
 a free cup of Stumptown coffee! Then around
 5pm on Halloween day the jack-o-lantern contest
 winner will receive a $20.00 gift certificate for use
at Vero. Fun!

Covered and lit outdoor seating area.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Vero Espresso House. Salud!

Vero Espresso House

205 E 14th Ave

EugeneOR 97401

(541) 654-0504

What's Brewing in Eugene: Last Day to Vote for Eugene's Greenest Coffee Shop!

This is the last day to vote for for your pick of Eugene's "greenest" coffee shop. Carrotmob is an organization that works with community businesses to help them to find and implement greener business practices and also empowers consumers like you and I to "reward" these businesses with our patronage and with positive exposure in the community. The Eugene Carrotmob has a website that you can visit to watch a short video for each of the three competing coffee houses; Gary's Coffee, Perugino's coffee shop, and Eugene Coffee Company. And then cast your vote! Simple. The idea is that on Saturday the 31st (Halloween) all of us that vote will "mob" the winning coffee shop giving the shop with most votes with a boost of business to show our support of their business practices. Great concept. So get your vote cast and I'll see you on Saturday! www.eugene.carrotmob.org

Coffee Biz: Baristas to the Rescue!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Baristas to the Rescue--again!

Your New Mission:

It seems like yesterday that the American barista stepped out from that ocean of green aprons to prepare and declare themselves true professionals in the art of coffee education and preparation.
Now owners of independent retail specialty coffee businesses desperately need you again...as marketing associates to help them, and you, survive and thrive.
Taste EVERYTHING your coffee house sells your precious customers. Pick a favorite. If it doesn't taste great, immediately tell your owner, until it meets the same high standards your set for your coffee.
Once you are as proud of ALL the beverages and food your place serves, your new mission begins:
Every time an order is placed, inspire-not require- that added on sell by mentioning your favorite breakfast, lunch, pastry, gelato or any other item that compliments the time of day and order.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Drive-Through! Romano's

I moved back to the Bethel/Barger area of Eugene this summer after living downtown for the last five years and although we don't have a neighborhood cafe yet, I was delighted to see that my old coffee stand-by was there. "Romano's" drive-through stands out colorfully among the nondescript businesses and housing along Barger Drive. And Romano's owners, Russ and Merson Romano, whom also serve as the drive-through's Baristas, put as much care into the quality of their espresso and food offerings as they do into the aesthetics and upkeep of the businesses building and grounds. My friendly Barista this morning, Merson Romano, remembered me from those years ago when I was a semi-regular customer. I've been craving an eggnog latte lately and didn't know if it was too early in the season yet for eggnog to be available at my favorite coffee shops. I wasn't disappointed. Not only did I get my eggnog latte but it was delicious! The Brothers proudly serve coffee roasted locally by Full City Coffee Roasters and they have a really cool Full City Coffee sign on the outside of the building which adds to the physical beauty of the drive-through. Romano's also offers a mix of other foods and drinks such as pastries, waffles and organic fruit smoothies made to order. So if you're in the Barger area or just want to check out an exceptionally quality drive-through operation, stop through Romano's and say hi to Merson & Russ!(check out the video at he top of the site that Merson suggested to me of Rick Dancer's interview with Full City Coffee's Michael Phinney, courtesy of KATU t.v.'s "you news")

My friendly neighborhood Barista, Merson Romano.

Romano's stands out along Barger Dr.

5019 Barger Drive, Eugene, OR

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Coffee Economy: Free R-G Newspaper With Your Latte!

I just received my first copy of the Register-Guard, a birthday subscription from my lovely sister Moriah, to help me stay up on the local coffee scene. And sure enough, one of the first things I find is the R-G's "Get Something To Buzz About" promotion. Through Saturday (while supplies last), a handful of area espresso drive-thrus and shops will give you a complimentary copy of the Register-Guard when you make a purchase of $3.00 or more. Here is a list of participating businesses in Eugene; Amazon Coffee Co., Barry's Espresso Bakery & Deli, Brewed Awakening, Caffe Pante Vecchio, Court Cafe/Knight Law Bldg., Daily Bagel west, Dutch Bros.- W.7th, Coburg Rd. & Franklin Blvd., The Espresso Bar'n, Joe to Go, The Louie, Original Firehouse Coffee (on Cubit), Palazzo Espresso, Solo Cafe and The Steaming Bean.  

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