Archive for December, 2009

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Street 14 Coffee

December 31, 2009

Just got back from a 3 day trip to Astoria, OR to see our friend and client Denise Heckes, who is soon to open Street 14 Coffee. Her shop is located in the street level corner space beneath the new Commodore Hotel. Her shop will for sure be fantastic and will have a true focus on quality. One of the highlights is a massive vintage “coffee shop” neon sign above the bar that used to hang in Portland.

She has been working with a Portland interior design firm on the ambiance, as well as local craftsmen to custom build all of her furniture, etc. I can’t  wait to see everything finished. Check out this awesome bench!

Street 14 Coffee will be a great addition to the coffee scene in Astoria and is going to be a cool spot to kick back. Also offered will be micro brews and wine and great pastries and lunch items. We are thrilled to be working with Denise and wish her the best of success with the new coffee shop. (Target opening date is mid February)

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hear that train a comin …

December 23, 2009

like a midnight train on a lonely track, water avenue coffee is barreling down water ave., with a cloud of smoke trailing behind. two long time friends, families that believes in us, a passion for coffee and a dream bring WAC to the present. by the seat of our pants we plan to bring some great coffees to the sleepy town of portland, or. we thank all of our friends and those who have provided so much inspiration, as well as those who have paved the way before us. cheers to excellent coffees.

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let the cuppings begin

December 23, 2009

we have begun with our initial coffee searching and have been tasting some interesting samples lately. hopefully next week will be receiving some new ones and will post notes here when we have them. below was a cupping of 10 colombians from 3 different farms … no immediate surprises.We will continue hunting for the top coffees we can slurp and share soon.

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build out of the WAC VAN

December 22, 2009

So our dream to serve killer coffee out of  classic early 70’s step van is close to coming true. The exterior of the van is finished and today we met with good friend and rockstar Jeremy Wilson, singer from the band The Dharma Bums, who is going to be the craftsman on creating Portland’s smallest mobile coffee bar.

We are going to build out the van to have a pour over Hario drip station as well as hot water tower from French press into carafe quick serve. Will be selecting a like minded pastry supplier soon too. We plan to recycle the crate that our roaster came in as material for the minimal build out, and are now laying out the ergonomics of how all of this will work. Look for the infamous buck truck soon to be cruising a neighborhood near you.

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probing into the probatino

December 22, 2009

so here at WAC we have a small team of scientists, philosophers, raconteurs and beer snobs, who like to figure out how things work. In addition to restoring our 20 kilo Samiac, we are bringing a probatino back to life, which was stripped of it’s cooling tray and cooling exhaust a while back. We plan to Frankenstein this little roaster that could back together in the coming week or two. With a custom cooling system and paint job, this little guy will be a perfect addition to our roasting arsenal.

UPDATE: An afternoon of tinkering and modifications and we have fire! The drum is rolling and we have flame to it. Need to run for a while and burn off some residuals, but this is a good sign. Measurements have been taken to build some modifications, and a temporary cooling tray … until the one on order arrives.

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restoring a roaster

December 21, 2009

After six months of research, searching and negotiations, we finally received our beloved vintage roaster which we kidnapped from the alps of switzerland to bring it to it’s new home, Portland, OR. This is a french built roaster made by Samiac. Built in the early 70’s this roaster has more cast iron than any other roaster I have seen, as well as a firebox full of ceramic bricks (temperature stability) and separate motors for customized airflow.

Not extremely happy with the “refurbish” job the company we bought the roaster from, we have decided to fully restore the roaster and have taken it down to cast iron, and will be doing a full restoration. This has been quite an undertaking, with countless hours of grinding and sanding, coughing and sweating, Brandon has developed an intimate relationship with our soon to be roasting buddy.

By taking everything apart and putting things back together we are truly learning the in’s and out of this 20 Kilo locomotive, and plan to have the best custom Samiac in the US in no time.

Below is a close up of the cast iron front of the drum which is almost fully restored.

We were extremely excited the day the roaster arrived, but after some digging and poking around, we felt the need to fully restore this guy. I will be posting pics of the restoration process. Below is how it looked when we received it … I call it a 20 20 restoration, looks great 20 feet away or going 20 mph. Just wait. This thing will shine.

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branding process begins

December 21, 2009

We have many great ideas for the branding of WAC and have started the process of experimenting with a  few options. We love the idea of a water tower as being part of our brand, as it is iconic and represents the industrial values we have at our minimalist coffee factory. Brandon hand crafted a wood block which is the perfect size for 12oz bags of beans.

Brandon has also painted a water color of the view we see everyday from our windows.We will be finalizing our branding in the next month or so and plan to have a couple different options for different applications. Stay tuned.