Free Coffee Education @Stumptown Annex

by | Feb 17, 2009

This morning I headed down to SE Belmont for my first taste of Pine State Biscuits. I had a country ham and cheese biscuit and a side of hash browns. Both were perfectly prepared.

Afterward, I scooted down the street to Stumptown Coffee where I ordered an iced quad espresso. I decided to post up next door in the Annex since it’s a bit easier to focus in that space.

It turns out my choices were serendipitous. Glen in the Annex was busy working up his daily ritual—the 11:00 am cupping (there’s also a 3:00 pm cupping every day). I asked him what he was doing and the next thing I knew I was being offered an education normally reserved for coffee buyers and award show judges.

Glen had five different roasts available to smell and taste. We bent over each cup, using a spoon to release aromatics while dipping our noses into the rich brews. Glen mentioned that coffee is three times more complex—chemically speaking—than wine. My nose agrees. With wine I can detect the subtle gifts of chocolate, tobacco, berries, etc. Picking up the elemental differences in coffee is a bit trickier.

I did pick up an intense citrus nose in the Ethiopian Bera. Glen said that it evokes strawberry-flavored Jolly Ranchers for him. I brought a pound home, so whatever we were smelling, it was worthy of $14.00 and further exploration.

I have to give it to Stumptown. This free daily cupping is a wonderful experiential marketing offering. It solidifies Stumptown’s place in our minds, but even better, it tells us more about who Stumptown is. Many companies would be content with providing exceptional coffee. Stumptown is doing more and reaching higher. Coffee is passion and Stumptown is wisely inviting others to share in their particular passion.