Coffee Folks

The people who create the coffee you love.

Meet the coffee pruners.

Pruning is critical for higher yields and maintaining the health of the trees. Pruning also helps limit the height of the trees, making it easier to hand-pick the coffee cherries when the time comes. The second pruning of the season, called “handling”, opens up the tree by reducing the amount of foliage and encouraging the tree to concentrate its energy into swelling of the beans.

Finally, pruning is frequently about removing the secondary growth that we don’t want to keep for the following year. For the secondary pruning, pruners use hands to take off the light secondary materials. Pruning by hand is gentle on the tree, and you can make sure none of the precious coffee beans are knocked off at this early stage.  

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Coffee Folks

The people who create the coffee you love.

Meet the coffee pickers.

Unlike grapes which ripen in bunches, coffee cherries often ripen at different times.  If coffee is irrigated to control the harvest, this can help with uniform ripening, but only a small percent of coffee is grown this way. To get high-quality, delicious coffee, the cherries are usually picked by hand. On average, a coffee picker will pick 30-50 pounds of coffee per day during harvest. (Source.)

The majority of Portland Coffee Roasters’ coffees are picked this way, in a style that’s referred to as “Selective Picking”.

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Coffee Folks

The people who create the coffee you love.

Meet the coffee rakers.

The pulped coffee beans are put into cement tanks with water and allowed to ferment for 16-36 hours. After the fermentation, coffee beans are moved to drying patios where they are raked into long rows to dry, until they only contain 11- 12% moisture. The person who rakes coffee must keep shifting rows manually to open rows every 30 minutes, so that the beans dry evenly.

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Coffee Folks

The people who create the coffee you love.

Meet the coffee processors.

To get the seed (green coffee) from the coffee fruit, the cherry must be processed or milled. Milling/processing techniques have a large impact on the flavor of a coffee and will vary depending on access to water, regional practices, family traditions, and special requests from importers and roasters

Processing methods can vary depending on family tradition, regional practices, environmental concerns, and much more. With the spread of communication tools like video chat, email, and cellphones, more coffee farmers and millers are sharing their methods and practices with their colleagues around the world, resulting in more experimentation and tastier coffees.

Green coffee is stored in parchment, and sent to the dry mill right before export to the buyer. The parchment layer keeps the coffee fresher because it protects the embryo, the “lifeline”, inside the seed.  It is important to have coffee rest in parchment for a period of time to settle the coffee down. Once this is done the coffee is milled to the specifications of the buyer and shipped out.

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Coffee Folks

The people who create the coffee you love.

Meet the coffee tasters.

Tasters conduct quality assurance test by cupping every single coffee we roast every day.

Tasters are in charge of doing Quality Control on our products and deciding which coffees we purchase. They make sure each batch of beans meets our exacting standards and specific flavor profile.

The most qualified of these tasters often undergo a rigorous, week-long testing process called the Q Grader Exam. There are only roughly 400 certified Q Graders in the United States, one of which is our Director of Coffee, Jesse Clark. His team tastes a sample from every roast before it gets packaged.

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Coffee Folks

The people who create the coffee you love.

Meet the coffee roasters.

Roasters constantly use all five senses to adjust their roasting. They see coffee’s color, hear the sound of cracking beans, smell the aroma, touch to feel the temperature, and taste the result.

To turn the green coffee/coffee seeds into something we can use to brew, we must roast them. Roasting as a job requires a careful balance of science, craft, and lots of tasting. Our roasting team can roast up to 6500 pounds a day; even more, they sample from each batch of roasted coffee every day to ensure the quality and consistency of every coffee we sell.

Most of our coffees are roasted to order, and must be rested for at least 24 hours before packaging so that the freshly roasted coffee can properly de-gas.

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Coffee Folks

The people who create the coffee you love.

Meet the baristas.

Barista, while fancy sounding, is simply the Italian word for bartender. Much like a bartender, our talented baristas carefully transform their base ingredients (coffee, water, milk) into decadent and memorable tasting experiences.

A barista is often the last person to touch your coffee before it gets handed off to you. They are not only coffee-making experts. They also learn all about coffee and know how to answer your questions, make suggestions, and craft your ideal cup of coffee.

A barista is responsible for making key decisions that affect the final flavor of your coffee. To do so, they make adjustments to factors like the ratio of ground coffee to brewing water, water temperature, coffee grind size, and more.

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