EMPOURIUM

Spilling the Beans

1. Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Portland - Too many winemakers to name individually chose Stumptown as the best in the state. Since 1999, the Portland roaster has created a massive following and “revolutionized” the coffee business locally and beyond. Founder Duane Sorensen’s focus on growers, fair trade and hipster appeal turned the grassroots roaster into a multi-location — includes one in New York City — success story that eventually led to selling most of the company to a big-time investment firm in San Francisco. Despite dismay with Sorensen’s “selling out,” Stumptown is still king in Portland, and, it seems, wine country, too. www.stumptowncoffee.com

2. Caravan Artisan Roasted Coffee, Newberg - Located in Newberg, Caravan Coffee has tantalized the tastebuds of more than a few winemakers in the area. Chris Baker of 12th & Maple, Sheila Nichols of Anam Cara, Tina Hammond of Privé, Tom Schaad of August Cellars, Corby Stonebraker Soles of ROCO and Andrew Davis of Argyle all say Caravan is tops when it comes to exceptional espresso. In fact, Davis says Caravan is “fully superior to Stumptown … very high quality beans with great attention to the details of roasting.” What started out as a college town coffee bar has become an award-winning roaster with national accounts. Roasts include single-origin offerings and blends like Tigertail, Black Thunder and Saharan Silk. www.caravancoffee.com 

3. Noble Coffee Roasting, Ashland - Noble Coffee takes the cake among a number of Southern Oregon wine folk, including Dan Marca of DANCIN Vineyards, Scott Steingraber of Kriselle Cellars, Laura Lotspeich of Trium Wine and Christine Collier of Troon Vineyard. Noble founder Jared Rennie’s love for researching, roasting, brewing and pulling espresso finally convinced him to launch Noble in 2007. Five years later, he continues to experiment and study the complexities of crafting sustainable coffee. Along with single-origin offerings, Noble roasts a variety of blends such as World Tour, Pompadour, Mokha Java and Daydream. www.noblecoffeeroasting.com 

4. Mud River Coffee Roasters, Corvallis  - Winemakers Remy Drabkin of Remy Wines (McMinnville), Chris Williams of Brooks (Amity) and Joe Wright of Left Coast Cellars (Rickreall) all agreed Mud River Coffee Roasters in Corvallis is the cream of the cup. Since 2004, owners Nick and Kim Walton say their primary goal has always been “to exemplify great coffees, honorably grown, harvested and transported.” Offerings include Red Tail, a “ stiff, fresh, crisp” blend named after the owners’ old café; Benevolence, a spendy blend showing notes of “molasses, chocolate and roasted nuts with a subdued-spice finish;” as well as single-origin roasts from Honduras, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and a decaf called Swiss Water. www.mudrivercoffee.com 

5.  Ristretto Roasters, Portland - Winemakers Tom Fitzpatrick of Alloro Vineyard (Sherwood) and John Grochau of GC Wines (Portland) recommend Ristretto Roasters. Known for its ever-changing single-origin roster, the Portland company prides itself on small-batch, handcrafted coffees. Owner Din Johnson specializes in a medium roast, “taking each coffee varietal to its peak of individual perfection — a Panama Honeyed does not have the same flavor profile as an Ethiopia Harar, so no reason to roast them the same.” Also no reason to list Ristretto’s menu as it is super seasonal, reflecting what the farmers are currently growing and what Johnson is most recently sourcing and loving. www.ristrettoroasters.com 

6. Wandering Goat Coffee Company, Eugene - Of all the roasters in this college town, Wandering Goat gets the vote from local wine industry members Michael Bodner of Bodner Wine Co., Mike and Merry Fix of Rainsong Vineyard and retailer Steve Baker of Authentica. Owner Michael Nixon says he is “committed to searching for the best coffees from all over the world that are also produced in a sustainable way both for the earth and the farmers who produce it.” Flagship blend Chupacabra is followed by Abyssinia, Hair of the Goat, Heart of Darkness, Foghorn and French Roast. Single-origin coffees are also offered.  www.wanderinggoat.com

7. Backporch Coffee Roasters, Bend  - Volcano Vineyards owners Scott and Liz Ratcliff choose Backporch and for good reasons. First, the Bend coffee roaster is located 20 feet from the winery; second, Volcano sources Syrah and Merlot grapes from longtime friends and Backporch co-owner Dave Beach’s family vineyard, Fortmiller, located in Talent. In the spirit of experimentation, Beach combined his love of wine and coffee by using a retired Syrah oak barrel from Volcano to roast select El Salvadorian beans. The result? Espresso success. Look for this coffee at the Bend store; it’s the one fittingly packaged in a wine bottle; other roasts available in store and online. www.backporchcoffeeroasters.com

8. Wine Country Coffee Roasters, Gaston - For Trudy and Keith Kramer of Kramer Vineyards, their perk pick is personal. Keith roasts their own coffee at the couple’s Gaston winery. Named Wine Country Coffee Roasters, this part of the business helps “fuel” the winemaking side in facility and field. Trudy says, “During harvest, if it’s cold and rainy, we make coffee for all the pickers to enjoy when they are done harvesting the grapes.” Keith roasts a variety of single-origin beans but also makes a blend they call Roaster’s Cuvée. www.kramerwines.com

Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS