Search CPDX

Coffee News and Information
ABWG adventure advertising AeroShot airplanes ambition America Angel-in-us art Australia bakery barista barista championship baristas basketball beer Beijing birds blogging bonk book book review Boston bravery Brazil brewing methods Briggo buildings bus station business cafe cafe review Cafe Show caffeine caffepdx cappuccino Case Study celebrations censorship championship cheese China Chinglish class Coava coffe coffe shop coffee coffee book Coffee Fest coffee review coffee shop coffee shops coffee tour community competition contest courage create culture cupping cups dating Datong Dayton decaffeinated decisions diversion dreams driving dunkin' eating economics economy education entrepreneurship environment espresso ethics exercise family farming five questions flowers food Fox News freelancing friends funny goals Godin graffiti Great Wall green coffee Greyhound grinders Guillebeau guitar hacking Happy Cup harmony harvest Heart heat HFC history holidays hood river hostel how to brew how to roast humbug humor iced interview Italy Johns Landing judging junk food keep it weird kid-friendly kind strangers Kobos Korea languages latte life links love marketing Massachusetts mead Milletto MIlstead MistoBox Mongolia Trip music new perspectives new year news Nicaragua non-conformity Nossa Familia nutrition NWRBC obesity pastries PDX people persistence philosophy picture pictures poetry politics Portland power presentation private equity quality rain Ralph Waldo Emerson rant restaurants reuse review Ristretto roaster roasting running San Francisco SCAA SCAA 2012 Seattle self-reliance Seoul service shakerato shopping single origin sivers Smyth snow social media society sounds specialty coffee Starbucks Steampunk Sterling Coffee Stumptown subscription suburb success sustainability Tacoma tasting tea technology Torque tour traffic travel traveling Trust30 USBC Vancouver varietals videos wandering water WBC weather whisky wine winter work writing
This form does not yet contain any fields.

    Connect and Share

    Follow CaffeinatedPDX on Twitter facebook button

    Tweet, tweet...

    Entries in PDX (2)


    Photos from the 2012 USBC

    Here are a few pictures from the 2012 United States Barista Championship (higher-resolution versions of most of them can be found here): 

    The USBC competition area early Thursday morning

    Everyone was competing for this

    The TV crew was ready to stream the USBC live online
    Tyler Stevens from Barista opened up the competition

    Click to read more ...


    Can I have a tall blonde, please?


    Yesterday, I went to Starbucks today to try the company’s new Veranda Blend. Starbucks calls the blend a “blonde roast,” and its marketing campaign touts the coffee’s soft flavors of cocoa and toasted nuts. Roasting the coffee lightly and preserving its subtleties would be a significant change for the company, known for its dark roasts. Perhaps they realized that the competition (small roasters) are carving out market share with their lightly-roasted coffees full of interesting and diverse flavors (Heart or Coava, for example).

    When I made it to the register, I asked the barista what her impression of the new roast was. She seemed enthusiastic about it (granted, she gets paid to be enthusiastic), saying that it was a lighter than most Starbucks coffees, and it tasted  “kind of like toasted marshmallows.” She said she never drinks coffee outside of work, so she could not compare it to other roasters’ coffee.

    I almost ordered a pourover (Starbucks does that now), but she was pushing the drip coffee they already had brewed. She assured me the coffee in the urn was fresh, and I figured that since most people order the already-brewed coffee when they visit the big green apron, I would be getting the experience a typical customer would.

    On the right track

    The Veranda Blend is distinctly lighter than a typical Starbucks dark roast. The barista was right about the toasted marshmallow aromas too. The coffee’s sweetness was the first thing I noticed, and for just a fleeting moment, a blush of fruit flavor passed over my tongue. It did not last long enough to tell what it was.

    For coffee connoisseurs, the blonde roast is a step in the right direction. However, I still would not go as far as saying it has a lot of subtleties. The flavors were more like sepia tones than vibrant colors—there was no burst of crisp acidity or deep chocolate notes, for example. If you’re looking for nuances in your coffee, you have better options around PDX. As Starbucks continues to innovate, the company might someday push closer to producing the kind of coffee Portlanders expect, but for now, the local roasters still win.