If you’re not familiar with Stumptown Coffee Roasters, then it’s time you get an introduction. They’re arguably the king of third wave coffee in the Northwest – definitely in Portland. They were at the forefront of the recent movement towards directly sourced, high quality coffee being roasted in small batches to highlight its natural flavors. They’ve expanded to New York and are even looking at some mass market ventures, so their brand may be drifting from the local, small batch roasters Portlanders are fond of. Still, they have undeniable experience and polish.

If you’re looking for a roaster or website that provides content and production values worthy of the coffee, Stumptown.com is your place to start. They have excellent brewing guides, information on varietals, videos from the farms, and informative blog posts. Of course, that’s not the only good source, but we can address those another day.

Postcard advertising Stumptown

Postcard advertising Stumptown Coffee Roasters

This post was really just to point you to a helpful site, but allow me rant a little.

You may think that San Francisco producers – Four Barrel, Ritual, Blue Bottle (though they really belong to Oakland) – represent the best coffee in the world (the owner of Ritual unabashedly claimed such on a recent NPR interview). That might be true, but let’s not neglect the pioneers and competitors. Stumptown is one of those roasters who has been at it for a long time (since 1999) and has been doing it very well. They’ve moved on to noticeably different levels of scale, production and professionalism. I’m not going to posit whether it’s for better or for worse, because the product will unavoidable change along with the company. But, if nothing else, there’s a large and growing crowd of high quality roasters and baristas in Portland rising up in their wake.

Funny, I was never really a big fan of Stumptown. Maybe I had just grown weary of Hair Bender‘s former dominance in the Portland area. But you have to appreciate what they did for coffee standards in the NW and the U.S. as a whole. Enjoy the website.