A couple weeks ago, I made a return visit to Bend for the weekend. Of course, this meant catching up on the coffee scene. A stop by Back Porch Roasters found their Newport Avenue café open for business and running smoothly. It is a modern feeling café, plenty of white walls, light woods, and clean lines. You may remember them from my post last summer when Marrow Magazine also did a write-up about their cold brew bottles.
The new roaster known as 11 Roasters recently bought Thump, a café in old downtown Bend. Sterling pulled a few delicious shots for me. Their Ethiopia S/O spro tasted like strawberries and cream, delicious. The espresso blend cut through the milk well in a macchiato without overpowering the milk, and their French press from the air pot had a nice body and enough sweetness that no one should need to reach for the cream or sugar.
A cupping at Lone Pine was conducted by owner and roaster Scott Witham. A knowledgeable professional, his education comes from several years working the scene in Portland. Deciding to launch his own roasting business he moved out to Bend, and has now been roasting for over five years.
Now when he visits Portland, his favorites are Heart, Sterling, and Coava. Just like his favorite Portland heavy-weights, his passion for bringing out the best in every bean shows clearly. He hosted a cupping of four coffees, including a Columbian, Guatemalan, Ethiopian, and Rwandan. It was a wonderfully roasted set, with varying degrees of fruit across the board, but a gentle sweetness throughout. Afterward, he pulled out the bottomless porta-filter and pulled a tight 18 gram shot over 30 seconds. It was a blast of sweet fruit to finish the day’s tasting.