Monday, June 14, 2010

Stumptown & Duane Sorenson

The NY Magazine has a very interesting article on Stumptown’s Duane Sorenson and how he is bringing a level of coffee worship/respect to New York. Sorenson is from Seattle where he operates five cafés, two café-roasteries, and one stand-alone roastery. To say he is a bit obsessive is an understand but the results of his passion or incredible. Be warned while there is no swearing in the bit I am posting Duane does favor some adult language.
Coffee quality can be objectively measured, to a point. There are professionals who evaluate a coffee just as one would a wine. They study the flavor profile; the cleaner and sweeter it is, the higher it will rank on a 100-point scale. Top specialty roasters buy coffees rated 85 or above, but once you’re that high in the rankings, how much of what you’re tasting is real and how much perception? Sarah Allen, the editor of Barista magazine, says that a top roaster like Stumptown goes to such extraordinary lengths to find the perfect coffee that it becomes personal. “It’s like when you think to yourself that your child is special in a way no other child is,” she says. “That’s how people like Duane feel about their coffee.”

Which means, of course, that he won’t let just anybody buy his beans. Sorenson approaches potential clients like he’s on a blind date, and he’s not afraid to say “sorry.” “I don’t want to sell my coffee to everyone,” he says. “It’s not for everyone.

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