Coffee aficionados have been asking the question over and over again: is Portland’s Stumptown coffee, the most conspicuous exponent of Coffee’s “Third Wave,” the new Starbucks?
Some of the criticisms of Starbucks expounded by Stumptown’s “charismatic founder”, Duane Sorenson and others in the article are sound. For one thing,
“Coffee beans aren’t supposed to be uniformly dark and shiny,” says John Moore, of Dallis. “Every bean has a level it’s supposed to be roasted to, so that you can taste it. Otherwise it’s like cooking all meat well done.”
And if Stumptown’s success leads to more quality coffee sellers, I’m all for it.*
Read the rest: Is Stumptown the New Starbucks — Or Better?
* I’m somewhat of a Stumptown skeptic, however, and not so sure they’ll lead the way. The proper roast and all the “improved cherry selection and a return to double fermentation” in the world is irrelevant if the coffee isn’t properly brewed from fresh grounds. Ultimately boutique roasters like Stumptown need to learn something Starbucks, or my preferred roaster Peets, have a better handle on: quality control at the cafe.