At the Stumptown Coffee Annex, any bean is ground and brewed to order. It’s also overflow seating for espresso drinks and Nuvrei pastries from Stumptown’s Belmont store, which is two doors down. The space is simple and sleek, with brick walls, concrete floors and black leather banquettes.
The Annex houses 20 jars of beans of varying degrees of fullness, including Los Pranes (El Salvador), Duncan Estate (Panama), Casa Quemade (Colombia) and Las Galandrinas (Nicaragua).
Beans are kept on the shelves for four days. On the fifth day, they’re ground for the French press.
The Annex staffs a single employee, so it’s cheap to operate, and even if it didn’t turn any profit, there’s value in educating Portland’s coffee drinking customer base.
Matt was the day’s employee. He’s worked at Stumptown for the past nine months. Before that, he played in a band and roasted coffee in Athens, Georgia, at Jittery Joe’s.
Until recently, the Annex used a deluxe Clover to brew their coffee, but replaced it with a “pour over.” It’s basically just a porcelain dish that holds a Mellita coffee filter, and the coffee drips down into a porcelain cup. The first pour releases gases, then grounds begin absorbing water. There’s a second pour of water, to bring out the sweetness.
Matt just got in 7 different “delicious” coffees. He recommended Finca el Injerto Bourbon ($2.50) from Guatemala. He compared it to diner coffee, if diner coffee was any good. If I received a cup of Finca el Injerto Bourbon in a diner, I’d be happy.
The Annex is known for their cuppings, a.k.a. “wine tastings for coffee,” but only offers them at 11 AM and 3 PM. We mistimed our visit. Still, we had a unique coffee experience and would definitely return.