THE CONVERSATION

Ray: Today: Elm Coffee Roasters, Seattle Washington. We got to visit them a few months back. A nice place. Beautiful space. It’s a nice long space and in the back is this plexiglass where you can see them roast, which is fun. They have a little Probat set up back there.

Kandace: You’re just right to it!

Ray: I…

Kandace: Where are they?

Ray: Seattle! We visited.

Kandace: Yeah.

Ray: Yeah. Right in the Pioneer Square.

Kandace: We made it to Seattle.

Ray: Yeah. They’ve been open since 2013.

Holding Elm Coffee Roasters

Kandace: What? No.

Ray: I think so.

Kandace: Are you making that up?

Ray: No I’m not making that up.

Kandace: Did you look at these dates?

Ray: Yeah I did!

Kandace: So in December of 2015 they posted that they were having their one-year anniversary. So, I did some math…

Ray: Uh huh and you’re…Is that true?

Kandace: Yeah.

Ray: Okay.

Kandace: Well, I don’t know. So they’re like, they’re about, they’re just a little over a year old.

Ray: Yeah, they’re young.

Kandace: Can you fix your note about that?

Ray: Yeah I will.

Kandace: Maybe it was a typo.

Ray: Yeah it was a mistake that’s for sure. So…

Elm Coffee Roasters Kenya

Kandace: Founded by…

Ray: By Brendan Mullally, who had been running projects at Joe Coffee of New York. another excellent…

Kandace: Joe Pro.

Ray: Joe Pro, yeah.

Kandace: Yo. I don’t know.

Ray: The Head roaster there is Drew Freschette, I think you say it, he used to be with Stumptown actually.

Kandace: And Onyx.

Ray: And Onyx.

Kandace: From Bellingham.

Ray: Okay. Yeah.

Kandace: Do you know where these two met Ray?

Ray: I don’t know where these two met, Kandace.

Kandace: They met at Heart Coffee Roasters here in Portland.

Ray: Oh cool!

Kandace: Kinda cute.

Ray: Small World.

Kandace: Small world, yeah.

Ray: Heart. So in terms of what they roast. They only roast…

Kandace: Coffee!

Ray: Spoiler alert! They only roast five coffees and they’re really good. We’ve tried three now. Right now we have…

Elm Coffee bags & espresso

Kandace: Is five a small number?

Ray: I mean it depends. You know like when we talked about Cat & Cloud they only roast two. So I think that’s the smallest number of anyone we’ve covered but, you know then you have big roasters who you know like La Colombe they roast like, probably fifty? Compared to that five is fairly small but, for being only a year and some change old…

Kandace: I like to think of it as curated.

Ray: Curated.

Kandace: A carefully curated selection.

Ray: There you go. Carefully curated selection.

Kandace: So one thing that Elm talks about is that they like to roast light.

Ray: Light.

Kandace: But, sweet, spot of light coffee.

Ray: Yeah. I think the reason for that is to sort of…You know I’ve always thought that. I never grew up with when I first was in coffee in the midwest everyone roasted very dark.

Kandace: Mhm.

Ray: And what I realized later is that, then you’re just tasting the roaster. It’s burned. It just tastes like a roasting machine it doesn’t take like…you don’t taste the flavors of coffee nearly as much. And so, a lot of third wave coffee has been about roasting light and….

Kandace: Do you think that they’re exceptionally light even for third wave coffee? Or, are they talking about something that a lot of people are doing?

Ray: They’re probably on the light end.

Kandace: I’m putting you on the spot.

Ray: No they seem to be a little on the light end of that even. Which is…

Kandace: Yeah.

Ray: I thought the design of their site, their identity, even the photography was all really excellent. Do you know who did that Kandace?

Kandace: That was Digital Kitchen. And in particular Andrew Swanson did quite a bit of the work and I’m a big fan of this.

Ray: Yeah good job I love the simplicity of the logo. It seems to match their brand, their personality, their approach. It’s simple, but it really worked for them and it matches the website perfectly.

Melissa looking at the lovely Elm Coffee packaging

Kandace: Mhm. Yeah.

Ray: One thing I will say is, I’m a big fan of when these bags stand up. When they have these gussets?

Kandace: A flat-bottom. Right? Is that what they’re called?

Ray: A flat-bottom bag yeah. And what we will call the gussets here I don’t know…

Kandace: The FBB. That should be like, instead of WWJD, it’s FF…

Ray: OPP? There’s something really nice about treating your design to a flat bottom bag…Are you kicking me?

Kandace: That was like a love tap.

Ray: Oh!

Kandace: That was encouragement.

Ray: For those of you at home, I just got love tapped.

So yeah these are very simple and obviously this is just a sticker, but it works really well. It’s a super flexible design. And, the coffee is great. I give Elm Coffee Roasters of Seattle, Washington—to those of you just tuning in—a thumbs up!

Kandace: Can I see if we missed anything?