Written by Rachel Emery
The lights have all been taken down, the ornaments put back in their boxes, we’ve sold out of eggnog and school is back in session. The Holidays have come to an end, and with them we have said goodbye to 2015, and what a year it was!
We've got some great memories to share with you.
We started off the year with our first coffee focused event at our Alberta Shop: Fruit to Seed, highlighting the produce of coffee. We served three variations of the same coffee to focus on how processing at origin can bring out different flavors in the brewed cup. (Read more Here).
In March, we invited the coffee community to our Alberta space and hosted the biggest Oregon Coffee Board Latte art throwdown they had seen yet. Christine headed to Costa Rica to find us some delicious coffee and meet the people who grow and produce it.
April brought the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s 2015 convention in Seattle along with the World Barista Championship and with it, coffee people from all over the world. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to host Rina Pagauaga from Finca Los Congos, Nicaragua on her way through town. We were honored to hear her tell the story of her family, their coffee farm, and the work they do in their community. (Fresh Variety Event)
In late April, Liza's dream of traveling to origin was brought to life. She traveled to Mexico and participated in the Lo Mejor de Mexico event, where she cupped, scored, and purchased coffees for us to serve later on in the year.
As travel plans ended and the busyness of the summer began, we turned our focus to our beautiful city and ways we could invest in Portland to help build and support the community we love and serve. We chose to participate in Forest Park
Conservancy’s All Trails Challenge to help raise awareness and financial support for Forest Park, the nation’s biggest urban park. As a company, we hiked every section of trail in Forest Park and you supported our wanderings. Dylan and Rachel set out to traverse all 30 miles of Wildwood trail in a day and succeed in the 13 hour journey. Christine conquered the same trek on a solo hike. What an amazing memory and awesome feat to have accomplished!
The summer in Portland is like no other time of the year. It’s when friendships are made and adventures are had. Case Study Coffee turned 5 years old at the beginning of the summer. We celebrated by giving away cappuccinos and sharing some memories of opening each shop. (Read them here) We played badminton together on the 4th of July and enjoyed Christine’s amazing culinary skills. We were pleased to host the ACE Rwanda and Burrundi cupping in our freshly built cupping and training room.
Autumn brought the arrival of the coffee that Liza purchased in Mexico, the installation of Synesso’s MVP Hydra espresso machine in our downtown shop, Coffee Fest Portland, and a recording setting Espresso Catering season.
We celebrated the Alberta shop’s one year anniversary the best way we know how: with a party, a latte art throwdown, and a pumpkin decorating contest.
As tradition holds, Christine made Thanksgiving dinner and invited anyone who didn’t have plans to share in the meal together.
When I asked the staff to reflect on 2015 and share their memories and stories, I heard tales of friendships and empowerment. In the words of one employee “A highlight of my year has been being around powerful and hard working women, both at work and out of work. I love that the ladies hold it down and support one another to create a healthy environment.”
In the quiet hours of the morning, we get to connect with people. We are able to chat one-on-one with you, our customers, without the stress of the busyness of the day. We get to know our co-workers and support each other in our lives and the struggles and triumphs that come with being human. We get to work on beautiful espresso machines and brew amazing coffees that have been hand picked by our friend and boss, Christine. But what really drives the love we have for our job, is the moments we get to spend with the People of Case Study Coffee.
I think back on all the great events we’ve been a part of, the excellent coffees we’ve served, the fun catering events we’ve worked, and all the ways we’ve grown as a company over the past year. But the thing that comes to my mind first when I think back on 2015 with Case Study Coffee is the friendships that have been made and the experiences I’ve shared with some very amazing people.
I look forward to the many stories and tales that 2016 promises.