Narrative Coffee Withdraws From SCA and Sanctioned Events

Narrative Coffee Withdraws From SCA and Sanctioned Events

In accordance with our values, it is with sincerest regret that we are forced to announce that Narrative Coffee will be withdrawing from the United States Barista Qualifying Competition and the United State Brewers Cup Qualifying Competition indefinitely.

This decision is in direct response to the announcement of the SCA’s “Deferred Candidacy Policy.” The SCA formally recognizes that a number of the locations they’ve chosen to host these vital coffee events puts the very lives of LGBTQI coffee professionals at risk. Their solution, however, is an ill-conceived attempt at compromise that flies fully in the face of everything they supposedly stand for. In this process, they’ve excluded a large number of competitors, coaches, volunteers, organizers, media, and attendees from being able to attend without fear for their lives. These events are essential; they help build important relationships, gain valuable skills, and offer competitors and companies an opportunity to showcase all of their hard work on the global stage. By excluding any group of people from attending these events, the SCA has demonstrated that protecting and serving the needs of its constituents is a lower priority than logistical hurdles it would require to move the event, or monetary benefits that may arise from hosting events in these countries with significant, documented human rights abuses but with well-lined pockets.

Placing the onus of life-safety on the LGBTQI competitors through an official deferment is absurd. Sprudge.com said it better than we can, “formal outing in the name of bureaucratic authorization is wildly insensitive, untenable, and unacceptable.”

This decision is hugely problematic for a number of reasons:

1.) It endangers the lives of LGBTQI SCA members simply for existing and places the onus for their physical safety on the competitor, without offering any solvency for LGBTQI volunteers.

2.) It prevents LGBTQI members and competitors from being offered the same opportunities as more privileged competitors.

3.) It forces LGBTQI competitors to delay their opportunity to win by at least one full year, placing them at a logistical disadvantage because their coffee will have changed which would force their entire presentation to change, their employment may have changed, and their practice regimen will be altered.

a. This creates further logistical issues when a country now has a deferred competitor and begs the question of whether that will preclude the country from selecting another competitor in the deferred year or if the country will end up sending two competitors, both of whom must face off against each other on the world stage.

b. This creates an imbalance in the competition structure and creates an awkward dynamic that shouldn’t have to exist

4.) It continues the systemic disenfranchisement of minority members by limiting access to professional development opportunities based on discriminatory practices and locales.


We reject this decision outright and believe it to be counteractive to the stated mission of the SCA to promote “openness, inclusivity, and the power of shared knowledge.” Furthermore, we reject this decision because it is antithetical to our values and may limit some of our team from having the same opportunities as everyone else.

We urge the board of directors of the SCA to remove this terrible policy, we urge them to uphold the values for which the SCA claims to stand, and we encourage them to take steps to ensure that *all* members of the SCA are able to attend SCA sponsored world events safely.

With our deepest regrets,

Narrative Coffee
2927 Wetmore Ave.,
Everett, WA, 98201
 

New Roasters, Who Dis?

We are so thrilled to welcome both of these incredible roasters back to Narrative.

 
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Back? What do you mean back to Narrative? Slate's new to Narrative, aren't they? 

Well. If you didn't have an opportunity to visit our pop-up last summer, Slate Coffee might be a new name to you, as we have yet to feature them here at our brick and mortar space. But we featured them fairly substantially last summer - we launched with their coffees on our bar and we were one of their first wholesale partners for their canned cold brew!

I am thrilled to say that they're back and that their current line up of coffees are *quite* delicious. They were among the more impressive I've seen on a blind cupping table (how we taste and evaluate coffees). Beyond that, Slate Coffee is some of my oldest friends. I've known Keenan and Lisanne Walker for a little over 5 years now. I met them when they held their Roaster's Showcase at La Marzocco's headquarters in Ballard and we've been friends ever since. 

We've been rather close - frequently sharing accommodations when traveling to coffee events, helping each other taste coffees and prepare for industry events, and I've even held a few guest shifts at Slate's Ballard location and a pop-up they did for the Specialty Coffee Association in 2014. 

Slate Coffee is some of my oldest friends and it is with great joy that I have the honor of welcoming them back and to share their beautiful coffees with you. 
 

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Their Kilenso, Ethiopia was the highest scoring naturally processed coffee we've had come across our table yet - we called dense berries and chocolate with substantial cleanliness. Their Adisue Kidane, a washed Ethiopian showed off juicy-fruit like (yes, like the children's gum) qualities that were so pronounced I wasn't positive if it was washed or natural. For the coffee nerds out there, this probably means it underwent a longer under water fermentation period, allowing for dense fruit qualities to develop while keeping the clarity of flavor high. We also tasted a really nice Guatemalan coffee from the El Mirador farm that has a dense, syrupy body (if you find notes on body from me, it's probably pretty special in that regard as I tend not to care too much about body in coffee) with a quick spike of acidity that melts quickly into soft balanced milk chocolate. All three of these coffees are delightful and we're excited to feature them.

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We are also so very excited to welcome back for a second time in a row, Huckleberry Coffee! The three coffees we've been featuring, the Gicherori PB, Adado, and Las Brisas all showed *very* well on the cupping table this time. Consistent results like this from a blind table are encouraging as they seem to indicate that we are getting more calibrated and the roasting partners we are working with are maintaining quality over multiple months. Their coffees have been delicious and easy to work with for us, so we are really excited to keep them on for the month of November. 

Come try out these delicious coffees for yourself! We'll be seeing the last of coffees from our friends at Verve this week. We look forward to having them on our table again in the future. 

See you soon!

- Maxwell Mooney

Featured Roasters August

Featured Roasters August

Wow! What an amazing couple of months so far. 

Our cupping system is finally starting to get into a groove and we're learning more and more every time we go through the process. 

This month we were sent 48 coffees from 12 different roasters! You can find all of our cupping data here.

We are so so so excited to announce this month's roasters!
 


Welcome to Everett, April! 

Welcome to Everett, April! 

April Coffee Roasters is an exciting project from Patrik Rolf coming to Everett all the way from Copenhagen, Denmark! Patrik is well known all across the European and global coffee scene as being one of the leading sourcers and roasters of specialty coffee and this reputation was certainly borne out on our blind cupping table. Patrik spent time growing Five Elephant in Berlin, Germany and garnering a reputation for them as one of the best roasters out there.  He's carried his incredible attention to detail, pursuit of excellence, and focus on tastiness with him as he moved to Copenhagen to start his own business, April Coffee Roasters. He's roasting on a Loring and achieving some of the most transparent and beautiful roast profiles we've ever tasted. 

Looking through our cupping data, you'll see that their scores are nearly 10 points higher than any other roaster on the table. We think you're really going to love their coffees and it will be worth a trip up to Everett if you're not local. If you are, make sure to pick up a bag or two of their coffees while you can. We're expecting them to sell out rather quickly. 

April's Coffee will be available August 3rd behind the bar and on the retail shelves! 

We are so excited to welcome Augies to Everett for the first time, from sunny (and super hot!) Redlands, CA! I can't say enough good things about Augies. I've been friends with their owner Austin Amento for about 4 1/2 years now and have been enjoying their coffees for as long. I've watched them grow from a single location to have multiple locations all across California's Inland Empire. They are family owned, independent coffee company that does such great work. Their crew is amazing and always shows really well at various coffee competitions across the country. I'm lucky enough to call more than a couple of them friends. 

Their coffees are always delicious and we are so stoked to work with them this month! They have always been a big inspiration for me as they've been making coffee for under-served communities outside of LA for years now. They've spearheaded specialty coffee in the inland empire (area east of LA composed of Riverside County and San Bernardino County) and have paved the way for a robust coffee scene there. It's truly an honor to finally be able to work with their coffees, especially since I've been enjoying their coffees at home for so long. 


We are SO excited to feature coffees from these two amazing roasters (in addition to our friends at Velton's Coffee and Spotted Cow Coffee) for the month of August. You won't want to miss this month!

Featured Roasters: June

We are so excited to announce our featured roasters for our opening menu!

If you're not familiar with how our coffee program works, we have 3 separate "seats" that represent Snohomish County, the Pacific Northwest, and the nation/world. To choose these seats, we invite roasters to send us at least three coffees to consider for our menu. We then receive coffees from roasters from all over the world (which was a lot!), we then assign a roaster ID to each roaster (the identity of which only we and the roasters know), then attach a number to each coffee they sent us up to 5, then blindly arrange and taste them. While we are tasting these, we grade them on a scale from 0-10 with 5 being average, with 10 total characteristics receiving a 1-10 score. The total of those qualities are then added together for each coffee, and the roaster's score is derived by finding the average of all of their coffees. We then choose the highest scoring roaster for each seat from these scores, and voilá! we have managed to sort through some of the best roasters across the world to find beautiful coffees to serve to you!

We are so excited to announce that in addition to serving coffees from Spotted Cow and Velton's Coffee (our Snohomish County roasters), we will be serving coffees from...

 

Camber Coffee out of Bellingham, WA filling our Pacific Northwest Regional spot and Quills Coffee, out of Louisville, KY taking the National/International spot!  

 

For those of you who are either roasters or numbers people, here is our brand new cupping form. After taking it for a spin, it's clear that we'll need to make some adjustments to the overall system, but we are SO excited about pioneering this tool that will help us ensure you're getting the best coffee possible, every time. 

 

Cheers! 

A Note To Roasters

A Note To Roasters

Narrative Coffee // 2927 Wetmore Ave, Everett, WA 98201
 

Hello! We are so humbled that you're interested in working with us here at Narrative Coffee. I thought I’d draft this little note up to help explain a little bit about who we are, what our program looks like, and how we source our coffees in order to help clarify expectations for how we work with our roasting partners. I know how much work you (and your team, most likely) put into your products and I don’t want to waste your time nor leave you unsure as to why we made the choices we did.

WHO WE ARE

Narrative Coffee is a hospitality driven, quality forward coffee bar located in downtown Everett, WA. We believe in our community, specialty coffee, and the power of sharing stories. We are normal folks who work hard to serve our guests in the best possible way we can. We also really love coffee. We are an ingredient forward establishment, meaning that to our estimation the most important factor in the end product is what goes into it. Coffee is the most crucial element to this equation as it’s what we are building our business upon.

OUR PROGRAM

Our coffee program is simple and focused on giving us tools to serve our guests’ needs to the best of our abilities. We work with three roasters at a time and each of them occupies a geographical and philosophical position within specialty coffee which we refer to as “seats.” We carry a Snohomish County (our county) roaster, a Pacific Northwest Regional roaster, and a national/international roaster. The Snohomish county seat is dually held by Spotted Cow in Mill Creek, WA and Velton’s Coffee in Everett, WA. The PNW and Nat’l/Int’l seat both rotate monthly. We hold the deciding cupping a couple Saturdays before the end of the month. Below, you’ll find a schedule. Our decisions are based only on the offerings sent for consideration for each month as we choose specific, fresh crop coffees that fit within our menu.

Our espresso offering rotates frequently and we hold two coffees on at a time, plus a decaf (please send us your favorite decaf too!). Our espresso and filter bar have a “tame” and a “wild” option every day. The tame selection is meant to be an easy drinking option suitable for just about everyone and should take cream and sugar well. It should still be complex enough to intrigue a seasoned coffee professional while being approachable to everyone. Here we are looking for a low to medium acid coffee with strong anchor notes and lots of sweetness. The wild option tends to be a more exploratory offering highlighting top notes, exotic flavors, or unique processing techniques with a medium to high acidity of sparkling quality.

We are in an area where specialty coffee is still relatively new to our regular guests but we are close enough to Seattle to attract a decent crowd of coffee enthusiasts on weekends. We are focused on offering our regular guests opportunities to explore coffee and learn about it, but also having a nice comfortable safety net. Because of this focus on exploration and new experiences, we are choosing to serve only single origin coffees at this time.

HOW WE SOURCE COFFEES

We source coffees by evaluating them on the cupping table. We look at roasters’ offerings in total – we need at least three coffees that are viable for our menu from each roaster. Coffees should remind us of the origin of coffee as a tropical fruit and should exhibit a majority of these characteristics (keeping in mind the use of the coffees as stated above): clarity of flavor, cleanliness, brightness, sweetness, vibrancy, intrigue, complexity, ripeness of flavor, and balance.

Coming shortly, we will have an active and live database with all of our scores uploaded every cupping (up to 10 roasters) and published on the web. We will assign a random ID number to each roaster who sends us samples and you alone will be privy to your number, so while the data will be fully transparent, the names of companies will be private. This should enable functional feedback to see how you stack up with the total pack, without throwing anyone under the bus. We want to help create an open feedback loop so that we can all grow together!  This system will take some time to fully develop and implement, but it is the goal we are working toward.
 

Thank you so much for sending us samples! We know that it’s not a small expense to send your beautiful coffees all the way to the northwest corner of the US. Any unused sample coffee will be brewed for the homeless community in our area and for staff to pick from for brewing at their homes.

THANK YOU

Thank you so much for considering Narrative Coffee as a partner. We believe in specialty coffee and are so thankful for all of the hard work everyone puts in along the supply chain. We work hard every day to make sure we are representing all of that hard work well by serving our guests delicious coffee with warmth and hospitality.

Cheers!

Maxwell A. Mooney

 

2017 CUPPING SCHEDULE

Please have samples to us and ready to brew by the dates below. Samples that are received after these dates won’t be considered, no matter how delicious they may be (unless we’ve prearranged for some coffees that are soon-to-land, for instance).

May 19th

June 24th

July 22nd

August 19th

September 23rd

October 21st

November 18th

December 23rd