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 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 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.
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).