The 2016 San Francisco Coffee Festival

Posted by Claire Botsford-Allain on

What does one encounter at a coffee festival? This may seem like a ridiculous event for some, but for others, like myself, it is anticipated with fervor. The San Francisco coffee scene constitutes not only those who work in specialty coffee, but also general caffeine lovers, which come in all shades of enthusiasms and commitment. Being a part of the coffee scene in SF is about the mingling of professionals and casual drinkers, the mix of baristas and customers, and everyone in between and outside. It is events like this that bring together the wise and the novices, and make us realize that even if we think we know it all, we aren't even close.

Apart from running into familiar faces, everyone from high school best friends, who wanted to attend a fun non-alcohol-centered event, to old coworkers still doing what they love, it was particularly awesome to see what everyone has been up to, what they're roasting, what they're drinking, who they're visiting. As much as I would love to be able to visit all of the multitudinous coffee shops, cafes, and roasters that exist in such a vast city as San Francisco, there are only so many hours in a day and only so many hills I can pedal up, not to mention (milli)grams of coffee that is healthy for me to consume. There were 20 different roasters at this year's San Francisco Coffee Festival, which happens to also be the very first annual event of its kind in the Bay Area. This event unified roasters based in North Bay, East Bay, it even brought roasters from all the way out in Sacramento and of course from the city itself. This year was the inaugural year for the San Francisco Coffee Festival and it completely sold out. That is pretty darn cool.

Representatives from all across the coffee-world were present, from Intelligentsia and Blue Bottle, the notorious bigwigs, to Strauss Family Creamery and the delicious Donut Savant. What is coffee without the proper accompaniments? All the awesome roasters that have saturated the market with truly amazing coffee did not hold back. Algorithm Coffee Co, Andytown Coffee Roasters, RoastCo, Temple Coffee Roasters, and so many others were confidently representing their coffees. Henry's House of Coffee came out with a honey processed Sumatra and Algorithm's natural processed Ethiopian Ayehu is still one of my favorites. Granted, an hour into it I was nearly cracked out from all of the samples I had (have you tried to say no to an Andytown Snowy Plover or Temple's Geisha from Panama rated 96 on Coffee Review?). Can you imagine a bunch of hyped up baristas fervently talking about coffee while also trying to hold their hands steady enough to give and/or receive a sample? It was comedic and poetic and entirely avoidable, but like I said, saying no simply is not an option.

Even if you had never heard of any of the roasters there, it would be impossible not to be excited. These people work so hard and put so much passion into what they do on a daily basis that it translates into the amazing cup of coffee that you bring to your lips. When the owner of Andytown hands you a Snowy Plover herself or you bond over a mutual love for coldbrew with RoastCo baristas that's when you realize what this business of coffee is all about. We just want to bring people together and give them something awesome that we made. You don't have to know the difference between washed and natural process or what the different species of coffee are, you just have to be willing to try something that someone has lovingly and purposefully created.

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ROADSIDE COFFEE: Get Your Stoke However You Can

Posted by Claire Botsford-Allain on

Travel is one of the most beautiful things we can do as humans and in this age, we can do it so easily and quickly with endless purposes and opportunities. Whether it’s travelling to the coast to catch some waves, up to the mountain to shred, or just a good road trip, there’s always space and time to breathe, even if we don’t see it at first. It is easy to forget that slowing down to enjoy the ride is an option. We don’t have to rush to our destination, we can pull over, stop and breathe for a moment with no real deterrent in our overall progress. Roadside Coffee is all about enjoying those moments. Whether you just want a quick cup of instant stoke or you brought your hand grinder with you and are ready to kick your feet up for awhile, the rituals themselves are meditative and your chosen creation is gratifying.

Travel by plane, train, car, on foot, or ski, or even boat and they all have their individual opportunities for a respite, so there’s no excuse regardless of what your mode of transportation is. Coffee is pretty cool because you can make it however you want to. You can get as involved with it as you can manage. If bringing a hand grinder is simply not an option because of weight or space in your pack, or, let’s face it, general bandwidth when you’re on mile 150 of the John Muir Trail and you just want a freaking cup of coffee, then praise and embrace STOKED STIX. Get your stoke however you want to get it. Grab an Aeropress and bring it with you on a cross-country train trip, or in the back country with a jet boil. Go all out and bring that heavy ceramic V60 and enjoy your pour over with a backdrop of the open road. Like I said, you can get as deep as you want to, and we will cover all of your options in Roadside Coffee.

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Paul Ran Like Hell at Elk Kings 25K

Posted by Devyn Sullivan on

On October 23rd 200 registered racers gathered to run at the Elk Kings 25 and 50K organized by GoBeyond Racing. The race took place in Tillamook Forest, Oregon. The race was originally slated for October 14th, but the area took a huge hit from Mother Nature that week, and a lot of trail clean-up was needed to provide a safe and fun environment for an already technical race. 

(A shot of the Tillamook Forest landscape, where Elk Kings took place)

Our own Team STOKED Ambassador, Paul Dzierba, ran in the race and this to say about the course:

"The Elk Kings 25 and 50k are more like mountaineering prep hikes and probably are not the best place to have a trail race. I did the 25k and it had only about 200 less vertical than the 50k race did. The climbing started within about a quarter mile and climbed 1600 feet in 0.7 miles. In some places on the descent the trail was so steep they had ropes in place and volunteers to help get down them. There was a 4 mile continuous descent to and aid station and after thinking most of the climbing was over, it started with a consistent 4 mile 1200 foot climb. Overall I finished 8th in a very strong group of runners!" 

(200 runners registered for Elk Kings 25 and 50K on October 23rd)

The day started with 200 runners fueled up on STOKED coffee. As an official sponsor of Go Beyond, we supply each race with enough stoke to get people amped and ready for the grueling race ahead of them. We are psyched to have had the opportunity to partner with GoBeyond, an incredible organization passionate about organizing scenic and challenging trail races that so many people are eager to run!

(Elk Kings 25K presents an impressive 5800ft elevation gain)

Despite a challenging trail with over 5800ft of elevation gain, Paul finished in 8th place! An incredible feat that most of us back at HQ are still marveling at.

(Paul Dzierba running at the Elk Kings 25K)


Pictures provided by Paul Nelson Photography.

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Fall In Love with Fallstoke!

Posted by Devyn Sullivan on

Fall is here and we’ve launched your new favorite adventure buddy for those crisp Autumn days! The days are shorter, the cool weather is creeping in, and you’re hitting  the trails via bike or hike to witness nature’s colorful show every chance you get. We crafted FALLSTOKE to reflect all the things you love best about Fall-time.

FALLSTOKE is a medium-bodied blend with rich chocolate flavors and nutty undertones.

It’s a noticeable change when the sky becomes cold, the dirt super tacky, the leaves brilliant gold. The mountain reveal their first coat of paint, you know what comes next, and you can hardly wait. It’s the season of reflection, a time for high fives, celebrating one another with positive vibes. This blend is for you and the ones you hold dear. So grab a cup, bundle up, and bring on the cheer!

Be sure to pick up a bag to fuel all your fall activities before it's gone! 


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Springstoke is in Full Bloom!

Posted by Devyn Sullivan on

Spring has sprung and our new seasonal blend is in full bloom! As the snow starts to melt and the days grow longer, we know your adventures are shying away from skis and boards, and moving toward wind and water. We crafted SPRINGSTOKE specially for the outdoor adventure fanatics during this beautiful turn of the season. 

When the wind turns its head from the east to the west, the people of the Gorge know what comes next. It's the dawn of a new season, the time we all cheer, bringing tacky dirt, nuclear winds, and soon summer beer. So greet the sunshine, and welcome flip-flops, sip this brew and give yourself props. It's time for sunscreen, goodbye grey! Get ready to go, it's time to play!


SPRINGSTOKE is an earthy, herbal blend with notes of jasmineapricot, and caramel, reminding you of all the things you love about Spring!
Be sure to pick up a bag to fuel all your pre-summer activities before it's gone! 
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