About McMenamins Coffee Roasters

Tours are not being given at this time.

We’ve been roasting coffee beans in a humble house in Northeast Portland since 2001. McMenamins Coffee Roasters is dedicated to roasting the highest-quality Coffea arabica species, resulting in coffees of elegant, complex flavors.

Sourcing Beans from Small Farms

We source our coffee beans from small farms in the world’s best growing regions. From the careful cultivation by our farmer partners to skilled roasting by our production team, each step is artfully executed.
We look for coffee growers who use best practices, like crop rotation and no-spray/organic methods and are considered fair trade, equitable and sustainable. We also prioritize economic and social benefits to farmers, like buying from a women’s co-op or India biodynamic beans. To that end, we partner with small farms or co-ops supporting family farms whenever possible.

High Quality, Small Batches

As a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, McMenamins Coffee Roasters selects high quality beans that meet the organization’s standards. Roasting in single, small batches allows us to give our full attention to the bean and provide our customers with the best quality product. We roast beans in a state-of-the-art Probat gas drum roaster, which allows us to develop each coffee to its fullest potential.

As McMenamins has grown, so has our coffee program. We now roast more than 70,000 pounds of coffee every year, yet have kept our commitment to handcrafting. By roasting each batch to order and delivering to our locations weekly, McMenamins Coffee Roasters is committed to giving our customers freshest coffee.

Where to Find McMenamins Coffees

Our house roasted coffees are served at McMenamins locations and are available for purchase at hotel gift shops, bottle shops, pubs and online shop. For regular delivery to your door, check out our coffee subscriptions.

Look for the hand-stamped date of roasting on the back of every bag – the mark our roasters use to signify that these beans meet our rigorous standards, all in the name of a fresh cup to enjoy.

McMenamins Blends

Shop Online

 

Our current blends:

All of our beans are given special attention by roasting each variety seperately before blending. For a top-quality brew, keep your coffee in a cool, dry cupboard away from heat, moisture and sunlight

McMenamins Morning Blend CoffeeMorning Blend
In this blend we combine beans from the major coffee-growing regions of Africa, South America and Asia. Rise ‘n’ shine to a bright and lively coffee with hints of blueberry, dark chocolate and spice.

 

McMenamins House Blend CoffeeHouse Blend
The well-balanced, bright flavors of this popular classic boasts notes of chocolate and citrus.
 

 

McMenamins Black Rabbit Blend CoffeeBlack Rabbit French Roast
Our darkest roast, Black Rabbit is pulled from the roaster just in time for the beans to fully caramelize and impart a smoky, sweet flavor. With its notes of chocolate and caramel, this blend is dedicated to the legendary Edgefield rabbit.

 

McMenamins Farmer Trent Blend CoffeeGalaxy Blend
Named for our annual UFO Festival at Hotel Oregon, this complex blend of Central American and Kenyan beans exhibits notes of stone fruit, citrus and chocolate, finishing clean and bright, like the Milky Way itself.

 
McMenamins Equinox Blend CoffeeEquinox Blend
Made from our farm-direct El Salvador and Ethiopian Natural coffees, this coffee is vibrant and complex. Pleasant floral notes make it a great for the changing seasons. This seasonal is available September through November.
 
 

McMenamins Decaffeinated CoffeeDecaffeinated
Hot water-processed, chemical-free decaffeination results in full flavor with a smooth finish.

McMenamins’ decaffeinated coffee blend is processed in Veracruz, Mexico, where it is immersed in the clean glacial waters of Citlatepetl, the country's highest mountain. This method removes the caffeine and some flavor solids, but the “charged” water is filtered and redirected back into the beans. After brewing, the result is a full-flavored yet decidedly less buzzy cup of joe.

 
McMenamins Decaffeinated Coffee
Fireside Blend
Sumatra, Kenya & Colombia
Rich and robust with chocolate flavors, this is a coffee best enjoyed by the fire! This winter seasonal is available December through March.
 
 

McMenamins Morning Blend CoffeeSt. Patrick's Day Blend
This seasonal blend of arabica beans from Uganda, Colombia and Ethiopia boasts full body and full flavor. Ugandan beans contribute richness and toasted nut notes, Colombian beans are balanced by deep chocolate notes with a bit of citrus, while the Ethiopian beans add an aromatic floral note and complexity. Excellent black or with cream – or, even better, in an Irish coffee. Only available in March.

 

Single Origin

Our current offerings:

LIMITED EDITION Roasters Reserve Guatemala Rio Azul
This limited-time coffee is from the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. Notes of lime and green grape accent its bright flavor, followed by a toasted nut and chocolate finish. Available by the cup at Zeus Café or whole beans to go at hotel gift shops, select pubs and through coffee subscriptions.
 
LIMITED EDITION Roasters Reserve Sumatra Mandheling
This limited-time coffee is a traditional Sumatran wet-hulled bean from the Ache province. Wet-hulled coffees are known for their deep, rich flavor, and this Roasters Reserve is sweet with mild acidity. Available as whole beans to go at hotel gift shops and select pubs.

EL SALVADOR BOURBON LAS ISABELLAS
Country of origin: El Salvador

Las Isabellas farm is located in the southwestern corner of the country and sits at an altitude of 5,200 ft. The high elevation and the natural canopy of the surrounding forest contribute to the superior quality of the coffee. Diurnal temperatures at high altitudes produce wide variations of sugar that translate to greater flavor. The flavor profile: fragrant with a full body and bold chocolate. The finish is nutty with chocolate notes and hints of orange. McMenamins bought this estate coffee directly from the farm. This purchase continues our commitment to quality as well as fair trade practices. Las Isabellas is offered as a stand-alone origin, and is included in our House and Morning blends.

ETHIOPIAN NATURAL
Country of Origin: Ethiopia

Our Ethiopian natural is a dry-processed coffee. Coffee cherries are harvested and laid out on patios to dry with the fruit left on the seed. The result is a coffee rich in fruit and complexity. Most coffees grown in the province of Sidamo are known for their bright acidity and citrus-like quality. Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, and the agricultural methods practiced in producing coffee from this region have been employed for several centuries. In order to draw out the fruit and brightness, we roast this at a city* roast. Ethiopian coffees make up one third of our Morning blend, and are offered throughout the company as stand-alone single origins.

ROYAL SELECT WATER PROCESSED DECAF (COLOMBIA)
We pride ourselves at McMenamins for maintaining high standards when it comes to decaf coffee. The process of decaffeination can be harsh and sometimes toxic. Most cheap decaf coffees are chemically altered with the use of ethyl acetate. McMenamins Coffee Roasters always purchases water-processed decaf, which is full-bodied and flavorful. In short, water-processed decaf coffee is soaked in tanks, and the caffeine is gradually extracted through the use of high-temperature water. Coffee flavor solids and caffeine pass through a carbon filter. The caffeine is then separated from the solids, and discarded. Roast: Full city plus
 

Limited & seasonal offerings

We source beans from family-owned farms and family farm co-ops whenever possible, and we purchase seasonally in order to offer fresh-crop beans at their peak of flavor, showcasing their region of origin. Some of these coffees are very limited. We roast them fresh, and they’re only around until our supply runs out. Get them while you can!

KENYA: Kenyan coffees are grown at high altitudes – up to 2,300 meters – giving them the complex flavors that they are known for. The coffee is rich and aromatic, balanced by stone fruit and citrus notes and a heavy bodied finish. McMenamins Kenyan coffee is grown by small farms.
 
COLOMBIA: Colombia is one of the most well known coffee growing regions in the world. Colombia has two mountain ranges that provide a wide array of coffee profiles and also allows two harvest seasons a year. This coffee is rich and balanced with pleasant citrus and chocolate notes.

City to full city: Refers to the degree that the coffee has been roasted from lighter to darker

Small Farm Growers

The beans we roast at McMenamins are selected from small-farm growers producing plants of the highest caliber. 

Every May and June after harvest time, dozens of Central American, South American and African coffee samples land at our doorstep. Each sample is roasted, and then "cupped," a centuries-old ritual in which roasters sit together, slurping numerous cups of brewed coffees with silver spoons in order to best evaluate aromas and the flavors. From hundreds of farms, only a handful of the very best beans are then chosen.

These select coffees are roasted from light to dark until we find the perfect roast with the complex flavor profile we desire in a handcrafted McMenamins coffee. From the farmer who processes the beans after harvest to the roaster who brings out their best flavors to the server who prepares your cup or pot of coffee, the process is a long and honored one.

New: Seasonal Barrel-Aged Coffee

Using barrels fresh from our own distillery and winery, we age coffee beans for three months so that they absorb the barrel flavors, then we roast them, bag them, and send them to our gift shops.  

Our Current Barrel offerings:

Billy Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged Indian Biodynamic: We chose this interesting coffee from India that is grown using biodynamic farming practices to pair with our Billy Rye Whiskey barrel due to its bright citrus and cranberry notes. This coffee is a nice match for the Billy Rye Whiskey. 

Hogshead Whiskey Barrel-Aged El Salvador Las Isabellas Bourbon: Our farm-direct El Salvador was chosen to pair with the Hogshead Whiskey barrel, a perfect match: Citrus and chocolate notes in the coffee pair nicely with the Hogshead Whiskey. 

12-ounce bag, $12 * Seasonals available quarterly at our larger retail locations (Edgefield, Kennedy School, Bottle Shop, Anderson School) & select smaller gift shops.

Brewing at Home

What's the next-best thing to having an actual barista make your coffee? Brewing it at home!

Here are a few tips when brewing a cup of McMenamins house roasted coffee:

Storage
It is essential to keep coffee away from light, heat, odors and moisture. Store in a dry, dark place and use within two weeks.

Grind Fresh
Coffee should be handled like a perishable culinary item. Grind and brew your freshly roasted beans within 7 to 10 days of purchase. After that, the beans are susceptible to oxidation and will quickly go stale and start to sweat. 

Brew Fresh
Coffee is best brewed with 200°F water. After brewing it will be at about 185°F. A pre-warmed urn can hold that temperature for 45 minutes. After 90 minutes, coffee may still steam, but the temperature will have dropped significantly and the coffee may not taste as fresh.

History

McMenamins Coffee Roasters: A Bottomless Cup of Passion, Aroma & Tradition
Originally published in October 2007
 

Recently at McMenamins Coffee Roastery in Northeast Portland, Martyn Leaper was talking about one of the benefits of his job. "After being here all day, you go somewhere else and it stays with you." He was talking about the comforting, pungent aroma of coffee beans roasting at 400-plus-degree temperatures in the unassuming building's Probat roaster. The wonderful scent envelopes him during his day-long shift, then follows him wherever he goes after work.
 
Similarly, McMenamins' original master roaster, Dahna Maskell, had a wonderful, embracing personality that stayed with you even when she was worlds away. Around her, the most mundane parts of life could become new adventures just from the enthusiastic delight she infused into them. Dahna's passing in October 2007 has left a sadness in the lives and hearts of her vast circle of friends and family, but her embrace will long be felt from all that she gave us.
 
Dahna brought her roasting business into McMenamins' fold in 2001. She schooled us in coffee and coffee service with a fascination and passion for the subject that in turn had us genuinely captivated.
 
She was a great teacher and passed her knowledge along to McMenamins' next master roaster, Jen Apodaca. Jen talks of Dahna's encyclopedic mind for coffee - not just roasting techniques but the character and quality of beans, their color, smell, shape and consistency, their place of origin, farming practices and much more. "There's just so much to know," Jen exclaims. Dahna had acquired numerous books about coffee over time and she shared this library with Jen. During her first year working for Dahna in 2005, Jen spent hours poring over these tomes. Then she brought them out for the next roasters, Martyn and assistant Cheryl Golden.
 
Dahna didn't have the luxury of time when she first got into craft coffee roasting. In the mid-1990s, she, her husband Joe and two kids relocated to Portland from Santa Cruz, California, and they scoured the city for viable opportunities to get a business going - any business. They came across Capt. Bean's roastery in Southeast Portland. Neither Dahna nor Joe had any experience in the field, but the owner was anxious to sell. The deal was sealed, and after a two-month crash course in the finer points of roasting, Dahna was roasting on her own for the first time ever.
 
For a consummate tea drinker (until then), Dahna took to her new vocation remarkably well. It became her new passion - she worked and studied hard, becoming one of the region's first female master roasters.
 
After a year or so, she relocated her roastery to its present site in Northeast Portland and gave it the name Café Splendid, which she soon rechristened Café Amour. Along the way she won several awards for the excellent quality of her coffee products. So, clearly McMenamins gained a lot when she agreed to join us.
 
Dahna also gave us a handmade traditional whirling dervish costume, which has everything to do with coffee's long, rich heritage and is a spirited reminder of the fun she brought to life. The costume, with its colorful embroidery, special buttons and charms, is a descendant of those first worn by the Sufi order of Shadhili mystics who inaugurated the art of coffee brewing in the 13th century. These Muslim mystics used the potent brew to sustain all-night spinning ceremonies intended to get closer to God by altering their consciousness through ecstatic gyration. They were dubbed whirling dervishes by westerners who witnessed the ceremonies. As the Muslim religion was spread by these wandering Shadhilis, so too was the popularity of coffee. Before long, the steaming beverage shed its religious associations and became a common drink in secular households around the globe.
 
Dahna delighted in wearing this wonderful relic at social outings. And it's no stretch to say that like the Shandhilis of yore, she spread the love of and sophisticated palate for good coffee throughout the McMenamins Kingdom. And that's a tradition that continues.
 
The next time you sip a mug of McMenamins coffee, pause and savor the aroma that embraces you. There's more there than just a cup of Joe.

  • Upcoming Events

    see all events
    Hammerhead's 36th Birthday
    Wednesday, January 26
    National Tot Day
    Wednesday, February 02

    Tours are not being given at this time.

    We’ve been roasting coffee beans in a humble house in Northeast Portland since 2001. McMenamins Coffee Roasters is dedicated to roasting the highest-quality Coffea arabica species, resulting in coffees of elegant, complex flavors.

    Sourcing Beans from Small Farms

    We source our coffee beans from small farms in the world’s best growing regions. From the careful cultivation by our farmer partners to skilled roasting by our production team, each step is artfully executed.
    We look for coffee growers who use best practices, like crop rotation and no-spray/organic methods and are considered fair trade, equitable and sustainable. We also prioritize economic and social benefits to farmers, like buying from a women’s co-op or India biodynamic beans. To that end, we partner with small farms or co-ops supporting family farms whenever possible.

    High Quality, Small Batches

    As a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, McMenamins Coffee Roasters selects high quality beans that meet the organization’s standards. Roasting in single, small batches allows us to give our full attention to the bean and provide our customers with the best quality product. We roast beans in a state-of-the-art Probat gas drum roaster, which allows us to develop each coffee to its fullest potential.

    As McMenamins has grown, so has our coffee program. We now roast more than 70,000 pounds of coffee every year, yet have kept our commitment to handcrafting. By roasting each batch to order and delivering to our locations weekly, McMenamins Coffee Roasters is committed to giving our customers freshest coffee.

    Where to Find McMenamins Coffees

    Our house roasted coffees are served at McMenamins locations and are available for purchase at hotel gift shops, bottle shops, pubs and online shop. For regular delivery to your door, check out our coffee subscriptions.

    Look for the hand-stamped date of roasting on the back of every bag – the mark our roasters use to signify that these beans meet our rigorous standards, all in the name of a fresh cup to enjoy.

  • McMenamins Blends

    Shop Online

     

    Our current blends:

    All of our beans are given special attention by roasting each variety seperately before blending. For a top-quality brew, keep your coffee in a cool, dry cupboard away from heat, moisture and sunlight

    McMenamins Morning Blend CoffeeMorning Blend
    In this blend we combine beans from the major coffee-growing regions of Africa, South America and Asia. Rise ‘n’ shine to a bright and lively coffee with hints of blueberry, dark chocolate and spice.

     

    McMenamins House Blend CoffeeHouse Blend
    The well-balanced, bright flavors of this popular classic boasts notes of chocolate and citrus.
     

     

    McMenamins Black Rabbit Blend CoffeeBlack Rabbit French Roast
    Our darkest roast, Black Rabbit is pulled from the roaster just in time for the beans to fully caramelize and impart a smoky, sweet flavor. With its notes of chocolate and caramel, this blend is dedicated to the legendary Edgefield rabbit.

     

    McMenamins Farmer Trent Blend CoffeeGalaxy Blend
    Named for our annual UFO Festival at Hotel Oregon, this complex blend of Central American and Kenyan beans exhibits notes of stone fruit, citrus and chocolate, finishing clean and bright, like the Milky Way itself.

     
    McMenamins Equinox Blend CoffeeEquinox Blend
    Made from our farm-direct El Salvador and Ethiopian Natural coffees, this coffee is vibrant and complex. Pleasant floral notes make it a great for the changing seasons. This seasonal is available September through November.
     
     

    McMenamins Decaffeinated CoffeeDecaffeinated
    Hot water-processed, chemical-free decaffeination results in full flavor with a smooth finish.

    McMenamins’ decaffeinated coffee blend is processed in Veracruz, Mexico, where it is immersed in the clean glacial waters of Citlatepetl, the country's highest mountain. This method removes the caffeine and some flavor solids, but the “charged” water is filtered and redirected back into the beans. After brewing, the result is a full-flavored yet decidedly less buzzy cup of joe.

     
    McMenamins Decaffeinated Coffee
    Fireside Blend
    Sumatra, Kenya & Colombia
    Rich and robust with chocolate flavors, this is a coffee best enjoyed by the fire! This winter seasonal is available December through March.
     
     

    McMenamins Morning Blend CoffeeSt. Patrick's Day Blend
    This seasonal blend of arabica beans from Uganda, Colombia and Ethiopia boasts full body and full flavor. Ugandan beans contribute richness and toasted nut notes, Colombian beans are balanced by deep chocolate notes with a bit of citrus, while the Ethiopian beans add an aromatic floral note and complexity. Excellent black or with cream – or, even better, in an Irish coffee. Only available in March.

     
  • Single Origin

    Our current offerings:

    LIMITED EDITION Roasters Reserve Guatemala Rio Azul
    This limited-time coffee is from the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. Notes of lime and green grape accent its bright flavor, followed by a toasted nut and chocolate finish. Available by the cup at Zeus Café or whole beans to go at hotel gift shops, select pubs and through coffee subscriptions.
     
    LIMITED EDITION Roasters Reserve Sumatra Mandheling
    This limited-time coffee is a traditional Sumatran wet-hulled bean from the Ache province. Wet-hulled coffees are known for their deep, rich flavor, and this Roasters Reserve is sweet with mild acidity. Available as whole beans to go at hotel gift shops and select pubs.

    EL SALVADOR BOURBON LAS ISABELLAS
    Country of origin: El Salvador

    Las Isabellas farm is located in the southwestern corner of the country and sits at an altitude of 5,200 ft. The high elevation and the natural canopy of the surrounding forest contribute to the superior quality of the coffee. Diurnal temperatures at high altitudes produce wide variations of sugar that translate to greater flavor. The flavor profile: fragrant with a full body and bold chocolate. The finish is nutty with chocolate notes and hints of orange. McMenamins bought this estate coffee directly from the farm. This purchase continues our commitment to quality as well as fair trade practices. Las Isabellas is offered as a stand-alone origin, and is included in our House and Morning blends.

    ETHIOPIAN NATURAL
    Country of Origin: Ethiopia

    Our Ethiopian natural is a dry-processed coffee. Coffee cherries are harvested and laid out on patios to dry with the fruit left on the seed. The result is a coffee rich in fruit and complexity. Most coffees grown in the province of Sidamo are known for their bright acidity and citrus-like quality. Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, and the agricultural methods practiced in producing coffee from this region have been employed for several centuries. In order to draw out the fruit and brightness, we roast this at a city* roast. Ethiopian coffees make up one third of our Morning blend, and are offered throughout the company as stand-alone single origins.

    ROYAL SELECT WATER PROCESSED DECAF (COLOMBIA)
    We pride ourselves at McMenamins for maintaining high standards when it comes to decaf coffee. The process of decaffeination can be harsh and sometimes toxic. Most cheap decaf coffees are chemically altered with the use of ethyl acetate. McMenamins Coffee Roasters always purchases water-processed decaf, which is full-bodied and flavorful. In short, water-processed decaf coffee is soaked in tanks, and the caffeine is gradually extracted through the use of high-temperature water. Coffee flavor solids and caffeine pass through a carbon filter. The caffeine is then separated from the solids, and discarded. Roast: Full city plus
     

    Limited & seasonal offerings

    We source beans from family-owned farms and family farm co-ops whenever possible, and we purchase seasonally in order to offer fresh-crop beans at their peak of flavor, showcasing their region of origin. Some of these coffees are very limited. We roast them fresh, and they’re only around until our supply runs out. Get them while you can!

    KENYA: Kenyan coffees are grown at high altitudes – up to 2,300 meters – giving them the complex flavors that they are known for. The coffee is rich and aromatic, balanced by stone fruit and citrus notes and a heavy bodied finish. McMenamins Kenyan coffee is grown by small farms.
     
    COLOMBIA: Colombia is one of the most well known coffee growing regions in the world. Colombia has two mountain ranges that provide a wide array of coffee profiles and also allows two harvest seasons a year. This coffee is rich and balanced with pleasant citrus and chocolate notes.

    City to full city: Refers to the degree that the coffee has been roasted from lighter to darker

  • Small Farm Growers

    The beans we roast at McMenamins are selected from small-farm growers producing plants of the highest caliber. 

    Every May and June after harvest time, dozens of Central American, South American and African coffee samples land at our doorstep. Each sample is roasted, and then "cupped," a centuries-old ritual in which roasters sit together, slurping numerous cups of brewed coffees with silver spoons in order to best evaluate aromas and the flavors. From hundreds of farms, only a handful of the very best beans are then chosen.

    These select coffees are roasted from light to dark until we find the perfect roast with the complex flavor profile we desire in a handcrafted McMenamins coffee. From the farmer who processes the beans after harvest to the roaster who brings out their best flavors to the server who prepares your cup or pot of coffee, the process is a long and honored one.

  • New: Seasonal Barrel-Aged Coffee

    Using barrels fresh from our own distillery and winery, we age coffee beans for three months so that they absorb the barrel flavors, then we roast them, bag them, and send them to our gift shops.  

    Our Current Barrel offerings:

    Billy Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged Indian Biodynamic: We chose this interesting coffee from India that is grown using biodynamic farming practices to pair with our Billy Rye Whiskey barrel due to its bright citrus and cranberry notes. This coffee is a nice match for the Billy Rye Whiskey. 

    Hogshead Whiskey Barrel-Aged El Salvador Las Isabellas Bourbon: Our farm-direct El Salvador was chosen to pair with the Hogshead Whiskey barrel, a perfect match: Citrus and chocolate notes in the coffee pair nicely with the Hogshead Whiskey. 

    12-ounce bag, $12 * Seasonals available quarterly at our larger retail locations (Edgefield, Kennedy School, Bottle Shop, Anderson School) & select smaller gift shops.

  • Brewing at Home

    What's the next-best thing to having an actual barista make your coffee? Brewing it at home!

    Here are a few tips when brewing a cup of McMenamins house roasted coffee:

    Storage
    It is essential to keep coffee away from light, heat, odors and moisture. Store in a dry, dark place and use within two weeks.

    Grind Fresh
    Coffee should be handled like a perishable culinary item. Grind and brew your freshly roasted beans within 7 to 10 days of purchase. After that, the beans are susceptible to oxidation and will quickly go stale and start to sweat. 

    Brew Fresh
    Coffee is best brewed with 200°F water. After brewing it will be at about 185°F. A pre-warmed urn can hold that temperature for 45 minutes. After 90 minutes, coffee may still steam, but the temperature will have dropped significantly and the coffee may not taste as fresh.

  • McMenamins Coffee Roasters: A Bottomless Cup of Passion, Aroma & Tradition
    Originally published in October 2007
     

    Recently at McMenamins Coffee Roastery in Northeast Portland, Martyn Leaper was talking about one of the benefits of his job. "After being here all day, you go somewhere else and it stays with you." He was talking about the comforting, pungent aroma of coffee beans roasting at 400-plus-degree temperatures in the unassuming building's Probat roaster. The wonderful scent envelopes him during his day-long shift, then follows him wherever he goes after work.
     
    Similarly, McMenamins' original master roaster, Dahna Maskell, had a wonderful, embracing personality that stayed with you even when she was worlds away. Around her, the most mundane parts of life could become new adventures just from the enthusiastic delight she infused into them. Dahna's passing in October 2007 has left a sadness in the lives and hearts of her vast circle of friends and family, but her embrace will long be felt from all that she gave us.
     
    Dahna brought her roasting business into McMenamins' fold in 2001. She schooled us in coffee and coffee service with a fascination and passion for the subject that in turn had us genuinely captivated.
     
    She was a great teacher and passed her knowledge along to McMenamins' next master roaster, Jen Apodaca. Jen talks of Dahna's encyclopedic mind for coffee - not just roasting techniques but the character and quality of beans, their color, smell, shape and consistency, their place of origin, farming practices and much more. "There's just so much to know," Jen exclaims. Dahna had acquired numerous books about coffee over time and she shared this library with Jen. During her first year working for Dahna in 2005, Jen spent hours poring over these tomes. Then she brought them out for the next roasters, Martyn and assistant Cheryl Golden.
     
    Dahna didn't have the luxury of time when she first got into craft coffee roasting. In the mid-1990s, she, her husband Joe and two kids relocated to Portland from Santa Cruz, California, and they scoured the city for viable opportunities to get a business going - any business. They came across Capt. Bean's roastery in Southeast Portland. Neither Dahna nor Joe had any experience in the field, but the owner was anxious to sell. The deal was sealed, and after a two-month crash course in the finer points of roasting, Dahna was roasting on her own for the first time ever.
     
    For a consummate tea drinker (until then), Dahna took to her new vocation remarkably well. It became her new passion - she worked and studied hard, becoming one of the region's first female master roasters.
     
    After a year or so, she relocated her roastery to its present site in Northeast Portland and gave it the name Café Splendid, which she soon rechristened Café Amour. Along the way she won several awards for the excellent quality of her coffee products. So, clearly McMenamins gained a lot when she agreed to join us.
     
    Dahna also gave us a handmade traditional whirling dervish costume, which has everything to do with coffee's long, rich heritage and is a spirited reminder of the fun she brought to life. The costume, with its colorful embroidery, special buttons and charms, is a descendant of those first worn by the Sufi order of Shadhili mystics who inaugurated the art of coffee brewing in the 13th century. These Muslim mystics used the potent brew to sustain all-night spinning ceremonies intended to get closer to God by altering their consciousness through ecstatic gyration. They were dubbed whirling dervishes by westerners who witnessed the ceremonies. As the Muslim religion was spread by these wandering Shadhilis, so too was the popularity of coffee. Before long, the steaming beverage shed its religious associations and became a common drink in secular households around the globe.
     
    Dahna delighted in wearing this wonderful relic at social outings. And it's no stretch to say that like the Shandhilis of yore, she spread the love of and sophisticated palate for good coffee throughout the McMenamins Kingdom. And that's a tradition that continues.
     
    The next time you sip a mug of McMenamins coffee, pause and savor the aroma that embraces you. There's more there than just a cup of Joe.

@mcmenamins