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As the owner of Roast House Coffee in North Spokane and First Avenue Coffee downtown, Deborah Di Bernardo is not only judging on taste, consistency and freshness. She also is looking behind the bean: Where did it come from? Is it organic? Sustainable? Did women grow it – and, if not, how can she help make sure they do?
Indaba, First Ave. Coffee and Next Door Deli and Coffee Lounge are all planning June 1 openings. So is Hello Sugar, which specializes in mini doughnuts.
Black Friday is the day shoppers traditionally go running frantically all over town for the best deal on everything from toasters to LEGOs to yard furniture to pantyhose. On this particular Black Friday, there’s a group of local business owners who’ve gotten together to shift some of the shopping frenzy the local way. And it’s all Deborah DiBernardo’s idea.
A Bellingham network that supports business, community and environmental sustainability has grown to 650 members and a budget of $1 million in seven years, co-founder Michelle Long said Monday in Spokane. The unemployment rate, traditionally higher in Whatcom County than in Washington as a whole, is now lower, she said. The survival rate for small farms is double the state rate, and business startups are also more likely to succeed.
There’s little elegance in the practice of cupping coffees. When professional tasters are checking the aromas and tastes of coffee, they start with several samples of the grounds. Once brewed, tasters sniff and then loudly slurp a bit of each sample. The slurping, says Roast House Coffee brew master Dave Rier, aerates the coffee and sends it to the back of one’s mouth. It allows the taster to evaluate each sample for its aroma, taste and mouth feel.