The Oregon Convention Center has opened the first of two brand new cafes operated by Roast Magazine’s 2012 Macro Roaster of the Year, Portland Roasting Coffee.
In an opening event earlier this week, representatives from the coffee company, convention and tourism industries, and local food product companies celebrated the introduction of Portland’s highly touted coffee culture to visitors from across the globe through a cupping ceremony, in which small cups of freshly roasted coffee are infused with boiling water and evaluated for aroma and flavor profiles, among other elements.
“Portland has earned the reputation as a city with distinct taste for quality, small-batch coffee and a commitment to sustainability,” said Karen Totaro, the assistant executive director of the convention center. “By offering Portland Roasting as our exclusive coffee in our catering and cafes, convention visitors from around the world can literally taste the essence of Portland during their stay.”
The new cafe was designed with the Pacific Northwest aesthetic in mind; a large slab of reclaimed Oregon old-growth fir frames the entrance and also serves as the platform for tables and the coffee bar inside. While the beans are sourced from worldwide locations through fair trade agreements, the coffee is roasted just blocks from the convention center at the company’s headquarters, and delivered in compostable bags by bike. Cafe cups and utensils are biodegradable and a host of local food companies are represented in the baked goods and refreshments offered to cafe customers.
Totaro cited Portland Roasting’s dedication to environmental stewardship, ranging from global water protection and resource initiatives to operating a zero-carbon facility, as primary reasons the partnership works for convention center.
“We take sustainability very seriously at OCC and we’re proud to be considered a sustainability leader in the convention center industry,” Totaro said. “Partnerships with local companies such as Portland Roasting, who share our commitment to sustainability, help us continue to walk our talk.”
Portland Roasting Coffee’s second convention center cafe is scheduled to open in early 2012.