A Taste of Portland Roasting Coffee and A Food Gal Giveaway

Portland Roasting Coffee's Organic Dark Columbia beans.

The Northwest sure does love its coffee.

And Portland Roasting Coffee of Oregon has been satisfying taste buds since 1996 in a most sustainable way.

The coffee company buys coffee directly from growers, adheres to sustainable practices, has opened coffee cafes that are eco-friendly, and commits resources annually to global projects in partnership with the United Nations Millennium Development goals, whose aim is to eradicate extreme poverty. In particular, it is helping to raise awareness of the growing global water crisis, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where the company is helping to fund the building of new water wells.

Recently, I had a chance to try a couple varieties of coffee from this company, which was just named “Roaster of the Year.” The Organic Dark Colombia is rich, earthy and with a faint chocolate note. The Organic French is dark with a bold, wake-me-up-pronto flavor.

The coffees, which start at $9.50 per pound, are available at four cafes in California so far (Sacramento, Nevada City and Grass Valley, but none in the Bay Area yet. They also can be purchased on the company’s Web site.

Just two of the organic coffee varieties you can win.

Contest: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a sampler of eight varieties of organic coffees: Organic Espresso, Organic French, Organic Honduras, Organic House, Organic Peru, Organic Mexico, Organic Dark Columbia and Organic India.

Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST May 26. Winner will be announced May 28.

How to win?

Just tell me what perks you up even more than coffee. Best answer wins the prize.

Here’s my own answer:

“The smell of cookies baking in the oven on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The sight of the first spring tulips at the farmers markets. My husband laughing uncontrollably like a 5-year-old as he watches TV on the couch.”

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  • Seeing that look in my new puppy Bella’s eyes, when she’s so excited to play with me, usually right before she gives me a little puppy bark as if saying ‘Comon, let’s play hide and seek!’. That gets me going and we chase each other around the house or the back yard for half an hour. I get so energized by that!

  • The smile and joyous laughter from my beautiful Hungarian girlfriend, Ildiko.

  • That’s not really a good advertisement for the coffee. It’s burnt.

  • My niece, Clarissa, brings love, joy and eternal sunshine into my life. Without her (and my fiance) life would be dull and tidy.

  • What perks me up more than coffee?? Tough one since coffee is my elixir 🙂 but here it goes;

    Sunday mornings, walking to the Campbell Farmers market–I recently moved within walking distance and this fact alone gives me a jolt of energy, hate driving–and meandering along the produce and food stands, sampling and buying away. I get such a rush from the smell of sweet berries wafting through through the air. Nothing better.

    Then, later that evening, sautéing my bounty and reveling in the tasty stir-fry, made with crispy kale, sautéed garlic & roasted asparagus. And topped off with a fresh tomato salad, made with heirloom tomatoes.
    Such a simple pleasure, yet I live for these Sundays .

  • if we’re talking about things unrelated to food (as we SO rarely are), i’d have to say the theme song to ‘sherlock.’ i’m giddy with excitement when i hear it because i know 80 minutes of cerebral entertainment are near. 🙂

  • Don’t laugh but whenever I open the weekly Safeway flyer. It’s how I plan my meals for the next week and that’s REALLY exciting for me! Gosh, I really need a hobby!

  • Seeing my organic, vegetable garden grow — beans tentatively extending their bent “heads”/ shoots into the sunlight, cute ladybugs alighting on my tomato plants as the leaves glisten with the morning dew and my green strawberries blushing into a red color.

  • Dear Carolyn,

    Sustainability is becoming such and important issue whether it’s a providore, cafe or restaurant. Hats off this this company for getting onto the bandwagon.

  • A kiss from my husband in the morning before leaving for work.

  • What perks me up in the morning is when I’m driving to work from San Jose to Half Moon Bay and on those special days when it is not foggy and misty once I reached the coast (very rare days) I can see the sun come up just as I’ve arrived and I pull up to the beach, grab a sweater and jump out of the car to put my toes in the still chilled sand, watch the sunrise and listen to the waves crashing. The waves almost seem silent, since usually no one is on the beach besides me. As I sip my coffee and enjoy the beauty I think to myself how lucky I am to have found a job I enjoy so much in such a beautiful place. Those beautiful clear sky sunny mornings in Half Moon Bay will make any day at the office a fantastic one.

  • Haha your husband laughing like 5 year old – that’s so cute! Hmmm what perks me up than coffee? Well honest answers will be my kids and food. Just seeing how my kids are giggling to each other the other day brought me such a joy. And they are talking nonsense but they think that that’s funny to each other. It was so adorable moment… If I can have that all the time I probably don’t need coffee. But unfortunately I need a good cup of coffee to start my day to keep up with them!

  • What perks me up is soft kitten purrs when I so much as look in her direction and the sunlight peeking through my bedroom window so I can see out into my garden.

  • What perks me up in the morning is my sweet cat following me around the kitchen while I make the coffee, waiting for me to sit down so we can have our morning cuddlefest. It perks me up because it really gets me moving. If I take too long, the meowing only gets louder! 🙂

  • Saturday morning….knowing that the entire day is mine. Mine to bake, or watch the warm, golden sun stream through the windows, or read a book. Sometimes, adding the diversion of baking fresh cinnamon rolls, dough rising on the counter, the smell of yeast floating in the air. And yet at other times, freshly ground coffee beans, steeped into a cup of coffee, mixed with steamed milk, stirred with vanilla bean simple syrup, and milk froth dusted with cinnamon. Life is good…

  • The music of a marching band. Either along a parade route or at a sporting event. The louder the better and it doesn’t even matter what the song is. When I hear that sound, even faintly, my soul sings!!

  • The smell of baking bread. I would follow that smell for miles!

  • When i know my husband will be coming home – he travels a lot – so its so nice when he’s home. its def better than coffee!

  • Dark Chooclate?!!! No, I just got the chance to come home (1000 miles away) to visit family. The rolling hills of Oklahoma, the smell of a freshly mowed field,the red clay between my toes, and the sight of my family around my parent’s dineer table. Those things can make any day sooooo much better.

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