Portola Coffee Lab Named 2015 Micro Roaster of the Year


portolaPortola Coffee LabNamed 2015 Micro Roaster of the Year

With an innovative model, US Barista Competition partnerships and focus on sustainable sourcing, Portola Coffee Lab recognized by Roast Magazine for achievements

Orange County, California-basedPortola Coffee Labhas been named2015 Micro Roaster of the YearbyRoast Magazine. The annual competition honors the industry’s most talented specialty coffee roasters across the country, and every year, one small-scale roaster producing less than 100,000 pounds of coffee annually is named Micro Roaster of the Year.

For the Micro Roaster of the Year award, Portola was evaluated on its company mission; company’s commitment to sustainable practices; quality of coffee; commitment to employees and educational practices; commitment to and Involvement in the industry; and innovations in roasting, marketing and business practices. After being selected as a finalist, Portola Coffee lab was asked to submit three unique roasted coffee samples to be judged on aroma, color, imperfections, bean size and a clean cup. The finalists’ coffees were then blindly judged by three separate professional tasting committees, who ultimately named Portola Coffee Lab as 2015 Micro Roaster of the Year.

Company Growth
Created in 2011 with the mission to create a 100% single-cup craft brew coffeehouse designed and constructed as a nod to craft, quality, and freshness, Portola Coffee Lab brought a never-before-seen concept and style of coffee to Orange County. Portola Coffee Lab began creating a distinct brand that revolves around producing an artisanal culinary product, Craft Coffee. In September 2012, husband-and-wife team, Jeff and Christa Duggan, expanded their culinary range with the opening of their 6-seat coffee concept bar, Theorem. By the end of 2014, Portola will expand to four new locations in the region.

Sourcing & Sustainability
Portola Coffee Lab prides itself on having access to some of the highest quality coffee beans in the world. Owner/Roaster Jeff Duggan hasachieved an astonishingly robust direct trade coffee program in record time. While it usually takes a coffee company several years to establish direct trade relationships to start sourcing coffee at origin, Portola was able to do it within two years.To focus on sustainable outreach, Portola Coffee Lab has special interest projects at the farm level in several countries with a goal to expand this effort to every country with which it has farmer relationships.

US Barista Competition
Portola Coffee Lab was honored to have been tapped to be a host for the past two Big Western Barista Competitions, qualifying competitions for the US Barista Championship. The Big Western Barista Competitions were held in February and October of 2014 and are a combination of the Northwest and Southwest regions of the U.S. – arguably the toughest to compete in. Portola’s very own Jon Paul Doerr was just awarded one of the six finalists positions to move on to the U.S. national competition. The United States Barista Championship is presented under the watchful eye of the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Barista Guild of America to serve as a platform for baristas to enhance their espresso beverage making skills through an exciting and challenging competition. This event will take place in Long Beach, California in February 2015.

What began as the selfish pursuit for delicious coffee turned into a decade-long fanatic passion for home-roasting coffee for Jeff Duggan, who first opened Portola Handcrafted Coffee Roasters in Irvine in 2009. Using a very small batch roaster, Jeff worked feverishly to keep the pantries and hoppers full in many homes and food establishments throughout Orange County, but roasting meticulously sourced coffee beans and serving them ultra-fresh was not enough. He found that far too many great beans were destroyed at the hands of poor equipment, flawed technique, and coffee service dispensers. With a focus on quality ingredients, brewing science and freshness – all still relatively uncommon in the industry – Jeff and his wife, Christa, created Portola Coffee Lab in 2011. The goal was to create a quality-centric coffeehouse that re-focused on the most important ingredient coffee.

Within a year of bringing a never-before-seen concept and style of coffee to Orange County, Portola Coffee Lab began creating a distinct brand that revolves around producing an artisanal culinary product, Craft Coffee.

Jeff and Christa Duggan plan on expanding to four new locations within Orange County in the next year. Their focus will remain on empowering the community with quality, traceable, fresh-roasted and fresh-brewed coffee as well as Seventh Tea branded loose leaf teas, all presented in an artful context one cup at a time.

For more information, please visithttp://www.portolacoffeelab.com.

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