By: Ella T. Morgan
What are the components to build a good cup of coffee?
You can start with the quality of the beans; where the beans are grown and at what altitude. Perhaps to make a good cup of coffee it’s the ratio of water to beans, or how fine or how coarse the grind is. From brewing methods to latte art variations, the science or art, of a good cup of coffee lies in the eye of the beholder. Featuring two Eugene coffee shops, here is what makes a good cup of coffee!
Welcome to Farmers Union Coffee Roasters, located in the Market district. Formerly known as Slightly Coffee Roasters, this reimagined coffee shop has an open concept space, fastened with sweeping wooden beams, lined with large windows, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Their mission is not only, quality coffee, but, providing sustainable products. Sustainability for founder and owner, Joseph Harrison, is more than just reusable cups and composting coffee chaffs (the skin of the coffee bean), but ensuring the fostered relationships with coffee growers is fruitful. This means, working intimately with growers who share a similar environmental and sustainable mindset.
With sustainable and environmental practices as a front runner for Farmers Union Coffee Roasters, they take a few modern techniques and practices to brew bold and delicious coffee.
“For us, the best cup of coffee is made on a pour-over called a V60,” redesigned by Hario in 2004, the V60 gives an individual a versatile and yet controlled way of making coffee. “The paper filter really allows the coffee to develop a lot of acidity and flavor while keeping back some of the solids that might interfere with those flavors.”
While it is up to preference what kind of coffee beans to use, Farmers Union Coffee Roasters seeks to bring out the brightest and boldest flavors.
“We are really trying to highlight the sweetness and the fruits. The V60 is just a great device that can really let whatever flavor that is locked into the coffee shine.”
The roast profile of their coffees are lighter in flavor but it does not take away from the sweetness, body and fruit-like character. The darker the roast, the more impartial one might be to the flavors. To make their best cup of coffee, the Hario V60 is simply the tool, but it really begins with their partners who grow the coffee.
“For us it really allows us to transparently highlight the amazing flavors that we worked so hard to find in the coffee through roasting and of course from the farm.”
In addition to the quality and production of coffee, expertise can also be defined by the culture and history that makes a coffee shop.
Near the heart of downtown in the Smede Hotel, one of Eugene’s oldest buildings has been the home to Perugino Coffee House for the last 18 years. With an Italian and Parisian influence, Perugino has a very elegant ambience, this is a great space to sit and enjoy a book, glass of wine or light conversation.
The cafes deep maroon walls complement the hand-woven Persian rugs, exposed brick and Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons playing in the background. Opposite to the Persian rugs and, larger than life portrait of Francesco Delle Opere, steam from the grill rises and settles on the mirrors.
“The whole cafe is a piece of art,” owner and founder, Kaz Oveissi says.
The cafe was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s “Cafe Terrace at Night.” This space was a blank canvas and a chance to recreate the atmosphere and character of this post-impressionist painting.
“What really works for Perugino is the scale, the building itself, and properly putting everything in its place; including music,” Oveissi says.
While the perfect cup of coffee is partly down to personal taste, there are a few factors that make a cup of coffee stand out.
For Perugino, ambiance and consistency are the essential components.
Since 2002, Perugino has partnered with Zoka Coffee Roasters to create complex and tantalizing coffee. If the dark roast house coffee is not your preference, try a 4-oz mocha.
With Zoka’s Palatino espresso mixed well with Perugino’s house-made chocolate sauce and steamed milk, whether your day is just getting started or you are halfway through, this is one of Perugino’s and Kaz Oveissi’s favorite pick-me-up drink.
There is no one secret to the most successful coffee shop, it should be treated as a work of art. Coffee should taste good and be filled with aroma, it should be balanced and full of flavor. It takes time to cultivate good coffee. It is not a quick or easy process and the same sentiment is applied to the story of the coffee shop. So enjoy it, the process and environment.
Farmers Union Coffee Roasters
152 W 5th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401
Perugino Coffee House
767 Willamette St #102, Eugene, OR 97401