What’s With All the Savory Food at N7?

As a customer walking into my shop, N7 Creamery,  you may have noticed that our menu is slowly growing larger than just our staples like ice cream and scones, to include weird coffee combinations like Horchata Cold Brew and hot food that doesn’t follow any specific genre. This isn't JUST driven by a desire to make money and hit new market segments, although that definitely is part of it! Instead, it’s an intentional step away from what would normally be expected of us.

The N7 staff is made up of a bunch of people that really love making and eating good food. Within that staff there are people that have specific interests normally outside of what is on the menu of a regular cafe/ice cream parlor. Instead of trying to keep our people focused on making stuff that the public is expecting and ready for, we encourage everyone to throw as many ideas at the board as possible to see what sticks. That's why there are weeks that we have traditional Mexican food and Asian fried rice and eggs on the same brunch menu. It’s also why occasionally we make an ice cream flavor that isn't within the bounds of a normal ice cream shop offering. This has been incredibly well received by the community the last year and a half, so we are stoked to stretch a little farther.

The most recent manifestation of this is our Thursday night dinners. A few weeks ago I accidentally wrote a menu with my prep cook Sahil that was 100 % old world Italian food! This wasn't an intentional plan but just kind of what happened to be on our minds when we sat down together. I served the food that really spoke to me when I was falling in love with cooking on our first savory night! The next week, there was Albondigas Soup and Pork Shoulder Street Tacos. This is Tom’s home turf and you can taste that he loves to prepare it. This week Kel doing Asian fusion with a vegetarian main dish and pork belly lettuce wraps. Not the usual offering from your local creamery! The reason for all of variety this is pretty simple. There will be a different group of people preparing your food every week and we want them to cook from the heart.

We have 3 managers and 3 prep cooks in the kitchen to cover all the shifts it takes to run this place. These people, myself included, came from different backgrounds and all have skills and specialties that aren't totally related to ice cream or baked goods. Plus our baristas have lots of unique ideas to share. So on Thursdays, we’re going to group the staff up and let them sell whatever they want as long as it follows the three rules all of our menu decisions are based on: the ingredients are ethically sourced,  the food tastes really, REALLY, good, and we make money to sustain our business. We still respect the old rule that “if it ain’t broken, don't fix it” so you can bet  that Salted Caramel isn't coming off the menu unless it stops being our best selling ice cream. But in the interest of fostering the creativity of everyone that works here, we're going to keep trying new stuff until the day the shop closes... and then for 5 or 10 more minutes after that!

 

-Andrew Cox, Head Chef of N7 Creamery

RWANDA HUYE MOUNTAIN & A FILM ABOUT COFFEE

Stumptown wrote an awesome post this week about the process involved in their Rwanda Huye Mountain roast! Here is a snippet from the blog, and some of the perspectives they share with the collective coffee culture.

“IF YOU LOVE COFFEE, YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS FILM. IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT MAKES COFFEE FREAKS SO PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR BREW, YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS FILM. IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND THE GLOBAL COFFEE ECONOMY, WATCH THIS FILM.” -BOSTON GLOBE REVIEW, A FILM ABOUT COFFEE

Our Rwanda Huye Mountain coffee has just landed back on our menu this week, coinciding with the On Demand release of a beautiful film we’re very proud to be featured in called, coincidentally, A Film About Coffee. The film is an informative deep dive and a love letter to our favorite thing. Director Brandon Loper traveled the globe offering a peek behind the curtain of the specialty coffee industry, revealing how and why we go so very far and wide to source, process, roast, brew and drink it.

The specifics of the global coffee economy and the complexities of how we source coffee are often difficult to explain on the back of a bag card or in a source post. But here Loper and his team get it right: The filmmakers caught up with our green team traveling in Rwanda and filmed the coffee harvest and the Huye Mountain washing station, where coffee is grown in the surrounding mountain highlands.

The Huye Mountain company works towards economic, social and environmental sustainability, and with help from Stumptown premiums, they also reinvest in the community through social payments. A Film About Coffee shows the effect of one such payment – a water station which provides fresh water to the community and a flush supply of for washing coffee, too. Before this station was built, folks in the community had to walk two kilometers to collect fresh drinking water. This year’s social payment was a food security payment through a distribution of cows.

The film successfully and thoughtfully captures how many hands and hours of work go into that pristine bean before it ever even reaches the roastery, let alone your Americano.

If you love coffee, watch this movie.

Watch it here. For more information on Rwanda Huye Mountain, click here.

To read the full article and view photos: http://stumptowncoffee.com/rwanda-huye-mountain-film-coffee/

The Barista Battle

We've all had it happen to us. At least once, maybe more. It hurts. It's embarrassing. It touches a part of your humanity that is almost too dark to talk about. It's one of the worst things to have come out of Pandora's box. You know what I'm talking about: The Barista Shun.

You walk into a dimly lit coffee shop only to be grunted at by the barista huddled over his pour-over line. As you get to the counter you try to understand the very short list of Italian words that, in your mind,  all roughly translate to 'coffee.' When asked, "What's up?" you hastily respond with the first most Italian sounding drink you can remember ordering: a caramel macchiatto. You get your eyes rolled at you and a sassy, "We don't do that." That's the feeling. That moment of feeling ostracized by some community you have no avenue of interaction with. Defensiveness immediately springs up and, regardless of how good the milk is steamed or how perfectly weighed out every step is,  you're going to leave dissatisfied. 

This is sadly commonplace in specialty coffee shops all over the country. Even as an involved member of the coffee community, I constantly feel simply being on the other side of the counter is offensive. I am the grand antagonist in his pursuit of a perfect understanding of a particular flavor note. It's one of those every day things that just needs to change, why put up with it? I understand exclusivity and all, but my money is as good as yours, and I want in on whatever gold opportunity all you mustache toters are hoarding.

So, as a suggestion to my fellow baristas and coffee aficionados, next time you hear someone say, "eXpresso," (because it's X-treme!) don't immediately cross your arms and chuckle inwardly, because literally nothing else induces such intense plug-ripping rage. Reach out to these people, let them in on it. While it's fun to talk about how lame you used to be when you drank mainstream coffee, imagine being able to discuss the complexities of one of your life's mainstays with almost anyone! Imagine never getting lectured again about how dumb it is that is that you can't just ice their cappuccino. Imagine the flavor profiles and combinations that could be developed if more people from different walks of life got to have a voice. There will always be those that just don't get it, but they would make themselves known quickly by being the only people with piles of whipped cream on their drinks. 

So, if third wave coffee is the current specialty coffee, maybe it's time to take it to fourth wave; approachable specialty coffee. We've been experimenting with something here at N7. Most shops have a couple of flavors for their lattes, most often, mocha, vanilla, or caramel. But we've been developing seasonal drinks that combine really high quality ingredients with very specifically profiled coffee to see if we can't elicit a new reaction from the most seasoned coffee sipper. Lavender, ginger, beets, cranberries; whatever seasonal item fits with the mood. Coffee being pared with these extra items takes it to the next level, without ever compromising on the quality or integrity of the coffee itself. So many people who would normally never touch something that wasn't blended, will get out of their comfort zone if a barista who was genuinely excited about sharing this world with them introduced them gently with something relatable. Like a cup of lavender infused vanilla latte, or a machiatto with a lemon zested above it.

Think about it. Its exciting, I swear. Better yet, try introducing someone you're pretty sure would gag on their doppio to something they might enjoy. Add a little more vanilla syrup to their iced latte, and see if they ease into it. We all know it's significantly better than what is available otherwise, let's make that the standard instead.

Who We Are

Who We Are

“N7 Creamery is an authentic promise of quality:

Our products are composed of responsibly sourced, high quality ingredients from local farmers who are dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices. This affects both the future or our land and the superior taste of our final product.

Every product is hand-made, in-house by people who love what they do and the food they make. This ensures optimal freshness and the special, personal touch enjoying what we do adds.”