One Night in Portland:
A Coffeelandia Story
It started as such a simple idea: see how much Portland culture we could fit into one night. SCAA was coming and the town would be abuzz with java nerds and espresso newbies alike. Every coffee hotspot across the country (and even across some oceans) would be sending representatives to the heart of American coffee (sorry, Seattle) and we’d have one chance to reach them all. Coffeelandia was born.
We wanted to show off our city, we wanted to welcome all of these out of town friends, we wanted to show that the positive efforts of one community here in Oregon could do a little good for a community 3000 miles away. We also kinda wanted to party. Slowly, painstakingly, Coffeelandia began to come alive. First was the music; Tezeta Band’s exotic funk to get things rolling, Pure’s soothing and mystical rhythms, and Karaoke From Hell to blow the roof off. Next came the food carts; pizza (and lots of it) from Renaissance Catering, down home biscuits and gravy from Blues City Biscuits, and fabulous burritos from Koi Fusion. Paobread jumped into the fray with some amazing Brazilian treats, and Rancilio came to keep us caffeinated all night. There were gobs of Ghirardelli goodness, silky smooth swallows from Dr. Smoothie, and much multi-flavored martini madness from Monin. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, beer.
Both Laurelwood and Hopworks Urban Brewery volunteered without hesitation to join us for the evening and provided tents and fantastic staff members to pour. Pyramid Brewing helped out with kegs and servers for the evening. Maletis Beverage and Point Blank Distributing helped us fill in the gaps with MANY kegs of other local goodness. And wine from A to Z Wineworks and Domaine Pouillon flowed throughout the night. Coffeelandia became most decidedly adult.
Finally the night arrived. West Coast Event Productions and Portland Partyworks transformed months of blood, sweat and tears into a tented wonderland with a bouncing tiger to protect us all. The stage materialized, the tables apparated, and in a flood of glowing necklaces and well-caffeinated smiles the much anticipated crowd rushed in. And kept coming. And coming. And did not stop until we finally had to start turning people away.
And then, in a blink, it was over. The music stopped, the cheering crowds fell away and the tents came down. Coffeelandia had lived its life in full, and as in any good life a legacy remained. Thanks to our sponsors, our vendors, and our wonderful attendees we have raised $16,500 which is ALL going to Global Brigades to fund a water stewardship project in Honduras. Not too bad for one night in a small corner of Southeast Portland.
Many many people helped to bring Coffeelandia to life. It would not have been possible without the generous support of all of our sponsors listed below. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to our fantastic volunteer crew: Arianna Sawyer, Sarah Roberts, Michelle Graham, Dorothy Dewan, Steven Dutt, Jeanette Lee, Neal Franzer, John Gilles, Misty May, and the hardworking crew at Portland Roasting Coffee. Thank you for your help. And thanks to everyone who attended! It was a fantastic night, and we’d love to hear about your Coffeelandia story in the comments below.