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Holiday Giving & the Adoptee Rights Campaign!

This year we chose to task the Manager of our Washington St. location, Kayli Becker with selecting a campaign to donate a portion of our holiday blend profits to.

If you know Kayli, you know A, she is adopted and has an incredible, loving family and B, she is a strong advocate for adoptee rights.

“When I was five months old, my parents made the long trip to Seoul, South Korea to bring me home to a loving family. When my sisters were in high school, both participated in their International Clubs and would bring new friends home weekly. As you can tell, my childhood memories consist of people from different countries, cultural backgrounds, and skin colors. What my family and I saw were people who wanted community, family, and safety in knowing that when they were with us, they had a home. This cordial mentality has helped me develop into the woman I am today.


In 2000, Bill Clinton passed the Child Citizenship Act that granted all children born after February 28th, 1983 automatic citizenship as long as their parents were American citizens. I remember the day perfectly. I had just been accepted into the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, my best friend and my mother were with me in Finnegan’s Toy’s, and I was standing in line to receive my official certificate stating that I am one of the children protected by this act. At the time I was 11 years old and had no idea how much this would mean to me in the future. Unfortunately for others born before the year 1983, there was no protection to blanket them. Adam Crapser of Vancouver, WA was one of those unlucky people.


There are an estimated 35,000 individuals in the U.S. that are here not illegally, but not as U.S. citizens. The primary cause of this is due to parents who failed to file naturalization papers for the children they swore to love and protect. Born in South Korea as well, Adam Crapser is an unfortunate recipient of such neglect and has been deprived his right to live here as a naturalized citizen.

Growing up with not only one abusive family, but with two, has left Adam without an official country to call home. At the age of three years old Adam was adopted to a family in the Midwest who then shortly after surrendered him to the foster system. Later he was adopted by a family in Oregon where the abuse would continue until the age of 16. He was then removed by that family and was forced to live on the streets. Adam, left without the support of his parents, fell into hard times and was prosecuted for small misdemeanors for which he did his time. Since then Adam has gone on to build his own business, friendships, and a family of his own.


In 2012 he was able to retrieve the paperwork his last adoptive parents still had and tried to renew his Green Card. That was the moment he learned that because of who he was raised and neglected by, he was not an official U.S. citizen. In November of 2016, after a long battle fought by lawyers and the support of the Adoptee Rights Campaign, Adam was deported back to South Korea, a country he hadn’t seen or known since he was a toddler. Although bittersweet, he has been able to find a semblance of family and friends there. Even his birth mother.

The Adoptee Rights Campaign is not only important because of Adam, but for all adoptees who were not placed in a loving family like mine. There are 35,000 potential adopted deportees who are in this position because of parents who broke a promise to another nation as well as to a child. Those who were left without a voice, a choice, or support are at risk of being ripped from the only home they know. By purchasing our Northern Lights Blend this season, you are taking part in a donation that will assist in the education and awareness of situations like Adam’s. Your generosity will go to the Adoptee Rights Campaign whose mission is to help adoptees like Adam and ensures citizenship for all intercountry adoptees. Your support will help pass the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015 and keep our people in our communities.

Thank you for supporting Compass, the Adoptees Rights Campaign, and the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015.”

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Moldy-Volvo? Muscovado.

Muskavado-01What the heck is Muscovado?!

Muscovado, simply is an unrefined brown sugar containing a higher molasses and flavor content, and for what it’s worth, though it is still sugar, it does indeed retain the majority of its natural minerals.

So, what do you do with it?

First and foremost, along with our coffee quality, among those that prefer flavored lattes, we became known for the Muscovado latte. We took the Muscovado and turned it into a simple syrup and used it to flavor our beverages. The result? a mellow toffee, nearly caramel-y flavor that plays more of a support to the coffee flavor rather than a detraction.

We also utilize the Muscovado in the brewing of our chai to give it a nice round sweetness.

Now you know!

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Let’s talk about Chai!


David here! I’d like to take a moment to tell you a bit about our chai!

In culinary school, I learned how to make chai from Nepali Chef, Bikram.

Post culinary school I worked in other shops and saw many variations on Chai, some flooded with chemicals and sweets, others simply lacking.

Now, in the end everything comes down to a matter of preference, but when I arrived at Compass in 2011, I was thrilled to learn of their care when it came to chai.

Here’s the scoop! We source each spice individually, finding the most flavor packed, quality spices and black tea, then we brew up a concentrate with a bit of honey along with our muscavado brown sugar to reach the right sweetness and serve it up with milk (or your choice of milk alternative) either hot or iced!

This mix of tea, spices and brewing method I had learned before… Thats right, I found this chai to be legit! Quite similar to what I learned from Bikram.

So there’s more than one?! YUP! 3 in fact.

What i just laid out would be the “Original“.

For a bit of a kick, we mix half of our chai mixture with Townshend’s Circulatory tea for what we call our “Spicy” chai.

for something a little sweeter with notes of orange citrus, we mix our chai spice mix with Townshend’s Market Spice Tea in what we call our “Sweet” chai.


I hope this gave you a quick insight into our Chai offerings!

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Mzimba, Malawi

Nestled into southern central Africa, the Republic of Malawi forms a landlocked strip of a plateau surrounded by Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania. It is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa with over 13 million people living in only 118,000 square kilometers, of which 20% is water. Coffee was introduced to Malawi in the late 1800’s by the British and peaked in production at about 70,000 bags during the 1990’s. Flowering happens from December to February, and a May to September harvest follows. Generally all coffees are washed, dried on raised beds, and exported in 60 kg jute bags.
19627-7645716979885796691398351n To our understanding, the Geisha variety has been grown in Malawi since 1932. This Geisha has a slightly smaller bean structure and after buying our first lot in 2007, we found many Yirgacheffe-like similarities in the cup. On Café Import’s 3rd trip to this origin, Jason cupped samples from 65 different subzones, attaining a clear perspective on the availabilty of great coffees in this region. The specialty coffees coming out of Malawi are still very much a work in progress, but in that we find excitement in the expected increase of quality over time.


Come join us at 9am on Friday, May 20th for a free tasting of two roast levels of this Malawi and vote for your favorite to reach the shelves!

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Kinyovu, Burundi

Burundi Kinyovu“The Kinyovu Washing Station is located in the town of Rango, in the Kayanza Province of Burundi.

On average there are 3800 coffee producers contributing to Kinyovu, 1321 of which contribute directly to the station, and 2479 of which contribute to 34 different collection points.

Other crops in the area include: Banana, beans, sweet potatoes, cassava, and tea.

Deep in the heart of Africa is the tiny country of Burundi, and deep in Burundi is Café Imports (our coffee importer). They have been trekking to this tiny country south of Rwanda on Lake Tanganyika since 2006. Cafe Imports have logged multiple trips so far, and have spent about three months total on the ground. They have really enjoyed passing along their findings and experience: their many trips have not been without results. They have cupped coffees from more than 50 washing stations over the years, pinpointing stations with the best cupping coffees.


Their Burundi offerings are part of a Café Imports project where a quality premium is paid above the normal “market rate,” and this premium is paid directly back to the farmers. Burundi is just south of Rwanda but miles and miles away in the cup. The two countries share much: the same tribes, the same coffee varieties, and a similar history, but the cups are not even related. This is a case of terroir. While Rwandan coffees cup with lovely sugary and lemon citrus notes, the mountains of Burundi produce a deep fig and fruity coffee—almost a Malbec of a cup highlighted by a firm supporting acidity.


Coffee in Burundi is a logistics challenge—even for the best of us. It is a particularly poor country, tied with Congo for the lowest GDP in Africa. The tiny landlocked nation also shares the same tribal conflicts that Rwanda has experienced; unlike in Rwanda, however, they’ve never been reconciled. In spite of all this, the work and investment on the ground over the years has allowed our importer to consistently get the coffees we are proud of and have grown to love.


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Free Coffee!

Compass’ Washington Street location will be hosting a free tasting on Friday, April 29 from 9am-11am.  We will be featuring four of our newest offerings:

Kinyovu- Burundi
Los Naranjos- Colombia
Lamari- Papua New Guinea
Sertaozinho- Brazil

Printed information will be available at the tasting and we will have extra staff on hand to answer any questions you might have about these exciting new offerings.

During the 2-hour event bags of these four coffees will be on sale for 15% off.

KINYOVU gets it’s name from the washing station that the cooperative uses.  It is located in the Rang15682-img4967o region, which is just south of the Rwandan border near Kibira National Park.  This coffee is light, bright and stunning
with flavors of cranberry and citrus.  Surprisingly, it’s acidity is not very aggressive despite being very lightly roasted and
starting out very
tart.  The body, while light, is very smooth and compliments the attributes of the coffee wonderfully.  This is due to the varietals present: Bourbon, Jackson, and Mibirizi which are variants of the bourbon varietal.

This is quite possibly the perfect summer coffee, especially if you enjoy iced pour overs.  We have a very limited quantity of this coffee, so get it while you can!

LOS NARAJOS is a returning favorite for the Compass Coffee staff.  Boasting flavors of blood orange, chocolate, cherry and malt, its arrival at the start of spring is always perfect for its flavor profile.  This is our third consecutive year working with the farmers from the Asociacion Los Naranjos San Agustin.  These 97 farming families are quite simply coffee rockstars.  Year after year their coffees are winning Cup of Excellence awards and being used to win national and world barista competitions from every corner of the globe, not just the US.  Our importing partners at Cafe Imports have helped us bring this awesome coffee to our roastery each of the past years, and we hope to continue to be able to feature amazing coffees from these farmers for many years to come!

SERTAOZINHO has returned to our shelves this year after first being offered last year.  Much of the coffee grown in Brazil comes from lower altitudes, and a great deal of it is farmed with large machines that strip the coffee cherries from the tree, but not so with Sertaozinho.  It boasts an altitude of over 1000 meters (3,280 feet), where common commodity coffee sits down around 400-600 meters of altitude (1,312-1968 feet).  By gaining altitude the coffee ripens more slowly, allowing the pickers time to go row by row, tree by tree, and to hand select only the cherries that are at their absolute peak.  After picking the cherries are processed using the pulp natural method, which leaves some mucilage on during drying to help boost the body and mouthfeel of the finished product.  The final flavor profile offers us dark chocolate, almond and caramel flavors, with subtle hints of black currant as the cup cools off a little.
Watch this awesome video produced by our partners at Cafe Imports and get to know Jose, the agronomist mastermind behind the farm!
If you like heavy, big bodied coffees that don’t have a smoky bite or acrid finish, add a bag to your cart!

LAMARI is an old favorite, but is being sold under a different label than in years past to reflect and give credit to the larger group of farmers involved in production.  If you loved “Baroida” from 2011-2014 and “Tairora” from 2015, this coffee is the one you need in your life.  It comes to us from the Lamari Valley, named after the Lamari River that forms it.  About 1600 farmers grow coffee in the valley, and much of the coffee is processed at the mill run by Nichol Colbran, the owner and manager of the Baroida Estate coffee plantation.  The Colbran family first started growing coffee on PNG 1965 after Ben Colbran purchased the swampy, undeveloped meadow from a native Papua New Guinean for 900 Australian pounds.  The farm was unfortunately sold in 1979 due to political instability in the region.  Ben’s son, Nichol, stayed on for another 13 years due to a sense of loyalty to the farm he had grown up on and considered home.  In 1997, Ben was able to repurchase the farm, rebuild it entirely due to a lack of maintenance in Nichol’s absence, and Nichol now manages the farm again (Ben and the rest of the family have since moved to Australia).

The coffee itself is a staff and customer favorite because of its broad flavor profile.  There is a pronounced sweetness to the coffee reminiscent of maple sugar.  As the cup cools, it comes across as a more refined Indonesian coffee than what you may have experienced through Sulawesi and Sumatran offerings.  The cup begins to take on stone fruit flavors, such as mango and cherry.  The body is very heavy, something we don’t normally receive from a coffee with such pronounced and pleasant fruity dynamics.  If this sounds like the coffee for you (and it should!) then head on over to its page and add a bad to your cart!


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Good Cheer!

Good Cheer Labelv2-04

We have officially launched our holiday blend!

This year’s blend is composed of two coffees; our  Giakanja, Kenya, which is a light roast that we roast separately from our or dark-medium roasted, PT Toarco, Sulawesi which is then blended post roast.

What’s the cup like?

Good Cheer is an elegant, refined take on the old traditional Mokha-Java blend. Though, very much unlike an old school Mocha-Java, that was pretty much roasted dark to cover up often old and dirty tasting coffees. Ou take results in a deep, clean cup, with a complex light, bright mild acidity
and a full bodied buttery finish.

Check it out! 

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New Coffee Launch – Santa Teresa

New Coffee Launch - Banner-02


A Longtime Favorite Returns!

Santa Teresa – Mexico

Third-generation farmer Erwin Pohlenz farms 300 hectares that serve as a buffer for the Triunfo Verde Biosphere reserve. His farm is 50% Pacas (yes, the Salvadorian variety) and 50% Mundo Novo. It sits between 1,200 and 1,600 meters. Only ripe cherry is picked; they are fully washed, patio dried, and stored in a cool and stable environment on the farm until shipping.

Santa_Teresa_ERWIN-02   compass-beans-03

Erwin is working towards Rainforest Alliance certification, and has most of the environmental and social practices in place. Viva Mexico!

Come grab a cup, a bag or even purchase online!