Between the deep recession and Portland's native artisan culture, the DIY ('do it yourself') movement has seen explosive growth here. Mississippi Avenue in North Portland is quickly becoming an epicenter for this growing movement with many local businesses focused on providing resources and tools for Portlanders to take charge and do things themeselves.
Up the street from The ReBuilding Center and Pistols Nursery, and around the corner from SewPo, the newly opened Mr. Green Beans hopes to become a headquarters for do-it-yourselfers interested in everything from roasting their own coffee beans to making their own cheese, soap and more.
At the heart of Mr. Green Beans is, of course, coffee beans. Owners Ginny and Trevin Miller, long time enthusiast home coffee roasters, decided to turn their passion into a business and open Portland's first roast-your-own-coffee-beans store. The proposition is both simple and enticing. Buy green coffee beans (which are shelf stable and can last up to 6 months if properly stored) at a dramatically discounted price over pre-roasted beans, roast them with easy-to-find home appliances (like an air popcorn popper, or a wok), and have fresh beans for coffee when you want, roasted how you want. Savings for roasting your own beans can be as much as 75% over the cost of store-bought gourmet coffee beans, and it means you can enjoy more of your coffee during its peak 12-24 hour freshness zone after roasting (roasted coffee is only considered 'good' or 'fresh' within 2 weeks after its roasting).
Mr. Green Beans offers over 15 varieties of green coffee beans with almost all of them either fair trade, organic, rainforest alliance, shade grown or sustainable. They offer a wide selection of beans from Cafe Femenino, a special coffee program with coffee produced by women and benefiting women in impoverished coffee growing regions.
In addition to advice on how to use air popcorn poppers or other common kitchen appliances to roast coffee beans, Mr. Green Beans also sells a wide variety of home roasting machines ranging from $100 to almost $1000. They also sell several unique brewing tools to help you get the most out of your beans.
With Portland's explosive coffee culture, it's surprising that it took this long for someone to launch a business like this.
Although green coffee beans are at the heart of the business, Mr. Green Beans also sells supplies for a number of other DIY foods and crafts including make your own cheese kits, soap making and more. They feature a wide selection of books on topics including making your own soda pop to canning and preserving.
To help complement the store's tools, Mr. Green Beans also will be holding classes on a wide variety of DIY topics including, of course, making great coffee at home, soap making and making cheeses. They plan to expand their selection of tools and classes based on customer requests, with a possible expansion into home canning and preserving and home soda making.
Here's a look at how to roast coffee beans with a home air popcorn popper:
Mr. Green Beans DIY Coffee Roasting & More
3932 N. Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR. 97227