Strange Noises Heard in Vashon Center

We never thought much about coffee roasting before we moved to Vashon Island and Laura met Eva.    Eva owned Minglement at the first 4-way stop on the highway from Burton.   Laura used to love to explore the nooks and crannies at Minglement where she could find all kinds of off-the-beaten-track books and DVDs, including our own film and music, Ocean’s Edge-Spirit’s Journey.    Minglement was also where we could count on finding chemically safer shampoo.

When Eva moved her shop down the road to the next 4-way stop at Cemetery Road near Vashon Youth and Family Services, it took quite a while to stop calling it “Minglement.” In fact, we heard that it was a while before Eva finally settled on a name for her new place.   It was kind of like not naming the new baby until several weeks after birth so that the name reflects the baby’s individuality.   Anyway, it’s not just Minglement anymore, it’s also the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie.

We finally started calling it the Roasterie when Laura learned about “cupping” at a Chamber of Commerce meeting.   There were a lot of other fascinating details about the art of coffee roasting, but we’re just going from memory here.

The most memorable part of the presentation at that meeting was a live demonstration of coffee “ cupping,” somewhat akin to wine tasting.   Cupping is a tradition where “cuppers” sit at a round table on Saturday mornings and steep various experimental combinations of raw coffee beans in large cups of water until the beans give up an aroma that a trained nose can identify as unique to that combination.   But the aroma traveling to the nose through the air isn’t adequate, hence the ritual of human “snorting” of the water into the trained nose of a “cupper.”    The best cuppers make a loud slurp and may have to pull their hair back from their face when they lean over the cup.   Believe it or not, that’s how it’s done by the real coffee artists!   And it’s done live on Vashon in Vashon Center, where being “in your cups” has a whole new meaning!

Laura Worth is a Vashon Island life and business coach and 463-9283.

Robert Bornn is a Vashon systems designer of authentically green homes and an artist and 463-4284.

They are founders of BuildingCircles Organization (, designing affordable and sustainable, nature-integrated homes for independent living