Coffee + Bakery

  • 742 Congress Street
  • Portland, Maine 04102
  • (207) 760-4440

Cafe + Roastery

  • 122 Anderson Street
  • Portland, Maine 04101
  • (207) 760-4440

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East Coast - East Coast | Gathaithi - Nyeri, Kenya

East Coast - East Coast

Given the rather generic name of the band, finding much out about them on Google is an almost impossible task. “East Coast band” has several million results none of which have anything to do with this band. Singer Gwen Guthrie’s Wikipedia page doesn’t even mention East Coast once! How is it that this record, which features Gwen’s vocals and the recording debut of founding Cameo members, keyboardist Gregory Johnson and bandleader Larry Blackmon, is not something of a funk classic? The most likely reason is the fact that the album was released by Bernard Purdie’s Encounter label which floundered after releasing a mere 5 records. How else to explain this being its first repress since 1973? I first heard this record at the suggestion of one of our record distributor pals who thought it might make a good selection for the Good Thing. I’m generally not a soul-funk fan but I thought I’d give it a listen and see how far into the record I got. I ended up listening to it 5 times in a row without even realizing it. On the 3rd go round the tune, “Anything You Have in Mind” really jumped out and I started sharing it with many friends. Gwen Guthrie’s vocals paired with the guitar line in the chorus is just so cool. After that I was hooked on Gwen, the fuzz guitar and joy emanating from the trombone heavy horn section throughout the rest of the record.. This album is a Good Thing for sure!

Gathaithi - Nyeri, Kenya

It's been a long, long time since we've had a Kenya on our menu that truly defied our expectations. Kenya has had some down years for a while now, and, if we're honest, it hasn't always made for the best coffees. Conditions in Kenya indicative of an ever-worsening climate paired with perhaps too much reliance on old trees and synthetic fertilizers have left us disappointed in our search for stellar coffees. But this year is different. We worked with Tim Hill at Atlantic Specialty Coffee to bring in this AA lot from Gathaithi, the best washing station Tim visited when he sourced Kenyas earlier this year. We were gobsmacked by how sweet this coffee is, but the crowning achievement of Kenyan coffee in our mind is its acidity. This coffee won't leave you wanting for that—cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants abound in the cup.

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