Amazing A’s

Amazing A’s is a unique coffee kiosk located in the Lloyd Center Mall dedicated to serving the thirsty, busy, mall goers that visit. Amazing A’s is partnership owned by Alex Shaw and Airyonna Robertson. Amazing A’s is my coffee business. Our company is unique because we use biodegradable cups, plates, sleeves, stirrers, and napkins. Amazing A’s uses high quality beans and top of the line equipment to ensure the best coffee taste. Along with a variety of delicious coffee drinks, we serve strawberry shortcake made with local fruits and other organic ingredients. Amazing A’s acquires their delicious beans through fair trade. That basically means we buy cheaper beans from middle-men companies, instead of directly from the farmers. This business started with only $10,000 saved in the bank and with no help from banks, we started a convenient, eco-friendly, coffee kiosk. Amazing A’s is for-profit, and that means they keep the money they earn instead of giving away money or not accepting any at all. 18% of garbage from restaurants is made of take-home food boxes. Amazing A’s wants to lower that number by using only utensils made of 100% recycled materials. Come visit us; your taste bud will thank you!


Coffee Business Review #2

During school yesterday, we watched coffee businesses present themselves and we’ve been asked to review one’s that we thought were interesting and unique. Tanner, Mathew, and Devin’s coffee company Cool Beans stood out to me because they’re a mobile coffee truck that roams the Portland area. They plan to serve every thirsty Portlander that comes to visit. They serve coffee drinks as well as snacks and pastries; there’s something for everyone! Cool Beans acquires their coffee through fair trade, which is when they buy cheaper beans through other middle-men companies, whereas Direct trade brings more money to the coffee growers. Cool Beans is unique not just because they’re local, mobile, and serve delicious drinks and snacks, they also appeal to everyone with their laid back design. Cool Beans is known for having a comfortable atmosphere and respectful employees. I would highly recommend visiting Portland’s local, laid back, coffee truck before the end of the week, it’s truly unique.

Coffee Business Review #1

Yesterday during my Coffee House project, we listened to coffee businesses present themselves and we’ve been asked to review one that stood out. Kiley Miller and Hannah Linhart’s business, Community Coffee Buzz seemed interesting because they’re a local, urban designed, coffee business that serves the people of Oak Grove, Milwaukie. They serve Coffee as well as pastries to fulfill all of your tastebud needs! They buy local fruit and and other supplies to reduce transportations issues. They also buy their coffee beans with direct trade which is when you buy a little more expensive beans directly from the farmers. Trading directly helps the farmers who grow, harvest, and package the beans get the money they’ve worked for. Community Coffee Buzz is also unique because they use eco-friendly materials like plates and cups. If I was ever in need of a drink in the Oak Grove area, I would strongly consider visiting Kiley Miller and Hannah Linharts Community Coffee Buzz.

Behind Black Coffee Blues

Black Coffee Blues is a story about, and written by, Henry Rollins. Henry is an older man who’s touring the world with his band. While touring, he stops at various coffee shops to fulfill his craving for the dark smooth drink he’s grown to love.  The story talks about how in love Henry is with coffee, but I feel his need for coffee comes a little deeper than just craving refreshing morning beverage. The beginning of Rollins story, he starts by talking about his life saying “This circuit tour circle wheel/ Rolling after its own tail/ Your life becomes a series of events/ A page on a calendar/ A wind-up a pitch and roar'” (P.G. 80). With that being said, I feel Henry is tired of doing the same things everyday, he’s getting depressed with his everyday life routine. Rollins, in a way, depends on coffee the way a television depends on the remote. Without his smooth, warm, black coffee, he doesn’t really have the inspiration to finish his daily routine. 

Black Coffee Blues

Coffee is more than just a drink you have access to on every block, for some people it’s a way of life. Henry Rollins is a good example of someone who lives the coffee lifestyle. Henry is a guy who who drinks coffee daily, and because he travels with his band, he drinks coffee from all over the country. Henry has sort-of a dark and twisted mind, especially with they way he thinks about the coffee he drinks. Rollins was quoted saying “There it sits, black and ominous, a slight oil slick at the top. I drink. Smooth-like Death” (pg.81). To me, this infers that he just has a dark perception of the things he does. He’s tired of his life being in a rut and he is exhausted so much, coffee is the only thing that reminds him his life isn’t just a “circuit tour circle wheel” (pg. 81). 

Fair Trade

For this first week back at school we have been learning about Coffee and how it goes from a little bean, to the yummy drink you by daily. Coffee has become a big part of the economy in our country, Coffee starts out by being planted and grown on a farm. The farmers then harvest the plant and they sell the beans or grounds to stores. Farmers can sell their product to big companies and they don’t get to choose the price of their products. Farmers would get paid the very least they could because they had no say otherwise. Most farmers barely made a living wage. Because farmers couldn’t make enough money, they went looking for better ways. Farmers can also interact in fair trade. Fair trade means there are less middlemen to pay and more money for the farmers. Root Capital is the bank that helped farmers have fair trade. Root Capital was made so farmers could sell directly to the buyer. Root Capital lent $253 million to 305 rural businesses in 35 counties with a 99% repayment rate. 

Bio-Diesel #2

It’s been a few days now and we’ve just used the glycerin from our bio-diesel lab to make soap. Portland State University students came to our class to help us conduct the lab. We heated the glycerin to 150 degrees Celsius, but our groups’ batch went to 195 degrees Celsius, a bit too hot. We then added lye, a catalyst, to speed the reaction of purifying the glycerin. We all took turns mixing the glycerin with a thin glass rod. The P.S.U. students brought good smelling liquids to make the soap scented. Alex and Zoe chose lemon grass for our group. We put in a few drops of our lemon grass liquid in the glycerin while it was being heated and stirred. I walked around after the lab was finished to see how everyone’s soap turned out. I noticed the group next to me picked peppermint, that one smelled the best. Next week we will divide the soap from our group so everyone will get their own little soap. 


During this past week I’ve been doing research on bio-fuels and how to be more self-sufficient. I have learned we can use pre-used vegetable oil to make bio-diesel. Bio-diesel is a cleaner burner and cost less to produce. We have been asked to conduct a lab on making our own bio-fuel with vegetable oil, lye, and heet. After we have done our research and have made our own Bio-diesel, we will partner up and make a presentation. We can have 2-4 people in one group. I paired up with Alex Shaw and we have about 1/3 of our research done. The due date is around March 11th and we will have a few days to get through the class’s presentations. 

Ways to Become More Self Sustainable

Being self sustainable can be very helpful in the home and in the environment. An easy way to be self reliable is to posses a first aid kit. Having a first-aid kit could save a trip to the doctors, cleaning and bandaging can be done right there at home. Growing a garden can reduce the amount of money and packaging used to buy foods that you could have in your own back yard. Growing your own produce can also reduce money spent on pre-made food as well. Being aware of the surroundings in your neighborhood can help you be more self sufficient when traveling isn’t an option, or when you just want local foods. Learning to do basic activities on your own is a good way to rely on yourself also. Learning to make foods from your home garden can cancel the need to go to grocery stores, for the most part. Learning to sew can stop the need to buy new clothes, or have them professionally repaired, saving gas, money, and time. Stocking the home with necessities can take away the panic of running out of important materials, also saves trips to the grocery store. 

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

There are many ways someone can reduce their carbon footprint, I’m going to explain further on a few convenient ways to do so. One way to reduce your carbon footprint  is pretty common in most households, recycling. Recycling half of your household waste can save up to 24,00 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Doing things such as taking soda cans back to stores, taking paper off of packages, and even buying items that have less packaging can help. Recycling products that contain  recyclable material can save you energy, resources, and landfill space. Driving around produces a lot of carbon dioxide, so any walking, biking, and carpooling can reduce your carbon footprint as well. Each mile you don’t drive, you save about one pound of carbon dioxide from being admitted into the atmosphere. If you have no choice but to drive, checking your tires could help reduce your carbon footprint. Tires that are properly inflated gives you better gas mileage, which means you can travel further without using much gas. For each gallon of gas you save, twenty pounds of carbon dioxide are never produced.