Elk City Coffee wins Coffee Corral Challenge

Locals gathered for the Coffee Corral Challenge at the Newport 60+ Activity Center on Saturday, Nov. 2. (Photos by Madeline Shannon)

Newport 60+ Activity Center hosts first coffee roaster face-off

The Newport 60+ Activity Center played host to two coffee roasters Saturday, Nov. 2, for the Coffee Corral Challenge, an event that highlighted and celebrated the work of Elk City Coffee Roasters and Catalina’s Coffee Company. 

While more local coffee roasters were invited to participate in the Saturday event, 60+ Activity Center staff said it probably just wasn’t a good day for many to show up, but that they hope to put the event on again in the future with more local roasters. 

“This is an opportunity to bring people to the 60+ Center over a ‘shop local’ community event,” said Newport 60+ Activity Center Director Peggy O’Callaghan. “We decided to round up all the local coffee roasters. It’s great to highlight their tastes.”

The coffees judged in a tasting contest Saturday morning were medium and dark roasts, and those who came and tasted the coffee got to find out where each roaster’s coffee beans came from and how they were roasted, as well as other information about the coffee. The winner of the coffee tasting won a gift basket donated by the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, complete with a set of ciders, a glass float, a set of two festival glasses, two reusable straws and a cider fest T-shirt. The gift basket was valued at $96

“Elk City got ahold of me to try to get the word out about some of the local coffee roasters and their products,” said Andy Welcer, co-owner of Catalina’s Coffee with his wife, Kim. “Ours is organic green beans and comes from Nicaragua and is shade-grown and sun-dried.”

Welcer added the way his coffee is grown and dried keeps its acidity low, but gives it a bold taste. 

“I think that’s where most of the acidity lies,” Welcer added of how his coffee is grown. “It keeps the acidity down and keeps the flavor in the bean.”

The panel of seven judges favored Elk City’s dark roast and medium roast coffee, giving the Elk City dark roast a 76 and a total score of 78. Catalina’s Coffee, by comparison, had a dark roast score of 78 and a total score of 83.

“The lower score was the better score,” explained O’Callaghan. “The categories were pleasant aroma, great flavor, full body, perfect acidity and natural sweetness.”

O’Callaghan hopes to keep the event growing in popularity in the future, roping new coffee roasters into the event in coming years. 

“We hope to include more roasters next year,” O’Callaghan said. “The event went really well and people said it was a great thing.”

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