Tacoma’s The News Tribune published an unusually lengthy bio piece today on Stumptown Coffee Roasters owner and founder, Duane Sorenson: Coffee’s benevolent Mr. Bean | TheNewsTribune.com | Tacoma, WA. One of the big, early supporters of SF’s Ritual Coffee Roasters, Duane is quite a famous character in the industry.

Among many other things, the article mentions how he tends to recruit barista “stereotypes” in Portland (and beyond), how he provides his employees with health care and bus rides to the latest Slayer gig (though he’s an even bigger fan of AC/DC), how he works directly with coffee farmers (Direct Trade) rather than through certification middlemen such as Fair Trade, and even a little of the controversy surrounding Stumptown’s opening in Seattle last year.

You know, I don’t think I’ll be able to listen to the song “Raining Blood” quite the same way again…

Duane Sorenson of Portland's Stumptown Coffee at the 2006 WRBC

UPDATE: April 21, 2009
A similar bio piece ran in New York magazine over the past weekend, complete with expletives: How Stumptown’s Duane Sorenson Plans to Save New York From Inferior Coffee — New York Magazine.

And to quote Mr. Sorenson on his opinion of New York’s coffee scene, “This town is ridiculous.” Which was pretty much our assessment five years ago.