Category Archives: coffee

july into august


Crater Lake – Photo by Charles Noble

This past week I’ve been on a badly-needed vacation to southern Oregon. My fiancé and I went to the Ashland area, and had a wonderful time visiting Crater Lake, wine tasting, walking around the town, and enjoying our time away from everyday life. The fact that our lodging was in the middle of the forest without television also didn’t hurt. Here are a few places that we loved, that you might want to try on your next visit:

  • Green Springs Inn and Cabins – About a half hour east of Ashland (and up a winding, twisty, and sometimes exposed Hwy 66), but it’s in the forest and there are chickens, a good restaurant, and plenty of peace and quiet (until the roosters fire up). The lodge rooms are simple and spacious, the cabins are the size of small houses, several with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Wooldridge Creek Winery – If you like wine tasting that features delicious wines, great views, and wonderful patio, and house made cheeses and cured meats to go with, this is another place you cannot miss. It’s about 30 minutes past Jacksonville in the Applegate Valley, on the way to Grants Pass from the south.
  • Noble Coffee – Yes, I like the name, but even more I like the quality of the coffee that they put out here at their roastery and cafe. Nice ambiance inside, off the main drag and away from the OSF crowds, it’s an oasis.

This week is going to be spent getting reacquainted with the viola (despite my guilty conscience, I refused to bring the viola with me – that is the way one ruins a vacation!) and getting some final preparation done for my concerts at the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival. Last year was pretty intense – I had three works with piano – two piano quartets, and one piano quintet – all of which were major works. This year, it’s a bit less so (although I usually regret making such predictions, especially on the side favoring ease). I’m playing a relatively rare work for piano quartet by Franz Schubert, his Adagio and Rondo Concertante, D. 487; the wonderful Mozart Horn Quintet, K. 407; and Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4.

I’m hoping to have time to do a wrap-up after Methow, then it’s just a very quick turnaround to head out to Sunriver for the Sunriver Music Festival.

lazy post, procrastination edition

It’s been a bit too long since I’ve posted, and while there has been quite a bit that I could have written about, I’ve just been too busy to get around to it. So, in the meantime, here’s a pretty photo of a new-ish coffee joint that I visited yesterday: Ristretto Roasters in the Schoolhouse Electric Building on NW Nicolai in Portland, Oregon.

click to see full size version

click to see full size version

buy superb coffee, support a worthy cause


My buddy Justin Kagan (aka Badbeard) is one of the top roasters of micro-batch coffee in the Northwest (and a kick-ass cellist, and all-around awesome dude), and he has come out with three excellent coffees that will send $4 of the purchase price of each pound of coffee to the Oregon Chapter of the Scleroderma Foundation. June is Scleroderma Awareness Month, and this is an excellent way to help fund research into finding a cure for this chronic disease of the connective tissue.


The coffees are Bella Voce (breakfast blend), Mezza Voce (decaf blend), and Prima Voce (espresso blend). If you have not tried Justin’s exquisite coffee offerings before, this is an ideal time to try them out for yourself and help a worthy cause at the same time!


today’s latte


IMG_7430.JPG | Originally uploaded by nobleviola
click photo to enlarge

It started out sunny and cheerful, but before i could get my cycling gear ready, the heavens opened up. So a nice coffee was in order while I waited for the rain to subside.

15th season latte

My 15th season with the Oregon Symphony begins today, so what better way to celebrate the occasion than by creating a little latte art?

Coffee: Badbeard's Mondocello Espresso | Photo: Charles Noble

And don’t forget, you can still support the Oregon Symphony’s trip Carnegie Hall by buying Badbeard’s delicious Symphony Blend coffee!

sunriver music festival

The postings have been few and far between lately, what with me being in Sunriver, Oregon for the 33rd edition of the Sunriver Music Festival.  The festival got off to a running start with the opening night pops concert, featuring music from the 30’s and 40’s, which the audience greatly enjoyed.  Principal trumpeter Jeffrey Work was fresh off the plane from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony in Boulder, Colorado, and still had the energy to play a full slate of demanding charts as well as two solo turns impersonating the great Harry James. Continue reading