Local Coffee Roaster and Cafe, Push x Pull, Is Expanding

The business has a new roaster that will triple production, as well as a new shop in Seattle.

Push x Pull, the Portland coffee roaster and cafe distinctively dedicated to natural-process beans, is expanding.

Push x Pull is owned by Christopher Hall, who founded the business, and Emma Reeves, who joined as an owner after working for Hall and managing the cafe on Southeast Stark Street. Both can barely contain their glee while talking about the next chapters for their humble coffee shop.

The biggest move is the purchase of new roaster and related equipment that will triple their production in separate leased space a couple of miles away from the cafe. The roaster is a Loring S7 Nighthawk, which can roast about 15 pounds of coffee every 10 to 12 minutes.

More important than capacity is that it is “incredibly smart,” Hall says.

Relying on a dizzying array of digital controls, the machine gently roasts green beans precisely and gently, relying on convection heat. Instead of a flame heating the bottom of the drum full of green beans, the convection method ensures even roasting as hot air moves throughout the drum, which rotates.

“For the coffees that we deal with—naturals, anaerobics, honeys that have the most at stake in nailing the ‘it’ spot—we found the Loring to be the best fit for the job,” Hall adds.

Separate devices portion and distribute freshly roasted beans into bags, then seal them, for retail and wholesale distribution. It is a slick, if still low-key, operation.

Eventually, Hall and Reeves hope to open a small retail area in the new roastery space, located in inner Southeast Portland. The Stark Street shop will continue to be the place to go to enjoy a coffee drink in warm, friendly surroundings, with outdoor seating as long as weather permits.

The other big Push x Pull news is its acquisition of a Seattle shop, the former Union Coffee and Wine in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Prior to buying the business, Push x Pull had been supplying beans to Union. When the owner there decided to return to Atlanta to be with family, a sale to Push x Pull made the most sense.

“We love what the owner has stewarded in the Central District of Seattle and have found it to be a wonderful opportunity for us to share our coffees there,” Hall says.

Maintaining a Seattle presence is also a pragmatic move for Hall. His spouse is employed there and he has been splitting his time between Seattle and Portland for the last year.

Of the small joys derived from following the food industry, nothing is greater than watching passionate “mom-and-pop” operators thrive. Push x Pull’s growth hits all the happy buttons for its dedicated clientele.

DRINK: Push x Pull Portland, 821 SE Stark St., pushxpullcoffee.com. 8 am-3 pm daily. Push x Pull Seattle, 2407 E Union St., Suite B, Seattle, 706-426-9369, pushxpullcoffee.com/seattle. 8 am-3 pm Wednesday-Sunday.