The CEL: Coffee Enhancement Lounge, a preview

I’d known of Sarah Dooley for some time now, but it wasn’t until this year’s United States Barista Championships in Portland, OR that I was able to sit down and talk coffee with her. Klif Boraja, General Manger of Visions Espresso, had told me that they had recently brought on Sarah to their team. Later that week at the Judge’s Workshop I found out she was driving from Seattle to Portland everyday. Seattle in the morning with prior work obligations, and Portland in the evening to judge and then back to Seattle to sleep and work the next day. CRAZY, RIGHT? Regardless, we both had a break in judging and she was able to tell me about her new program at Visions. She was to be the Director of the Coffee Enhancement Lounge. 

So what is the CEL? Here’s what Sarah has to say:

“The Coffee Enhancement Lounge is best described as a “bridge”. It will bring sources of information to interested end users. For my own selfish reasons filling an insatiable appetite to learn without boundaries. The CEL quickly became a platform that could be a voice for many coffee causes. There’s power in the refreshing and transparent direction this industry has moved towards, we want to be the bridge that brings it all together. It’s a great template for other concepts like this to build from.”


It’s about damn time! I was so excited to hear someone was finally taking the necessary steps to make a venue  that was free of the who’s who of coffee and create a coffee community in Seattle. There are plenty of micro coffee communities in Seattle, but it lacked a venue that could cater to it’s needs of being a roaster-neutral learning environment. There simply aren’t any progressive thinking companies out here who are truly focused on quality, okay with knowing they don’t offer the best 100% of the time, and open to other progressive ideas. Is it weird that it’s hard to find in Seattle of all places? Anyways, the CEL will finally be a place to expand our thoughts and ideas in this industry. On one of the many occasions I’ve stopped by the CEL, which is at Visions Espresso in SoDo, I stumbled across a “Living Flavor Wheel,” if you will. The purpose? To bring together, in it’s raw form, the flavor profiles that we describe in coffee.  Something tells me this won’t be the last time I’m able to experience this.


Here are some previews of the CEL:



Natasha at Visions poured this for me.



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One Comment on “The CEL: Coffee Enhancement Lounge, a preview”

  1. 07/24/2009 at 3:43 pm #


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