Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

Originally hailing from Russia, potter Elena Wendelyn of Clay & Coffee sells beautiful woodfired bowls, cups and platters at the Poulsbo Farmers Market. And we are fortunate to have access to her coffee through Kitsap Fresh. Elena’s creative personality is as evident in her unique pottery as it is in her coffee.

Clay & Coffee’s small batch, shade grown coffee is from Forest Cascades Coffee Farm in the mountains of Alajuela Province, Costa Rica. Elena is related by marriage to one of three retired teachers who restored this abandoned coffee farm, situated in a valley at 3,000 feet above sea level. Thousands of new coffee plants and other native bushes were planted, re-establishing biodiversity and protecting two streams traversing the property. Forest Cascades was certified as sustainable by the Rainforest Alliance, bringing us coffee we can feel good about drinking.

Elena shared a traditional, 200-year-old brewing process with the cup she made for me. She found that farmers market customers, often reluctant to spend time in her pottery booth unless they were considering a purchase, would linger if offered coffee brewed with Elena’s traditional Costa Rican Chorreador. The Chorreador consists of a simple wooden frame, often brightly painted, supporting a special cotton sock for brewing. Just add grounds and hot water and voila! One of the smoothest cups of coffee you have ever tasted. My family enjoys it enough to consider packing away our drip pot for everyday brewing. 

If your love of coffee is as strong as your belief in supporting local farms and producers, Clay & Coffee is one of three options Kitsap Fresh offers for your drinking pleasure. I intend to purchase one of Elena’s unique hand-thrown cups at the Poulsbo Farmers Market, which will enable me to support our local food community with every step of my morning coffee brewing ritual. I invite you all to do the same!

Sally Zalac is a valued customer and volunteer for Kitsap Fresh. She has a passion for local farms, organic food and regenerative farming.

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