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Artist JD Logan shows treescapes at Tunnel City Coffee in Mass MoCA

 JD Logan focuses on elements of nature in his work for a calming effect.

JD Logan focuses on elements of nature in his work for a calming effect.

Local artist JD Logan returns to Tunnel City Coffee at Mass MoCA for a fall show of surreal tree and moonscape paintings through December 2018. His work evokes vivid memories of the outside world through paintings of skies and trees at different times of the day. By excluding animals or people in his paintings, he creates calming scenes that make elements of nature the focal points.

“I have been focusing on trees as my main subject matter,” says Logan in his artist statement. “They constantly change, and no two are alike, much like people.”

After working the art festival circuit for 12 years, Logan now spends more time in his studio creating work for smaller galleries and shops in Massachusetts and Vermont. He has shown at the Good Purpose Gallery, the Birdhouse Gallery, Robert Paul Galleries, and most recently, at Tunnel City Coffee in Mass MoCA.

Logan’s work is on display and available for purchase until the end of December 2018 at Tunnel City Coffee inside Mass MoCA.

Slow brew is the best brew.

Slow brew is the best brew.

A reflection on fast coffee and the gentler method

Brewing slowly is the best way to brew. We know this long before the final product meets the cup, before you take that first cautious sip. It comes down to science—the surface area of the ground beans and the slow pour of water over them. 

 Brewing pour-over coffee takes a creative approach and the patience to try new things.

Brewing pour-over coffee takes a creative approach and the patience to try new things.

The initial “bloom” is a light pour just to wet the beans and start them releasing gases as the boiled water makes contact. This can be likened to an anointing, as compared with the process inside your average Mr. Coffee auto-pot, which is more like an unceremonious deluge that scalds or drowns the beans before they have a chance to de-gas. This button-operated process is like a traumatic swimming lesson for your ground coffee. Like humans, coffee needs to breathe before being completely submerged in water. 

The next few pours are slow but heavier than the first, each one allowing water to cover the entire surface area of beans and ultimately, extract the most flavor for the final cup. This slower, gentler process of pour-over unlocks the tasting notes in different coffees, from the nutty sweetness of a lightly roasted Mexican variety to the peppery, vegetal qualities of a classic Sumatran. Dump a pot of hot water over some beans you ground yesterday, and you’ll likely miss what makes a coffee special.   

An ideal pour-over coffee takes a few minutes to brew, between the first bloom and final pour. You have to watch, pour, and wait for the coffee to react in its own way. Some take longer to bloom than others, and your job as the brewer is to pay close attention and respond accordingly. Brewing this way takes patience, experimentation and creativity—and the finished product is best enjoyed right away. 

Taking our time is not something we’re accustomed to anymore, with the advent of smartphones, synchronized calendars, and those self-checkout kiosks at your average quick-serve restaurant. There is something meditative about enjoying the process, especially when that process makes the final product a better one. Respect the time it takes to make something great and you might just want to change your pace for good. 

CATA Coffee limited roast to raise money for organization

CATA Coffee limited roast to raise money for organization

Tunnel City’s “CATA Coffee” blend to raise money for organization

Art exhibit sparks new limited release coffee

 WILLIAMSTOWN — June 12, 2017 — Community Access to the Arts (CATA) has a mission to allow people with disabilities  to express themselves freely and creatively through mixed medium. To support that initiative, Tunnel City Coffee created a “CATA Coffee” blend — $5 from each pound sold will be donated to CATA.

 With the integration of a temporary art exhibit, Tunnel City used three paintings to label CATA Coffee bags. The medium roast blend will be available online and in store until the exhibit at 100 Spring Street is dismantled — June 29.

 Inside the coffee shop, nearly 30 lambent paintings created with assistive technology and artist drawings are on view, created with media such as acrylic, tempera, watercolor, oil and chalk pastel, charcoal, and mixed media. All pieces are for sale, professionally matted and framed, with proceeds supporting commissions for individual artists.

 The CATA “Art on Tour” exhibit will be on view during regular Tunnel City Coffee hours, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

 For more information, visit http://cataarts.org/events

About Community Access to the Arts:

CATA workshops take place all across the Berkshires and in Columbia County, and are led by talented faculty who are also artists themselves; Jeff Gagnon, Pat Hogan, Marlene Marshall, Janice Shields, Kara Smith, Stefanie Weber, and Michael Wolski.

Funds to support the exhibit are made possible by Irene and James Hunter Charitable Fund at Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, October Mountain Financial Advisors and other advocates.

CATA also brought art to The Good Purpose Gallery in Lee, Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, New Marlborough Meeting House in New Marlborough, and the MountainOne Gallery as part of Downstreet Art in North Adams.   

 

About Tunnel City Coffee:

Tunnel City Coffee (TCC) has been pulling espresso shots in Williamstown since 1992. Along with making top quality espresso drinks, TCC is known for roasting its own coffee in North Adams and being a purveyor of pastries made daily in its scratch bakery.

Over the past 25 years, the company has grown in sales, location and employee base. With the addition of a cafe on the MASS MoCA campus, TCC will begin serving beverages out of the new Spring Street Bookstore in the fall.

For more information and to learn more about retail and wholesale opportunities, visit TunnelCityCoffee.com or call (413) 458-5010.