When I hopped on the phone with Jax Koudelle to talk about Stoked Roasters and Coffeehouse—the waterfront roasting facility and tasting room that she recently opened in Hood River, OR—we first talked about a trip she’d just returned from.
Over a 7-day period Jax ran 155 miles through rugged, wild terrain in Chile, as part of the 4 Deserts Race Series. Tents are set up for runners and water is provided. But every other means of survival— food, sunscreen, sleeping bag and clothes—is carried on your back. Jax’s pack weighed 27 pounds.
“You run across sand dunes, a Mars-like and coral reef-like terrain, thick mud that whomps under your feet, and then there’s dirt and a river section,” Jax said. “It was the most gnarly terrain that I’ve ever seen.”
The Atacama Crossing is the hardest ultra Jax has ever done, she said— and she did eight of them this year alone, with a top 3 finish in all but one of them. At the Atacama Desert, she was the second woman to cross the finish line.
Humble about her accomplishments, it was immediately apparent that Jax is an extremely motivated, passionate person who has consciously chosen to lead a lifestyle woven with adventure.
For 16 years, she worked in corporate America doing marketing. But when she fell in love with her now-husband and professional photographer Lance Koudele, she decided to take her life in a new direction. She ditched rush hour commutes to chase her childhood dream of opening a coffee shop and roaster.
Jax’s company, Stoked Roasters, is all about kickstarting the day with positively roasted coffee and then getting outside to play. The company’s signature series of six blends boasts names like “Dawn Patrol,” “Soul Session,” and “Bluebird.” Stoked Roasters also offers an espresso blend and rotating single origin coffees. Each bean is Certified Organic by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
As a roasting master, Jax is part chemist and part artist, as she studies flavor notes, plays with different roast levels and tinkers with how various types of beans mix together. During taste testing “you do the slurping and spitting until you figure out the aroma—all this nerdy stuff,” she said.
Stoked Roasters has a 25-pound San Franciscan commercial Roaster as well as a 1-pound roaster, allowing them to roast a pound of coffee on the spot for walk-in customers.
Next up, Jax bought a van and will be launching a mobile tour. The adventure vehicle will be a mini-office on wheels, a space to connect with partners, and serve coffee at events like ski races and Outdoor Retailer.
In the long run, Jax’s dream for Stoked is to visit coffee farms around the world, select exclusive partners, and help to bring the love of adventure to those communities. Stoked Roasters would help by delivering equipment and teaching the sports and activities conducive to the local culture and landscape.
But for now, she’s pumped to pour coffee for outdoor lovers here in the states – people who love a strong cup of coffee as much as a powder turn.