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Actress Katee Sackhoff serves up coffee on the Mountain posted on 01/31/2020

Coffee drinkers likely won’t mistake a cup of the local Mt. Hood Roasters brew with that of the national chain Starbucks. But hundreds of visitors dropped by the Rhododendron roasters on Saturday, Dec. 28 for some Starbuck – without the ‘s.’

Katee Sackhoff, Oregon native and star of television and film with credits including “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “Riddick,” “Don’t Knock Twice” and especially for her performance as Lieutenant Kara “Starbuck” Thrace in “Battlestar Galactica,” dropped in to learn the skills of a barista.

Sackhoff, who spent many summers in her youth at her parent’s cabin in Rhododendron, loves coffee and noted that because her Battlestar Galactica character’s name is so close to the coffee chain’s name, her fans sometimes associate the two.

“They always will, which is a beautiful thing and I love it,” she told The Mountain Times.

Sackhoff’s adventure at Mt. Hood Roasters will be the subject of an episode on her YouTube Channel, with its second season starting at the end of March. When discussing potential topics with her producing partner, Robin Gadsby, coffee seemed like a natural choice, especially since Sackhoff didn’t know how to make a latte despite drinking a half dozen each week.

“We wanted to learn about the process: where coffee comes from, roasting the beans, making a good cup of coffee,” she said. “And we wanted to do it in a place that was cold. There’s nothing better than a warm cup of coffee on a cold day.”

Gadsby found out about Mt. Hood Roasters, and the choice seemed to cement itself when they walked through Portland International Airport and saw bags of Roasters coffee for sale.

Sackhoff, who remembered building pools as a child in the Zigzag River with her brother to play in and learned to ski when she was just two years old, arrived on Friday, Dec. 27 for training.

The biggest lesson she learned had to do with everything needed to pour a shot of espresso.

“It has everything to do with the packing of beans, the quality of beans and the pace of water that goes through it,” said Sackhoff, who didn’t start enjoying coffee until she became an actor and needed it to stay up. “It’s not about muscle, it’s about technique.”

The next day, people started showing up early to get some java from “Starbuck.” One order particularly stood out for the budding barista, which included seven shots of espresso and 15 pumps of syrup over ice.

“The only thought that went through my head was that this person must also drink Mountain Dew,” Sackhoff said. “Nobody can handle that much caffeine and sugar.”

The number of fans who came out left a big impression on Sackhoff, who can also be seen this month in a Valentine’s Day episode of “The Flash” on CW and later this year in “Another Life” on Netflix.

“It never ceases to amaze me that not only am I blessed to be able to do what I love for a career, but that people are so supportive and so welcoming to me in their lives,” she said. “Mt. Hood Roasters was truly a very special experience for me. The staff was top notch and every single person I met was fantastic.”

And the good buzz doesn’t stop there, as Mt. Hood Roasters owner Rick Applegate noted that Sackhoff roasted a batch of coffee that will be featured in special packages as “Katee’s Galactic Blend.” Sackhoff signed all 32 bags of the coffee, which will be donated to various nonprofits to be used as a fundraiser, including at schools in the Oregon Trail School District.

Applegate added that he, his staff and his wife, Jiyeon, truly enjoyed their two days with Sackhoff.

“It was totally cool,” he said. “It was like Jiyeon and I were working with our sister. It was insanely chill. She was just incredibly kind and down to earth.”

Sackhoff added that in addition to enjoying her experience back on the Mountain, she learned another valuable lesson.

“The coffee I was drinking (before) is not good coffee, even if I thought it was,” she said.

Episodes from her first season can also be found at YouTube.com.

Mark your calendars for custom label auctions

Upcoming fundraisers that will include the custom label coffee, “Katee’s Galactic Blend,” signed by Katee Sackhoff include:

– March 14 at the Welches Elementary School Carnival Silent Auction.

– April 3 at the Tucker Maxon School for the Deaf Annual Fundraiser.

– April 11 at the Oregon Trail Academy Annual Fundraiser.

– April 17 at the Kelso Elementary School Annual Fundraiser.

– May 1 at the Firwood Elementary School Carnival and Auction.

– May 14 at the Friends of the Childrien annual “Friendraiser.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

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