• How Sump got its name.
  • Scott Carey
How Sump got its name.

All good stories begin with a creation myth. In creating Sump it was important to physically build, craft and create all aspects of the space. We had came across this idea, apocryphal or not, about Sushi chefs not only crafting what you put in your mouth, but also the physical plates the sushi is served on. We wanted to extend that idea to the things in the space as well as the tools and philosophy that we use to make coffee. Thus, when we kicked about names they had to sugested some mechanical nexus, a tool, the emotional guts of the process of making -it also had to have a tie to motorcycles. During that season of creation the black 1976 FLH would constantly spit a spot of oil on the ground everytime it was started. Before ending up on the ground the oil had to travel through a small section of vent tube and as such -it aerated the oil, producing a crema like surface texture on the oil. When an engine does this it’s called sumping. We took off the ‘ing’ and made it into a noun. The name fit for a couple of other reasons -including a love of 1950’s advertising, sign paintings, and motor oil cans. Also, etymological, it was a nice play on meaning -dictionary-wise sump means ‘lowest point’ (in medevial ages it was considered the earth, in modern parlance if you have a basement it’s where water collects and thus what may need to be pumped out periodically). So it was also about taking something so common, coffee (the second highest traded comodity behind oil) -something low, and turning it into something thoughtful and celestial.

  • Scott Carey