Soooooo yesterday we reported to you on a rash of mysterious letters received by coffee roasting companies in and around the city of Portland, including well-known local Oregon roasters like Roseline Coffee, Heart Roasters, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and Dapper & Wise Coffee. We called the story “A Portland Coffee Mystery.”
We were wrong.
In a still-ongoing and frankly captivating torrent of outreach, we have heard from many dozens of coffee companies nationwide who have received similar or identical letters to the ones first published here on Sprudge. From Alaska to Florida you emailed us, commented on this rollicking Instagram post, and slid into our DMs. In the last 24 hours we've received 16 copies of identical or near-identical letters, all sent from the same return address—an apartment complex in Las Vegas—to roasters large and small, new and old, all across the United States.
Below is a collection of these confirmed letters you've sent us over the last day. We're sharing these with usage approved by each individual recipient. At this time we are continuing with our policy of redacting the letter sender's full name and address.
Clearly this goes far beyond the Willamette Valley and its environs, and is instead a coordinated effort targeting coffee companies nationwide. We've received so many contacts and claims of receivership, and we're working now to track down and confirm these as best we can.
For now, here's a national map of where we've received reports, some of which date back as far as 2016—40 in total so far and counting, which you can peruse geographically in this handy map.
Here's a quick rundown of what we know so far, or at least what we think we know:
1. Some person or persons has been sending dozens of handwritten letters to coffee roasters across the United States, complaining about “stale” product and requesting “replacement” coffees be sent to an address in Las Vegas.
2. Letters have been received as recently as Monday, July 23rd 2018.
3. The oldest letters received date back as far as 2016, as confirmed by Madcap Coffee Company of Grand Rapids, who also received letters in 2017 and 2018.
4. The letters all bear the same return address in Las Vegas, and are written on behalf of the same name: Daniel G. (we are not releasing Daniel's last name at this time).
5. The letters all bear identical handwriting, formatting, spelling errors, reiteration of receiver address, demand for a “prompt explanation,” and sign-off as “Sincerely.”
6. The letters are devoid of any kind of electronic footprint and include no email address, social media information, phone number, or other means of contact beyond a return address.
7. All different kinds of roasters have received these letters: established brands as well as newcomers, small town roasters and big city companies, brands with multiple locations as well as owner-operator mom n' pops, spots we've featured on Sprudge a dozen times and folks we're delighted to be hearing of for the first time this week, in admittedly odd circumstances.
There's much more going on behind the scenes that we can't share with you just yet, including several leads we're following regarding the address and purported letter writer—and let us assure you that the more we learn, the creepier and freakier and less cut and dry this all appears to be. Look for much more from us on this mystery in the coming days, including—by repeat and popular request—a special podcast presentation of the facts and theories and fan cult nicknames surrounding the mysterious case of Daniel G.
In the meantime, if you know anything more about the sending of these letters, please get in touch with us. If you have received a letter nigh-identical to the one above, get in touch with us. And most important: if you work in coffee and have received similar letters over the last decade—handwritten on lined paper but with different messaging, and from a different city in Nevada—please, please reach out as it relates to a major set of clues we're tracking in this case. Anonymity guaranteed and no sources or images used without express consent.
Of course if you happen to be Daniel G. and you'd like to say hello—please feel free. We want to hear your side of the story and also to better understand what you mean by “stale” coffee, because it is unclear. You have our utmost cooperation.