One of the great things about living in Portland is the wonderful coffee. Coffee is taken seriously here, which I appreciate. When we have guests in town, we always make sure to take them to at least one good coffee place, so that they can enjoy Portland coffee at it’s finest.
Around here, there is a rabid debate about which coffee houses produce the best espresso. Really, it comes down to preference. That said here are some of the coffee shops my husband and I – and my coffee snob friends – think are among the best of the city.
All of these shops pride themselves on quality from the beginning stages of finding good coffee beans, to the final swirl of foam.
However, know what to expect. These coffee shops are not Starbucks, with swirled smoothies, heavily roasted beans, and a complicated menu. Expect just a couple of items on the menu, and everything you order to be done with meticulous attention to detail. Don’t expect syrups, flavored coffee drinks or blended coffee drinks; do expect good coffee.
Coava: I find their coffee often fruity, and strong. They roast their own beans, and they work on developing mutually beneficial partnerships with the farmers who produce coffee beans. They also buy a farmer's full harvest, instead of just the the premium beans, to better support small farmers.
Heart also roasts their own coffee beans. They say, “We roast our coffee to the ideal degree, while fully developing complex flavors, and bringing out delicate clarity.” What that translates into is a very mild and smooth cup of coffee. They are a personal favorite of mine because I love the smooth, gentle flavor of their coffee. Plus, I love their hazelnut milk lattes.
Barista: Barista’s tagline is “Serving exceptional coffee from the world's finest roasters, prepared by the most skilled baristas in Portland, Oregon.” Whatever they're doing, they're doing it right. Their coffee is exceptional, and I appreciate that they carry a few different bags of coffee for purchase from different roasters.
Stumptown: Stumptown coffee is a popular coffee shop that also roasts their own coffee beans. Their beans are also featured at a wide variety of popular coffee shops across town, making them one of the more widely known coffee brands of our area. (They also have expanded to have coffee shops in several other cities as well). I admit it. Stumptown was the first coffee shop that introduced me to good coffee. I haven’t looked back.
Any other Portlanders want to add to this list? I'd love to hear your favorite coffee shop.
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