Portland, Oregon, is famous for many things – hiking, hipsters and hordes of craft breweries to name just three – but it’s also renowned for world-class coffee. Here, coffee is a respected craft, with roasters dealing directly with growers and offering a brew that is both ethical and delicious. You’re spoiled for choice in Portland, so to get things started, get your fix at one of these five fantastic coffee shops:
Named for unroasted ‘green’ coffee, Coava is all about no-nonsense, quality espresso, and the short-but-sweet menu lets the quality speak for itself. Pop into its espresso bar or pull up a pew in its industrial brew bar, housed within a spacious bamboo warehouse, and watch one of their skilled baristas artfully work the Chemex.
Cup & Bar
This café, in a converted warehouse, is a collaboration between local producers Ranger chocolate and Trailhead coffee (both of which operate out back). They offer a decent selection of light dishes, plus brilliant cold-brew mocktails. Don’t miss the Dirty Charlie, a gloriously frothy macchiato scattered with grated Ranger chocolate.
Bringing a touch of Scandinavian cool to Oregon, Heart is popular for its hip style, good music and delicious pastries. But what fans love most is its minimalist menu of light, nuanced brews from small-batch beans. The focus is heavy on quality and flavour – it’s no surprise that coffee aficionados come back again and again.
A teeny, charming café serving genuinely delectable ‘micro-hand-batch-craft-roasted’ artisan coffee. Take your pick from a short menu of espresso and batch brew. The single-origin espresso served in a whiskey glass is a favourite here, but even your usual morning order is sure to taste that much better.
There’s a reason why people queue at the daddy of all Portland coffee chains. Founded in 1999, Stumptown is credited with pioneering the city’s third-wave coffee culture. Several outlets serve up delectable coffees as well as a few twists – their delicately frothy, nitro cold-brew coffee is the closest you can get to knocking back a Guinness at breakfast.
To read more about Portland’s great producers and restaurants, see this month’s issue of Jamie magazine.
Photography by Dave Lauriston