Portland is one of the great meccas for coffee lovers in the U.S. (second only to Seattle) and it’s impossible to leave Portland without having consumed a great cup of coffee or discovered a coffee roaster crafting something unusual and amazing. Beauty fills each of Portland’s cafes. Giant industrial espresso machines sit heavily on countertops while baristas move gracefully in the background. Each cup that is served is a unique creation born from the coffee and city. It’s a destination where one goes to not only enjoy and discover new coffee but also to study the craft—even if unconsciously—leaving with a deeper appreciation for coffee culture.
Stumptown is the best known of the local roasters, and with good reason. I pick up several different roasts each time I visit and they are gone all too quickly when I return home. (I’m enjoying their Colombia El Jordan roast, steeped in a French press for 2 mins., as I write.) Next time you get away to Portland, be sure to visit one of Stumptown’s various locations. We typically visit their SW Stark Street location, right next to Kenny and Zukes, after brunch. It’s smaller than others and shares its seating area with the hotel upstairs. But it’s an unbeatable walking distance if you’re staying in the Governor or Hotel DeLuxe and their selection of coffee roasts is always fresh.
On our most recent getaway to Portland, we also stopped by Public Domain over on the corner of SW Alder and SW Broadway. Public Domain has its roots in the wholesale business. It’s the vision of Coffee Bean International, one of the original Portland coffee roasting companies, and the atmosphere is phenomenal. When we visited, it was quiet inside. The baristas were friendly (in a Portland way) and the soy latte I ordered was near perfection (being slightly softer than the latte I ordered earlier in the day at Stumptown). Public Domain also offers pour overs, although it was closed when we stopped by (which is too bad since a pour over reveals a roast’s true qualities).
Unfortunately, I always leave Portland feeling as though I’ve experienced far too few cups of coffee. There’s only ever so many cups of coffee one can drink in a day and our flights in and out of the city limited my coffee exploration to a single day. I suppose this means another visit is in order!
What cafes do you frequent in Portland? Share your favorites in the comments!