When you are in love with something, you simply can’t stop thinking about it. Not only do you constantly muse over it, but you are always talking about it as well. When it comes to coffee, that’s us!
We’ve done a few pieces on Portland coffee shops in the past, but we felt now would be a good time to provide a 2017 roundup. There’s a reason we’re called ‘Stumptown’. Yet, as the market suffers from severe oversaturation, coffee shops of all shapes and sizes come and go.
Still, you need to know where to go to get your cup of Joe (can we win a poetry prize for that one?) so we figured now would be a good a time as any to brush up on what’s going on in the Portland coffee scene. With our summer restaurant roundups in the books, it’s time to put pen-to-paper on some of Portland’s hottest coffee houses.
Imagine only having a 200-square-foot space to work with. Face it, many a West Hills resident likely have shoe closets larger than 200-square-feet. And yet, Sterling manages to brilliantly stuff an elegant coffee house into the space without making you feel like you’ve been shoehorned into a box. Even better, candlelight and the smell of fresh flowers greet you upon entrance.
Expect top-notch espresso flights delivered in single-malt whiskey glasses and luscious cappuccinos brought to you topped with elegant designs. Make sure to spend some time enjoying their signature Blendo Stupendo beans, which offer a chocolaty and nutty finish to each sip. According to co-owner Aric Miller, “We want people to drink a good cup, not revere it.” An interesting statement, though it’s also one hard to follow when enjoying a cup of Joe at Sterling.
Address: 417 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209, USA Phone: (503) 248-2133 Website: www.sterling.coffee
Coava Coffee Roasters
We’d be remiss to complete a coffee roundup without including Portland’s Coava Coffee Roasters. With two locations serving Portlanders made-to-order coffee within a spacious and meticulously designed space – replete with custom bamboo work – Coava is what Portland coffee is all about.
With their flagship, southwest location opening in 2010, it didn’t take long for their coffee-making prowess to make its mark on the City of Roses. Their main point of pride comes their deep relationships with the producers within their supply chain. It was this local success that led to their second location on Hawthorne in 2017. Stop by Coaca and revel in a hot water pour-over theatrically dripped over fresh grounds. If you dare, ask for milk.
Address: 1300 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214, USA Phone: (503) 894-8134 Website: https://www.coavacoffee.com/
Looking for a delivery that you won’t soon forget? Look no further than Courier Coffee. Founded by Portland native, Joel Domreis, Courier specializes in single-origin espresso and filter coffee brought to you by none other than Swiss gold coffee filters. Courier Coffee is also well-known for their commitment to sustainability. Not only do they travel the world preaching Portland’s sustainability ethos, but they even conduct their business by bicycle.
While you may indulge in one of the best cappuccinos in town, make sure to add a cannele to the experience. The fact is, beyond providing some of the best brews in otown, Courier’s in-house baked goods are simply second-to-none.
Address: 923 SW Oak St, Portland, OR 97205, USA Phone: (503) 545-6444 Website: http://www.couriercoffeeroasters.com/
It’s always heartening when food carts turn into successful brick-n-mortars. In this case, Spella Caffee, formerly a coffee cart, has made the move into a more permanent space. Owned and operated by Andrea Spella, this quaint coffee house roasts their coffee in small batches and prepares them in a traditional Italian style. The room itself offers up the feel of Florence without forgetting its Oregonian foundation, mainly due to the lack of seating. You don’t come here to enjoy a few hours staring out the window. You come here for coffee.
In addition to a wide selection of your favorite caffeinated delights, Spella also offers up everything from Italian sodas to gelatos, sorbettos and affogatos. If you haven’t heard of affogato, it’s time to take a moment to pay a visit and experience the pure pleasure of this espresso-over-ice cream delight.
Address: 520 SW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97204, USA Phone: (503) 752-0264 Website: http://www.spellacaffe.com/
No, Parting Thoughts isn’t a fantastic Portland coffee house, but it sure would be a cool name for one. No, we just wanted to leave you with a reminder that there are so many wonderful coffee shops to choose from, it’s hard to round out a list of this size.
Portland’s coffee scene is practically overflowing with talent and one-of-a-kind tasting opportunities. As we export our talents the country, and world, over, take a moment to stop at a local coffee shop, whether on this list or not, as each is an amazing experience in its own right. After all, Portland people love their coffee, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
William Bessette – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor
William Bessette is a journalist and freelance writer who has been covering politics, entertainment, culture and travel for over thirteen years. When he’s not profiling Portland-area restaurants and residents, you can find him reporting on national and international travel and eco-tourism through his travel brand, Floppy Hat Adventures.