Ernest and Pop just got back from a week in Portland and I’ve assembled their adventures to share with you! Portland has a big heart for coffee and is definitely a hub for local coffee shops. Businesses there are encouraged in their creativity, craft and originality, so it’s not hard to be inspired by such a place. Almost every block has a neat-looking coffee shop, and most of them are independent and locally owned. We also wanted to talk about branding with one of our closest friends who has a design and branding company. They stayed with my lovely family, who introduced them to some of “what real coffee tastes like,” according to Nathan B. =]
Not only did they take Ernest and Pop to taste some great coffee in Portland, which we’ll get to in a moment, but lets take some time to admire some of the beautiful scenic areas they hiked in Battle Grounds, Vancouver:
Beautiful right? And aren’t my cousins sheep adorable?
Anyway, on to some coffee shops!!!
Portland Coffee Shops
According to Pop and Ernest! (I put in my two cents as well to the one’s I visited last year).
1. Old Town Battle Grounds Coffee & Deli
Battle Grounds had a cool vibe to it, being in a church. It was comfortable with good seating, but what really set this place apart was it’s ESPRESSO WHIPPED CREAM. They serve Stumptown coffee, which Ernest is a big fan of anyway (we visited Stumptown on our trip last year–good stuff!)
2. Vivace Coffeehouse & Creperie
Because… Crepes! But it’s also a chill, cozy and eclectic coffee joint (the style reminds me a lot of Stella’s). Pop especially loved the homey atmosphere. They have a nice, big menu, and good coffee too. I mean… check out this beautiful cappuccino.
3. Water Avenue Coffee
Water Avenue was actually both Ernest and Pop’s favorite coffee this whole trip. Bold, but not bitter, you can taste the quality of the coffee and easily see why this place is on Portland’s top coffee shops to visit. It’s also a very hip place with cool lighting, a simple menu… and they can’t emphasize enough on their great coffee.
Coava roasts their own coffee as well– and was Ernest’s second favorite this trip.They’re also inside of a woodshop warehouse, so it has an elegant, wood theme. With a menu five-items long, they keep it simple and emphasize the quality of their drinks. They don’t have drip coffee, so every cup is made fresh.
5. Townshend’s Tea Company
No coffee here, but I -Julia- especially love it for their craft in tea and kombucha. Ernest brought me back some (Love & Clear Mind!) and it totally made my day. I almost forgave him for leaving me home from Portland in the first place ;). It’s a cozy place, with great outdoor seating, and a garden in the back. They have tons of tea to choose from, and you can smell them all before you choose. I think I smelled at least half of them when I visited last… and last, but not least, they have a wide selection of tasty, feel-good flavors of kombucha on tap. Yes.
Barista really is what it claims to be- a coffee shop with well trained, skilled, and friendly barista’s. All their barista’s are professionals with at least a year of experience, and not only do they serve great drinks, but do so with warmth and hospitality. They know what they’re talking about and are happy to share their love for coffee with you.
Nuvrei is actually Romanian for “[do] you want??” Which makes sense because Romanians know how to do pastries– which is what they’re known for and what sets them apart. It seems to be a great hang out for families, as kids are welcome. Their coffee is on the light side as well, so if that’s what you like, this is the place to be. I personally really love the design and brick.
8. Sisters Coffee Company
Sisters Coffee had a cool, old-cabin, mountain feel to it. The design is great inside– not only in the decor, but it’s a two-story building with a patio as well. You can also see them make your drinks, which Ernest always loves.
“Portland itself is an amazing city, full of independent shops all over! Not only coffee shops, but antiques, craft beer, clothing stores and countless other companies. Even their top grocery store is owned by it’s employees. Portland is very independent, but also loves community and building relationships with customers and other coffee shops. The atmosphere is very laid back.” -Ernesto
Seems like a perfect place to take a break from the business side of starting a coffee shop to just relax, enjoy a cup of coffee, and be inspired by a city that loves it’s coffee and cultivating this artistic craft. On the other hand, it’s good to be reminded too that even though we’re gathering a feel for the industry from other shops, it’s all the more important to just do our own thing. One barista Ernest talked to this trip said his biggest advice for us is to “just get started.” We can look around all we want, but just do your own thing!!
So Portland, thanks for being you. For inspiring creativity, originality, and community. For getting us pumped to join this coffee industry and the growing network of talented and passionate coffee shop communities. For challenging us to take our own path and be our own selves, and reminding us to remember how we became– all thanks to the people in our lives each step of the way. And for introducing us to some amazing coffees- like Water Avenue– can’t stop thinking about you! Possible roaster for our shop?