oregon

  • Barista – Portland

    539 NW 13th Ave. (Pearl District)
    1725 NE Alberta St
    529 SW 3rd Ave.
    823 NW 23rd Ave
    Portland, OR

    Barista

    Other reviews: 
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    UrbanSpoon

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    [review]

    Barista Portland is hands down the best coffee in the city.  Every time we visit Portland, we visit Barista.  Sometimes more than once a day.  It’s that good.

    Serving coffee and espresso from various roasters, everything here is alway top notch.  The service is always friendly and everyone here is extremely knowledge about coffee.  I don’t think you could stump them with any question you might have.  You can buy a variety of beans in store or online.  In addition to coffee, they have a great selection of pastries.  One thing you can’t miss are the baked goods from local purveyor, Two Tarts.  

    We always visit the SW 3rd location.  It’s great because they have a bar height table the length of the window facing 3rd, so you can enjoy your coffee and watch the interesting sideshow of people walk down the street.

    Forget Stumptown’s Coffee shop nearby.  Barista runs circles around it.  

  • Stumptown Coffee Roasters – Portland, OR

    128 SW 3rd Ave
    Portland, OR 97204
    503-295-6144

    Plus various other locations in Portland, Seattle & NYC.

    www.stumptowncoffee.com

    Other reviews of Stumptown Coffee:

    Yelp
    Urbanspoon
    CitySearch
    TripAdvisor

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    We read reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp and this consistently was rated as one of the top independent coffee shops in Portland.  (Stumptown also has a couple of locations in Seattle .)  Personally, I’m not sure why.

    We visited the “downtown” location at SW 3rd.   There are several other locations in the Portland metro, Seattle and NYC.

    First off, we were surprised that this location didn’t open until 7AM.  While it is slightly out of downtown, there’s plenty of businesses and hotels in the area that should certainly warrant an earlier opening, at least on weekdays.  When we arrived at 7:30, there was at least 12 people in line.

    We ordered a large mocha, and it was very bland.  As in, where’s the espresso?   To be truthful, also, where’s the mocha?  I watched the barista make the drink so I know there were 2 shots of espresso as well as the standard mocha syrup in the drink.

    I’m not sure where the rave reviews come from.  The mocha tasted basically like plain steamed milk.  There was no coffee flavor and barely any detectable mocha flavor.  I’m not sure if it was the espresso they were using that day or what.  Maybe the raves come from their basic coffee, but I’d have to go back and try another coffee drink before coming to a full conclusion.

    One other criticism I have of this particular Stumptown location.  Why in such a large space, do you have to have the order station, pickup area, coffee accessorizing bar all in 50 sq feet?  What about the other 3500 square feet you have?  You end up with all of these people crossing in front of one another, bumping one another, trying to move around while 90% of the space is unused and unpopulated.  Very annoying.

    Next time we come back to Portland we’ll visit again and see if we like it any better.  For now, be forewarned, that the reviews may not deliver the result you think they should.

  • Coffeehouse Northwest – Portland, OR

    1951 W Burnside St
    Portland, OR 97209-1918
    (503) 248-2133

    www.coffeehousenorthwest.com

    Other reviews of Coffehouse Northwest:

    Yelp
    Urbanspoon
    CitySearch

    Located on the outskirts of downtown on the otherside of the 405, you’ll find Coffeehouse Northwest.  Here instead of coffee, our goal was to try the highly prized hot chocolate that we had heard about in various reviews.  We were not disappointed.

    The space is very simple and has a very neighborhood feel.  Coffeehouse Northwest can almost be thought of as the In-N-Out of coffee.  The menu here is simple and on a chalkboard.  There are only about 8 things listed and they’re all the basics.

    For coffee, they use Stumptown Roast coffee.  So, coffee drinker beware, based upon our review above of Stumptown.  But, the hot chocolate is really where they set themselves apart.  The difference lies not only in the preparation, but also the chocolate they use.

    Not to be content with the typical “mocha syrup” that other coffee purveyors use, they use cocoa nibs from Venezuela.  The nibs are put into the milk, then steamed, which permeates the choclate flavor throughout the drink. You’ll be happy that there isn’t any “chocolate sludge” in the bottom of your cup after you finish your drink.  We really, really enjoyed it and truly was “hot” chocolate.

    Prices here are a bit above other coffee shops by about 50 cents to $1, but are well worth it.  Service was very friendly and they were more than happy to answer any question you had about their drinks or coffee.  Albeit  a bit out of the way, we’d come back here long before Stumptown and suggest you should too.