April 25, 2012
The Woodsman Market

The Woodsman Market

5:07am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zv8LvwKHu-Ui
  
Filed under: portland oregon pdx stumptown meat 
April 16, 2012
The Woodsman Tavern before opening time.

The Woodsman Tavern before opening time.

April 14, 2012
The Stumptown Annex in Portland. It’s next to one of their other shops, but this one has no espresso machine - only pour-over drip coffee, with daily cuppings open to the public. Nice brick walls, big windows, a vault, and the coffees are their best.

The Stumptown Annex in Portland. It’s next to one of their other shops, but this one has no espresso machine - only pour-over drip coffee, with daily cuppings open to the public. Nice brick walls, big windows, a vault, and the coffees are their best.

April 14, 2012
The Lobby at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Portland.

The Lobby at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Portland.

April 11, 2012
A cappuccino at the original Stumptown in Portland. To my surprise, some of the best shots of their Hairbender espresso blend that I had weren’t served at Stumptown, but at coffee bars in Portland and Los Angeles.

A cappuccino at the original Stumptown in Portland. To my surprise, some of the best shots of their Hairbender espresso blend that I had weren’t served at Stumptown, but at coffee bars in Portland and Los Angeles.

March 31, 2012
Panamanian coffee and Mast Brothers chocolate bars.

Panamanian coffee and Mast Brothers chocolate bars.

March 31, 2012
The Original Stumptown in PDX.

The Original Stumptown in PDX.

March 8, 2012
The Portland Scene

Here a link to the original BrewlyNoted blog post, which resides on Wordpress.

Enjoy!

The Ace Hotel in Portland. Through the walkway on the left you'll find one of Stumptown's most skilled baristas hard at work.

Moving a friend from Phoenix to Portland is no easy task. Even though San Fransisco is the best halfway mark you could hope for, arriving to such a densely congested city after the sun has set can be a bit disorienting - so it’s a good thing we opted for the comforts of a late-night deep dish pizza and fresh pillows to rest our heads on. We woke up well before most of San Fransisco, took a walk up the street and breathed in the foggy air that had a refreshing snap to it, almost like sipping on ginger-ale - but that’s not exactly the morning beverage we were looking for. So we made our way just up the hill to Four Barrel Coffee Roasters who run a business curing the morning fogginess with healthy doses of espresso and pour-over brews. The baristas that morning were an eclectic bunch - I had shots of Friendo Blendo espresso from a Sprudge writer and an excellent Kenyan coffee on the slow bar poured by one of the city’s barista-by-day/bartender-by-night hybrids. Fuel and a sense of direction for the road.After a quick stop by Sightglass Coffee in SoMa, I stuffed a huckleberry pastry into my pocket before we headed six hours up the road, into dense forest and colder air where we found a chance to stretch our legs and document the crawl’s first Oregon coffee destination.

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//Noble Coffee Roasters - Ashland, OR// A stone’s throw away from the University of Southern Oregon (if you’re the team’s center-fielder), lies Noble Coffee Roasters. If you’re at all familiar with the local college town cafe anywhere, this coffee shop’s appearance and clientele draws similarities, but with a big upgrade - college kids without music in their ears and their noses buried in textbooks, but instead busy making conversation right alongside older guests, table after table in the well-lit and open space. Take ten steps towards the lacquered wooden bar and the picture gets a bit more serious - a four group-head espresso machine and multiple grinders that propose the question: “Which espresso would you like?” The baristas at Noble don’t miss a beat, as they not only know the coffees backwards and forwards, but they’ll pull their shots with precision - no doubt a reflection of great leadership by their owner Jared. The guy is humble and it’s probably because he knows his stuff, but even more so because he’s just a really nice guy. He buys the coffee (like it or not - it’s all certified organic), roasts it, and often serves it while telling you a story of how it got from the farmer all the way to his shop. It’s a privilege if you can make the trip, as it’s still over four hours of driving south from Portland. When you do, make friends in this college town so that you can make sure to visit more often.

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//Coava Coffee Roasters - SE Portland, OR// Coava is so impressively simple in their coffee preparation and service that it’s tough to wrap one’s head around. They’re a shop that manages to be increasingly spectacular at almost everything they do, and just when you think it’s good enough; that they could possibly be content with their work, they’ll come out with a version 2.0 of their perforated-steel Kone brew method (the only substantial modification we’ve seen to the seven decade-old chemex), or provide us with back-to-back North West barista champions, or just roast coffee they’re sourcing to a finer degree of tasty. And in all seriousness, I think they’re just having a lot of fun. The menu is the the most straightforward you’ll find in Portland - two single-origin options for espresso (as a cappuccino or macchiato if desired) are also what’s brewing on the kone/chemex. The Benjamin Miranda as espresso and brewed by chemex is exceptional. The cappuccino made with the same espresso, which I’d had on my second trip to the shop, was arguably the tastiest all trip. As for interior design, we’ve all seen the combination of steel and wood before, but never like this. It’s amazing how a shop can be molded out of a company that shares a space with - as is the case with Coava and Bamboo Revolution. The bamboo woodwork flows throughout the bar space, with custom built edges and divots that house an espresso machine, sinks, and brewing stations. Wood-topped tables big enough to encourage meeting new friends are what fill up the rest of the space, with the exception of some decorative machinery from another era that, as if by purpose, fit right in with the coffee roaster that round out their half of the space.

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//The Heart Cart - Downtown, Portland, OR// Maybe it was the sunny Portland morning poking over the heads of nearby buildings and into the windows in Alberta’s West End Bike shop (or the sight and smell of new bike gear), but Heart’s Cart was certainly one of my favorite stops. The barista that morning, Amanda, was charming - though the cappuccino she made with a shot of their single origin Los Andes espresso unique to the Heart Cart that week was what sealed the deal. It came in a to-go cup (a garage door opens to serve their coffee to customers whizzing by on their way to work) and was in the top two I’d had during my stay. It’s caramel sweetness stands very present, and makes it ideal to be paired with steamed milk.

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//Heart Coffee Roasters - Portland, OR// Heart’s first shop on Burnside is one of the coziest in memory during our stay - community is in the air when most all the seating is occupied by groups of people who didn’t appear to know one other before sitting down. The whole shop, in a way, is revolving around the roaster that sits in the center - like a cozy campfire producing lightly roasted coffee beans, brewed to release bright and fruity flavors that coffee drinkers fall in love with. The build-out is confident in it’s simplicity - large windows that let light fall on white walls holding simple art; a map of the world and anatomic paintings of snakes and the human heart. By the bar, slate grey walls and white counters are nice staging to an espresso machine that’s your favorite shade of green. In-house they proudly do large-batch Fetco brewing better than most anyone, alongside a small roster of brew methods. Delicate flavors of their Kenya Karinga performed even better on a chemex than the aeropress I had tried it on first. Heart Coffee’s reach isn’t exactly contained to it’s two Portland locations, since a multi-roaster bar nearby, like Barista, may be carrying them just as often as their brothers over in New York City. In addition to rotating wholesale space at a shop like RBC, Heart Coffee was also featured on bar at The Coffee Common’s Feb. stint in NYC (attendees got to see the way milk can mute flavors in the brewed Puerta Verde coffee). Roasting quality green coffee is a great reason Heart has become popular in the first place, but in a line-up with other great roasters their coffee could be identified for their lack of roasting, so to say - they’ve got one of the lightest roasting profiles found in the U.S. Is it a similar roast profile to the likes of Scandinavia’s top players? Couldn’t say - I’ve never tried coffee roasted in Norway or Sweden (but I hear it’s close). If we really can look toward the Nordic region for the future of coffee the same way we fixate on Paris for fashion - Heart might be a little taste of what’s in store.

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//Water Avenue Coffee - SE Portland, OR// Water Avenue has only been roasting for two years, but the shop/roastery/barista school that owned by Matt Miletto and his father, nestled into a complex with Imbibe Magazine is a wealth of knowledge on coffee and it’s specialty roots in Portland. Up front the baristas do a nice job with a wide selection of coffees, which extends to their espresso choices. The El Toro espresso is a delicious choice on it’s own or bathing in a few ounces of steamed milk. They’re not afraid to pull shots of the occasional single origin coffees that are naturally a bit savory in way that makes notes of carrot, onion, and black pepper favorable. Behind the scenes, a guy named Brandon (one of the Stumptown Coffee’s originating roasters) works the coffee roaster and prepares cuppings, like the one I was fortunate enough to attend on my last day in the city. On the same day I was able to experience a Geisha varietal coffee being roasted from start to finish - which sparked a recent interest to start learning as much as I can about how to roast coffee.

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//Sterling Coffee Roasters - NW Portland, OR// Sterling, the little shop that could, is only a foot or two longer on each side than what the photos show below, but they make the most out of a space with a pipe-sized sample roaster, a two-group head Synesso machine and striped wallpaper for accent. The two men on shift, Calvin and Tim (and don’t forget their ceramic pheasant, Bernard) were real stand-up guys who were just as ready to geek out about their favorite Parks and Recreation episodes as they were about the shots of espresso they were pulling. The shots are unlike the rest you’ll get in Portland, closer to two ounces of liquid and without the thick layer of crema. You’ll enjoy it. Sometimes it tastes good to break the rules.

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//Coffeehouse Northwest - NW Portland, OR//

Sterling roasts the coffee that goes to Coffeehouse Northwest, where some rules are also broken in delicious ways. If you so desire, they’ll make you a flavored cappuccino - the catch is that they use artisan caramel, chocolate, and vanilla bean syrup from the local Two Tarts Bakery. If that all sounds like too much, a dark hot chocolate isn’t a bad choice either. //Barista, Alberta - Portland, OR// Alberta’s Barista is a trip - on center stage is the machine making espresso, a La Marzocco Mistral, from the 2000’s, but everything else looks like it’s from the early 20th century. You walk in and order from a barista who looks the part, and then you sit down at a wooden bar and wait for your skilfully crafted drink. While you sip you can admire the trophies and antique items on the shelves, and wall-mounted antlers and mallard ducks. Barista is, in my opinion, the real definition of a coffee bar - they brew coffees and pull shots of espresso from multiple roasters, and in many cases they seem to be serving it just as well (if not better). When we stopped in the choices were an El Injerto roasted by Stumptown, the Oscillations seasonal espresso from De La Paz out of San Francisco, and Heart Coffee’s Puerta Verde. With a group of friends who can’t decide where they’ll go for coffee next, or even for a drink at night, I’d like to think that they could all agree on Barista.

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//Barista, Pearl - Portland, OR//

The Barista in the Pearl District is a little different. The old building it’s in is about as retro as things get in a shop that’s functions more to pump out quality drinks to a long line of business types than for a place to relax for very long at all - though there’s plenty of seating just outside. It’s a beautiful part of town, the closest you’ll get to the big city feeling, and the hustle and bustle of it all reminds you to admire the people of Portland and some beautiful architecture.

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