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Latte at Davis Street Tavern

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans. Brewing it produces a dark brown beverage that is traditionally accompanied with the option to add sugar and/or cream. Coffee is generally considered an acquired taste, in the same way that black tea is or alcohol.

Portland has an outer reputation for its coffee. From it's quality, and also particular preferences of Portlandians. It could be argued that Portlandians roasts and brews coffee in a meticulous fashion, which produces high quality in both. That being said, within Portland, there is a wide range of what is considered good coffee

See Coffee and Tea Shops for a list of all Portland coffee cafes and tea rooms.

Local Roasters

Considered to be the most noble producers of coffee ready for brewing, these roasters tend to operate as a coffee shop that roasts its own product. Though others have an exclusive relationship with a particular coffee shop, their grounds can be purchased individually.

Local Coffee Bean Importers

Local importers ship green, unroasted beans in from an environment where coffee is grown. Because of the particular nature of Portland coffee drinkers, most local importers have developed a strategy of benefiting coffee growers while ensuring quality beans are obtained.

National Artisan Coffee Brands

Though, not politically correct in some local cultures, national coffee brands do succeed to some extent in Portland. Their success in Portland can be attributed to two reasons:

  1. Distribution - National brands such as Starbucks and Peet's offer sealed bags in every grocery store in Portland. Local brands tend not to have robust sealing and packaging, which disqualifies them from being stocked on the same shelves. This makes national brands the preferred coffee with families who depend on grocery stores for food.
  2. Franchise locations - Outside of the grocery store, national brands offer coffee within franchise locations which provide seating, internet wi-fi, restrooms, food and added drink orders. These accoutrements do not necessarily speak to quality of coffee but to personal convenience.

National brands include

  • Stumptown (Recently became a national roaster. Originally from Portland, but now in Brooklyn, NY)
  • Starbucks
  • Peet's Coffee
  • Seattle's Best
  • Intelligentsia

Seattle Roasters

As the prices for coffee beans have increased, many coffee shops and restaurants in Portland have been forced to purchase coffee of similar quality from elsewhere. Some started in Portland but later moved to another city to reduce their operational costs. Another reason is that restaurants depend on their coffee to remain consistent year in and year out. Most Seattle roasters will offer blends as their primary product. If a particular year changes a coffee bean, they are able to blend it with other beans to safeguard a particular flavor.

Seattle Roasters include:

  • Caffè Umbria
  • Zoka
  • Victrola

Coffee Shops

Let's highlight our favorite places to drink coffee! As prices for unroasted coffee beans increase, many local shops will begin roasting their own. Some depend on supply from local or national roaster.

(Roasters identified)

† = Private Roasters

Espressogeeks Portland Espresso Finder

North Portland

Northeast Portland

30th and Killingsworth, or 14th and Prescott
at 18th and Alberta, also very well-known for their pies

Pearl & Northwest Portland

  • Barista (Intelligentsia)
  • Anna Banana's
  • Coffee Time (Water Ave)
  • World Cup †
  • Sterling †
  • Ken's Artisan Bakery (Stumptown)
  • Backspace (Stumptown)

Southeast Portland

Southwest Portland

  • Coffee Plant
  • Portland Coffee House
  • Spella Roasters †