I feel compelled to start this topic off with a disclaimer of sorts: we are big fans of coffee and tea, but are beginners at best, and we’d never describe ourselves as coffee people in any official capacity. I’m embarrassed to admit we don’t even brew at home, though we do steep our little hearts out. That said, we fully appreciate a great shop and tasty cuppa, so we tried to do the Portland coffee + tea scene justice during our February visit.
She said: A trip to the ACE hotel photo booth has quickly become a tradition for us when we visit Portland. As luck would have it, the lobby of the hotel is only a door away from a small Stumptown location. We’ve always enjoyed friendly service and a consistently solid latte when visiting this shop. I don’t think you’re granted entry back into Portland if you’re in the city and don’t get a caffeine fix from Stumptown, and that’s a-okay with me.
He said: Compared to the dark, moody, wood-lined interior of the ACE hotel, this Stumptown lobby location is bright, crisp and a welcoming sight as you turn the corner. I can’t say that I specifically remember much about the latte from Stumptown, other than to say it did the job of warming me up against the late February drizzle.
She said: With some hometown ties to Heart via Crepe Bar, we definitely made sure this was on our list. We visited the Eastside location on a Saturday with the intention of sticking around for a while, laptops in tow. We quickly discovered that Heart doesn’t provide wifi on the weekends, in an effort to get folks to unplug. Had we know that in advance, I wouldn’t have been disappointed, but since we’d wanted to tuck in for a bit, that part was a bummer. #FirstWorldProblems aside, the coffee was good, I really liked the space, and I wish I would have bought one of the glass and cork keep cups while we were there.
He said: For reasons described above, we didn’t stick around at Heart very long. I ended up getting a latte because their signage wasn’t very clear about the availability of pour-overs, and as total coffee novice, I wasn’t confident enough to ask for something that wasn’t listed on the menu. The space looks neat, but appears way bigger in the videos I’d seen on YouTube. Compared to most local Phoenix places, there’s actually a below average amount of seating, though that should be expected with the massive roasting rig in center of the room. I’d bet that had we been there on a weekday, with the roasting in progress, we’d have a totally different opinion of the place.
She said: We stumbled upon Townshend’s on accident while walking around the SE Division Street area, and it was love at first site. With over 100 loose leaf tea options (and boba, and kombucha, and other lovely offerings that I’m surely forgetting!) it was overwhelming in the best possible way. I settled on a hot herbal tea (#76 Superberry) that was insanely good, naturally sweet, and a gorgeous deep red color. I bought a few ounces to bring home, and it’s fantastic as and iced tea too. Townshend’s is like tea heaven, I’d highly recommend paying them a visit.
He said: Every complaint I’ve had about Third-Wave Coffee shops not taking teas seriously are probably based on how good my experiences at Townshend’s and Good Coffee were. Walk into Townshend’s and you’re confronted with a massive wall of teas in numbered canisters. Probably the best way to let you make a selection at your own pace, we spent around 20 minutes just checking out various teas on offer, before making our first selections. While the interior is definitely on the comfortable/shabby side, their loose leaf teas are incredibly on point.
She said: Water Avenue was recommended to us by a few folks, and at the time we were mapping stuff out, it somehow didn’t make the official list. Luckily we ran right into it before grabbing lunch on our last day in Portland. I enjoyed a lovely cup of coffee and remember having a killer cookie alongside. This is a spot I’d definitely want to check out again when we had a bit more time to stay and enjoy
He said: Killing a few hours on our last day in Portland, we got to Water Ave after rambling about a very odd bazaar-style shop and before making our way to Olympic Provisions for lunch. As this was the third coffee I’d had that morning, it wasn’t as notable as other drinks, largely due to my palate getting fatigued..
She said: Saving the best for last. . . I’m grateful that Ryan found Good Coffee for us, as it was hands down my favorite spot from the trip! We visited each of their locations multiple times (essentially going back every day) and each time we were met with killer service, friendly staff that knew their stuff, and some great chats. Both spaces are beautiful and comfortable, whether just popping in, or staying to hang a while like we did. We loved every drink we ordered – oscillating between the equally fantastic coffee and tea. If you haven’t heard of Good Coffee PDX before, it won’t stay that way for long, put it at the top of your list next time you’re in town as their shops are not to be missed!
He said: True Story, I found Good Coffee on Instagram months ago when it was suggested by the algorithm based on other accounts we follow. Of course, from their Instagram all I knew was that they had quality presentation and a crisp, bright decor, similar to the Stumptown location in the ACE lobby downtown. What I did not expect was for both Good Coffee locations to be true neighborhood coffee shops, taking up a small-ish footprint on the corner of a larger residential building. I also had no clue that they would have such a quality tea program. This was the first time I saw the Kinto One-Touch teapot in action, and now I can’t understand why it’s not the universal solution for loose leaf teas.