Molly J. Smith / EPDX
For many outsiders of Portland, impressions of PDX may consist of endlessly overcast, free-spirited naked cyclists, sneakerheads, and flannel-loving craft beer geeks who fuel their days with carafes of black coffee in between every IPA. For a city that is considered a major player in the rise of the specialty coffee movement, some facets of its cafe scene nowadays may feel a little trapped in 2007, with static drink menus that suggest a more rigid way of making coffee than what is acceptable today. However, Portland’s scene is still steadily experimenting, serving myriad options and experiences for all kinds of coffee devotees, regardless of whether they prefer a foamy vanilla cappuccino or a natural process pour over.
The coffee industry has changed a lot in the last 50 years, from once providing an everyday commodity to now crafting a specialty beverage experience; its emphasis on environmental sustainability and sourcing transparency makes it comparable to wine — an industry that has standardized valuing terroir, producer, and region. From giants within the world of high-end coffee to lesser-known roasters experimenting with their beans, from Portland chains to tiny nook-sized cafes, all of these roasters are methodical with their sourcing, turning house-roasted coffees into a wide array of drinks. Below, we dive into some of the most noteworthy cafes roasting their own beans; for cafes sourcing roasts from around the city, this map is a better fit.
Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.