Foxy Coffee Co.

Foxy Coffee Co.
3640 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

On a wonderfully sunny Friday morning, Remington, Everly, Jude and I stopped at Foxy Coffee Co. to enjoy some espresso, cold brew, and sun. We had participated in the triangulation at Foxy Coffee, but we hadn’t really had a chance to check out their drinks and what the atmosphere feels like when there is not an event going on. Foxy Coffee Co is very new to the area, they moved to Portland in March of 2016 and, after having pop-ups in other people’s spaces, opened in their own space on SE Belmont in February of this year (2017). Their location may be new, but the owners of this proudly family run business have been in coffee for 10+ years altogether. It was really a delight to meet the whole family while we were in and learn just a little about their journey.

If you have ever been to SE Belmont, you know that it is a somewhat eclectic mix of residential houses, retail shops, and construction. Parking is challenging to find in some stretches, easy in others. Foxy Coffee Co is located in an older green-painted building with character, right between houses on one side and businesses on the other, on a usually-easy-to-find-parking stretch.

When we entered the shop, Everly immediately was drawn to the kid’s table in one corner where another little girl was already playing with legos. It was a fabulous thing for them to include in the shop. Everly played quietly for a while while we waited in line, ordered, and took the first sips of our drinks. The shop is light and bright and open. It isn’t a huge space, but the huge front windows, pale blue walls, and minimal furnishings keep the space feeling airy. Wood floors, wood tables and chairs, and plants add warmth and earthiness. Two chandeliers give the space character. The bar is from Foxy Coffee’s pop-up days and is very minimal with a one-group La Marzocco espresso machine. There are three 3-4 person tables and three unique one-person spaces along one wall.

The menu is very simple and straightforward with three different sizes for milk & espresso (3, 8, and 12), brewed coffee, chai, and hot chocolate. Foxy Coffee roasts their own coffee and generally has two different single origin coffees available for purchase. They also sell local Margaret and Beau mugs and Nineteen27 marshmallow kits. The El Salvador Finca La Siberia was the available espresso when I came in. Remington ordered a cold brew, and both of us ordered an espresso. The barista/shop owner described the El Salvador as a comfort coffee, and I would say he was right. It was a delicious, straightforward espresso with a bright hibiscus acidity, silky sugar cane sweetness, and a lingering cocoa finish. I really enjoyed it.

One thing that sets Foxy Coffee apart is their passion for people and community. Building community through the shop is important to them, and generosity is a core value. The espresso was great, and the space is comfortable, and it is their desire to make a difference in the community that makes them really stand out. I would definitely come back. It is a great place to come with a child or two that feels like playing quietly at the kid’s table. It would also be a nice place to come with friends, and I would love to come back by myself sometime just to sit at one of the little one person bar/tables and do some writing.

Have you been to Foxy Coffee Co? What did you think? Connect in the comments!

Either/Or

Either/Or
8235 SE 13th Ave, Ste 2
Portland, OR 97202

Either/Or, a small coffee shop in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland, is a longtime favorite of ours. Although it is a longtime favorite, we don’t visit nearly as much as I’d like, due to its being a bit out of the way. Nevertheless, we did make it by on a recent drizzly Friday morning. Sellwood itself is an exceptionally pleasant neighborhood of Portland. Every time I visit, it delights me with its older, well-maintained houses, cute shops and restaurants, family friendly vibe, and very cozy feel. Either/Or itself is located on 13th Avenue, next to an upscale children’s consignment shop and near boutiques, a flower shop, and a salon. The exterior is a welcoming green with paned windows and a picnic table for outdoor seating.

The vibe inside Either/Or is very similar to that of Sellwood as a whole. It is cute and cozy, with comfortable, retro furnishings. The walls are a cream color and the floors are fake wood. Although the space is quite small, the mirror on the wall and high ceilings with beams and pendant lights help the space to feel cozy rather than confined. There is a bench on one wall with three two-person tables. A couch and coffee table provide a serene spot near the windows. An old-fashioned refrigerator adds to the vintage feel. When we arrived, the shop was empty, so we claimed the nook with the couch and coffee table. The baristas were easygoing and made us feel welcomed, offering to answer any questions we had about the menu.

Although the usual coffee shop drinks are available: drip coffee, espresso + milk based drinks, and cold brew, the Either/Or menu is unique in a few ways. First, they have two espresso options from rotating micro roasters. When we went in, Colombia Las Flores by 49th Parallel and Peru Martina Salas by Re-Animator were on the menu. Second, they offer hand made soda and coffee mocktails, both very well done. Their chai is also house made. Finally, they offer both espresso and beverage flights which include either each espresso or an espresso and a milk-based drink plus a taste pairing and sparkling water. Remington and I opted for the beverage flight plus an additional espresso. Everly got a chocolate chip cookie and Jude is still a bit young to be ordering things at a coffee shop.

The beverage flight came out on a wood tray. First was the Colombia Las Flores espresso. It was delightfully full and heavy, and very sweet with a definite rose water note. Next came the cortado, made with the Peru Martina Salas. The ratio was excellent, milk well steamed, latte art lovely, and flavor sweet, creamy, and nutty. The taste pairing was a tiny pecan pie which went splendidly with the sweet, nutty taste of the cortado. Finally, we tried the Peru Martina Salas on its own as an espresso. It had a round body with a hazelnut brittle sweetness and lingering cinnamon/nutmeg finish. All in all, it was a fantastic espresso experience. Everything was done very well and the baristas dialogued with us about it a bit after we finished, which I always enjoy.

We had a lovely experience at Either/Or. From the neighborhood to the space to the baristas and the drinks, our time there was cozy and enjoyable. It would be a fantastic spot to have coffee with a friend, or to go alone and enjoy the coffee experience. Their sodas and chai make it a great place to go with someone who doesn’t like coffee as well. I also love it as a place to take my family, but as it is a small space, if the tables are full, it can sometimes be a quick trip. Nevertheless it is a favorite of mine, and I highly recommend it.

Where have you been to coffee this week? Have you tried Either/Or?

Upper Left Roasters

Upper Left Roasters
1204 SE Clay Street
Portland, OR 97214

A relatively new coffee shop, Upper Left Roasters opened in 2015. Remington, Everly, Jude, and I stopped by on a partly sunny Friday morning at the suggestion of a friend. We had visited before, but their current single origin espresso, Keneon Chire from Ethiopia, was reported to be especially delicious, possibly one of the best ever tasted by our much esteemed coffee friend, so of course we had to try it. The shop is located in the “upper left” corner of Ladd’s Addition, in South East Portland. It’s right on a corner and has quite a bit of outdoor seating during the warmer months. There are lots of windows, so even when it’s too cold to sit outdoors, natural light is abundant.

The interior of the shop feels very open and airy, partly due to the windows and a skylight over the entryway. That feeling is reinforced by white walls, exposed ceiling beams (also painted white) white chairs, and light colored wood for the tables, counter, and accents. The floors are non-homogenous glazed concrete which adds warmth and character, preventing the space from feeling too formal or cold. The roaster is visible on the left side of the cafe. The cafe flow is natural, with merchandise to the left of the counter, the register directly in front of the entryway, and condiments/silverware to the right. There are a couple of large tables, several small tables, and a bar along the perimeter of the shop, providing lots of seating, which is good, because they are usually busy.

Not only does Upper Left serve coffee and espresso drinks, they also have a food menu including toasts and egg dishes. It is perfect for a light brunch, and all of the food I have tried has been delicious. Espresso options include one single origin, their house blend, and a decaf option. There are two coffee options, one for drip and one for pour overs (done on a Kalita Wave). One of my favorite things about the shop is their house-made almond-macadamia nut milk. I always appreciate coffee shops making their own alternative milk, as store bought milk options often have fillers and additives that I don’t especially want to put in my body. Plus, house made milks usually taste amazing, and Upper Left’s almond-macadamia milk definitely does.

The barista who helped us with our order greeted us while finishing up a pour over, and was quite friendly, something I always appreciate; no one wants a snobby barista, even if they do make good coffee. I ordered their espresso blend, as I feel that gives a good baseline as to how well shots are pulled and how intentional a coffee shop is about quality across the board. Of course, Remington ordered the Keneon Chire that we had come in to try, as well as a cold brew. We got a chocolate chip cookie to split, and an iced almond-macadamia milk for Everly. Another awesome thing about Upper Left: they offer a complementary kid’s drink. I didn’t know that prior to ordering, but it was a pleasant surprise and made me feel even more valued as a customer. Coffee shops can sometimes feel unwelcoming towards children, and I really appreciate the effort that Upper Left puts in making me feel that my child is gladly received in their shop. I could go on about children and coffee shops, but I’ll save that for its own post.

We found a couple seats at one of the large tables to enjoy our drinks. Despite a line when we came in, our espressos came out pretty quickly and were served in white Not Neutral demitasses with sparkling water on the side. There was no spoon with the espresso, which was unusual for specialty coffee shops, but if they prefer their customers to drink their espresso without stirring, then it would make sense to not give a spoon. The espresso blend tasted full and balanced, with a chocolatey body, and spicy finish, like nutmeg and cayenne. It was not my favorite shot of espresso, but it would work nicely in milk; a macchiato or cappuccino would be delightful. I did have a sip of the Keneon Chire as well and it was amazing. To me it tasted just like apricot jam, although strawberry was supposed to be a major flavor note. Either way, it was delicious.

In past visits, Upper Left Roasters has felt a bit aloof, with lots of people on computers and an almost library-like vibe, but this visit, it felt much more comfortable, with friendly baristas, people chatting, and a welcoming atmosphere. It would be an ideal place to come and work on something at a computer, but it would also work well as a place to catch up with friends or enjoy a morning brunch date. It has more outdoor seating than most Portland coffee shops, making it an excellent choice during warm months.

If you have been to Upper Left, what did you think? Where have you been to coffee lately? Connect in the comments!

Triangulation and Children

Triangulation Competition
Foxy Coffee Co.
9 May 2017

Following local coffee shops on Instagram provides particular benefits, including finding out about low-key triangulation competitions going on. When I saw that Foxy Coffee Co. was putting on a triangulation at their shop on SE Belmont on a Tuesday evening that I was available, I jumped at the opportunity to participate. I had never participated in a triangulation before, but I had heard about them, and I thought it would be a lot of fun.

For those who have not heard of a triangulation before, a bit of explanation is warranted. Triangulation is a way to taste different coffees. As the name implies, it involves sets of three coffees. Of the three coffees, two are the same and one is different. The goal in a triangulation is to taste the three coffees and pick the odd one out. Depending on one’s level of experience, and the coffees used, this can be extremely difficult. It could be as different as a lightly roasted, fruity coffee from Ethiopia and a dark roast from Starbucks, or as similar as two similarly roasted and processed coffees from different farms in the same country. This triangulation was somewhere in between, although I never did ask about the particular coffees used, so I can’t say with certainty. It consisted of six sets of three coffees and about ten people participated. I had no idea what to expect as far as difficulty. I had never tested my palate in that way. While I do try to be mindful of what I’m tasting when drinking coffee in everyday life, I couldn’t say how good a job I would do at it.

I went to the triangulation with Remington, Everly, and Jude. I love going to coffee events with my children. There is definitely more involved in taking them to events: my attention is somewhat diverted from whatever is going on, as they do need to be conversed with and cared for. On the other hand, the opportunity to share with them things that I love is priceless, and they do enjoy their time more often than not. To me, bringing my children in to the things I am passionate about is valuable for a number of reasons. A big one is that it shows them a side of me beyond simply “mom” and gives them an example of what pursuing their own interests can look like. I don’t want my life to revolve around my children any more than I want my life to revolve around my marriage or work. Instead, I want to intentionally integrate my children into my everyday life, along with marriage and work, creating an integrated whole of my life, rather than fragmented modes of “mom,” “wife,” “work,” “self-care,” “spirituality,” and so on.

I am a human being, I am a woman, I am a mom and a wife and a Christian and a writer and a homemaker and a barista, and I don’t have time to partition my life out into a hundred different boxes. I clean the house with my children, I pray and recite scripture while I’m cooking dinner, I take care of myself by pulling shots and pouring lattes, I hang out with my husband at coffee shops and triangulations. Sure, there are times when I focus on one aspect of myself in particular, but I don’t try to “balance” the various aspects of my life. I find ways to bring all of myself, or as much of myself as possible, into every situation.

So, I bring my children to triangulations to show them what it looks like to pursue one’s interests while living an integrated life. Yes, there were a couple times that Remington or I had to take Everly outside for a few minutes to help her calm down, and I probably should have brought more snacks for her. Yes, it was a little challenging to juggle children, especially while concentrating and tasting coffees. Yes, we had to leave directly after the event instead of hanging out afterwards. And yes, little Jude had a few moments of frustration that he couldn’t crawl everywhere and chew on everything. Nevertheless, I would do it again happily. I got to have a blast participating in a triangulation with Remington, Everly was exposed to people that she wouldn’t have met otherwise and saw her parents having fun doing something they enjoyed, Jude really just wants to be with his mom all the time, so he appreciated not having a babysitter. And honestly, it’s important to me to expose other people to the idea that life isn’t over after having children, and you don’t need to either stop doing things for fun or have the extra money to pay for a babysitter every time you want to do something you enjoy. Children really are a blessing and a joy and bring such awareness and growth in life. My children expand my ideas about what is possible and what is important, and I have the express privilege of exposing them to things I find fascinating and fun. Why wouldn’t I involve them?

Photo credit: Angel (@smalltimeroasters)
I tasted six sets of three coffees with little Everly on my back. I tried a new way of enjoying and appreciating coffee, and stretched my coffee tasting abilities. I took almost seven minutes to try the coffees (seven minutes was the cutoff time), and when the results came in, I had gotten four of six correct and won second place! It was really exciting and encouraging for me. It is good to know that all my work intentionally tasting coffees is actually creating results and allowing me to distinguish differences in coffees. Remington got three out of six correct and took a minute or two less time than I did. Oddly, he got correct the coffees that I got wrong, and I got correct the coffees he got wrong. Apparently we make a good pair. I look forward to participating in another triangulation someday soon. And if they’re interested, someday I’ll be able to share the entire experience with my children and we’ll all be tasting coffees together. I look forward to that, but in the mean time, I will keep exposing them to things I’m interested in and keep living an integrated life with coffee and children and everything else.

Have you participated in a triangulation? What do you think about exposing children to your interests? Share your thoughts and experiences!

Photo credit: Elizabeth Chai (@chaiamericano)

Courier Coffee Roasters

Courier Coffee Roasters
923 SW Oak St
Portland, OR 97205

I first visited Courier Coffee Roasters around the same time I first visited Coava. It made a huge impression on me at the time and I frequently cite it as my favorite Portland coffee shop (although that changes depending on my mood and who’s asking). It is hard to define why exactly I love Courier so much. Emily McIntyre, in a PDX Eater article which I can no longer locate, called Courier “a quintessential Portland coffee shop,” and I have to agree. While it may not be a typical coffee shop, to me, it embodies the real Portland: grungy, understated, distinctive, legit hipster, and freaking awesome.

It was a sunny Friday in the late afternoon when Remington, Everly, Jude, and I visited Courier. The windowed shop front let it copious amounts of light and made the space feel a bit larger. The floor is concrete, the walls are white. Decorations are sparse and consist of local art for sale. Tables are white, chairs are wood, as is the counter and the bar by the window. Music consists of vinyl records chosen and switched out by the baristas regularly. It is not a large shop; there are three two-person tables and one four-person table, along with a few seats along the counter and the bar in the window. The menu is written on the window and also on a rectangle of card stock at the bar. As far as coffee shop spaces go, this one never pretends to be upscale or polished. As others have mentioned, cleaning doesn’t seem to have very high priority, except the espresso machine and the space behind the counter, which always looks clean and presentable, if a bit cluttered with supplies and ingredients. They’re not trying to win an award for their space, and I’m fairly confident they didn’t hire an interior designer, but it feels refreshingly un-done up and casual.

Despite the fact that I love Courier and love espresso, I had never actually ordered an espresso. Their 8 oz mocha is so incredibly thick and rich and delicious, not to mention very hipster in a mason jar, that I hadn’t bothered to order anything else. If you like drinks mostly consisting of amazing chocolate with a little espresso, I highly recommend the mocha. This time, although I did still order a mocha, I tried the espresso as well. Remington ordered a pour over and Everly was happy to drink the sparkling water, plus sips of my mocha. The espresso came with a full 8 oz of sparkling water in a mason jar. It was pulled very short, maybe a little too short as it left me wanting another. It felt light and smooth with a note of sugar cane and lots of sweetness. There was more complexity than that, but the shot was so short, I didn’t have enough sips to analyze it all. It was really good. It was really good. I cannot believe I never tried it sooner, it will definitely be what I order next time I go in, unless I am in desperate need of chocolate.

I love Courier Coffee Roasters a lot. More than just espresso and milk and chocolate, it provides a unique experience of Portland. I recommend ordering either an espresso or an 8 oz mocha for here and just sitting, observing, experiencing. It would also be a good shop to come with a friend or a sketchbook.

Have you been to Courier? I would love to hear what you think of it. Where have you been to coffee this week? Let me know in the comments!

Coava Coffee Roasters: Brew Bar

Coava Coffee Roasters
1300 SE Grand Ave
Portland, OR 97214

When the sun shines in Portland, it makes some of the decisions for you, like the decision to go to coffee at Coava Coffee Roasters Brew Bar on SE Grand. I still have not been to their new Espresso Bar on Hawthorne, but I love the Brew Bar’s many large lead glass windows and spacious interior shared with Bamboo Revolution. Coava (pronounced kōvuh) is a Portland coffee culture staple started in 2008, and was actually the first place I tried espresso back in 2011, an experience I won’t forget. They are super solid roasters, source excellent coffees, and the baristas are on point. You can always expect some fantastic coffee or espresso when you visit.

Coava’s space is on the corner of Grand and SE Main Street. Lead glass windows are plenty, letting in copious amounts of light and adding even more character to the older building. Concrete floors and walls with wood furnishings, ceiling, and accents don’t infringe on the spaciousness of the shop while the Probat roaster next to the bar and the old metal working milling machine in the corner add some interest to the otherwise sparse space. There is a bar along the south wall with lots of outlets for those interested in working on their computer. The floor holds several larger tables great for sitting with a group of people or alone, and the milling machine, which has been converted into a bar-height table.

The barista offered to answer any questions we had while deciding on drinks. One thing I love about Coava is how simple their menu is. It consists of two single origin offers for pour overs and two single origin espresso options which can be made into any traditional milk based drink or a honey latte. I ordered their Los Nacientes, Costa Rica espresso. Remington ordered the other single origin espresso, and Everly got a pastry. The espresso was served with water and was really enjoyable with a bite of acidity at the front end, a sweet body reminiscent of dried apricots and graham, and a very smooth finish. I think it would go splendidly with milk, although it was delightful all on its own. I also tried a sip of Remington’s espresso, which was an Ethiopian, although I don’t remember the region. It was the most incredible burst of berry I think I’ve ever had in an espresso.

If you have never been to Coava, I highly recommend checking it out. I would put it on the short list of essential Portland coffee shops, and I’m not the only one. The openness, the windows, the baristas, not to mention the straight up excellent coffee and espresso, come together to make it a wonderful place to come for coffee either alone or with group. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu, but it is the perfect place to come for a pour over or espresso.

Where have you gone to coffee this week? Have you been to Coava’s Brew Bar or Espresso Bar? Tell me what you think!

Seattle!

Last weekend, Remington, Everly, Jude, and I took a three-day weekend and went up to Seattle to experience the U.S. Coffee Championships. We drove up Thursday afternoon and stayed at an Airbnb in Ballard.

{If you are still staying in hotels when you travel, you should give Airbnb a try. It is essentially renting a room in someone’s house (or you can rent an entire house…excellent for traveling with extended family or for extra privacy and full house access) and is usually less expensive than a hotel. You can often use the kitchen and laundry, and occasionally the yard. My favorite part about it, however, is getting to experience real life in the city I’m traveling to. Experiencing personal hospitality, the unique personality of each host, and the city and family culture in which we are staying is priceless. I’ve enjoyed garden fresh vegetables and forest views, amazing vegan waffles for breakfast, farm-fresh eggs, impromptu folk music, wonderful local recommendations, and so many meaningful conversations. I count it a privilege to meet and interact with such a wide variety of people, and I highly recommend the experience. If you are interested in checking it out, you can get $40 off your first trip by clicking HERE. And feel free to ask me any questions you may have about Airbnb. We have used it exclusively for travel since discovering it a little over a year ago and I love talking about it!}

We had a blast on our trip. On Friday morning, we went to a Nordic Approach cupping at the La Marzocco Showroom and Cafe. Everly enjoyed smelling and tasting coffees with me, and Remington and I loved the opportunity to experience a variety of excellent coffees from Costa Rica, Burundi, and Kenya. The hosts from Nordic Approach were friendly and knowledgeable, which made the experience even better. If you are looking for a green coffee bean supplier, you should check them out: www.nordicapproach.no.

While at La Marzocco, we took the opportunity to try some coffee and espresso from their featured roaster, Tim Wendelboe. We collectively got both of the espresso options, as well as a Kenyan pour over, a cup of milk, and a chocolate chip cookie. It did not disappoint. We enjoyed both espressos, one a Columbian: sweet, rich, heavy, dried fruit, and an Ethiopian: bright, delicate, light, fruity. The pour over was also delightful, and Everly seemed to enjoy eating the cookie and blowing bubbles in the milk. The cup design stood out: a sleek, white finish and unique shapes. Each espresso came in a differently shaped mug, as did the coffee.

We went to Pike Place Market to enjoy the gorgeous 60 degree and sunny weather, as well as to eat some lunch. This was our first time in Seattle for more than a few hours, so we wanted to get something as notorious as Pike Place in our agenda. It was lovely and colorful and tasty and vibrant. A very fun experience.

On Friday evening, I went to the Coffee ON:Line meet up at Cherry Street Public House. Remington and the kids played around in the courtyard while I drank some incredible house-made Almond/Brazil Nut milk over ice and listened to thoughts on making coffee online from four successful coffee writers/designers/instagrammers. While not all of the information was interesting or applicable to me specifically, overall, there were some great points made and I left inspired.

Saturday was our day to watch the Championships. We started the morning with one and ones and a light breakfast from Cherry Street Coffee House, then watched the Barista Championship semi-finals. It was incredible. It was my first experience watching a coffee competition, and I was completely blown away. It’s so much more than just making drinks. The routines that we saw showed a deep understanding of the science and technical side of coffee: ratios, origins, grind, grams, tamping, flavor notes; and a great respect for the art and personal side of coffee: farmers, service, combining flavors, aesthetics, presentation, relationships. If you have never watched a competition before, you are missing out. I recommend looking up the recording of the competition. It inspired me. It expanded my view of what is possible with coffee and career and community. Plus, I would love to compete someday.

After the competition ended, we went to Cherry Street Public House for dinner and coffee with some friends who had also come up for the competition. Each of us ordered a different USBC winner specialty drink and had fun tasting each of them. After chatting for a while, we drove back home to Portland. It was a wonderful weekend experiencing a whole other side of coffee than I’ve seen before. It was encouraging and inspiring, and I met some great people building a career in coffee

Prince Coffee

Prince Coffee
2030 N Willis Blvd
Portland, OR 97217

On a very PNW Saturday afternoon (i.e. cloudy and rainy), Remington, Everly, Jude, and I visited Prince Coffee in the Kenton neighborhood of Portland. Started by a former Barista employee, Prince Coffee is a Scandinavian-inspired, multi-roaster coffee shop that shares space with an upholstery business (no need to be concerned about accidentally spilling coffee on expensive furniture though, the coffee shop is in the front and separated from the upholstery business by a doorway). The straightforward and unassuming concrete-block building opens up into a delightfully inspiring interior with fabulous coffee.

Even though it was cloudy and rainy, the interior of Prince Coffee accentuated the light that was outside. There are lots of large windows for the size of the shop and the lights enhance the natural light coming in from outside, allowing for a bright, but comfortable atmosphere. Seating includes bars at each of the front windows, counter seating near the register, and benches around the perimeter with small tables and stools. A variety of textures – concrete floors, painted concrete block walls, wainscoting, wood paneling and accents, live plants – give interest to the space and makes it feel comfortable, despite the primarily white walls and somewhat minimal decor (including a large dream catcher and a block of wall painted black).

 

The barista was friendly and greeted us upon arrival. He answered our questions about their offerings and patiently waited for us to come to a decision. I ordered an espresso for myself. Prince Coffee always offers two espresso options, one roasted by Rose Line, the other roasted by Coava. I chose the El Placer from Columbia roasted by Rose Line. It was delightful. The barista pulled the shot skillfully and decanted it into a clean demitasse. The initial note that I tasted was cinnamon, followed by a deeper sweet, raisin flavor. It was really full in the high and low frequencies, a bit lacking in the midrange, but still very pleasant and interesting. The cinnamon note would easily cut through milk, lending itself very well to a latte or cappuccino. Remington ordered the espresso by Coava, an Ethiopian, as well as their drip coffee which was roasted by Heart. Everly got a cup of steamed milk, as usual. We also ordered one of their house made stroopwafels: two thin, round, waffle-like flats sandwiching a caramel-y sweetness. They add a delicious and unique touch to the shop, further emphasizing the Scandinavian vibe.

I would describe Prince Coffee as delightfully inspiring. From the location to the atmosphere to the coffee and stroopwafels and the barista, everything was delightful. It was a pleasant place to hang out as a family. It would be an ideal place to come with a book; order a drip coffee or an espresso and a stroopwafel, sit at the bar by the window, and spend an hour or so reading and soaking in the atmosphere. Leave refreshed and energized. Or order an espresso and have a chat with a good friend.

Have you been to Prince Coffee? What were your thoughts? Where have you been out to coffee this week? Leave a comment and continue the conversation.

Five Points Coffee Roasters

Five Points Coffee Roasters
3551 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97202

I visited Five Points Coffee Roasters’ SE location with Remington, Everly, and Jude on a drizzly Friday evening. Five Points recently opened a new location in SW, but I wanted to check out their original location. Opened in 2010, Chris Larson’s shop on Division was initially called Coffee Division, but soon after opening, began roasting as Five Points, and changed the cafe name shortly thereafter. The cafe is located in a building originally built in the early 1900s and has that favorite-pair-of-jeans comfortable feeling that I’ve only found in historical buildings.

Five Points’ stained concrete floors, white and blue walls, black ceiling, and wood counter and tables give an agreeable, unpretentious vibe, while the street side wall, with its large, red-trimmed windows, brick, bar, and stools add character and interest while providing a perfect spot for people-watching. Through a doorway, you can find the atrium, a cozy, windowed room. I didn’t catch any pictures of it, as it was full of people studying or quietly conversing, which it is well suited for. The walls are decorated with artwork from local artists for sale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was obviously nearing closing time when we came in at a quarter to 6:00pm. The atrium was comfortably full, but the main room had only a couple tables taken. The barista greeted us and explained their offerings. The menu is fairly typical for a Portland coffee shop with drip coffee, pour overs (on a V60), the standard espresso drinks, chai, and cold brew. They also carry some bottled or canned juice, sodas, and beer. Whole bean coffee, shirts, mugs, hats, and Hario V60 pour over supplies are available on their merch shelves. They offer a few single origin pour over options, and a single origin espresso option, in addition to their blend.

I ordered a double with their High Score espresso blend. The particular beans in the blend change year by year, but this year, it is a blend of Columbian, Guatemalan, and Ethiopian beans. Remington ordered their single-origin espresso, La Hacienda, Colombia and a sixteen ounce drip, Othaya Peaberry, Kenya. After ordering our drinks, we sat down at the bar, which was completely empty. It provided us space to enjoy our drinks and allowed Everly room to switch chairs and climb around a bit between sips of milk.

My espresso was served in a blue demitasse with the standard accoutrements, including sparkling water. After snapping a few photos, and taking a sip or two of the provided sparkling water, I tasted my espresso. It was really full and balanced with a very heavy and creamy mouthfeel and a distinctly chocolate-y note. After the initial taste, I noticed some back of the mouth acidity, which gave it a bit of complexity and promised the ability to cut through milk had I ordered a milk-based drink. Overall, I was pleased with the espresso. I could tell that the barista had everything dialed in well and was comfortable pulling it.

After finishing our espressos, we headed out. Our visit to Five Points Coffee Roasters was quite pleasant and we would certainly come back. In the midst of the modernization of SE Division, it feels like a breath of fresh air to go to a quality coffee shop that feels like it’s been there forever. And those windows…I would come back just to sit at the bar and ponder the greater meaning of life while absentmindedly staring out the window. With an espresso, of course.

What coffee shops have you been to this week? Have you been to Five Points? Tell me about your experience in the comments!

Me, Maurie Roselaine

I am a twenty-something writer and coffee aficionado who loves espresso, family, sacramental living, local food, homemaking, personality psychology, travel, personal development, doing things the hard way, and living slow enough that I can enjoy it all.

I am an Introvert-iNtuitive-Feeler-Judger (INFJ), which basically means I’m freaking awesome. Deep thinking, planning, and setting goals are strengths of mine. Communicating ideas through writing, distilling a situation to come up with a decision that is beneficial to everyone, empathy, and a desire to help others are also strengths. Not on my strengths list: initiating conversations in new situations, maintaining small talk, being bubbly and gregarious, and consistently keeping my house clean. If you are a personality geek too, I am an Enneagram 2 (I think), a high C/S, and a Melancholy/Phlegmatic. (I’d love to hear from you on personality typing!)

Coffee-wise, I love espresso the most, especially shots pulled on bottomless portafilters into the same cup that it will be served in for maximum crema. It makes me a little sad that it’s gone so quickly though. Macchiatos are another favorite, but again, three ounces only lasts so long. Single shot cappuccinos are perfect after 2pm so that I’m not up all hours of the night. Iced lattes are my favorite in summer. I love black coffee, four ounces is just about perfect for me. It’s about the taste, not the caffeine, for me. I also love cream and sugar, with or without coffee. I often order an eight ounce black coffee and drink half black and the other half with way more cream and sugar than is socially acceptable. Going to different coffee shops is a favorite pastime of mine and my husband. When in a new town, the first thing we look for is the best coffee shop. Many of our dates and family outings consist of trying a new coffee shop or hitting up an old favorite. (Thatcher’s in Vancouver, WA. Lava Java in Ridgefield, WA. Too many to list in Portland.)

Speaking of husband and family, I have been married to Remington for four and a half years at this point, and life has never been dull. I went from living at home in Idaho and spending most of my time reading and writing and working, to buying a house, moving across the state, having a baby girl,
moving to Washington, and having a baby boy. All within those four and a half years. My daughter, Everly, is now two-and-a-half, and my baby boy, Jude, is just under a year old. I mostly stay at home with them, which I love. We enjoy reading lots of books, baking occasionally, playing at the library or the park, and going on walks, mostly to coffee shops. Everly already loves coffee, but I try to limit her to steamed milk, and maybe just a sip of my drink. I have not given Jude coffee yet. But I do sing the Beatles song, “Hey Jude” to him often.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as what to expect from this blog, I’m not quite sure at this point. Nevertheless, you can definitely expect posts about coffee and coffee shops, some geeking out on personality psychology, and probably some homemaking thoughts, including musings on living slow and enjoying life as it is, not just waiting for my someday ideal. Lists of things that I love are to be expected, and probably lists of other things as well. Conversation is always encouraged, so comment or shoot me an email – I’d love to connect!