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!