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.