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!