6633 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97213
Getting coffee while on a date is pretty standard for Remington and I. We both love trying new roasters, experiencing new spaces, and meeting new people. We also both love drinking espresso. Whether we’re hitting up an old favorite or trying a shop we recently heard about, we almost always start our date with coffee. On a Monday evening, we had the opportunity to go on an early evening date. I had been hearing about Kainos Coffee on NE Sandy; since they stay open until 6p and are right across the street from a delicious-looking pizza restaurant, we decided to give it a try.
The shop is located in the Roseway neighborhood of Portland right next to an alterations shop. They have a small parking lot and some outdoor seating. The space isn’t large, but feels comfortable. There is a small bar on the right as you come in, merchandise on the wall adjacent, and the register and white Rocket espresso machine straight ahead. To the left is the majority of their seating, several small tables and another bar, as well as their totally Instagrammable mural which adds a fun and creative focal point. Floors are tile and walls are white, with the exception of the mural wall and black behind the counter. Below the register is painted teal. Tables are wood, chairs are black, white, or teal. The vibe is very fun and energetic.
Marten, one of the owners and barista on shift, greeted us when we arrived and answered questions about their menu and offerings. The menu includes the usual espresso, macchiato, cappuccino, latte, cold brew, and drip, as well as Happy Mountain kombucha, tea, and apple juice for those not into coffee (or just really into kombucha). Remington and I each ordered an espresso. I ordered the Freakin’ Yum, which is a blend of Guatemalan, Honduran, and Ethiopian coffees. Remington ordered the single origin Ethiopian. He also ordered a cold brew, which is also made with the Freakin’ Yum blend. Marten also gave us a sample of the drip coffee to compare, as it is also made with Freakin’ Yum.
The espresso really impressed me. Especially for being a blend, it had some distinct notes that worked well together. It was delightful on its own and would be great with milk as well. It was very juicy and fruity with a grapefruit acidity, muskmelon sweetness, and a lingering herbaceous flavor. I was surprised how well that same blend worked in the cold brew and drip coffee. I don’t drink a lot of cold brew, but it was one of the best that I’ve tried.
As we were the only customers in the shop, we were able to talk with Marten for a while about specialty coffee, community, and vision. What really stands out about Kainos is their commitment to being a valuable part of the local community and meeting people where they’re at, as well as their commitment to donate 21% of their profits to support orphans in the Philippines. It’s exciting to see a coffee shop making such a large impact in the world at large. You can learn more about what Kainos is doing in the Philippines at their website: kainoscoffeepdx.com.
Overall, we enjoyed our time at Kainos. It was a really fun and unique atmosphere, and Marten’s passion for coffee, community, and making a difference was inspiring. Because of the unpretentious, community-oriented vibe, I would recommend Kainos to anyone looking for a great cup of coffee or espresso in the Roseway area. It would be a nice place to come with a friend, with family in nice weather (more seating outside), or to work on a laptop, especially utilizing a bar seat.
Have you tried Kainos yet? What were your thoughts?