It’s no secret that there is an abundance of coffee options in Portland. Portland paved the way for craft coffee roasting, and continues to be a leader in the scene with an ever-growing roster of standout roasters.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters led the way back in 1999 when they opened their flagship café on SE Division Street. Founder Duane Sorenson wanted to source the highest quality beans for their coffee and began visiting farms with his employees to do just that. Stumptown’s “Green Team” now visits producers and farms to form long-lasting partnerships, where they routinely pay up to four times the fair-trade price in order to receive better quality beans and help implement new techniques for both parties involved. The Green Team also helps identify potential new producers so that Stumptown can invest in that farm to create more symbiotic relationships with the highest quality and best effort put forth.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters aim for sustainability, both environmentally and in terms of their coffee producer workforce being paid fairly. The coffee producers for Stumptown live in Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific and feature varieties such as Ethiopian Heirloom, Bourbon, Gesha and Villalobos. They currently offer whole beans in their Direct Trade House Blend, Holler Mountain, Hair Bender, French Roast, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Costa Rica and Rwanda blends. They also offer a wide variety of cold brew options that can be found in all of their cafes and retailers across the country. Stumptown has five Portland locations, including the original café on SE Division, one inside the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland, a location inside the Portland International Airport, a café on SE Belmont, a location on SW 3rd Avenue and public tastings available at their headquarters on SE Salmon Street. Stumptown has also expanded to Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and New Orleans.
Other standout Portland roasters include Coava Coffee Roasters. Founded in 2008 in a garage in North Portland, Coava practices ethical and sustainable farming and sourcing, and was named one of the best places to camp out with a cappuccino by Bon Appetit Magazine. Not to mention, Coava was one of the many stops Jerry Seinfeld makes on his Netflix show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Portlandia actor Fred Armisen. There’s also Heart Coffee that came on the scene in 2009. After over a decade of roasting coffee, Heart Coffee released a full transparency report detailing their efforts with direct trade and farming relationships. Portland Roasting Coffee was named one of the ten most sustainable coffee businesses in the United States for championing the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s START program, which uses a comprehensive software program to track energy usage on a per-pound basis.
There’s also Case Study Coffee with four Portland locations (a particularly exceptional and aesthetically pleasing location on NE Alberta.). The Australian coffee company Proud Mary Coffee chose Portland as its first US location. Additional notable roasters: Water Avenue Coffee, Upper Left Roasters, and Good Coffee.
Unique and notable cafes, many serving coffee from Portland-based roasters, include: Revolución Coffee forauthentic Mexican drinks and treats, Bison Coffeehouse as Portland’s only Native-owned coffee shop, Tōv Coffee for its location in a double decker bus and its specialization in Egyptian coffee and tea, and the sneaker-themed Deadstock Coffee.