Coffee

Portland's passion for fine ingredients and careful craft extends into coffee cups.

Since before Starbucks spilled across the map from its headquarters in the Pacific Northwest, Portland’s coffee culture has kept locals caffeinated with a mix of independent roasters and small cafés, each brewing up espressos, Americanos and lattes with beans from around the world. And if you know where to go, you can get a mugful of its rich history for yourself.

Start with a step back in time at Jim & Patty’s Coffee, a friendly neighborhood haunt where the owners man the till and serve up hot drinks like their spicy Habanero Mocha and their Peanut Butter Fudge Mocha. You may hear people refer to this shop as “Coffee People,” which was the name of Jim and Patty’s beloved chain, which kept Portland caffeinated from 1983-1998 (and lived on under different ownership until mid-2016).

Coffee Culture

Sample Portland's coffee scene with these guides to local roasters and cafes.

Downtown Portland Coffee Crawl

Portland’s bean scene is as accessible as it is diverse. In fact, you don’t have to leave downtown to sample some of the best cups.

Portland’s Bison Coffeehouse Celebrates Indigenous Culture

Meet Loretta Guzman, owner of Bison Coffeehouse in Northeast Portland, the city’s only Native-owned coffee shop.

Quiet Places Made for Reading

Pick up a winning read at one of Portland’s many independent bookstores and curl up in a cozy corner of one of these eight local coffee shops.

Picking up Coffee People’s torch, Stumptown Coffee Roasters kept Portland on the coffee map when owner Duane Sorenson started sourcing, roasting and delivering his own beans from his Southeast Division coffeehouse. With five Portland locations (and many other shops serving up his roasts), their beloved beans have brought living wages to coffee farmers worldwide through a financially transparent supply chain. While that sounds good, the end product tastes even better — whether it’s a bottled cold brew, espresso, or made with a Chemex, their Costa Rican, Ethiopian, and Indonesian blends each have distinct tastes and can be purchased by the bag to make at home.

two cups of coffee sit on a table
Credit: Catalina Gaitan

Since pouring their first cup in 2005, Ristretto Roasters has also brewed signature smooth espressos and lattes at its Mississippi location, medium-roasting their beans at an eastside facility. Coava Coffee Roasters owner Michael Higgins started making his artisanal brews in his garage in 2008, but now the company’s Southeast Portland brew bar, located adjacent to their roastery, offers coffee flights, so drinkers can taste the difference in their cups. Since 2009, Heart Roasters has been perfecting the ideal coffee one cup at a time, using an aeropress, precise timing and exact measurements, and they’ll show you how seven days a week at their eastside coffee lab.

5 To Try

Unique Coffee Spots

Sample flavors from around the world and unique coffee concoctions at these one-of-a-kind cafes in Portland.

  • Good Coffee

    This hip, bright coffee shop serves coffee, tea, seasonal drinks and pastries.

  • Proud Mary Cafe

    This café serves fine coffee, plus all-day breakfast, lunch offerings, high-end tea, fresh juice, smoothies, cakes and pastries. They use fresh, sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients.

  • Revolución Coffee House

    In addition to coffee, this café offers traditional Mexican comfort drinks, light fare and desserts. They serve single-origin Mexican coffee grown by fair-trade cooperatives of native Mayan farmers.

  • Either/Or

    This Southeast Portland café offers locally roasted coffee, pastries and house-made bagels. Espresso and beverage flights are available (along with a rotating “mocktail”) — their drinks use house-made syrups, sodas and chai.

  • Kiosko

    Expert coffee maker emphasizing low-waste and plant-based drink options (try the mushroom- and date-derived “horchata de hongo,” an herbaceous take on the classic Latin American beverage horchata).

Though Water Ave. Coffee officially opened in 2009, the father-son team behind this Eastside roaster has a longstanding history with coffee: Bruce Milletto has spent a lifetime shaping the industry as a Specialty Coffee Association of America “Coffee Luminary,” and opened the American Barista and Coffee School in 2003 alongside his son Matt Milletto, who’s currently the president of the Oregon Coffee Board.

Beaverton-based coffee roaster Dapper & Wise has flown largely under the radar. Their, trendy corner cafe on Southeast Division offers unique mochas and chais alongside their locally roasted coffee and cold brew.

person buying coffee at a coffeeshop
One of Portland’s original coffee roasters, Stumptown Coffee on Southeast Division Street is a local favorite.
Credit: Catalina Gaitan

If you miss out on these roasters, their brews are also available at coffeehouses around town. Barista, with gorgeous shops perfect for people-watching in the Pearl District, Alberta Street and downtown, pours masterfully made espressos from a variety of roasters. Case Study Coffee, meanwhile, began as an espresso catering company but has since evolved into a pair of locations (downtown and on East Burnside) where small-batch roasted beans and house-made syrups make cups worth savoring.

Tea: Portland’s Other Hot Brewing Scene

Tea drinkers can enjoy a favorite cuppa or sample exotic varietals in Portland's teahouses. Chai tea, bubble tea and classic green tea are just a few of the many teas brewed in and around Portland.