Bill Kearney, Editor-in-Chief
Bill Kearney, Editor-in-Chief
May 2020

As a city that’s obsessed with craft and sourcing, it makes sense that Portland is one of the birthplaces of the third-wave coffee movement. Stumptown Coffee Roasters kicked things off in 1999, followed by a proliferation of high-quality roasters building relationships with farmers, meticulously calibrating roast profiles and putting out some of the most delicious coffees in the world.

Heart Coffee

Known for their light roasting touch, which can bring out great nuances of flavor in the beans, Heart Coffee has been operating in Portland since 2009. They have three locations all around town – including one in the Pearl District near the city center – each with a clean Scandinavian vibe and knack for making the coffee experience feel extra special. Their classic Stereo Blend is a solid bet.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Now with 18 locations scatted across the country – including six in the city itself – Stumptown is widely considered as the grandfather of third-wave coffee in Portland. They put out a broad and solid array of coffees: from their very first blend the Hair Bender (made with beans from Indonesia, Latin America and Africa) to the Rwandan Huye Mountain offering, which has notes of honeydew melon and fresh lime. Don’t miss the seasonal slurps, such as the piña colada cold brew.

Good Coffee

With their latest location in the Woodlark hotel downtown (an area rife with Starbucks outlets), Good Coffee puts out vibrant, bright roasts and well-balanced espresso beverages. They also offer excellent breakfast snacks from the hotel’s restaurant, Bullard, manned by Top Chef finalist Doug Adams. Come by to sample the moreish jalapeño-cheddar sausage kolaches, an homage to Adams’ home state of Texas.


One of the city’s most renown roasters – which serves only single-origin coffee from farms that owner Matt Higgins has longstanding relationships with – Coava currently boasts three Portland locations. The flagship outlet on Grand Avenue makes for a classic coffee-sipping environment with a big industrial garage door, high ceilings, exposed beams and ardent coffee geeks aplenty.

Upper Left Roasters

This operation rocks an airy white and blond-wood interior, and roasts their delicious blends and single-origin varieties on-site: such as the Buesaco from Colombia, which has notes of agave, orange and pear; as well as the Andino from Peru, which offers plum, chocolate and caramel flavors. You can also sample delicious toasts such as cream cheese whipped with thyme, lemon balm and honey that’s topped with cucumber, salt and olive oil.

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