Of course, there are some mornings when even the most divine kitchen brew just won’t do; you want to hear the hiss of steam, the click of a grinder lever, the low murmur of citizens engaged in lively conversation. Fortunately, you can hardly walk a block in this town without passing a café … or two or three. American coffee drinkers throw back an average of 3.1 cups per day (and we’d be willing to bet that Portlanders slurp more than their share). Be it a Wi-Fi café, a place to people-watch or simply a quiet spot to read, Portland has a coffee shop for every type of addict. Here are 12 homegrown favorites at which to get your fix.
BEST CUP OF COFFEE
3352 SE Belmont •• 503-467-4123
The only thing that outshines the glass vats of beans at this Belmont coffee shop is the sleek machine sitting in the corner. Meet the Clover 1s, considered the Aston Martin of coffeemakers. Dreamed up by two Seattle engineers, the computerized marvel combines the vacuum pot and French press methods; in a roughly minute-long symphony of whirrs and whooshes, it conjures a mug full of bliss, based on the specifications (cup size, grind size, water temperature and brew time) entered by the barista. Connoisseurs say the Clover 1s makes the best cup of coffee every time—and at $11,000, it should. —Kasey Cordell
BEST PLACE TO CURL UP WITH A GOOD BOOK
2511 SE Belmont •• 503-230-8914
The archetypal Portland coffee shop—open layout, concrete floors, loudish jams, a motley assortment of people and furniture—incites distraction; it’s not the sort of place you’d want to tackle (yet again) your paperback copy of Gravity’s Rainbow. Dispensing with the big-room aesthetic (and its accompanying din) is the Shop, housed in a corner bungalow, where walls divide the sipping space into cozy nooks that are part library, part living room—and all invitation to linger. Plants, low lighting, soft music and a hodgepodge of knickknacks add to the cozy vibe, and no one will shoo you away for plucking one of the 400-plus books from the shelves and whiling away an afternoon on the leather chaise lounge next to the gas fireplace. —Jill Davis
Read More Five steps to brewing the very best coffee you’ve ever had the pleasure to sip