So I recently (like last week) visited Portland with 3 main goals:
- drink as much beer as my body will handle
- see as much nature as the Willamette Valley will offer
- drink all the bougie coffee I can get my hands on
While I didn’t drink nearly enough beer or see as much nature as I wanted, I feel fully satisfied with my coffee exploration.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with iced coffee and I’ll drink it pretty much year-round. Not many know I have a secret obsession with mochas that dates back to my high school days when True Love Cafe (RIP) had their “Michael Jackson Mocha”, which by today’s standards would be shunned by our overly PC society for its mildly questionable name. It was a tuxedo mocha: half mocha, half white-mocha and it was fucking delicious.
Portland had me all in winter mode with the constant rain and being 10 degrees colder than it was when I left Sacramento, I knew I needed to find a decent mocha using my tried and true Temple “Mexican Mocha” as my benchmark.
Barista (top left)
This was my first mocha in the city, what struck me was the option of a semi-sweet (that’s what I chose) or dark chocolate mocha and if I recall correctly they were using some fancy bougie chocolate for it too. It was handcrafted, as expected and decent but no Temple.
St. 14 Café (top right)
We just happened to find this cafe as we were leaving Astoria and I needed a pick-me-up. While small and pricey, it packed a bigger flavor punch than its predecessor and the friendly Nor-Cal native barista turned me onto Oatly oat milk which I’ll be eternally grateful for.
Kiosko (bottom left)
$5-6ish (charged diff amounts each time we went)
5 million stars
Oh Kiosko, I found my home here. This tiny little kiosk near the waterfront in downtown Portland stole my heart and taste buds. The owner who was super friendly (we commiserated about how we’re the only Mexicans in the area and crave authentic eats), handcrafts the most beautiful “True Mexican” mocha with dried raspberry flakes and real cacao on top. It was a work of art and most definitely my favorite drink while I was in Portland. My only regret is not having tried it sooner than the last 2 days we were in town. It was just up the block from our hotel! I will come back for you one day, my sweet coffee love.
While we’re on the topic of amazing coffee…
I can’t talk Portland coffee and not mention Huber’s. I was coaxed into coming here our first night in town after a heavy dinner (I couldn’t breathe) and was promised a show. Boy, did I get one! We went so late the room was so dark there was no point to trying to video the action myself, for that you can check out this spot on Drinking Made Easy here. Set in Portlands oldest restaurant, dripping with history ranging from turkey sandwiches to trap door shanghais, the Spanish Coffee was a beautiful demonstration of adrenaline; coffee and lighting shit on fire. While the coffee was way to strong for myself, everyone seemed to enjoy theirs and I would highly recommend the iced coffee- but only because its a prettier sight to see poured. If you want to get your buzz on, caffeinated, and possibly lit on fire- definitely check this place out and you won’t be disapointed.