Portland’s micro-roasting maestros
Some of the city’s best baristas put in shifts at the three-year-old Heart Roasters, whose slick East Burnside cafe is a favourite hangout of Portland’s trendy set and a good place to eavesdrop on the new language of coffee culture (words like “pour over” and “single origin”) while sipping a superbly-crafted latte.
Another micro-roaster with a burgeoning reputation is Coava Coffee Roasters, where skilled but laidback baristas are more likely to call you “dude” than “sir”. Sharing a large industrial space with a bamboo store in East Portland, the cafe´s decor is reminiscent of a school woodwork class, with large communal workbenches offering an ideal forum to chat with fellow aficionados, many of whom travel across the city for their daily fix. Coava’s coffee menu is unashamedly minimalist, offering only two choices of bean varietals (roasted next door) that change daily. Guatemalan, Ethiopian and El Salvadoran coffees are all popular, with the knowledgeable baristas meticulously channelling their complex flavours into perfectly balanced drinks.