I will be attending the ABC school at the end of October and while in Portland my goal is to visit a few different cafes to get some ideas for what my cafe will look like as far as atmosphere and decor....It will be a cafe attached to our church, and our goal is to appeal to youth and young adults.  Any suggestions on trendy Portland cafes?

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"Barista" in the NorthWest part of portland is one of my favorite shops ever. The downtown Stumptown shop has great style and atmosphere too. The ABC guys will also let you know about all the best cafes in town.
The BARISTA shops (2 locations) are both definitely good choices. If your goal is to experience places with nice atmospheres here are some that I would suggest checking out:

- Coava
- Cloud 7
- Red E
- BARISTA (both the original in the Pearl District as well as the one on Alberta)
- Heart
- Matt's (of ABC) Water Avenue (I actually haven't been there yet, many of our baristas have, but I have seen inside a few times, lol)
- Coffeehouse 5
- Sterling
- Coffeehouse Northwest
- Albina Press
- Lava Java (out a ways, not in Portland, you'll need a car but the best Hairbender is served at Lava Java, IMO)
- Any of the Stumptown locations (depending on who your barista is, IMO)
- And of course, I welcome you to visit any of my locations as well (without turning this into a commercial post)

All of these spots are going to carry very different feels, vibes and decors. Coava is industrial feeling and very "natural." BARISTA 2 is very "I'm in a bar" feeling. Heart feels like a trendy hot spot where you have to watch where you step so you don't fall over all the hipsters just crawling around. Coffeehouse 5 feels like your neighborhood coffeehouse (with one of the best espressos around... I love me some Big Truck from Olympia Coffee Roasting). I chose these spots specifically because they are all so different, I think one of them should fit the bill for the "feel" of your shop.

These are all places at the absolute top of their game. They are all doing very exciting and innovative things with their programs and I think you'll leave Portland very excited to start what you want to do. I unfortunately don't know of any really cool church tied coffeehouses or else I would suggest some for you.

What days will you be in town? There are a few of us that go on coffee crawls on a regular basis and we'd love to take you around.

-bry
Great info Bryan! Thanks

My daughter & I will also be at ABC from the 22nd to the 26th!

Really looking forward to the trip!
We are driving, coming from Winnipeg, MB through Fargo then heading west if anyone knows of spots to stop along the way we would love to hear about them!

See you there Jed!
I literally saw 0 shops on my way across the country except for this one... Colter Coffee Roasting. I think it was somewhere in Montana, but I don't really remember. >>NM, google tells me it is indeed in Kalispell. Walked in, saw Mazzers and a La Marzocco and felt safe enough. Ordered a double shot and heard the grinder turn on (more good news for road coffee). The barista asked me where I was from (had mentioned I was on the road) and when I told her I was from MI traveling to the Portland area for coffee work, she proceeded to ask me questions for probably 20 minutes about where to go for training, the BGA, WBC etc etc. A breath of fresh air for sure.

Other than that, I didn't get off of the highway much so I can't comment on whether I just missed some gems or what, but that was a nice glimmer of hope.

-bry


Derryl Reid said:
Great info Bryan! Thanks

My daughter & I will also be at ABC from the 22nd to the 26th!

Really looking forward to the trip!
We are driving, coming from Winnipeg, MB through Fargo then heading west if anyone knows of spots to stop along the way we would love to hear about them!

See you there Jed!
Thanks Bry that info is extremely helpful...me and another guy will be arriving late on the 21st and flying back out the evening of the 26th. I'm stoked to experience Portland and all the coffee experience it has to offer. Those places sound nice, and we would definitely love to go on a coffee crawl with you guys if thats possible...our classes go til 4:30pm each day and I dont think we will have much else going on in the evenings. Appreciate the response, and Derryl I will see ya soon!
Hi Jed,

Looking forward to meeting you next week! We do an optional cafe tour as part of the class in addition to providing a list of great coffee destination in Portland by neighborhood. There are some excellent shops here and I'm sure you will love the coffee scene here as Portland is in many ways the epicenter of independent retailers in the US.

See ya soon!

Matt Milletto

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