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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

My Portland Coffee Tour - Part 9

The cold weather has returned in full force in Portland, which means everyone's cramming into cozy coffee houses to get warmed up and catch up with friends or get some work done. This month has been pretty busy, but I've also had the chance to get to bunch of coffee shops, which you'd know if you followed me on Instagram. Even if you do, you may be excited to know more about the shops I visited and see more scrumptious pics.


This month I've kind of lucked into hitting up new shops, because I found myself in a few new (for me) parts of town, which means more exploring and more cups of caffeine.

Blend Coffee

While working on Swan Island some days this past month for a project, my coworkers and I found ourselves heading home in the middle of the day and taking a lunch break at a very Portland coffee shop in the middle of a lovely neighborhood. Blend is all warm woods and full of bundled up Portlanders. They have a great list of drinks, but three signatures that all sounded fantastic, so you know I had to try one.


I got a toasted bagel with cream cheese to eat on our way back home. They are sourced from Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels and it was absolutely one of the best bagels I've had...and it was a plain one. Sorry, I have no pic of it, as I snarfed it in the car. It was so worth the $2.75 I paid for it.

Let's get to my drink though, shall we? Blend serves Coava and Stumptown coffees, but I found that my drink here was much better than the ones I got at each of those roasters. There are four signature drinks here: The Honey Badger - an espresso with locally-sourced honey and cinnamon, The Harvest Moon - an espresso with milk and Dragonfly chai, the Inspired by Horchata - a cold-pressed coffee with milk, hazelnut and cinnamon, and the Espresso Fizz - an espresso with Q Tonic and orange bitters. 


I have a hard time passing by any chai drink, so I went with the Harvest Moon and I was not disappointed. It had the smoothness of a fantastic espresso, with just the right amount of sweet and spicy from the chai. I was sad I didn't order a larger size. A 12oz set me back $5, but it was a great cup of coffee. Next time I'm in the neighborhood, I'll be hitting up this shop again to try their other three signature drinks.

Haven Coffee

This shop used to be called Poppa's Haven, but has since
 rebranded and is in the middle of remodeling, so you won't see a wide shot. The one wall is covered in coffee sacks like wallpaper and the rest is a mish mash of random tables and chairs. This is where people go to meet up with friends and enjoy a nice cup of coffee. The shop is very nice and comfortable, full of regulars, but can be difficult to get to if you don't know exactly where it is and you're driving. The neighborhood doesn't really allow left-hand turns, so you'll have to go up and turn around and then take a u-turn. (Ask me how I know.)


I went in asking for a suggestion and they had just started serving a pumpkin chai latte for the season ($4.50), which I was all into. I also got it topped with homemade pumpkin whipped cream. The pumpkin and the chai were both subtle enough to not overpower each other, but flavorful enough to be a favorite. I complemented my drink with a lemon poppyseed quick bread ($2.75). I could have eaten this thing every day, and I'd probably put on 50 lbs, but at least I'd be happy. 

This place is remarkably Portland, with Kombucha on tap, free WiFi, and doing a Kickstarter to help with their cafe remodel. I liked it and I'll be interested to see how their remodel turns out when I return.


Java Lounge Coffee

So, this place is probably two blocks away from Haven, which I wasn't expecting. I also wasn't expecting to have, basically, a second breakfast when I showed up, but his place is just so inviting, it was hard to say no, so I didn't. Located in a beautiful home, Java Lounge feels like a getaway from real life. The whole bottom floor has been cleared out and and tables and chairs have been added for a little European cafe feel.


I went in and immediately spotted something called a Million Dollar Latte ($4.75). This is their signature drink, made with cold brewed espresso that takes two days to make until it mellows out and it's much less acidic. Now, you all know my feelings on cold brew coffee. I hate it. I took a chance though, and it totally paid off. This drink tastes much closer to a cafe au lait, which I'm a fan of.



Not only that, but I decided to try a fresh made breakfast sandwich. They charge $5 for a meat, egg and cheese sandwich on a bagel or English muffin, but for an extra $1, you can get a croissant made by La Provence, which is one of my favorite French bistros. I opted for that and my sandwich was as big as my head. It had spinach, onions and tomatoes on it and was awesome. I had to take half of it home though, because I totally couldn't finish it after the two huge coffees I'd had. And to top it all off, there was an adorable and friendly pup making the rounds.

I've got even more shops that won't fit in this post, but you can look forward to them in the coming months. If you want to follow along on my tour, as well as other Portland fun and travels afar, follow me on Instagram.
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