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Saturday, June 24, 2017

My Portland Coffee Tour - Part 4

We're back to getting all caffeinated with Portland's coffee culture. In this series, I visit three or more independent coffee shops in the city and tell you what sets them apart from the rest and what I liked and didn't like about them. It's a chance to get away from the millions of Starbucks in the city and get a coffee in a new setting and give back to small businesses. 

portland coffee

I'm not against Starbucks. In fact, I love it because I always know what things will taste like, because I've had them before. They're great to pop into when on a trip, because they're quick and easy, but sometimes I just want to slow down and with so much great coffee in the Portland area, it's a shame I don't branch out more. So, here are the shops I've visited in June:

Case Study Coffee

Located in the Downtown area, this shop is one of the largest I've visited and has the most Starbucks-y atmosphere. The staff are super friendly and the shop is still cozy, despite its large size.

I parked across the street in the parking garage next to Case Study, so my visit was quite easy. The pastry case made it hard to choose something, so I went for a garlic herb bagel with cream cheese (though I could have also had it with either butter or hummus). The flavor was outstanding and they actually gave me enough cream cheese for both halves of my bagel, which seems like an issue a lot of places if they don't put the cream cheese on for you.

I just went with a vanilla latte as my drink of choice. The coffee prices seemed a little high here, so I just ordered a small size, which was still kind of large. While I waited, I watched one of the baristas make a pour-over. They seem to be all the rage now. Since I paid for parking, I ended up well over $10 for my breakfast. That would have been fine if I had been downtown for another reason, but I wasn't. My coffee was a whopping $5, but my bagel (which came from Bowery Bagels) was $2.50 ($2 for the bagel and $.50 for the cream cheese). $7.50 is still on par with Starbucks though, so I suppose it's not that spendy in comparison. 

Prosperity Pie Shoppe

Multnomah Village in SW Portland has been getting a huge overhaul these last few years. One of the newish places that has moved in is this coffee/pie shop and educational center. It's a lovely and warm cafe with comfortable seating, friendly staff and large windows that open onto the sidewalk.

We were invited to Prosperity to see my father-n-law and his friend play music. We took the opportunity to order dessert, since they are open in the evenings. We got an iced chai tea latte (medium: $4), an iced mocha (medium: $4.45) and a slice of banana cream pie ($6.25). The coffee had a wonderful rich flavor and was very refreshing on the warm night. The slice of pie was large enough for us to not need to get a second slice between the two of us and was easy to tell it was homemade. Plus, look at this sweet little message on my plate!

Considering the shop is near a lot of fun boutique stores and up-and-coming restaurants, it makes it even more appealing to hang out in the area. I'll be returning in the future, whether I have a gig to go to or not. It just feels like a nice place to meet friends or have a chill date night. They serve real food as well, mostly salads, and also have a ton of different kinds of loose teas to choose from. 

Bogza Coffee

Sometimes, it's just fun to search your neighborhood for gems and Bogza is a wonderful hidden coffee shop in Beaverton's The Round. This warm and inviting bistro has all your favorite coffee drinks and then some of their own. They also have pretty wooden walls with a miniature gallery.  

I went in looking for the specials. I got a 16 oz honey lavender latte ($4.25) and a chocolate croissant ($2.50) that turned out to be as big as my face. It was a wonderful way to start the morning. I looks like they also have breakfast sandwiches, which I will definitely try next time I'm there. 

Several people were working from the shop, because there are some comfy seats throughout and you get a nice view of the "Round", which is sort of like a park made by apartments, restaurants, and businesses. It's also right on the MAX line. The staff were all super nice and welcoming. At less than $7 for a quick breakfast, this is a great place to hit up when starting your day, or for a pick-me-up in the afternoon.

What are some of your favorite coffee shops where you live or from your travels? What's the "thing" to order?

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