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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

My Portland Coffee Tour - Part 11

Happy end of the month! Do you need a little pick-me-up? Maybe a steaming hot cup of coffee? While I can't get that for you, I can bring you a few reviews of coffee shops that I've been to this month. It's been a crazy busy month and not in a great way. We've been battling the flu off and on, so I've not gotten out of the house as much as I'd like, plus I threw myself a 40th birthday party which took up a lot of time planning and prepping for, but it turned out awesome. You can see some pics on Instagram if you're interested.

So, this month I only made it to two shops on one of my rare days off where I didn't feel like I was dying and didn't want to get out of bed, and I wasn't off doing something I had planned previously with family/friends.

Triump Cofee 

This was a lucky find for me. I had been planning a trip to the next coffee shop (below) and searched for others in the area. I checked out their website and was sold. Their food sounded awesome and I liked the feel of it. When I got there, I liked it even better. 

I described this shop as having coffee at your grandma's house, but in the best possible way, because there are comfy 70s-era seating options (look at those goldenrod velvet chairs!) and all the servingware is mismatched. I glimpsed a set of of 70s plates my mom had in my childhood. It felt a bit like home. 

I was pretty confident in a recommendation from the barista, and he suggested the Cubano latte ($4.75) and I'm never turning down a coffee with cinnamon. I also settled on a ham and cheese croissant ($4.50) from the case and it was warmed up for me. The two made a pretty hearty breakfast and I was not disappointed. The croissant was perfectly flaky and yummy and the coffee was smooth and just spicy enough. I didn't need any sugar, because it wasn't too bitter. If you can find a parking spot, or are walking through the neighborhood, this is absolutely worth a stop. I could tell there were a bunch of regulars here, but I didn't feel out of place at all. This is a true gem in Portland.

Push X Pull Coffee

I found this shop on Insta and was INSTAntly intrigued (sorry). They just opened a few weeks ago and do all their own roasting. In fact, their website says "roasting coffee since a couple of days ago" and that made me giggle. They don't purport to be a long-time roaster at all, so I figured it would be interesting to give it a shot. 

As you can see, the space is bright and airy, with a definite modern minimalist vibe. There are coffee sacks around the shop and this amazing roasting machine that looks like it belongs in a science lab. I, again, asked for a recommendation and the barista asked me a few questions and then we decided on a latte made with a newly-roasted Colombian bean ($4.50) and I couldn't pass up a fantastic looking apple danish ($4.25) sitting with some other pastries on the counter. She found me one that hadn't been sitting out and it came out on a square white plate. 

I loved the vibe of this place instantly, but I was quickly disappointed. They obviously have a bit of work to do here, but I'm sure this a place that you will either love or hate. The pastry was super dry, except for the middle, and the apples were "rustic" and still had their peels, making it tough to eat. My latte was nothing special, and not at all worth the price when I had paid just $.25 more for a fantastic cup at a shop up the street. I added some raw sugar for a bit of sweetness, but I still think this shop is a bit overpriced. 

I loved the open space, but the high industrial-feel ceilings just made everything much louder and hard to relax and enjoy yourself. Perhaps Push x Pull will settle into its own as it gains experience, but with so many other options so nearby, I won't be giving it a second shot.

Here's to next month when I hopefully can caffeinate myself a bit more outside the house, but I hope these two reviews gave you the little coffee bump you needed today.

Tell me about your favorite coffee shop where you live or from your travels.

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