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Saturday, June 30, 2018

My Portland Coffee Tour - Part 15

Can you believe July is almost here? I can't! The year is halfway over and it feels like it just started. At least some things don't change, like the neverending supply of coffee in the Portland area. My Portland coffee tour has been on a roll for over a year and there are still so many shops to visit!

This month I chose one close to home and two further away in more touristy parts of the city.

Carina's Bakery

Beaverton is becoming a bit of an up-and-coming city. Just 8 miles outside of downtown, we've got food cart pods and boutique shops and some lovely restaurants and cafes. Carina's just opened not too long ago and is touted as a coffee house and bakery with a Scandinavian twist. They also only employ disabled persons, most of which are legally blind and who need guide dogs. The baked goods all look scrumptious and are a bit more because they are vegan (you would never know!). Their main counter doubles as a kennel for the guide dogs, which I was highly in favor of, because dogs!

I've had some hit or misses with ordering dirty Chai lattes ($4.75), but the employee knew exactly what I wanted and made it PERFECTLY. I also ordered a lingonberry coffee cake ($3.95) to go with my coffee and you, honestly, would never know it was vegan. So good!

The inside of Carina' and is bright and airy, with a well thought-out menu full of something everyone will like. I had a lovely chat with the employees and was able to enjoy my selections without being bothered. While this isn't the cheapest cafe you could visit, the food and drinks are spectacular and I applaud a company that helps to employ those who wouldn't have a fair chance elsewhere. Definitely worth the extra money you spend there, especially with the healthier options and vegan items.

Seven Virtues Coffee Roasters

During my last Geek Girl Brunch, I was talking to a new friend about coffee and she told me Seven Virtues was her favorite shop in Portland. Welp, I had to try it out. You can't even be disappointed just walking into this place. It's GORGEOUS! Look at that wall and booth and motivational saying. I want my house to be as cool as this coffee house. 

Look how clean and modern it looks! I did a bit of research on their food, because I always need to know if I should hit up one shop before another so I can get breakfast before I get cranky. I knew that they had breakfast sandwiches and they also did a happy hour on them, so I got $1 off mine for getting there at a certain time.

I wasn't exactly sure what to order, as they didn't have a real coffee menu on the wall, so I asked for a recommendation. The barista immediately said I should get a cortado ($4), so that's what I got, and then I ordered an egg and cheese bagelwich ($5.25). Look at that beautiful coffee and sandwich! Both were super delicious and I was so grateful for being steered toward this shop. It was quiet, in a great neighborhood and the employees were all very, very nice. A winner, for sure! 

Dapper and Wise

Sometimes I pick a place to go and then do a quick Google Maps search to see what else is around it and choose based on proximity and reviews. I was so glad I picked Dapper & Wise, and not only because it was so cozy and made me feel fancy eating in there. I mean, all that warm wood is phenomenal.

There's no lack of seating here, and I was lucky to find a seat near the window and an employee came over and slid the whole thing open, so it was like I was inside and outside at the same time. I loved it!

I, again, went for a special on this visit. I ordered the Vanilla Rose Latte ($5) and then a banana chocolate muffin ($3.75). If you ever wonder what a rose tastes like, I can definitively tell you that it tastes exactly like it smells. Luckily, it was light, so it didn't overpower the vanilla and coffee flavor, but it was sort of like summer morning in a cup. I wouldn't not order it again. The muffin was moist and sweet, though not too sweet, and you could tell it had been freshly made. I couldn't finish the whole thing and took the rest home to eat later. Nothing at this shop was disappointing at all, and I'll happily return.

So, those are my shops for this month. I had no losers in two months, which is unusual. Note to self: Always ask people where they go. Do you have a favorite coffee shop from your travels?

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