• 2016.03.01
  • The art of brewing coffee
Many Portlanders are employed by the three major industries in the city: Nike, Intel and Columbia Sportswear, which have chosen to have their headquarters here. Portlanders who are not employed by these three major companies often work in offices downtown or are employed by the City.  Agriculture also thrives in the region, particularly the production of wine and berries and many locals work in this field but, since Portland is a foodie town which offers a variety of food establishments, it’s well known that a great portion of its inhabitants work in the food industry, whether employed as servers, suppliers or cooks.  Among its food industries, Portland is particularly proud of one: its coffee business. 

Although the Pacific Northwest is obviously not a place where coffee is locally grown, nonetheless the city is very famous at the national level for its high-quality independent coffee roasters and PDX is considered the most caffeinated city in America given the consumption of coffee per capita.  Experienced baristas are often revered as celebrities in this town and many schools offer barista courses to learn the trade of coffee brewing or to learn about coffee bean roasting.

[caption id="attachment_1416" align="aligncenter" width="400"]012_160226_1Many cafés in Portland offer outdoor seating [/caption]
Coffee brewers in the city fiercely compete against one another and strive to offer a unique product. Some choose to propose rare bean varietals from Costa Rica or Brazil, while others roast their beans for over 24 hours and some even sell handpicked beans imported from India.  Recently, a local small brewer even became famous for filtering its coffee through a 23-karat-gold-plated cone.
Among the most noteworthy roasters in town, Stumptown Coffee boasts over a dozen types of coffee beans and has opened several cafés around town.  Customers can sip their coffee on the spot and also purchase their favorite coffee to take home.   Portlanders are coffee connoisseurs and each citizen has a personal favorite café in town and will travel miles to have a good cup of fresh brew.  This love for coffee stems out from Portlanders’ innate passion for fine and local products.
Many cafés also offer excellent pastries and cakes prepared on the premises, while some cafés choose to establish business relationships with local pastry shops who will sell their coffee beans in exchange.

[caption id="attachment_1416" align="aligncenter" width="400"]012_160226_2Pastries and coffee are a perfect match[/caption]
Cafés in Portland are not only considered a place where to have a quick drink and leave, but they rather become a meeting place for friends or a study place for students who come here and linger for hours, undisturbed, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi connection.  Café owners don’t mind these prolonged stays and they rather encourage them by proposing books, table games or quiz contests to their customers.

[caption id="attachment_1416" align="aligncenter" width="400"]012_160226_3Shopping and coffee go hand in hand  [/caption]
The quality of the coffee offered in these cafés is crucial, but coffee shops also strive to offer a cozy location where clients can feel welcome and at ease.
In perfect line with Portlanders’ desire of distinctiveness, PDX coffeehouses try to be unique in the decoration of their establishments.  A café on Northwest 21st, one of Portland’s trendiest streets, is decorated with upside down tables hanging from the ceiling and has a traffic light at the door showing if seats are or are becoming available inside.  Many cafés also display artworks by local artists on their walls (which are often for sale and change periodically), while some others choose to host weekly events such as book exchange dates, knitting gatherings, poetry readings or organized game shows.

A popular café in Portland          Special coffee filter at one of Portland’s cafés


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • AgeMonkey( SARU )
  • GenderFemale
  • Jobtranslator, editor, teacher

Patrizia lives between the USA and Italy and has deep roots in both places.She has traveled extensively all over the world and she has also spent 4 months in Japan, where she fell in love with Sakura trees and Takoyaki.She’s has been collecting recipes from her international friends and she’s now compiling a cookbook. She works as a translator and in her free time she likes to dance, hike and play with her cat.

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