Author: Julie Terebkov
Welcome to Fourscore Coffee's first ever blog post, and prepare yourself for all the corny jokes, amazing coffee and strange stories. We are excited to get up close and personal, to share some exciting things that are happening in the coffee universe. We also want to share a bit more of who we are in that universe.
We decided a guide to Portland’s coffee scene should be the way to begin our venture. So here it is, Lincoln approved stops through Stumptown, the land full of mythical coffee and tasty craft foods.
We can’t begin until an honorable mention and nod to Portlandia is added. Truly, now that I’ve visited Portland, I think the show is more of a documentary with its accuracy depicting the city and those who live in it. The dream of the nineties is alive in Portland. Everyone rides bikes, mutton chops are welcome and lucky for us, craft everything is in (beer, food, coffee, etc.).
2012 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
The first and one of our favorite stops was to a coffee shop named Proud Mary. Let me explain the wonderful thing this place has achieved. This is a rare coffee shop which has absolutely stellar coffee and a food menu that is to die for. It was so good, we came back to this spot and one of us may or may not have ordered the same dish again... and again.
The coffee was truly an experience like no other. The barista came over to our table to offer us a “dry smell” of the ground coffee before he made our pour over. Everyone was very kind and ready to answer any questions whether you are a coffee expert or just a fanatic.
We got a pour over and an espresso shot of a Brazilian coffee our first time around. We decided on a pour over of a Columbian coffee the second time. All were tasty, beautifully presented and had lively flavors to them.
The food menu serves both breakfast and lunch options, which are all presented like works of art. I tried the “spring strawberry ricotta hotcake” and the other dish was the “potato hash.” My mouth began watering before I even touched the plate. Each dish was amazing and tasted just like it looked.
537 SW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
Heart coffee is a must try in Portland. The coffee is life changing. The flavors are nuanced and so different than what most are used to. It feels like you’ve walked into another dimension of coffee where everything is very subtle, fragile and almost ethereal. Heart knows coffee and you can tell in the very first taste. Every time I had their coffee I felt as though I had a palette cleanse and I felt fresh again, ready to try any and every coffee.
We picked up some pastries at two different locations and they were up to par with the coffee. Delicious, beautifully presented, and so thoughtfully crafted. I have a thing for almond croissants and a location offered strawberry pistachio croissants — I dang near fell out of my seat and my mouth was watering, as my eyes met the powdered sugar. Let’s just say, my clothes look better covered in sugar. Its worth the mess you will likely make — unless you are a perfect human **ahem, queue Beyoncé.
1015 SE Main St
Portland, OR 97214
This was quite the shop to walk into. I highly recommend visiting this specific location. It has their massive roasting operation running out of it and everything is open to gaze in awe at. The location offered mostly pour overs and a few cold brew options.
The pour over was done with one of the Coava cones that fits into a Chemex. We tried an Ethiopian coffee and a cold brew that was being offered at the time, and both were phenomenal. The cold brew was surprisingly tasty — not because I expected their coffee to be bad but, I’m not normally a fan of cold brew. It was light and refreshing and just what we were craving for on the particularly sunny Portland afternoon.
The barista was extremely helpful with picking out the drinks and we even started up a conversation about places to go while in Portland. The list they gave was extensive and thankfully we got to hit a few spots they mentioned. Overall Coava was very welcoming, refreshing, and a genuine experience which helped launch the rest of our day of exploring.
So after you enjoy seven cups of coffee in a row, and are feeling the need for some exploring, we have some spots to hit. First on our list is to check out this amazing view and great picnic spot.
Council Crest Park
3402 SW Council Crest Dr
Portland, OR 97239
We enjoyed some donuts overlooking Portland and the beautiful background of Mt. Rainier really made this spot special. It looked like there was a trail attached to the park as well. People were exploring the trails but, picnic areas for the nap folks are also available (we’re nap folk; there’s nothing better than a mid-day nap in a park to jumpstart more exploring of the city).
Now, we mentioned donuts and there is a huge debate on where to go for donuts and I will explain the options for you guys. So, Voodoo doughnut and Blue Star Donuts are the most talked about shops. Here’s how to pick between the two if you are unable to stop at both:
If you’re looking for sweet, fluffy, and crazy creations that have slightly inappropriate names… go to Voodoo and you will love it.
Tip: they’re cash only, so be prepared for that
If you’re looking for gourmet, creative and weird flavor combos… go to Blue Star and you will have your mind blown.
Tip: try whatever the cashier suggests, it’s usually strange, inspirational and you will not regret it.
We had amazing experiences at both however, they are very different in what they do and what they are trying to achieve with their creations.
I know we already mentioned a food spot to hit (Proud Mary), but I promise we went to other spots. We are huge breakfast food junkies so, we have another breakfast spot (you’ll see a trend over the years we get to know each other… here at Fourscore Coffee we really like breakfast).
2508 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202
We got some great breakfast scrambles brought to us in cast iron pans. These dishes were a bit on the lighter side so, we also tried some pastries and were not disappointed. Every plate was presented well and each ingredient was thoughtfully paired. Right next door there is a little record store to pop your head in and meander through, if there’s a wait for the cafe.
2204 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
This place was highly recommended to us and the biscuits here are apparently worth any sort of wait. They have great dishes and a homey feel to the place. If you’re not a donut fiend, check this place out and enjoy a biscuit instead of a donut (or try everything… that’s what we usually do).
The last little tidbit for food is always ask for recommendations from people. We are never disappointed with the variety of places people tell us about. A lot of great food trucks are around Portland and those are great spots to ask locals about.
Venture out and get to know some folks for the best places, conversations, and food. Ask your friendly neighborhood barista at Fourscore Coffee or any other shop what their favorite spots are. That's how we find the coolest and greatest places. Have fun, enjoy the moment and explore the city. There is a lot to be seen, many Portlandia jokes to be made and a lot of four way stops to sit at and try to let the other person go ahead. And never forget to put a bird on it to make it look better.
Stay classy coffee tribe.