I just happened to be in the neighborhood… Okay, that’s not the entire truth. I was in the neighborhood after a meandering stroll (some might call it a walkabout) that ranged some two dozen blocks of downtown Portland, with a couple stops for coffee along the way (Peet’s, where I found their brewed Mocha Java blend a little lifeless, click to viewbut picked up a half pound of Colombian Caracol for later, and Portland Coffee House where the knit-capped barista offered a lil’ Rorschach rosette on my espresso macchiato. He scores for effort.) In the end, I found myself at Stumptown’s downtown spot.

The place itself is austere, much the way a purveyor of serious jewels might might refrain from tarting up the place with unneeded bits of luxury. And there are jewels here, for those with eyes to see them… two — count ’em, two! — of Kees van der Westen’s 3-groups grace the bar. dsc_2387.jpg More, there are people behind the counter who use them to great advantage.

Here my customary espresso macchiato offered rich notes of dark chocolate and a complex, fruited nose that proved astonishingly good with the artfully textured milk in the cup.

My two words on Stumptown, Downtown: Awesome, baby.

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