click to viewWelcome to Portland, Oregon… home of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Portland Rose Festival, and more fine coffee establishments than you can shake a stick at (presuming you’re the stick-shaking sort.) Sadly, at 9:30 of an evening it seems that the only one that’s open is — wait for it — Starbucks!

I’m desperately hoping that someone will correct me on that, and assure me that there’s a little bit of coffee nirvana just around the corner. dsc_2377.jpgIt’s not that the folks there aren’t friendly (they are) or cheerful (they’re that, too… very much so) but doggone it, when I ask for a medium house blend I don’t want to be corrected into Fauxtalian (it’s a grande!) and I don’t want an Italian-roast blend slyly substituted when the house blend carafe proves to be empty. (sigh)

With practice maybe I can be as optimistic as this guy, who’s been trying to hail a dsc_2376.jpgcab in the very same spot since last I was here… and that was five four years ago to the month. Meanwhile, I’ll be here all week. So if there’s a Portland coffee place that I simply mustn’t miss, do let me know. On the agenda so far: a meeting with Duane Sorenson and the fine folks at Stumptown, a trip to coffee college with Matt Milletto, and some of the finer aspects of espresso with Billy Wilson at The Albina Press. Should be fun!

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