gshokar Senior Member Joined: 19 Feb 2012 Posts: 14 Location: Vancouver, BC Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Expobar Brewtus IV-V Grinder: Baratza Vario Drip: Chemex
Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012, 12:00am Subject: Portland Oregon Coffee
Visited Portland this weekend and made it a point to visit a few renowned cafes, and all of them impressed! If you are looking for amazing espresso and ridiculous pour over coffee's that will change the way you look at coffee you must visit these cafes. I especially love the number of roasters that roast within the cafe, as you cannot get fresher, higher quality beans, than ones that are roasted at the cafe.
Also note the barista's are exceptionally friendly, I had a few questions and they would provide answers in detail regardless of the lineup that quickly formed behind me. Also the pride and love each barista took when pulling a shot or making a pour over was a pleasure to watch.
Espresso: 1) Coava Coffee roasters - Had a shot of the Costa Rica - Finca Zarcero, and experienced the mythical perfect shot. Will forever seek this shot. 2) Public Domain coffee - Great shot, excellent crema just the right amount of acidity but wasn't as complex as I would like 3) Stumptown coffee roaster (downtown) - Startling similar to Public Domain shot, but crema was not as prevalent.
Pour over Coffee 1) Public Domain Coffee - Had the El Salvador Las Delicias pour over, the barista was well trained and took love in preparing the cup. I can still taste the coffee 3 days later. Best coffee I have ever had. You must drink this coffee’s black, no cream, and no sugar, to fully appreciate. 2) Stumptown coffee roaster - Excellent pour over, great taste, smooth yet complex enough to enjoy every sip. 3) Coava Coffee roaster - You know... the metal filters they use for their pour overs just don't quite deliver the same coffee you get with chemex filters. You will end up with more coffee residue in the cup and the coffee just doesn't have the same taste...
...Coava Coffee roaster - You know... the metal filters they use for their pour overs just don't quite deliver the same coffee you get with chemex filters. You will end up with more coffee residue in the cup and the coffee just doesn't have the same taste...
Thanks for your thoughts on your Portland experiences. I've often had about the same reactions, so only have to differ with you on the Coava Kone pour-over you mention. Yes, there can be a slight residue, but very, very little in the cups I've had there (and much less than press-pot), but nonetheless the clarity and fullness of flavor with the Kone is beyond what I've been able to get with any other method.
Unless, using some other method, you have made and know well the same coffee that was Koned for you at Coava, it would be very difficult to determine whether it's the method or the specific S.O. that wasn't quite to your taste. Pour-over with paper filters - especially Melitta whites - can also be outstanding but I think most people would agree with you that coffee with the paper filters doesn't have "the same taste" as the Kone coffee -- and actually because paper takes you in the wrong direction and the Kone results are that much better!
As a scientist, I would argue the Kone wouldn't provide the same filtratation to that of a paper filter. With the metal filter, you have microperforations that controls filtration and the coffee can only be filtered through those perforations. A paper filter is made up of many paper fibers overlayed which is called a microporous structure. The coffee filtration will be more even with paper filters over a perforated metal filter. Perforated metal filters will also create inconsistent pressure points, not sure what that would do to the taste.
Now paper filters would likely transfer more of its taste to the coffee over the metal filters, as paper absorbs moisture but there likely will be some metallic taste transfer with the metal filters.
Perhaps I'll develop a glass filter :) or shutup and enjoy the chemex.
Without meaning to start a "metal v. paper" debate -- truly, I don't -- the only time I get a "paper" taste with a Chemex or Melita white filter is if I do not rinse them. (Brown? Forget about it!) Now I admit I do not own, nor have I used a Coava Kone, so this is not a debate about which is better. I have no idea. But in terms of any sort of paper taste, it's non-existent in my experience when tasting pourover coffees made with properly rinsed Chemex/Melita paper filters and tasted side-by-side with those "gold tone" filters . . .
Besides all of the above, both Heart Coffee and Ristretto Roasters have an equally strong following - highly recommended too.
But once you've been to all these great names, find a way to get to 5th and Alder downtown and visit Spella for something different, a tiny cafe but with Andreas Spella's absolutely superb roasts designed for and pulled through a three-group lever machine. And it's done by terrific baristas who are arguably the friendliest in a very friendly coffee town. Odds are, Spella may be the espresso or experience you'll longest remember.
Heart is on my top 5 roasters right now and near the top. They've roasted some of my favorite coffees this year, from their Ethiopia Adulina and Yukro, to their S.O.E. Guatemala El Limonar. While up there during USBC's I was given excellent service and exceptional coffee and have continued to get that when ordering coffee from them this year.
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