What's does "CC" mean?
Location visited: Portland, OR
(Pearl District location)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]
Finally. That was the word that plowed into my mind when I passed into Portland's lovely city limits for my second trip ever, this one outlasting my last Portland trip which was no more then a late night Sunday pit stop.
First stop on my stops was Barista. I confess that since their opening in early 2009, I have wished to pass through their arches and experience what sounded like a great coffee experience. Barista had such appeal largely for their unorthodox-yet-beautifully-obvious approach to coffee, such as having many coffee roasters offered in their shop (the number was around 9 when I arrived) and having 3 rotating featured espressos every day.
I arrived tired but eager. I walked up the steps, onto their porch full of tables and inside to what looked like a lobby. Barista existed mostly to the left in a small shop with beautiful woodwork (I later found out that one guy does many of the gorgeous coffee bars for the city) and plenty of coffee (a whole wall is just whole bean bags for sale), but the shop spills into the lobby with big black tables that make the place exist in so much greater a space.
I ordered Stumptown's Kilimanjaro El Salvador as my espresso and a french press of Ristretto Roaster's El Salvador (no theme planned; just worked out that way). The espresso proved velvety in texture, ripe with a sugary lemon with vanilla kick plus an infusion of strawberry and blood orange. The shots were superbly pulled, short in volume, capped with great crema and overall, proved to be delicious. The french press had a beautifully bright introduction, with twangs of caramel, fig, honey, a little tapioca and chai; a very smooth coffee with a great profile. The tea I failed to note.
Of the coffeehouses I wish I lived near, I added Barista to my list that day. Stop in.