Location: Vancouver, WA
Rating: 6+ [see key]
No matter how long I'm in the area of Portland, I always make time for a stop in lovely Vancouver. Sitting pretty along the Columbia River, and but a pebbles skip from the expanses of Portland, this border city of Washington has a lot of gems definitely worth mining.
Take Torque Coffee, a local coffee roaster situated in a converted downtown garage on Columbia Street. The exterior sports a large courtyard area where patrons can visit food trucks and feast at picnic benches. Inside Torque, the car repair vibe still rings out, with the overhead fluorescent bulbs especially bringing back memories of new transmissions. Yet all together, it jives with the eclectic furniture and huge center bar.
I had the pleasure of visiting Torque one beautiful afternoon where the front garage door was agape and the windows were wide with fresh breezes. I wandered in and engaged in conversation with the barista at the bar. After a quick perusal, I ordered an espresso of the Ethiopian Kochere Zero and a pourover of the Brazil Full Bloom. The espresso, pulled medium with brown crema, threw down bittersweet chocolate, ginger, bran, sesame seed and lemongrass with a pleasant, velvety texture. The pourover continued the wave of pleasantries, with smooth, sweet notes of blackberry, nougat, maple syrup, lavender, Italian breakfast cookies and a little apple (with skin) in a medium body.
After polishing off my beverages, I left Torque mighty pleased with my experience. And as an added bonus, the rest of the day in Vancouver was capped off with two great meals at local spots Lapellah (Southern fare) and Ginger Pop (Thai).
Thus, if you're passing through Vancouver or you happen to be looking for a small trip out of Portland, take a swing over to Torque Coffee for some great coffee.
These wonderful folks made this visit possible in part. Make sure to check them out!