Subject: Courier Coffee Roasters
Location: Portland, OR
Rating: 6+ [see key]
There is an inexplicable vibe that comes from walking into a serious coffeehouse. Of course I do not mean "serious" in the sense of mood (though I've been in a few shops where the barista looks like we're about to sort through tax law), but more in the manner of how these pros work, in the dedication and skill they lend to their craft. Courier Coffee Roasters is definitely one of those places.
Located in a cozy downtown shop, Courier serves their many coffees in a homey yet extremely utilitarian space (they have a convection oven tucked into their back counter). I happened to show up one morning where the baristas were swiftly bustling amidst the idle chatter of their waking patrons. The overall environment was slightly spartan but full of just enough accent pieces to make it interesting.
After some brief deliberation on their offerings, I decided upon an espresso of a Guatemalan coffee and a Kenyan brew via a gold-filtered pourover. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, demonstrated flavors of lemon candy, dark chocolate, peach jam, croissant and rhubarb, proving bright and nuanced. The pourover produced similar fireworks, with notes of salted caramel, rose tea, nectarine, root beer, seaweed and a touch of red meat amidst a medium body.
While Portland has no shortage of dedicated shops, Courier definitely conveys a rawness and intensity that shines brightly amongst its peers. If you're in the area, I would heartily encourage a stop; good coffee awaits.