Portland, Oregon is about as ‘in’ as a city can get and for good reason. It is a gorgeous city on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, with a stack of lifting bridges, booming neighbourhoods and a bustling downtown area.
It is a very walkable city with a dining scene that is going through the roof, 65 craft breweries and, just half an hour away – 500 wineries in the Willamette Valley. But it is the coffee scene that surprised me.
Portland people love their coffee as I discovered on a tour with Third Wave coffee tours. We visited four coffee roasteries – there are 419 coffee shops in town – and the locals are all experts.
They want to know where the coffee came from, when it was roasted and how it was roasted – much like wine drinkers look at wine.
While you can even rent a roaster for an afternoon in Portland and make your own, there is no need with knowledgeable guide, Lora Woodruff, steering us to five incredible cafes: Portland Roasting, Nossa Familia, Upper Left Roasters and Coava – and Steven Smith Tea, who are doing incredible things with tea.
The Third Wave coffee tour is a fantastic way to spend a morning, leaving you free to explore some of the other wonderful parts of Portland.