Coffee certainly makes Portland go ‘round, but PDX also embraces the less-popular alternative, tea. In general, there isn’t a huge American following for hot water with sticks in it, but tea is steadily catching on, and some ambitious people drink tea and coffee when they’re not hitting the city’s microbreweries. Whatever your caffeine of choice, here are some fun places to get it:
Goldrush Coffee Bar is a calm little spot for a cup of Caffe Vita coffee (hailing from Seattle) or DragonFly Chai (local from Portland). The vibe is just right for a little reading, writing, or zoning out – the way more coffee shops used to be. There’s free WiFi and they make their own soups and baked goods in-house.
The Tao of Tea is a phenomenal place for serious tea drinkers to expand their horizons. Their retail store has many Asian accessories and a full catalog of loose-leaf teas. They have daily samples, but before you commit, spend some time in their intimate cafe next door. You can order some dessert to accompany your first flush Darjeeling or aged Chinese Pu-er tea.
World Cup serves their own house-roasted coffee inside the giant Powell’s City of Books. Despite its overwhelming popularity, Powell’s is one famous attraction you shouldn’t miss, and while you’re there, World Cup is an ideal place to give your legs a break from wandering the stacks, or wait for your friends to finish browsing.
Stash was born in Portland in 1972, and it’s an unpretentious place to start if you know nothing about tea. They have a big catalog with everything from darker, more serious flavors to sweeter, fruitier teas to ease you in. Try the Oregon Mint on a rainy day, or an earthy chocolate tea, which is better than it sounds. They also have some of the cutest teapots around. This location is both a retail store and a tea bar.
The Fresh Pot on North Mississippi makes a strong cup of Stumptown, Portland’s dominant coffee brand. It can get pretty busy in there, so you might have to stake out for a table, but it’s a nice place to recharge and stare at the impeccable foam-art in your latté.
New Seasons Market on North Williams may look like a mere grocery store, but they have a remarkable variety of iced teas—fans of fermented Kombucha tea and Argentine mate will be pleased. There’s also Stumptown coffee and hot teas from The Tao of Tea available at the counter, and a spacious café area.
Where do you caffeinate in Portland?