Don't abandon that caffeine addiction you spent so much time and money cultivating over the winter just because the sun's out. Here are five cool and refreshing ways to get your daily coffee fix, without breaking a sweat.
Cold Press Coffee to Go
Downtown's Courier Coffee cold soaks its single-origin coffee in water for 24 hours before filtering it through a metal Swiss Gold filter and then a Filtron Pro coffee brewer—essentially a bucket with a felt filter in the bottom, which drips slowly for hours to create a concentrated brew. Several specialty coffee bars around town use a similar cold press method, but what sets Courier's apart is the presentation. Each coffee comes served over a large, perfectly square ice cube inside a Mason jar. It doesn't just look cool; it allows Courier's many cyclist customers to take their drink to go: "You can put a lid on it, put it in your bag and take it to work," says owner Joel Domreis. "People bring it back, and we change it for a cold one out of the fridge." Courier Coffee, 923 SW Oak St., 545-6444. 7 am-5 pm Monday-Friday. $3 (+$1 jar deposit).
Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Despite the abundance of Vietnamese restaurants in Portland, few make their iced coffee the traditional Vietnamese way—most opt for the ease and capacity of American-style auto-drips. But an authentic cup can be found at Belmont's Happy Sparrow Cafe. The cafe's Vietnamese-American owners Mary and Danny Quach make each cup to order, slowly brewing imported Vietnamese coffee in a metal phin drip filter over thick, sweetened condensed milk, before stirring the micture together and pouring it over ice.
"It was an opportunity to add something new and eclectic to the scene, since Portland loves coffee," Mary Quach says. Happy Sparrow Cafe, 3001 SE Belmont St., 445-0231. 7 am-3 pm weekdays, 9 am-2 pm Saturday. $3.25.
Cold Siphon Coffee
Case Study Coffee makes its cold coffee with a Yama cold-brew siphon—a 4-foot tower of twisting glass pipes and jars, which drips slowly for 13 to 16 hours to make a lighter concentrate that co-owner Christine Herman says retains more of the beans' original character than other cold-brew methods. "[Siphon brewers] are pretty to look at, but luckily they also make a superior product," Herman says. "Each coffee does have a unique flavor kind of like an alcohol aftertaste—like bourbon. And coffees that are heavily fruity, like Ethiopians, they can sometimes have cherry-cordial flavor." Case Study Coffee, 5347 NE Sandy Blvd., 477-8221. 6 am-6 pm weekdays, 7 am-6 pm Saturday, Sunday 8 am-6 pm. $2.50 for 12 ounces.
Oakshire Brewing's Overcast Espresso Stout is its biggest seller in the winter, but the Eugene-based brewery now makes and sells it year-round. Made from the signature blend of organic beans from Eugene roaster the Wandering Goat, each pint contains a full shot of espresso. "We brew an oatmeal stout; a rich, roasty, creamy, stout, with only about 5 percent alcohol so it's not too strong," explains production manager and head brewer Joe Jasper. "We grind beans and soak them overnight for 13 hours. It makes the espresso at triple strength. We only have to use a small amount to make a good coffee flavor…. It's just a really easy drinking stout." $4.99 at New Seasons Market
Coffee Ice Cream
Portland isn't short on coffee ice cream, but newcomer Salt & Straw is taking the form to new heights, offering seasonally changing creations highlighting Stumptown's single-origin beans. "One of the reasons that we are able to work with more complex coffees and that folks will be able to tell when we change flavors, is that the sweetness level in the cream base...is quite a bit lower than what most people are used to," says owner Kim Malek. "Combine the lower sweetness level with our 17 percent butterfat, and we have a nice canvas on which the flavors can really shine." Salt & Straw, Northeast 18th Avenue and Alberta Street. 1-10 pm daily. $3.75.
Summer Guide 2011
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