Wake up, Portland!
Sorry to yell. We know you're hurting. You've spent the last month sending off this slog of a past year in a flurry of bad behavior, all building toward that final crescendo of excess, when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31 and you can finally discharge all those negative vibes—along with the contents of your stomach—and start over.
And now it feels like there's a jackhammer in your brain. In fact, there might be an actual jackhammer outside your window, preparing for the giant luxury hotel that's already displaced your favorite food cart and will soon block out your last rays of natural light.
But rest assured—there ain't nothing a good cup of coffee can't fix. And lucky for you, you live in one of the greatest coffee cities in the world.
In the past, we've published our annual guide to Portland java in early fall, right around the time the air gets crisp and the days grow dark. This year, we're giving it to you early, because we figure you need it.
Consider this issue the caffeine jolt to motivate you to get off the couch and push past the post-holiday doldrums.
We've rounded up our favorite new coffee shops, including cacao-focused espresso bars, bodega-cafe hybrids and the fresh outposts for some old favorites. You'll need to get something in your stomach, so we ranked the city's best coffee cake. Because coffee culture isn't just about what you drink but what you drink out of, we put together a photo collage of some the most awesome mugs found at our office and at cafes across the city. And we asked a barista about the trends he hopes get left behind in 2018. Please stop requesting a splash of La Croix in your vanilla latte, thank you very much.
In true Portland fashion, though, we couldn't celebrate the new—or denigrate it, as the case may be—without also honoring the old. That's why we've also included a requiem for Boyd's, Portland's original coffee roaster, which left town this year after more than a century in business.
And if you're more of a tea person, we found the city's best tea programs, located everywhere from concept lounges to high-end restaurants to, yes, local coffee institutions.
We won't lie: We've got another long year ahead of us. And as we're always reminded come January, nothing ever changes just because the calendar switches over. So you can either pull the covers over your head and try to sleep through it all, or you can grab your favorite mug—the one that reads "Genuine Coffee Slut"—fill it to the brim and get back to work. Because staying woke is one thing. But you've got to wake up first.
— Matthew Singer, Willamette Week Arts & Culture Editor