Coava Coffee Roasters Public Brew Bar & Roastery
1015 SE Main St.,·503-894-8134, coavacoffee.com. 8 am-3 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
A good cup of coffee is something to be savored at a leisurely pace, but I wouldn’t turn down a self-service, pump-and-go carafe—particularly when faced with an intimidatingly long line for time-consuming cups of pour-over and artfully decorated espresso. At Coava’s Public Brew Bar & Roastery, I was making this calculation and decided to wait for the barista to carefully water my cone of Sumatra grounds. When you have time to spare and plan to sit down with a book, crack a laptop, or catch up with a friend, it’s always best to go for the higher-quality cup. But the Public Brew Bar is a functioning roastery space first and foremost, meaning the thrum of production doesn’t make this the ideal hangout spot. The back-to-basics approach of the space, however, is a great reminder that coffee is not all smooth jazz and comfy sofas. It’s blue-collar work that begins with farmers before it even gets to the roasters who work with their hands. And by the time I got my order, I was no longer distracted by the wait or the sound of burners and churn of roasting beans in the background. I was too busy enjoying the rich, burnt brown sugar and lemon bar notes of a balanced dark roast and realizing that Oregonians shouldn’t pump their own coffee anymore than they should pump their own gas.