Cycle Town Coffee Roasters
1626 NW Thurman St., 503-674-8271, cycletowncoffeeroasters.com. 7 am-4 pm Monday-Friday.
The claim to fame here—other than occupying the same old brick building where Smith Teamaker rose to prominence—is air roasting. As your barista is apt to enthuse, air roasting coffee beans is greener and cleaner (no emissions) than the standard radiant heat roasting methods. It may or may not contribute to better coffee quality, depending on whom you ask. The in-house air roaster, an Ashe machine from Hawaii, is a smaller version used for specialty runs. Larger roasters are off site. The cafe is the same jewel box of a space as it was when occupied by its predecessor, with the original brick walls on two sides and a few high, light-giving windows on one. Ironically, there is no fancy bike corral out front—nor anywhere—to park your custom-made, carbon-fiber ride. There is, however, a clothing rack from which one could select a Cycle Town-branded cycling shirt or a pair of those sexy, tight padded pants preferred by hardcore riders. The coffee itself leans toward darker roasts. Even the medium Kona blend used in my cortado had a strong flavor of the roaster—and the drink was served hot. I did not try the designated dark roast, which had an oily sheen from beans one might see at a prior generation’s favorite Italian-themed espresso joint. Still, this is a convenient stop for riders (and drivers) passing by or caffeine-deficient parents dropping the tykes at the Montessori next door.