We weren't planning to end up at Anna Bannanas.
The power was out at our office because Portland Bagelworks had exploded. A sickly plume of smoke was still visible in the distance. So we held our weekly culture meeting in our favorite cafe on nearby Northwest 21st Avenue, where a Halloween skeleton was so well hidden behind a pillar it actually frightened you as you turned the corner.
And it was the best meeting we had all year—more productive, more convivial, more full of coffee refills and banana bread and mildly pornographic local art. Our baristas filled us in on news about the explosion that our own paper had reported. Hell, we liked it so much at Anna Bannanas, we had our next meeting there, too.
It was a reminder that Portland coffee culture isn't just about austere minimalism and brand-new trends in half-crack, ultra-light roasting. Old-guard cafes like Anna Bannanas are places where the San Fran life-disruptor programming a righteous dogsitting app has to recognize she's part of the same community as that guy who makes his own pants.
A coffee town with Heart and Coava and Water Avenue has nothing left to prove—the coffee wars are over, and we won. In readers' polls, Seattle's favorite coffee is Stumptown. So now maybe all cafes don't have to be third-wave churches anymore. If you secretly need daily affirmations from Dutch Bros., indulge your obsession. If you want to get whipped cream on your Americano, life's your huckleberry.
So while we were impressed to discover just how good Five Points coffee roasting has gotten in the six years it's been at it, we're just as revved up about places devoted to providing a good place to hang, like a new sneakerhead cafe serving a LeBronald Palmer coffee drink, a coffee shop run by an ad firm that has crazy Thai-chile syrups, and, yes, a brick-and-mortar from stoked-on-life Oregon chain Dutch Bros.
Go ahead. Do it. Order your direct-trade, shade-grown, single-source espresso with whip. It'll be good for your soul.