Portland, March.

I’ve been waiting for this week for a few years now. I’m in the Portland area as my brother is turning 21 today… It’s exciting  to have my only brother able to join me in my beer-loving-expeditions across this fantastic city. We plan on grabbing some pizza tonight, and then moving over to the beloved Horse Brass Pub. Needless to say, I’m ecstatic.

To be honest, my thoughts on coffee here in Portland, have been somewhat jaded for awhile. In recent years, it’s seemed monotonous. The same blend from the same roaster with the same milk, everywhere.

However, the last years has really diversified the city scene. I have had several coffees from several roasters, and I’m impressed. My day, today, started at the new BARISTA! The soft opening process and training to open a store is something I learned to appreciated as I helped open the coffee bar I work out of… and it was fun and interesting to watch another staff going through it this morning. I had some fantastic coffee in a beautiful space, so how could my day go wrong from there?

Both today and yesterday, I visited the recently opened Sterling Coffee Roasters in NW Portland. Roasting everything on a one pound, San Franciscan, Sterling served espresso off a two-group Synesso. Both press coffee and Clever brewer coffee are offered. Yesterday, I had some Sumatra Blue Batak as espresso and today I tasted a Costa Rica. The space is completely outdoors, baristas dressed to the nines, and the surrounding neighborhood is gorgeous on a clear day. Espresso outdoors never came with such a great experience before.

I’m sure I’ll be tasting more coffee as I venture around this city, but for now, I’m just super grateful to be around my family and to have a break in the middle of (what is gearing up to be) the most intense barista competition season to date.

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