Coffee and college students are like peanut butter and chocolate: they belong together. Whether you consume your brew over textbooks or with friends, it is good to know where you can get a decent cup.
The following is a review of some small places near campus to grab that much-needed cup of caffeinated goodness.
1924 SW Broadway, Suite A
The atmosphere: It’s very comfortable with ample seating, a cozy place full of tables and couches. It would be easy to settle in for the long haul here.
Drinks: They have just about any coffee combination you could imagine and a large tea menu, including loose leaf. The coffee wasn’t overly strong—as my friend put it, “It would be good afternoon coffee. It won’t pick you up in the morning, but it would be nice to sip all afternoon while studying.”
At 50 cents for your first refill and just 25 cents for subsequent ones, it is also economical.
Food: Aside from the usual coffeehouse muffins and croissants, they have a large selection of crêpes. They have crêpes for every meal of the day, ranging from sweet to savory. There is also a small selection of soups and salads.
Pricing: A 12-ounce coffee will run you $1.65. A latte of the same size costs $2.75.
Boy Gorilla Coffee
On the corner of Southwest Sixth Avenue and Mill Street
The atmosphere: It’s coffee minimalism at its finest. Boy Gorilla is just a little cart, operated and built by one person—but that makes it taste that much better. A bonus fun-factor is that they sell music from Northwest artists in just about every form.
Drinks: They sell tea, coffee, lemonade, chai and hot chocolate. Iced versions of anything are available and they offer a stronger cup of individual French press. The coffee comes from Legare’s on Southeast Clinton Street and it is a nice, rich blend, but if you need a wakeup call, order the French press.
Food: The food selection is as minimalistic as the cart itself. There are bananas, oranges and hot oats available. They also sell melt-in-your-mouth guava cookies that are a perfect accompaniment to the coffee.
Pricing: All 12-ounce drinks sell for $1. You can get a larger 20-ounce version for $2. The aforementioned French press will set you back $2. The owner is committed to keeping the prices low, so that penniless college students can imbibe frequently.
125 SW 19th Ave.
The atmosphere: It is the homiest coffeehouse in this review. It is in an old Victorian house and all of the furnishings are vintage. There are dining room tables to study at as well as big, comfy chairs to flop down into. There is also outdoor seating on the porch that would be great during the summer.
Drinks: There are several types of coffee brewing, giving this place the greatest selection. The Mexican blend was flavorful, but it had a strong burnt aftertaste. They also have typical coffee drinks and a decent selection of juice and tea.
Food: There are more pastries than you can count on fingers and toes. They also have the cutest little toast bar where you can pick your bread and adorn it with a slew of ingredients.
Pricing: A 12-ounce cup sells for $1.55 and refills are 50 cents, keeping it competitive with the other places in this review.
Portland Coffee House
603 SW Broadway
Atmosphere: This place has a very artsy feel. The walls are painted a dark gray and the wood furniture is dark brown. There is also artwork on the walls that is available for purchase. Further adding to the trendy, downtown feel is the techno and indie-rock music they pump through the cafe. There is a moderate amount of seating, but most of it is at the bar or small tables.
Drinks: All of their coffee comes from Panache. There are several blends that they rotate through. The Kenyan blend is rich and smooth. There isn’t much offered besides coffee just the usual juice and tea and hot chocolate.
Food: There is nothing special about the grub offered here. It’s the usual option of a pastry or a hot breakfast sandwich.
Pricing: A 12-ounce cup goes for $1.65 and there is no break on refills. However, there is an 8-ounce size available that is perfect for when you just need a little pick-me-up.