Heart Coffee Roasters: Applying the Right Touch in Portland

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Coffee Portland

Portland continues to burn white hot in the specialty coffee world, with even more small roasters making names for themselves in a market that somehow supports all of their respective efforts. Still, one particular company was the talk of the town among an international contingent of coffee people during SCAA: Heart Coffee Roasters.

Heart, a roastery and café from Finnish professional snowboarder Wille Yli-Luoma, features a glass front, roll-up garage doors and sidewalk tables for warmer weather. Indoors, Yli-Luoma has wood floors, a low counter and worn school chairs wrapped around the Probat, along with anatomical images of a snake, shark, rhino and ticks.

Coffee Menu Portland
Order at marble counter from a minimalist menu.

Coffee Roaster Portland
Head roaster Josh Hydeman mans a Probat roaster from 1953, which Yli-Luoma sourced from the Netherlands and occupies the center of the cafe.

Record Player Portland
They had a record player with a stack of albums fronted by Jeff Buckley “Grace,” the sight of which almost would have been enough to endear me to Heart.

Coffee Portland
It was fitting that they called their espresso ($3) Stereo. The blend picked up a sticky mouthfeel from Brazilian Monte Allegre, and bright citrus from Ethiopia Gallan Abaya. Stereo changes seasonally.

Coffee Portland
A barista named Jeremy pulled a shot on two-group La Marzocco Strada. Heart has some of the most up-to-date tools in the coffee industry.

Coffee Portland
Aeropress seemed to be the hot brew method at SCAA, and Brent Fortune even debuted a World Aeropress Championship during SCAA. They used Aeropress to produce my mMurky, floral, smooth-sipping cup of Ethiopia Sidamo. Heart also brews using Chemex, but not the seemingly ubiquitous Hario V60.

Some people wondered how the lighter Scandinavian style of coffee roasting would play in Portland, and based on our visit to Heart Coffee Roasters and given the excitement surrounding the operation, it’s clear Yli-Luoma is applying the appropriate touch.

Address: 2211 East Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97214

Heart Coffee Roasters: Applying the Right Touch in Portland


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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