Most coffeehouses are located in either downtown, Northwest or Southeast Portland, but people at SCAA kept praising some outliers that we felt obligated to try. Even with public transportation as a slow hindrance, red e in North Portland became a priority.
Mindy Farley and Keith Miller opened the cafe three years ago, and were about to open a second branch in the atrium of the Pearl District’s Ecotrust Building during my visit. A walk-through at the downtown caffeine dojo revealed a sleek La Marzocco Strada.
At the North Portland original, red e featured wood floors and art-lined white walls, including paintings of dogs and President Nixon [no relation]. Baristas operated behind a curvy reclaimed wood bar that housed a three-group La Marzocco espresso machine. They roast their own coffee and typically serve two single-origin espressos each day. We ordered from a blackboard menu and considered table, counter and lounge seating.
During my visit, a red e barista asked one of the most thoughtful consumer questions in recent memory: “Are you concerned with what coffee you receive in your pourovers?” Are you?