So back in April, I had the opportunity to travel to Portland, Oregon for some coffee training and to experience the city’s awesome coffee scene.
One of the places I visited was Ristretto Roasters, and let me tell y’all, it was fabulous and one of my favorite stops on my trip.
I first came across the name as I was researching Portland travel destinations, and I made it a priority to stop by mainly because it was close to my hotel. I wasn’t renting a car, so I needed coffee shops that would be easily accessible by foot.
Also, it’s on Couch Street, and I had to visit the one coffee shop on the street that was the same as my last name.
Anyway, I first visited the shop while I was on the Third Wave Coffee Tour. It was our last stop of the tour, and while we were there, we had a cupping of three different roasts that the shop offered: the Beaumont Blend, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, and the roaster’s decaf (I preferred the Beaumont Blend at first for its fuller scent, but the fruitiness of the Yirgacheffe that developed as the coffee cooled really won me over in the end). It was a fantastic experience in learning how to discern the flavors of different beans and roast levels, and it taught me that not all decaf coffees suck.
Don’t get me wrong though. I still think decaf is for weaklings.
Overall, it was the perfect way to end a coffee tour, and the major caffeine intake made me very productive for the rest of the day.
I was delighted a few days later to return when some of my fellow coffee trainees wanted to try out Ristretto before class. We first ordered two espressos, one of each coffee on the menu for espresso (I believe one was the Beaumont Blend and then the other was a single origin from Colombia), a cortado, and then some coffee brewed in the Steampunk brewer.
I had never heard of the Steampunk brewer before that day. It was a very cool machine that fit in well with their decor, but to be quite honest, I don’t think it made a better cup of coffee than any other brew method I tried while in town. I am curious though to try out a vacuum brewer in my own home, especially now after seeing the Steampunk brewer in action.
As for the espressos and the cortado, each one was delicious. You can rest assured that you will get a properly extracted espresso at Ristretto.
My last visit to the shop was during my final Saturday morning in Portland, and I mainly just stopped to get a couple bags of beans for home and a quick coffee. I was going to stop by a couple of other shops for beans before I left, but I was coming down with a cold and only had the energy to stop at Ristretto. That was alright though as the coffee was just what I needed to help me get to the airport. 🙂
Then disaster struck. My bag was left out in the rain in Las Vegas, and the coffee beans sustained water damage. Noooooo!
It’s been over a month, and I still feel pain when I look at this picture. We tried to save what we could, but it was such a disappointing way to end a trip.
And stupid too. My layover was in Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada, people! It never rains in that city!
Anyway, there are several coffee shops that I would suggest everyone should visit during a trip to Portland, but Ristretto Roasters should definitely be at the top of the list.
And if you can’t make it to Portland? No problem. You can still order some of their delicious beans online.
The one and the only Pookachino