Coffee is my drink of choice and my morning elixir. Without her I have headaches (shameful), and she’s probably the reason why I’m so short. When I first heard that there was a coffee tour in Portland, I knew that I chose the right city to travel too. Jarden wasn’t a coffee drinker, but he was about to become one.
Third Wave Coffee Tours showcases the artisanal coffee scene in the city of Portland. With Third Wave, specialty cafes are explored, expert baristas demonstrate their craft, and you get to sip your way through the city’s coffee culture. A number of tours are available, (coffee and donut tour?! I must go back), and we chose the Downtown Coffee Crawl. 7 Tastings guys. I was ready.
We met our tour guide Anna at Case Study, where she first introduced us to some coffee basics. Now as much as I love coffee, I know pretty much nothing about it, so this informative section of the tour was pretty enlightening. For about 15 -20 minutes we learned about different types of roasting, the processing of the coffee, where coffee beans are grown, and the coffee movement in the city. It was then time for the tastings!
Our first stop demonstrated different brew methods and let us taste the difference between types of coffee processing. We now know the difference between natural vs. washed coffee, and we feel pretty accomplished about it.
Tasting #2 took us to Ole Latte, (a coffee-roastin food truck!), where we had a life-changing lavender latte. The lavender flavor wasn’t overpowering, it was perfect!
Ole Latte is also very involved with the community. We loved that with this truck you were able to donate a coffee/pastry to homeless. Purchase something for another and you get 10% off your own order. You can mark your contribution on a chalk board, and when someone in need sees that it’s available, they are able to go up and get it for free! Such a great idea.
Our first time trying some cold-brew at Stumptown coffee!
Our next stop at Courier Coffee included a latte, along with one of the most delicious pastries we ever tried! It was reminiscent of a rum cake, with a hard shell-like layer on the outside, and delicately soft on the inside. Such a perfect coffee treat!
Stop #5 at Public domain gave us more coffee straight up, but this time we got to see a different machine for the brewing method.
Coffee and donuts of our choosing at Coco Donuts. We chose the chocolate on chocolate cake donut, glazed, and donut crumb.
Finally our last strop brought us to a little hole in the wall, Spella Cafe, where we had our first ever affagato. We were so excited to try it that we forgot to take a picture. (Or maybe it was the caffeine taking over?!)
There were so many tastings on this tour, and we feel it really represented a broad spectrum of types of coffee. I would say for half of the tastings we tried the coffee “black”, which isn’t how I normally drink it, but it definitely highlighted the difference in brewing processes/tastes, and really showcased the specialty coffee for what is was. (AKA, not drowning the coffee in almond milk like how I normally do!)
Overall, we had an amazing time with Third Wave Coffee Tours. Our guide Anna was the best! She was so friendly, informative, and gave us a lot of recommendations about the city’s hotspots. It’s an incredible value in my opinion, a great way to get extremely caffeinated, and theres no better way for a coffee lover to experience so many cafes in so little time.
Check out Third Wave Coffee Tours here!