Four Pearl district coffee and tea shops to warm your soul on a brisk Winter day.
A FIXTURE IN SEATTLE since 1986, Caffè Umbria (featured image, 303 NW 12th Ave, 503- 241-5300) chose a sleek, contemporary storefront on the ground floor of the natty Casey condominium to open its Portland branch several years ago. Discerning java enthusiasts fond of Italian-style roasting favor this vivacious café that sells custom-blended ground and whole beans from Brazil, Indonesia, Colombia, and other vaunted coffee nations. Beer and wine are also available, along with an array of delicious treats from chocolate chiffon cake to mozzarella-tomato-basil panini.
Named for the majestic Cascades mountain town in which it’s headquartered, Sisters Coffee Company (1235 NW Marshall St, 971-279-2957, sisterscoffee.com) offers plenty of rustic touches in its inviting branch inside the Wyatt apartments. Note the mounted antlers, sandstone fireplace, huge map of the Oregon Territory, and one of the comfiest perches in the neighborhood: a loft balcony with leather armchairs and shelves of books. This urban take on an alpine cabin is a great spot to snuggle up with a chai or maple-spice latte.
Ovation Coffee & Tea (941 NW Overton St, 503-719-7716, ovationpdx.com) has developed a devoted following since opening inside the Encore in early 2014. At breakfast, regulars adore the Moroccan biscuit (spiced-lamb gyro, egg, goat cheese, and roasted tomato). The intimate 40-seat space looks bigger than it is, thanks to a soaring wall of windows. On warm days, grab a sidewalk table and soak up the views of lush Fields Park and the dramatic Fremont Bridge.
Billing itself a “modern, organic tea house,” Tea Zone & Camellia Lounge (510 NW 11th Ave, 503-221-2130, teazone.com) comprises a small street-front room with a counter, a few tables, and a gift area stocked with hand-carved Japanese teapots and Argentine yerba mate gourds and bombillas. In back you’ll find the darker, more atmospheric Camellia Lounge, where you can catch live music—from jazz to world beat—two or three nights weekly. Drink and food offerings are remarkably diverse, from crumpets with marionberry jam to vegan samosas, plus fruit smoothies, Belgian hot chocolate, Humm kombucha, and more than 120 varieties of tea.
—Andrew Collins / photos by Ashley Anderson