Friday, March 27, 2009

An examination of Portland Soy Lattes.

This Portland girl has been back to her missed city for a week now.  She wandered around sunny downtown Phoenix with her shades for a few days for work and wasn't feeling it.  Scoping out the immediate hotel-dominated area, she had a so so Vegetable Platter (minus the bread with butter) at 1130 Grill, crappy veganized pasta with crappier mixed vegetables that totally came from a freezer at a place that needs to go unnamed it's so unmentionable and a delicious meal of Coconut Curry Tofu with plantains and red beans & rice at Breadfruit, a cool Jamaican restaurant that will be featured as a travel review on Stumptown Vegans in the immediate future.
For now, an photo essay ala Urban Vegan of recent soy lattes in Portland, OR.

Is it starting out on the wrong foot if I admit I don't remember where the hell this was from? 


I've always enjoyed the taste of coffee even if my stomach and head don't cherish the caffeine associated.  No matter.  In recent months, much thanks to the prompting of Evan of Bjorked Off!, this girl's come to welcome the treat of a well crafted soy latte back into her life.  

I've had a dramatic relationship with coffee culture over the past few years.  I do have respect for the barista profession, and dig that Portland is a town where people want to work with coffee and consider it a craft.  In high school, I made crappy cappuccinos with espresso from pods before the Starbucks invasion of the late 1990s on suburban Long Island.  I don't support corporate coffee chains - this is Portland, where I can drink locally roasted beans at independent shops in every part of of town.  
Check out this article on the New Portland Micro Roasters from last month's MIX magazine for a a read if this is striking your fancy. Onto the photos!

Latte from Barista Coffeeshop

Barista is a new coffeeshop in the Pearl District, opened by renowned Portland barista Billy Wilson, formerly of Albina Press.  The best I've ever had.  Swoon.  etc.

Stumptown, downtown

First the first time I can remember, I actually scored a table was able to sit down with my latte and the Portland Mercury.

Tiny's in SE

Audra made this with coconut and I think, chocolate.  
It was lovely as heck.

The not-so-elusive Karla of Veganshizzle and a latte and bagel of her own.  

I just found this back in my Flickr stream and thought it appropriate.  Sweet Pea serves Stumptown and you have your choice of sugary goodies made with care to accompany your beverage.  

From Albina Press, SE

The latte that's still somewhat in front of me, from Coffee Plant, downtown.

Mocha + Black Sheep Bakery cobbler bar from Portland Coffee House, downtown.

I haven't been back in months.  That's all.

Evan at Tiny's with a soy latte.  I wouldn't want someone to be devastated if they weren't featured here...

What reasonable latte drinker doesn't appreciate hearts and swirls?


The barista at Opposable Thumb was trying something on this?  
It's a peppermint hot chocolate.

Woops, straight up cup of Stumptown and a Monkeywrench
Snickerdoodle.  I've got to give my devotion to Sweetpea's doodles...

From Cellar Door.  A favorite - they roast their own beans in small batches and they turn into Portobello Vegan Trattoria come evening~

This may not be pretty, but overlook the desire for latte art and trust me, it was actually wonderful.  From Spella Caffe coffee cart, downtown, also a local roaster.

The cart.

You don't like coffee?  Eat some cookies.  
Lazy Samoans (Toasted Coconut Chocolate Cookies)

From Terry & Isa's upcoming and officially named 

I'm oh, so, curious to try a hemp latte soon....


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Love those samoas!!

katiejayne said...

They are all so beautiful! Also: hemp lattes are my favorite!! And I'll say it again about the Samoas: !!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I feel the urge to drink some coffee now

Elyse said...

Wow, those lattes were impressive! Great pictures.

nora said...

i'm craving a latte now + samoas were always my fav girl scout cookie + i love the name of the cookie book!

Chelsea said...

I love a good latte! The Funky Door on SE Holgate also makes really good lattes and they also offer some Sweet Pea treats and buzzito burritos.

Anonymous said...

What a post! Oh, and if it helps at all, I've got a crew of friends and we're all from Phoenix and are dying to open a vegan restaurant. Something amazing! The market out there is ripe for it :) I'll let you know if it ever happens. Meanwhile, what a great collection of lattes!

Becca Elouise said...

I heart this post almost as much as I heart coffee and espresso.

bjorkedoff said...

this is my fave post of yrs EVER.
even if i wasn't in it!
and you didn't mention that my tiny's latte was free from the stamp card!
and i'm listening to sleater-kinney as i type portland appropriate.
i miss you!!!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

So much latte art! Pretty.

Tami said...

I laughed out loud when you said you didn't want "someone" to be disappointed in not being featured.

Those all look beautiful...I think I have to venture into soy latte's when I get to a city. Yum!

allularpunk said...

you have me wanting a latte so bad! too bad there's only crappy starbucks and a somehow even crappier local place in my town (the soymilk they use tastes really weird...not optimal for lattes anyway). and forget about latte art. *sigh*

i wanna come do a tour of portland coffeeshops! at least i know where to go now, if i even make it over there :)

Cindy DG said...

YUM, I could almost taste sthe lattes!
This looks great!!

Chelsea said...

Holy crap, I am totally overwhelmed by all of those beautiful lattes! One toward the beginning really looked like a vagina to me. Hemp lattes (or mochas in my case) are pretty darn good. There's a little organic mini mart right by me in the bottom of the Civic building that has all organic coffee and offers regular or vanilla hemp milk. I like to say that my hemp mocha is health food, haha!

Ruby Red said...

Ooh, what a fabulous dedication to soy lattes! Traditional soy cappuccinos are my favorite. I would love to try Stumptown one day, but I guess the wondrous Intelligentsia will have to suffice for now. Too bad it takes me 5 hours to drive there!!! I am so glad someone else in the vegan blog world appreciates quality espresso like I do. :)

Sonia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sonia Ruiz said...

Great post. So inspired am I that I think I'll head down to Sweetpea Baking Co (Sweetpea and Opposable Thumb are two places I've not been to yet) this afternoon to check it out. Thanks.

Karla said...

i liked the Black Sheep cobbler bar i got from the Portland Coffeehouse. did you not like it or the latte?
I think my favorite vanilla lattes are from Tiny's on 12th. Everywhere else tastes kinda off, maybe not as much syrup (i don't like nonsyruped lattes)? i don't know. I would like to try Barista and some of the other places you mentioned though. Variety is the spice of life, right?

Veganissexy said...

Oooh I heart NW coffee art :) We sure know how to make a big production out of a simple little drink. I'm salivating for a latte & snickerdoodle now! I miss chewy buttery snickerdoodles. Those may be worth the road trip to Portland :) Yum. I am totally keeping a mental list of all the places I want to shop, eat, and visit if we make it down there. Thanks!

TJF said...

I'm surprised you didn't include Crema. I think they have the best soy latte I've ever had, though I get them very rarely, so maybe I'm not the best judge.

Lisa said...

Jess, what a great post! You made an amazing vegan latte tour of portland. i'm sure you have been there, but i highly recommend the fresh pot, their baristas are amazing.
now do a post on cappuccinos, i want to see everyone's foam!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Evan - I miss you!!

Karla aka K.E.N. - re: PCH, I liked the bar but I'm not a fan of whatever beans they use, I guess.

TJF - I haven't been to Crema in years, will make a point to go again! I used to live in the Belmont area, but I also didn't drink much coffee then...

Lisa - I don't know what's wrong with me, I think I've been to Fresh Pot for an actual coffee drink maybe once.... Cappuccinos- will keep them in mind! <3

Michelle Anderson said...

mmmmm coffeeeee. you know who makes an amazing amazing soy latte? coffeehouse northwest on burnside. i don't know how they get the milk so perfect.

Anonymous said...

Lazy Samoans? Seriously??? That's a terrible name for something probably so delicious. I realize it's not your doing, but I had to get that out there - as a Samoan.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

I'm sorry, it's named after the Girl Scout cookie.