Stumptown Coffeeroasters

Portland, Oregon

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When freely associating, the name Stumptown reminded me of the devoted self-sacrificing tree in “The Giving Tree.” By name only, I expected this cafe to be a sort of dive, where old grizzly Portlanders would frequent in the mornings before continuing with the daily grind. I pictured ratty sofas, paint chipping off of second-hand tables and chairs. To my surprise, Stumptown was Hipster paradise. Inside, one might say that the atmosphere was sterile and antiseptic, despite being in a brick building. The cafe was sparsely decorated with IKEA-like furniture, and on the coffee tables lay a wide assortment of hipster mags (adbusters, dwell, wallpaper). The dichotomy between building and furniture did not feel interesting or unique, but egregious to the extent that it lacked any personality. The burnt sienna coffee mugs were perfectly coordinated with the light pine buffet, in which sat the usual coffee accompaniments. Everything about this place was coordinated–clientele, furniture, employees.

Stumptown Coffeeroasters

On a more positive note, the coffee was good and I discovered one of the most amazing pastries I’ve ever been privileged to eat called a gibassier. A gibassier is an orange-anise flavored doughnut type thing, covered in granulated sugar. It was delectable. There is also patio seating outside, but make sure the person before you has left–it is a fierce competition to get a table, and apparently some people think that an empty coffee cup is sufficient to stake a claim.

Overall, this is not a place that gives you the warm fuzzies on a hard winter’s night, or any other day for that matter. I was too distracted by watching other people watch other people. If you are like me and enjoy an eclectic mix of people and an inviting ambience, then this may not be the place for you. However, you may have a different set of criteria for which you judge coffee shops and may enjoy the atmosphere–to each his own.


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Stumptown Coffeeroasters

128 sw 3rd avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204
http://www.stumptowncoffee.com/cafes/downtown.html


3 Responses to “Stumptown Coffeeroasters”

  1. Justin

    Stumptown is hipster mecca, but the most important info is missing here. Stumptown is an independent coffee roaster that goes to great lengths to serve some of the best coffee in the country. At their cafes (there are 3 locations), every cup is French pressed. I just moved to the East coast from Portland and I miss Stumptown. To experience the coffee goodness without the quasi-Ikea factor, try their location on Division Street on the East side of town.



  2. Loren

    Originally from NYC now living in Atlanta and having visited Portland I’ve been to MANY coffeeshops including Stumptown. Whenever I go out to Oregon and Washington Im excited because you can’t be a suckey coffeehouse and be located in either of these two states. You might as well throw in the towel if you cant get it right out there.

    Stumptown has GREAT coffee but it does feel like a trendy Dentist’s office.
    I felt under dressed like maybe I should’ve thrown on a skinny crocheted scarf and tortoise-shelled glasses to fit in. lol



  3. Brent

    Just tried out the Stumptown coffee shop on the 4500 block of division. It was by far the worst cup of coffee I’ve ever had. It had absolutely no flavor to it. I’ve had Stumptown coffee at other venues such as Vivace on 23rd and enjoyed it. Don’t recommend this spot though. I know I won’t be going back.


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