PDX coffee scene perks along

Portland’s independent coffee industry expands with a new wave of micro-roasters.

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With more micro-roasters opening over the past few years, Portland’s independent coffee scene is thriving while still retaining its sense of DIY community.

Of the 30 roasting businesses in Portland now, about half of them are micro-roasters, and most of them opened some time in the past five years.

The movement has been percolating in Portland for a decade under the pioneering stewardship of Stumptown Coffee Roasters—which has expanded to New York and Amsterdam—but recently the trickle has become a downpour. The new wave of roasters is an opinionated group of mostly young men who have two things in common: an obsession with coffee quality, and the desire to help consumers understand where it derives from.

The roaster is the closest most of us will ever get to the sources of our coffee, and this new generation of craftsmen is taking the role very seriously. Now, with small roasting retail operations in almost every major neighborhood in the city, Portland’s already well-educated coffee consumers have easier access than ever to knowledgeable roasters and nuanced coffees. “It’s pretty cool to have people come in on roast days and show them the development of the bean,” says self-proclaimed coffee nerd Justin Johnson, roaster for Oblique Coffee Roasters, which opened earlier this year in Southeast Portland. “It’s hard not to be the biggest geek in the world. You see light bulbs going off as they begin to understand what they’re drinking.”

Read the full story at Willamette Week.

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