If there is one thing you should know about me it’s that I love coffee. I swear I’m 90% caffeine 10% water. So as any avid coffee lover, I have my favorite places to get coffee. I live in a small town so we don’t have that many options, but what we do have is good enough for me. It’s always a bonus getting to support small local business rather than any corporation, so any time I can do that, I do. Which means there’s a great chance you won’t have any idea of these places I’m talking about! Well except two- maybe. 😉
Dutch Bros (aka DB): Dutch Bros Coffee started in Grants Pass, Oregon and spread through out Oregon and into Washington, California, & Arizona. I prefer just about anything to the burnt taste of Starbucks. The secret to what I think makes DB coffee so great is that they use chocolate milk rather than just plain to make their coffee with. (Most places use a chocolate syrup to add in the chocolate flavor). And you know, they don’t burn their coffee, haha. My favorite drinks from Dutch Bros are Carmalizer (Chocolate + Carmel Mocha) , Grasshopper (Mint Chocolate Mocha), German Chocolate Mocha, Cinnamon Bun (Cinnamon + Chocolate Mocha).
I also love DB because of their company message which to be summed up is basically be good & kind, & love one another. On the lids of their cups they have sayings like “Wake up early, stay up late, change the world” They also have quotes on the back of their punch cards which are usually Dutch proverbs if I’m remembering correctly. DB has a brand that is just cool and really flows with the spirit of Oregon which is I think another reason their locations are popping up everywhere.
Tried & True Coffee Co. – Tried & True is a coffee shop that has two locations, one downtown in my city and the other is actually down the street from where I live. I actually haven’t tried their coffee yet- instead I am obsessed with their Instagram. IT’S GORGEOUS. Hopefully I get a chance to try their stuff soon, every time we drive by they look packed and there isn’t any parking. 😦
While their original location is a hole in the wall that anyone passing could easily miss. Their newer location has had a colorful history. Before it was a coffee house it was a pet day care, before that an auto repair shop, and before that a Jiffy Lube. It’s had quite a turn over of occupants in the last few years. Hopefully it’s a good place for them. I know they did a ton of work to the building, and it really looks great now.
Black Rock Coffee– We get black rock coffee anytime we go to the freeway. Where I live is 30 minutes away, so if we go up to Portland, or Salem, or down to California we have to drive out to I5 which has Black Rock Coffee. I had their coffee for the first time this past December, and omg one of the best takes on a peppermint mocha-especially blended! My favorite drinks to get from them are a Blended Blondie and Blended Peppermint Mocha.
Coffee Culture– There use to be a lot more of these in my city, but now we only have two, both on the opposite side of town from me so I don’t really go there anymore. But I do like their coffee. This was the first coffee shop my little city had- even before we got a Starbucks! I think at most there were four different locations, and one was pretty close to my parents so my mom would go there a lot for coffee on the go. This was back before I knew how glorious coffee was, and while my mom got her coffee I would get hot coco, or strawberry smoothies.
Now they have a coffee stand, and a cafe. The cafe was pretty close to my high school so I would walk there on free periods or for lunch. Which was really relaxing and didn’t get crowded by high school kids which was nice- it was a bit out of the way. Something unique about them is that every time you order a coffee you get a chocolate covered coffee bean.
Caribou Coffee – Caribou was first introduced to me when I went to Minnesota to visit one of my very good friends. Their coffee is bomb digity. I am so sad Oregon doesn’t have any. But I get my fix when ever I go there, or oddly they are also in Washington D.C which I freaked out over. Their Turtle Mocha is my absolute favorite coffee beverage ever.
Bonus: Starbucks- So I do go to Starbucks. But it’s not an everyday thing. When I lived in Portland it was, I was actually a gold card member then. But I’m not now, not even close. The most I go there is during the holidays because of their seasonal drinks. I also drink Starbucks when ever I’m traveling because it’s dependable. If I give them an order it’s going to be universal and I’m not going to be stressed out over getting bad coffee and having a bad start to a day of travel.
Last one! Promise! Perfect Cup- When I was living in Portland there was this adorable little drive through coffee place called Perfect Cup. It’s actually owned by one of my boyfriend’s dad’s friends. They have a Toasted Latte and it’s magic! It’s great hot or cold, but it’s the only latte I like (if you hadn’t noticed every drink I’ve mentioned is a mocha, lol). So if you ever find yourself in the Gateway District of Portland, OR look ’em up!