Thursday, March 15, 2012

portland micro roasters fueling the local economy (p2)

Proudly spotlighting Portland's coffee culture, we published a roundup of local micro roasters last month.

Hopefully a full month has given you time to visit each Courier, Ristretto and Stumptown location, but now it's time for the second installment in our micro roaster series.

Why frequent corporate coffee chains when every quadrant of this city features not only an abundance of local coffee shops but also locales where you can see your beans roasted before they become your brew?

With some 30 local micro roasters in Portland, here are a few more local alternatives to Starbucks.


Leave it to a Finnish pro snowboarder to stop seeking adventure on the slopes and start one of SE Portland's most beloved coffee shops and roasteries. In 2009, an inexplicable love for coffee fueled Wille Yli-Luoma with more thrill than riding big mountains, and he put his energies into opening Heart. Alongside wife Rebekah, the need to take risks and face the unknown manifested itself in the business of coffee roasting, and the Yli-Luoma's have succeeded as an integral part of Portland's collaborative coffee culture.

"Collaborating with other local businesses is a great way to develop a stronger sense of community and economy," Rebekah Yli-Luoma says. "On one level of collaborating, we serve baked goods and sandwiches that come from local businesses across the city: Bakeshop, Florio, Fressen, Lauretta Jean's (kiosk), and Meat Cheese Bread. Each of these businesses compliment Heart coffee and we stand behind each of them. We also use Sunshine local dairy.

"On another level, Heart has recently worked with Holden. We are both locally owned and operated companies that aim to bring the best product to our consumers that we can." The superior snowboarding outerwear designers recently teamed up with the micro roasters to create an environmentally conscious coffee from sustainable Brazilian farms packaged in "the first biodegradable, one-way valve coffee bags available in the Pacific Northwest," according to Transworld Snowboarding.

Read the rest on Heart plus other PDX micro roasters, including Extracto and Cellar Door, on Neighborhood Notes.

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