I don't often visit Albina Press because of the hype. And the anti-hype. Some of the public chatter about the coffeehouse has been that the baristas are both snobby and drop-dead gorgeous, that the coffee is the best in town and totally overrated, that you can see rock stars there and that there are too many hipsters. It's a mixed bag of reviews though most are glowing reviews of the actual coffeedrinks themselves.
Since so many people in Portland have such strong opinions about Albina Press I have been scared to either love it or hate it, and therefore tried to keep my experiences with the coffeehouse ambivalent.
I did drop by this past Friday morning before a weekend drive to Seattle to fuel up. That would have only been my fourth or fifth visit to Albina Press and so far I have not been snubbed by a barista, they were relatively attractive, I did see a rock star once, and the coffee drinks are certainly the best-crafted ones in Portland that I have tasted so far.
The even-keeled coffee kept it's great flavor all the way to Centralia. The day-old pastry I bought with the coffee did not. (Pastry note: Crema's Morning Buns, or "A.M." Buns as some coffeehouses refer to them, are not day-old worthy.)
The drink was encouraging and since I now live the NE 'hood, I'll keep going back to taste and to try to explain here why I think the way Albina Press pours Stumptown beans is better than even the Stumptown coffeehouses themselves. Maybe it's the extra hype included with every cup.
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