Sunday, October 14, 2007

Goldrush Coffee Bar

A long time ago I had stopped into Goldrush Coffee Bar about 20 minutes to closing time. The barista told me he had already shut the machine down so I wouldn't be able to get any espresso drinks. Bottled juice anyone? Since that experience I never stepped foot in Goldrush again.

Okay, so I'm not that dramatic. I really just never happened to be in that neighborhood and while craving coffee and so didn't really have the opportunity to give 'em a second chance. But still, I think of that incident every time I drive past on MLK or head down the street to Toro Bravo or the Wonder Ballroom.

I've recently been back several times and discovered that they do have a great staff behind the bar and they serve the Seattle brew Caffe Vita coffee.

Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Company is a great coffee company with their own distinct personality. All their coffees feel dark and almost bitter but without the sour aftertaste. Just nice prickly coffee, like a good IPA.

I'm not sure what was behind the choice to serve a Seattle coffee with all the nice local roasters we have here, but any coffeehouse that decides to offer something other than Stumptown is, to me, a welcome addition to Portland. In fact they do sell a couple Vita blends and always have two regular and one decaf drip brew on hand.

I love this approach as I've often wondered into a coffeehouse wanting a simple mug of drip coffee only to be faced by Stumptown's exotic "Ethiopia Yirgacheffe" or "Harrar" blend as the only drip option. I always thought these brews were way too flowery or complex to be palatable. So why put this out as your only regular cup-of-joe choice?

For that reason and many others, Goldrush is a great before-work stop. Quick service, lots of breakfast choices (including fruit), and a convenient location on MLK and Russell make it hard to pass up on a dreary Monday morning. The evening scene however is kinda dead. I imagine they don't get much traffic after the workday is done and really can't depend on shows at the Wonder drawing in huge crowds in the early evening. I'm hoping that with all the development on MLK, that will soon change.

It's always been my dream to see coffeehouses so unique and accomodating that they are always teeming with customers and open at all hours. Or at least still pulling shots until they lock the doors and turn off the lights.

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