Monday, August 06, 2007

Best coffee in Oregon?

Every time A and I visit central Oregon, one of the things I look forward to most is coffee.
Not just any coffe, mind you: Allan Brothers Coffee.

They have stores in Albanym Eugene, Corvallis, Ashland and Salem. There stores are called Beaneries, e.g. The Ashland St. Beanery. If you hear someone from one of these towns saying "I'm going to the Beanery", or "Let's meet at the Beanery", now you'll know what they mean.

Coming from Seattle, and being descended from a coffee-holic, I'm a bit of a coffee snob. Allan Bros are definitely up there with the best coffee I've ever had - they are maybe not quite as good as Vivace Espresso in seattle if you want a plain espresso, but there espresso is still really good: smooth, mellow, not acidic, and really flavourful. Their flavoured drinks are where they really shine, though. Their mexican mocha's are incredible, and the Borgia is my all-time favourite drink. (It has chocolate and orange - including real orange rind). Their food is also yummy (and affordable).

Another nice thing about Allan Bros. Beaneries is that their stores are laid-back and inviting. They are usually close to universities, and full of students and people hanging out, reading, surfing the web (they have free wireless). There's no pressure to scram once you're done drinking your coffee, and they have an open mic with music, poetry, etc. on the weekends.

Starbucks, and even my favourite big chain Tully's, both fail miserably at creating a true coffee-shop atmosphere. Luckily there are some independant coffee stores in Seattle that do get it (but mostly around the University District, Downtown and Capitol Hill). The Eastside sadly needs a good coffe-shop.

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