Where to Find the Best Coffee in the Northwest

The Northwest is famous for pouring some of the best java you’ll find anywhere in the country, if not the world. But if you’re looking for the best of the best, be sure to put some of these spots on your must-try coffee list.

Coava Coffee Roasters, Portland

Coava Coffee Roasters, Portland, Oregon

In a city bursting over with so much great coffee, it’s not easy to standout, but Coava manages to do just that. Its amazing java is the result of some serious sourcing, which includes picking each single-lot coffee only after trying beans from about 500 other neighboring farms. At any given time Coava offers some 10 coffees, that range from naturally processed Ethiopians to washed Colombians, but the menu changes so frequently, it typically goes through around 70 different types of coffee in any given year. Plus, it boasts a huge, relaxing space that’s ideal for sipping and soaking up the weirdness of Portland.

Heart Roasters, Portland

Heart Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon

Heart is another that goes above and beyond your average cup of Joe, with its Scandinavian-style roasted coffee earning a wealth of accolades and devotion from coffee enthusiasts around the world. Though it roasts its coffee right in the Portland shop, with the wonderful aroma of fresh roasting filling the café, there are numerous offerings featured from all corners of the globe. The affogatto, a melt-in-your-mouth delight that combines espresso dolloped over homemade coconut ice cream, is a must-try while you’re here.

Thump Coffee, Bend

Thump Coffee, Bend, Oregon

Located right in the heart of downtown Bend, Thump Coffee is a locals’ favorite, voted best local coffee shop every year for the past four years. That may be because that’s when Thump started roasting its own. Hipster to the max, above the bar is states something like, “We want all Baristas to look like members of the Lumineers and Mumford & Sons.”

The space is warm, open and airy with live plants and lots of exposed brick and natural wood and an especially welcoming feel for those that like moustaches, free Wi-fi and bike riding.

Archive Coffee & Bar, Salem

Archive Coffee & Bar, Salem, Oregon

This sleek coffee shop and bar in Salem roasts small batch coffee during the day and serves artisan cocktails after dark, making it popular with coffee and cocktail lovers alike. Co-owner Jesse Hayes explained his approach to small-batch coffee roasting: “First, buy phenomenal coffee. Second, roast light so you don’t cover up the beauty and complexity. Third, promote brightness and push for sweetness in your roast profile. This gives us the coffee we serve — lively, sweet, clean and interesting.”

Customers says the coffee is exceptional, especially when paired with a savory scone.

Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters

Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters, Cannon Beach, Oregon

Sleepy Monk roasts delicious organic, fair-trade coffee and espresso in Cannon Beach that locals and visitors alike have been raving about for years. Located on the main street of this northern Oregon coat town, you can kick back in an Adirondack chair in the front yard and enjoy a rich brew with a homemade pastry.

Craftworks Coffee, Seattle

Craftworks Coffee, Seattle, Washington

Craftworks recently launched its coffee house in Lower Queen Anne, with the goal to become “Seattle’s ultimate coffee bar,” and it seems to be on its way to becoming just that. Craftworks is unique in that it offers an educational coffee drinking experience. Patrons order from a rotating menu of coffees produced from Northwest micro-roasters, including nitro coffee and cold brew on tap, while learning about the products.

Jenny Lee of Craftworks noted, “We want to show customers how good coffee can be, without being covered up by milk or sugar or cream. Much like a wine bar, where people go to enjoy and learn about wine, Craftworks will be a place where people can come in and learn about coffee. We believe everyone should be aware of the great coffee that is out there and our goal is to present it in a relaxed environment and bridge the gap between coffee roasters and coffee drinkers without being pretentious or uncomfortable.”

Slate Coffee Roasters, Seattle

Slate Coffee Roasters, Seattle, Washington

There are several Slate Coffee locations around Seattle, and if you bring your patience, you can enjoy a coffee that was perfectly made just for you. The knowledgeable baristas ask each customer questions about their preferences, determining exactly what your perfect cup of Joe should be. Tasting flights are offered too.

1012 Coffee Bar, Port Townsend

1012 Coffee Bar, Port Townsend, Washington

1012 Coffee Bar is a tiny local hang out in Uptown, a place where you can find just about anyone who lives in Port Townsend, as it’s away from all the touristy shops and eateries. It offers a straight forward coffee menu, but draws coffee enthusiasts from Seattle and beyond to the Olympic Peninsula just to enjoy its delicious java and fresh baked treats.

Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse, Poulsbo

Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse, Poulsbo

Poulsbohemian offers the chance to enjoy magnificent views like this with exceptionally creamy mochas. You can sip your favorite brew while gazing at the glistening waters of Liberty Bay and indulging in baked goodies from the local baker.

Atticus Coffee & Gifts, Spokane

Atticus Coffee and Gifts, Spokane

Consistently rated as one of the best places for coffee in Spokane, Atticus features a unique “To Kill A Mockingbird” theme, named after the lawyer Atticus Finch, the character in Harper Lee’s acclaimed novel. The relaxing, peaceful interior follows the theme of the book, and there is a gift shop that sells art work, home decor and more. Exposed brick walls and old plank floors complement the assortment of gifts and the intoxicating aroma of java.

Big City Coffee, Boise

Big City Coffee and Cafe, Boise, Idaho

Big City is known for offering some of the best brunch and coffee in Boise, with especially famous in-house baked goods like cherry pie scones and biscuits and gravy. It offers some unique favorites on the coffee menu that you’ve got to sample, like yummy Mexican chocolate mocha.

The District Coffee House, Boise

The District Coffeehouse, Boise

This eclectic coffeehouse is known for its welcoming atmosphere, locally sourced coffee and live music. The cold brews are amazing on a warm summer day, try the Affagato or the Nitro Float while relaxing on the outdoor patio.

Strada, Coeur d’Alene

Strada, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

This cozy coffeehouse is housed within a renovated Oil Can Henry’s building – the only thing better is the coffee itself. An extensive menu of morning Joe must-haves and creative concoctions like lattes with sweet and savory additions, such as star anise and lavendar.

Written by KC Dermody
K.C. Dermody is the author of hundreds of travel articles both online and in print as well as the author of the “Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland.” She has traveled throughout the world and has a passion for imparting what she has learned from her experiences to others, but always appreciates coming home to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.