SW Oak Street, Portland – Courier Coffee
Several weeks ago I peered through the door of what was once Half & Half cafe, but I saw an empty room with a wrinkled sheet of butcher paper on the floor that held a hand-drawn floor plan for Courier Coffee’s future showcase cafe.
Last week I visited the completed cafe on Oak street in the pocket-of-hipster found between Ace Hotel and Jackpot Records. The walls are mostly stark white and behind the bar and in the corner are a few piles of clutter that are reminiscent of Joel’s roasting garage. The rest of the experience, however, is deliberate. There are books on each of the tables: Good Housekeeping Cookbook, Civilization Past & Present, and 18th & 19th Century Art. These eccentric, methodical touches are followed throughout the decor and into Joel’s pulled espresso.
“Do you have time on your hands?”, Joel asks a customer and proceeds to sip on the espresso that he just pulled, and then he pulls two more before satisfied. There’s a certain level of comfort that comes with a barista who insists on making you wait for the perfect shot. Joel has that knack for tinkering until perfect. He is an unofficial distributor and repairman of espresso machines, and, like many roasters, is comfortable with metalwork.
Joel Domreis’ roaster is a San Franciscan located in a garage on SE Hawthorne. The coffee is excellent.