After the break, Public Domain Coffee and Coffeehouse Northwest.
Public Domain Coffee
Public Domain Coffee is located right downtown and the reason I decided to give them a try was to see the Cadillac of espresso machines in action: The Slayer. Built in Seattle, this machine (pictured below) is supposed to be the ultimate espresso machine. It's a serious piece of machinery and two of these cost as much as a Cadillac.
There's a lot of buzz about the machine and with such high expectations, it's almost a given that the experience fell flat. The coffee I had was good, but not great. I also ended up with a 12 ounce latte that diluted the flavor, when an 8 ounce was what I ordered. While Public Domain is good and they take their coffee seriously, it does come with a side of attitude. [Public Domain Coffee]
In contrast, this is my type of place. Coffeehouse Northwest is a small cafe with a great feel to it. The coffee came out just right and with a great, slightly fruity flavor. I'd definitely come back here the next time I'm in town and in the "charmingly questionable stretch of Portland's Champs Élysées"*. [Coffeehouse Northwest]