Since I’ve been starting my mornings with Extracto’s Eleven of Spades espresso blend, I thought I ought to write up my Coffee Spot on Extracto’s Prescott branch, which was the final stop on my second (and final) day in Portland, Oregon. Extracto is a chain of exactly two, the Prescott branch and the roastery/coffeehouse on Killingsworth, both of which are north of Portland city centre.
Ideally I’d have visited the roastery first, but it’s another 30 minutes further out from the city centre and I’d already done a lot of travelling between coffee shops that day, having started down to the south at Either/Or earlier that morning. Instead, I settled for the closer branch in Prescott village, where Prescott Street meets 15th Avenue in northeast Portland.
Set at the back of a courtyard, a little way off the busy Prescott Street, Extracto is a great little place. All the coffee is roasted over in Killingsworth. There’s a choice of the Eleven of Spades house-blend, a single-origin or decaf on espresso, while on pour-over there were four different beans on offer during my visit. A more extensive range of beans are on sale on a table by the counter.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Although a considerable hike from the centre, Extracto’s not hard to get to. If you’re driving (not always a good idea in Portland) it’s easy enough, with parking available in the courtyard. Alternatively, the No 8 bus from the centre (my preferred method of transport) drops you at the corner.
Extracto occupies a simple, rectangular spot at the back of a small courtyard off Prescott Street. The front wall’s punctured in the centre by the door (right) and a floor-to-ceiling window (left). South-facing, it catches the sun, and, on the sunny day I was there, both door and window (which is on a garage-door-style up-and-over system) were permanently open to let some air in (although I’m told that when it’s too hot outside, they’re closed to keep the heat out!). Curtains hang to either side, appearing to conceal a pair of windows. However, pull them aside and you’ll only find blank walls!
There are two small tables outside, one either side of the door/window. Inside, a pair of armchairs occupy the right-hand corner, while to the left there’s the takeaway station, between the wall and the counter, which dominates Extracto’s left-hand side. Four two-person tables line the right-hand wall. Three of these are by a long, wooden pew, while the fourth separates the pew from the armchairs. Two more two-person tables occupy the middle, between counter and pew. Finally, while I was there, a row of three chairs lines the main window, providing additional seating while also ensuring that people enter and leave through the door.
The counter’s a simple, metal-topped wooden affair. The till’s at the far end, forcing you to pass the six-station filter rack, with its filter-cones and chemistry-style flasks, the Synesso espresso machine with its three grinders, and a small selection of cakes/cookies in jars, just so you can order. Clever.
Extracto’s well-established in Portland’s speciality coffee scene. The roastery’s been around for 10 years, with the Prescott branch opening five years ago. Aside from the house-blend, Extracto majors on single-origins, one of which is always available on the second grinder and is changed every day. However, the main draw’s the filter coffee, with a selection of four single-origins out of the 10 or so that Extracto is roasting at any one time.
Although the roastery only does bulk-brew, the Prescott branch eschews this convenience, only offering pour-over using Cilio filter cones (similar to a V60). In a unique move, chains hang from the cones to ensure that the single hole is properly aligned with the narrow neck of the flasks below.
Following my barista’s recommendation, I had a Nicaraguan Jinotega Paraiso, with a choice of sizes: 8, 12 or 16oz. Naturally I went for 8oz! While I enjoyed my coffee, it wasn’t subtle: I found it strong, even for my tastes, with plenty of body. My enjoyment improved as it cooled though, when it eased off a little, allowing its fruity nature to come through. I paired this with a rugelach, a little crescent-shaped pastry, made of a rich, flaky dough.
I was given a bag of beans as a memento of my visit. Although tempted by the wonderful array of single-origins, I’m overflowing with these at home, so I selected the Eleven of Spades house-blend which I’m currently enjoying through my cafetiere every morning.
|1465 NE PRESCOTT STREET • PORTLAND • OR 97211 • USA|
|www.extractocoffee.com||+1 503 284 1380|
|Monday||07:00 – 18:00||Roaster||Extracto (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 18:00||Seating||Tables, Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 18:00||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 18:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 18:00||Cards||Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||07:00 – 18:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:00 – 18:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Local||Visits||17th June 2015|
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