Portland >Restaurants > Stumptown Coffee Roasters
128 SW Third Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9720445.521741 -122.673277
Neighborhoods: Old Town - Chinatown, Neighbors West - Northwest
Even when it's crazy crowded (and Stumptowns are always crazy crowded), this big downtown coffeehouse feels spacious. Good for a quick detour if you get coffee cravings while on a Waterfront walk.
Where other cafes simply put a 'Help Wanted' sign in the window, Stumptown possesses a large mechanical claw that picks up and shakes the local modeling agency until the most beautiful people fall out, taking a long, winding slide to land in Stumptown's special barista school. Weeks later drool-inducing, shot-pulling baristas emerge behind the counters of Stumptown Coffee Roasters. While the claw-thing isn't true, the drool-thing is so get your to-go coffee with a lid.
I like this particular Stumptown because it's open and airy and there is ample seating. They have the same items for sale as all the other ones, but the location, service and casual, airy feel make this one my fave.
happily holding a vanilla mocha. – whoah, i was intentionally repelled by their innapropriate music selection at 11 am. they should have known what music it is that i like! the horrible hipster barista made me feel super uncool with his aquanet infused trucker hat. I had to wait in a line! the whole time! oh wait, thats right, its a business. not my fantasy induced dream world. dang.
i come here a lot, so maybe i'm protective, but im not a hip looking dude, i'm a pencil pusher who likes sugar in my drink because its my moment of heaven to drink that mocha and i don't think anyone has had a problem with me so far. quite the opposite in fact. its really busy there, but i can safely say i like coming in on my break, and i have for years because, holy moses, i can't help but want to. i like the staff, and the good coffee too. I don't understand how people can get so angry about a coffee joint. never had a bad time there, but i can say i generally enjoy good things, which may make me unique? the staff really care about the coffee and espresso, and it's refreshing that they do. anyway, go there if you like quality people and good drinks. i wouldn't want to study there or have a book club meeting there, because it's not cozy, but it is a good place to sit and talk for a few hours.
Objective opinion – So I've read some reviews on here and while I agree with some points, there are a lot that are less than true overall. Disclaimer: Everyone has an opinion I get it (this is still America right?), and this is mine.
Yeah, the music is not always the "best" choice at 11am (how do you possibly please everyone all of the time?), but if it's a problem for you get an ipod, a laptop, or a walkman and listen to your own. I listen to my own music, but when something good comes on I take my headphones off and rock out.
As far as the service goes... "you get what you give". This is a "busyness" meaning that it gets slammed more often than not. Now you pencil pushing, office space types who work in corporate America and think that going to Stumptown will somehow up your "in the know" and "cool factor" need to get back into your SUV, call someone on your cellphone, nearly run over a bike rider, and find a Starbucks for your triple shot, vanilla soy, latte with non fat milk (as if all the sugar doesn't concern you, but the fat content of your milk does). If you knew anything about coffee you would know that less is more, sugar covers up the taste of the bean, and that whole milk brings out the taste of the coffee better than skim, or fat free milk.
I've been going to the Stumptown on 3rd for the better part of 6 months and have begun to establish an identity as a "regular". Now what does that get me? Name recognition, great service (they all know that I drink a whole milk cappuccino and the only variable is whether it is for here or to go), and an occasional free drink (sorry, I don't believe in carrying a card for my tenth drink on the house).
In my experience everyone there has been nothing short of polite and professional. You want more than run of the mill customer service? Try tipping, or not spending your time in line on your phone and then disrespecting the cashier and everyone else in line by not knowing what it is you want. If you don't know about coffee don't act like you do, or if it is your first time there don't act like you're so cool for showing other people. Ask questions, be nice, and if you give respect than you will often get it in return.
Now I am not an employee, but work in customer service at the "Friendliest Store in Town" and I can tell you that "being on", or living up to that mantra is quite the task. Everyone has a bad day, experience, or occasional attitude, but give them another shot and if it really isn't your bag then go somewhere else. Portland is not short on good coffee, or places that serve it.
I highly recommend Barista (Billy schooled me on coffee in the nicest way and got me hooked on cappuccinos), The Albina Press where Ben is spot on with his service and coffee, and Tiny's where they actually asked me if I wanted my cap "wet, or with more foam".
Last but certainly not least the staff are some of the best looking people in the city. So what if they have piercings, tattoos, and wear skinny jeans (you don't have to). My three favorite baristas happen to be women and I consider them to be coffee goddesses in the images of Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Cory, Ian, Sarah, and everyone else that I have met there are top notch; and that's why I'll keep coming back.
Worst Service EVER! – While Stumptown may have decent coffee, they have a less than desirable atmosphere and some of the worst service I have ever experienced. I came in with a group and the woman that helped us was rude and insolent to every one of us. I finally asked to speak to her manager about her attitude because she proceeded to seem irritated by having to help every one of us. After talking to the manager, the employee changed the music to some awful techno/punk selection that was not pleasing on a Sunday morning at 11.
What Stumptown doesn't seem to understand is that when you work in the service industry your job depends on the service you provide. While you can get a decent cup of coffee there, it's not so amazing that it's worth having to deal with the employees there. I will never go back to Stumptown and readers beware that their coffee isn't worth the awful atmosphere or the ridiculous hipster employees.
Disappointing coffee and even more disappointing staff and customers. – I really don't like this place. I've been in a few times for a cup of coffee and have always been quite disappointed. The drip coffee is poor- bitter and weak. The staff is rude and pretentious, they have a sort of "you don't look like me so I'm not going to treat you like me" attitude. The patrons are of a similar belief. You see a lot of tight pants, upturned biking caps, thrift store shirts and I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-but-in- reality-this-took-me-an -hour-and-a-can-of-aquanet -to-do hairstyles. They are generally busy and just kind of shuttle you through the process as quickly as possible. The atmosphere is okay, kind of art gallery-esque- but not very cozy. It is not somewhere I'd feel comfortable sitting and reading while enjoying a drink. It kind of gives me that art museum "look but don't touch" feeling. I'd much rather be at Anna Banana's smoking in the basement and reading.
repellent music (intentionally?) – Stumptown on 3rd is a visually attractive space, with a long bar, sofas, and plenty of tables for meeting with friends or surfing the net on their free wifi. I've never found the staff to be openly rude -- aloof at worst -- but their attitude of "buy your coffee and get the hell out" is expressed via the crappy music they passive-aggressively pump out every day. Rage Against the Machine may be a great soundtrack for a frat party, but feels a bit out of place over lattes at 11am.
But hey, maybe my irony meter is broken! Let me put it this way, then: if you still wear trucker hats to prove that their personal cool quota cannot be dampered by even the crappiest of trappings, you will *love* Stumptown on 3rd! For everyone else, I recommend Urban Grind on 14th and Kearney. Same cool atmosphere minus the GTFO music. The yummy food and down-to-earth baristas are just a bonus.
Terrible tasting coffee / hipsters only / if you're not a hipster, prepare to be scorned at by workers – I'm not a hipster. So when I walked in, I was given bad looks by the workers there. When I ordered coffee, which is ridiculously overpriced, it tasted terrible.
I've actually been back and ordered a cafe au laut. And, yet again, it tasted terrible and I hated being inside the coffee shop because I wasn't wearing extremely tight jeans or I didn't bring my Macbook along.
Best coffee – This place may be the best coffee in Portland.
The only thing I don't like is the loud noise from the speaker. I wish they could turn it down a bit.
LATTE WORTH THE WALK – When Stumptown was still just one shop, my friend in Seattle recommended it (she knew the owners), so I tried it and was hooked. When I visited Portland, I used to make my boyfriend drive me to SE from Aloha just to get coffee. I buy bags of it from New Season to have at home. Now I make my coworkers walk with me to the downtown 3rd street location, even though its a hike from our office, but it's so worth it! I agree that the staff sort of look down their noses at anyone not wearing enough black, and it's not exactly a cozy coffee shop, but the coffee overshadows all of that. 4 stars in hopes that the staff will say hello when I approach the counter next time.
Heavenly coffee served with a back-to-basics philosophy. – In Short
This super-spacious Westside coffee outpost adheres to the high standards of its cozier Eastside counterparts. Don't fret the line; it moves fast as the baristas brew carafes of rich, French-pressed java and adeptly pull frothy espresso shots. Check out the rotating art show, and bring along your wireless-enabled laptop to hop online anytime.
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