On a rather unusually sunny afternoon in late January we had our first visit to Dapper & Wise. They opened their doors just a short time ago and are now roasting beans and serving up hot cups everyday of the week, except Sundays. It is owned by the brilliant folks who first opened Insomnia Coffee, two family friendly coffee houses where they welcome live music, displays of art and photography on their walls and philosophical meetings of the mind. Jade and I have spent a lot of time in the Insomnia shops in our youth. Jade has had numerous shows there displaying her illustration and photography work and I’ve even gathered up my courage and played a show there.

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Interestingly located in the outlying suburbs of Portland, Dapper & Wise is bringing the spirit and style of a small batch roastery to an area known for having only coffee chains. I must admit I was a bit frustrated to know that this place only now just opened. We had been living in the area no longer than a year ago but had to truck in and out of Portland if we wanted to get a small batch roasted cup of coffee. Doesn’t it always seem like things begin to open up or begin to expand right when you move out of an area? This has really always been the case for us. The library we would frequently visit around our last place magically expanded as soon as we left and is ten times better than before. When I left my school they put in a new arts and media center. Thanks world.

Going into Dapper & Wise was very interesting because, despite the lack of seating for more than about 8 people in the shop, its decor and style are incredibly quaint. There really is no place in Beaverton or Hillsboro (suburbs of Portland) that are quite like it.

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There is one singular barista inside named Graham, who was manning the large La Marzocco espresso machine. He explained our options to us ranging from pour over, drip brews and crafted espressos. We ordered a machiatto, a latte and a piece of almond Great British Shortbread. Our Latte was devised of an Ethiopian Chelfit, with hints of Blueberry, Rasberry and chocolate. Graham told us that the roast got its flavors from the actual packing of fruit around the beans after being harvested. While they are drying the beans suck up the sugars from the berries and take on the gentle hints through osmosis. I had never had anything of its kind before and was pleasantly surprised by how blueberry-like it actually tasted. I am one to love hints of fruit or citrus to almost anything I eat or drink whether its beer, chocolate or even a savory dish like chicken and rice. This was the kind of coffee drinking experience that changed my perception of what was possible in a hand crafted espresso. I will most likely buy a bag or two of this roast and experiment with it at home when I get my own proper brewing station.

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