Extracto Coffee

1465 NE Prescott, Portland

Extracto Coffee is a unique little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. Not only does it make “your own” cup of coffee as you wait, but it also has original décor. Watching my java drip was akin to watching my home pot fill up—except I rush it, wishing it’d hurry up, maybe daring to swipe some of the ultra-strong stuff despite the possibility of short-changing the rest of the pot.  Here, of course, I waited patiently, and my coffee was brought to me as in an elegant restaurant. And it was brewed Just Right. Because they have no pots sitting on a burner or chilling in vacuum pots, they could also offer 4 coffee varieties instead of just 2 or 3, and they were fresh.

Now about the decorations:  A huge, odd picture of a monkey riding a dragon seemed to cover most of one wall, and other patterned cloths were hung around the room. Bags of coffee for sale were perched upon glass cake platters on a table, and a church pew provided seating directly under the dragon (Hope he keeps his hot breath to himself!). Other disparate items included the blond-wood and metal school chairs. Plain concrete floors had 3-D diamonds painted at each seam or intersection. In contrast to the “homegrown” furnishings, the main counter was a striking wood and steel creation. This seemed fitting; the spiffy counter augmented the unique (for Portland) brewing system.

The shop had an unpretentious, friendly, neighborhood feel to it.

Fare: At $2 per cup, coffee was higher than average, but then, it was special! They had day-old eats at half-price. I had a bran muffin, mouth-watering despite being day-old and cold: Pleasantly surprising! Assuming the bran muffin might be slightly stale, I asked about a microwave, but I guess “no nukes is good news” in Portland.

Bathroom: This was a sort of storage-closet hybrid, complete with brooms and umbrellas, but it had a regular sink and was clean.

Clientele: Ordinary people, maybe some hipsters (as if I knew one when I saw one, at my uncool age!). Neighborhood place along Prescott. No provisions for kids.

Rating: 4 coffee beans (out of 5) for doing a lot with a little.