True Brew Coffeehouse

True Brew Coffeehouse

3370 SE Milwaukie Av.

Portland,  OR

It had to happen some time. Within the vast coffee mecca of Portland, I came across an actual True Brew Coffeehouse. No relationship whatsoever to my blog! Here I thought I had coined a cool, rhyming, unique name for the blog:  True Brew Coffee House Review. Now I really believe that there is nothing new under the sun; every so-called original thought or creative idea has already been thought or thought up. There is a faint possibility that I once traveled to Milwaukie and glanced at the café, only to file its name away (certainly not its memory) for future use should I ever decide to write a coffee blog. But I don’t think so. Once again, it was my own made-up name, and the blog has NOTHING to do with the innocent shop in Milwaukie, except for today, when I review it for me and you.

The startling thing about the TrueBrew is its size: very spacious, yet not at all cavernous. It has those horrid MadMenesque (60’s) windows all around, like a glassed-in box, but it seems cozy. Windows are greatly improved with etched leaves and awnings, but most of the warmth radiates from an interior brick wall. Distinct areas define the coffee shop: a comfy couch nook has its back to a room divider so that the cold windows are not visible, and there’s another couch in the light for those who don’t have the Oregon Early Spring Squint. Tables are open and breezy; I understand that some people prefer that even in the depths of winter. During our visit a group was having a lengthy discussion rather privately, because the table seemed far away. Elsewhere, an over-sized IKEA mirror, a book-binding press (no idea why), and a life-size wooden dog who slept leisurely nearby, added comfort and interest. Enough room even for dogs (No real tail-waggers inside, however; just the carved one)!

One area had simple tables and was the information site. It featured stained-glass and other art and artifacts (coffee roasting equipment-perhaps, urns, and a picture of a lady smoking–a real no-no nowadays). Someone had made a stained glass TrueBrew window which I’d probably have swiped had it said “coffee” instead of “espresso”, and, naturally, if this blog were not virtual—lucky for them!  “Espresso” is a rather dated term. I wondered if the nameplates in stained glass were salvaged from two of the coffeehouse’s former lives? Maybe the place “grew up” with coffee just like I did!

Fare: Coffee was a mere $1.25, and mocha was on special for $2. I had a tasty breakfast burrito, but food selection was limited.

Clientele & Service: A steady trickle of customers; nobody stood out. WIFI was password-protected.

Bathroom: In keeping with the oddball décor, the bathroom had a bright green bench inside. Its presence reminded me of a train (except for its vivid color), with its ladies’ room seating. Maybe this bench was for diaper changes.

Rating: 4 (of 5) coffee beans, because it seemed original in its ambience. Maybe I’m just biased….