Coava Coffee Roasters

Overall Rating: 8.150

Address: 1300 SE Grand Ave.
Cross Street(s): SE Main St.
City, State ZIP: Portland, OR 97214
Phone: 503.894.8134
Hours: M-F 6am-6pm; Sa-Su 8am-6pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 8.00
Barista: 8
Savvy: 9
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 8.30
Aroma: 7
Body: 8
Brightness: 9
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 1.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Syrup-like
Coffee Beans: Coava Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: Le Porcellane d'ANCAP
Price: $3.00
Last Update: 05/30/2015
First Reviewed: 05/30/2015
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

Matt Higgins started Coava (named after coffee greens) in his garage in 2008. They soon expanded to open this location, their first "brew bar", in the Summer of 2010. It's a vast space in Portland's Central Eastside industrial district, which they share with the Bamboo Revolution showroom (hence the stylish all-bamboo bathroom that feels like a modern ice fishing hut). Seemingly acres of open space with a machine shop feel. With roll-up doors on Grand Ave., they also offer limited metal café table seating along the SE Main St. sidewalk. Inside you'll hear the sounds of SchoolBoy Q to the Jesus & Mary Chain combined with the occasional TriMet streetcar rattling up Grand Ave., locomotives running nearer to the Willamette River, and all with obstructed views of downtown Portland just beyond the river. There's exposed wood everywhere along with concrete slab flooring. Seating is very limited for its space, consisting of shared large tables and benches with chairs plus additional counter seating at one side. A functioning 1980s 5-kilo Probat roaster sits proudly next to the service counter along with various coffee roasts. An incredibly simplistic menu in the manner of doing just a few things really well, including some great pastries. Using a matte gray refinished two-group La Marzocco Linea (La Marzocco adopted their idea), we had shots of their Ethiopia Meaza. Coava doesn't do blends. The Meaza came as a compact shot, two sips short, with a mottled medium brown crema of decent thickness. Served in a white ANCAP cup, it has a sharper, astringent, acidic bite that finishes off a mostly pungent shot with sweeter edges of candies and syrup. Their cappuccino is modestly sized with detailed latte art, a good layer of microfoam, and a decent balance without being too milky. They have excellent pour-overs, exclusively using their own Kone metal filters over Chemex. They may hide their milk in an ice chest, but they aren't anti-milk nazis.