January 06, 2011
A person gushed great things to me about Albina Press before I laid foot in the coffee shop. This normally would not be so surprising because word of good coffee gets around. However, I received this recommendation while I was still living in Tennessee and had never set foot in Portland. When I finally had the chance to make it to Albina Press, my expectations were high. I was not disappointed.
When you first walk in you see a relatively large layout for a coffee shop. Your eyes will easily wander to the two huge windows letting in natural sunlight and the large array of art by local artists adorning the walls. There are mostly tables for two, but two areas with comfortable couches are available that are perfect for hanging around with friends in. One of the couch areas is up front near a large window. This area seems to be in the middle of the hustle of the coffee shop. The other couch area is a little bit more secluded. It is located in the back of the coffee shop, and provides a causal living room type feel. Also located in this back part of the coffee shop is a bookshelf filled with magazines to read.
They have a good coffee selection that all seems to be reasonably priced. I had the Dragonfly Chi when I went. It was excellent and reasonably priced at $3 for a 120z cup. Although the Chi was amazing, after talking to other people about their experiences at Albina Press and hearing them rave about how the coffee is unbelievable, I might have to try the coffee next time I go back. From what I hear they stand out not only because they serve Stumptown coffee, but because they are one of the better coffee shops at brewing it. The beverages might be considered some of the better in Portland, but Albina Press does not seem to have a very large food selection. I saw basics such as scones, cookies, and bagels. However, I could not spot any other coffee shop staples such as fruit or sandwich offerings.
The staff seemed very friendly. There were only two staff working when I went, but they gladly answered the few questions that I asked. I saw two people with their dogs inside the coffee shop but when I inquired they said that dogs were not really allowed unless just in the coffee shop while the owners order something to go. Therefore, while your dog cannot come hang out with you in the coffee shop while you sit down, it is nice to know that you will not have to leave him tied outside while you come in to order your coffee. I did not notice any dirty tables, but nonetheless I noticed that one of the staff walked around on her down time and wiped down the already seemingly clean tables. This reinforced the clean perception of the coffee shop I had when I walked in.
A drawback of Albina Press is that it can get relatively full. If you venture there specifically to study, be prepared to hear a lot of background noise. Also, it is pretty far to venture from the Lewis and Clark Law campus for coffee or for a place solely to study. However, if you want to explore a neat part of town, making the drive to Albina Press is well worth it as Mississippi Street and Alberta Street are both right around the corner and hosts to many restaurants, shops, and bars. If you do decide to make the drive, you will be able to access free wifi as well as have the choice of indoor or outdoor seating.
By Sara Althoff
For more information:Close to Mississippi in North Portland
4637 N Albina Ave
Portland, OR 97214