Hey there! Tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties on the show, so we’re hop­ing for Fri­day. Until then… enjoy. :) Oh, and I’m twit­ter­ing now, if you should care about what­ever mun­dane task I’m par­tak­ing in. @nomnomnomblog

So, becom­ing a choco­late con­nois­seur was my New Year’s res­o­lu­tion. I haven’t been keep­ing on it very well at all, but a sim­i­lar res­o­lu­tion may have taken hold.

I have never been a cof­fee drinker. Cof­fee fla­vored, yes please. Cof­fee scented, absolutely. But I’ve just never been a drinker. But being the lover of pas­try and dessert that I am, I felt the need to rem­edy this. For years I’ve watched Jim get such plea­sure out of cof­fee with a break­fast pas­try or cof­fee with a piece of choco­late cake, I wanted to join that club too!

I mean, if you think about it, choco­late and cof­fee are like long lost sib­lings. They both grow in pods on trees in trop­i­cal cli­mates and are roasted to per­fec­tion. They were meant to be enjoyed together. What dis­ser­vice am I doing to myself by not expe­ri­enc­ing this whole spec­trum of flavor?

So, I’ve been eas­ing myself in and now with the warm weather all I crave are iced drinks. Enter: iced lattes and mochas.

I have been lat­te­ing and mochaing myself all over town and, in my infi­nite choco­late wis­dom, con­sider myself to have a dis­cern­ing palette. There are plenty of good lattes and mochas around town, this is the PacNW after­all, but this week­end I had a cof­fee expe­ri­ence that topped the charts. Not only were the drinks liq­uid per­fec­tion, but it was in the most beau­ti­ful cof­fee house I have ever seen. Lit­er­ally, I don’t think I’ve ever been in an any­thing that is as breath­tak­ing as Car­tola, the new cof­fee shop in NE, on 7th and Knott.




Clas­sic and richly dec­o­rated, with a cap­ti­vat­ing atten­tion to detail with­out being over­whelm­ing, this cof­fee shop is unlike any­where else I’ve been in town. The inte­rior pic­ture I took really doesn’t do it jus­tice, so if you’re in Port­land you’ll have to see it for your­self to truly grasp it. I didn’t have my good cam­era with me, sigh. When you enter, you lit­er­ally pause for a moment to take it all in.

From the wel­com­ing color of the com­fort­able, firm win­dow chairs to the beau­ti­ful uphol­stery of the long bench seat­ing along the length of Car­tola, you are trans­ported away from your day-to-day hus­tle and bus­tle, grab-my-coffee-an-go lifestyle and rather you are invited, enticed I would say, to stay and savor the mas­ter­ful drinks and absorb a bit of beauty. The wall paper, light fix­tures, music, each ele­ment was care­fully thought out and you can see that care in every­thing they do. This isn’t a place to get caf­feinated and get out, it’s a shop that really wants to share a gourmet expe­ri­ence with you in every sen­sory way.


It looks so sim­ple, yet pleases me so…

Extra bonus points with me: organic, fair trade vegan choco­late syrup (yay!), com­postable cups and straws, house-made sim­ple syrup as an alter­na­tive to sugar, tons of built in plug-ins so you don’t have to fret about where to sit when you bring your lap­top and refresh­ingly unique sum­mer drinks.


I drank a bunch of it before remem­ber to cap­ture an image. This is a mix­ture of iced black tea with fresh-squeezed-on-the-spot orange juice, a light sum­mer drink that will leave you slouched in a chair, enjoy­ing the excel­lent music du jour and feel­ing ohso­happy to live in Portland.


0 Responses to a review, best tasted by all senses

  1. Cyn says:

    Choco­late and cof­fee are best friends, too! They’re so deli­cious together.

  2. jumbleberryjam says:

    Ooooo, wow! How beau­ti­ful. Must add that to my list. But, I think that bak­ery you men­tioned a while ago is at the top!

  3. Sandy says:

    I am sur­prised they didn;t call them­selves “cof­fee car­tola” ha ha