The Best Iced Coffee in Portland

The Barista coffee shop on NW 23rd street. Barista iced coffee is the perfect summer drink everyone should try.
Photo by Sevea Shuler-Hulbert

As Portland continues to grow from a city that was just like Seattle but smaller to a booming metropolis, it is still known for its great coffee. It is hard to walk a few blocks in any direction within this city and not run into a quaint shop or a small drive thru shack that sells coffee. And as the weather starts to heat up quickly this year, it is Portland’s great iced coffee that is being put on display. In order to find where to get the best iced coffee within this great city, I have put four local establishments to the test and ultimately enjoyed a variety of delectable flavors. All coffees that were tasted had no added cream or sugar and were ordered as plain iced coffees.

ed coffee that is being put on display. In order to find where to get the best iced coffee within this great city, I have put four local establishments to the test and ultimately enjoyed a variety of delectable flavors. All coffees that were tasted had no added cream or sugar and were ordered as plain iced coffees.

First up in my selection was East Portland Coffee Roasters. This shop can be found right on the corner of Division and 79th. It’s small but ultimately has a charming nature to it. As its indoor fountain bubbles in the corner, you are transported to a state of relaxation. While the aesthetics of this coffee shop are appealing, its iced coffee is somewhat mediocre. The blend that this shop uses is ultimately very full and flavorful but has a floral aftertaste that is slightly off-putting. This cup of iced joe just isn’t enough as it leaves an unsettling feeling that ends up being disappointing.

Next was Rain or Shine Coffee House, a classic favorite among Franklin students. This shop is known for its original drinks such as lavender lemonades and solstice mochas, but it’s iced coffee is nowhere near impressive. While this coffee house uses Portland Roasting for their iced coffee blend, the flavors that come across are muted and almost burnt. The only flavors that are present in every sip are bland. This cup can be fixed with some cream that ultimately makes it more tasty, but good iced coffee shouldn’t need cream to be delicious and refreshing.

Up next was Barista, a local coffee shop that can be found in multiple locations with a favorite being nestled in NW 23rd. This shop is very minimalist and elegant, allowing the coffee to speak for itself. Once the front door is opened, smells of great coffee waft onto the street. The iced coffee here is delightful. Its flavors are strong but not overwhelming. This shop roasts their own brand of coffee that constantly features new flavors from earthy dark roasts to sweet and slightly citrus light roasts. This adds to the greatness of this local coffee spot.

Lastly was Stumptown, a well known coffee establishment with locations all across Portland. This spot is a well known aspect of Portland as Stumptown is known for their delightful blend that they roast in house. Their iced coffee is just as impressive, with light notes of cocoa that make every sip feel like a taste of summer. The only negative to this cup of iced coffee is the fact that the last few sips are often off-putting and leave a somewhat sour taste. Despite this, Stumptown’s iced coffee is still worth giving a try.

In the end Barista provided the best iced coffee out of the four establishments that were visited. Their iced coffee was a perfect mix of refreshing and flavorful, making it the perfect treat. With summer approaching I recommend that everyone give Barista’s delicious iced coffee a try.

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