a review, best tasted by all senses

28 May

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.


3 Responses to “a review, best tasted by all senses”

  1. Cyn May 28, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

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

  2. jumbleberryjam May 28, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    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 May 28, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

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

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