A Second Examination of Portland Soy Lattes

From Stumptown at the Ace Hotel.

Just a tour of the lattes of my life in the past few months…

Soy latte from Coffee Plant, downtown. So reliably good.

This is from Cacao at the Heathman.

This chocolate shop’s espresso is from Caffe Vita in Seattle.  I ridiculously feel guilty because theyir beans are from Seattle and not roasted in PDX. From Seattle!! The coffee capital of the US!! I’ve found lattes from here to be hit or miss, but overall, are a huge step up from the large chains in the area.

Now we move onto the foam fans club:

Another latte from Cacao at the Heathman Hotel.

Vanilla Soy Latte from Palio in Ladd’s Addition.

Cute, but foamy and boring.
Yet I love the charming location so, because it’s in Ladd’s Addition.

Another for the sad face pile, Soy Latte from Coffee Time in NW.

Coffee Time

I was stoked to try a latte from this coffee shop in NW with a hobbit room in the back, but as I stepped up to order I noticed the beans were Panache. I’ve never liked their coffee.  I sipped at it, but the sentiment remained.

Hemp Latte from K & F BellaSelva Coffee House


I frequent this coffee shop and have a soft spot for their coffee (especially the iced during the summer) and dig that they tout their alternative milk selection on the chalkboard, but I’ve yet to have a great latte.  This is turning pessimistic, oops.

Soy Macchiato from Stumptown, Ace Hotel

ace hotel, pdx

This was my first Macchiato in years,  I was trying to branch out. It was quite striking, both visually and taste-wise, and soothed my low energy soul that afternoon, but I don’t find myself called to another one.

Pumpkin Spice Latte from Peet’s Coffee

Pumpkin Spice Latte

One for the shocker pile.  Autumn hit and I wanted a damn pumpkin latte, because the media told me so. FYI, Starbucks pumpkin lattes are not vegan (as if), but Peet’s are. I was astounded that this was so tasty, and pretty!  I’ve had another since, that paled, flavor wise, and I came to my senses and realized I was in Peet’s.

One more for the Coffee-Plant-rules-fan club.

Coffee Plant, downtown.

It took me a moment to realize there was a freaking swan on my latte.

Thank you, once again, Coffee Plant.


Ironically, as I write this, it has been over a week since my last latte or cup of coffee.  I was developing a little habit.  Previously a latte would come my way every other week. I’m not shaking, but the first two days without brought on a fierce migraine and were very stressful at work. I used to drink lattes in my early 20s and then went a few years without it, almost entirely, so I know I’m fine without it.  It wasn’t even a year ago I started up with it again.  I’m thinking kombucha could be the new kombucha, which was the new latte.  I was on a big, spendy kombucha kick for a while, aka I need a starter!

Anyway, a little caffeinated tea has come my way since and I do intend to dip back into the latte experience as soon as tomorrow, but more exclusively.  I had been adventurous on my latte expeditions, and the adventure had disappointments.  The final latte before my week off was mediocre, and I didn’t finish it.  It’s not pictured above.

I was also going to some coffee shops around my office where I wouldn’t bother spending money on a lousy latte, which means I really shouldn’t bother spending money on a coffee there. Seattle’s Best, I’m talking to you. I was in love with my one-week-left tradition of a cup of individually ground and brewed Stumptown from Cafe Velo at the Wednesday Farmers Market, but that market has closed til Spring, and I hope their downtown cafe is truly under works!



On the next examination, I plan on lattes from Tiny’s, Ristretto, Coffee house Five, Cellar Door, Coffeehouse NW and two I have yet to go to: Extracto and Heart.

If you’re looking for more latte art action, check out Drowning in Demitasse (based out of NYC).

The first Examination of Portland Soy Lattes is here.

If you have a favorite Portland soy latte, do tell.

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  1. I love that in your second examination you already have a third planned! I can’t get enough of this series of blog posts.

    This topic reminds me of a few things: 1) I think I need to get a pumpkin spice latte at Peet’s tonight, 2) it’s been ages since I’ve had a macchiato also! I was scared away a few years ago when I became vegan and started drinking soy and had so many mediocre drinks by baristas who couldn’t foam it, and 3) I have so many other coffee shops to try in PDX. We’re coming down for xmas so I’ll hop to a few then…definitely Coffee Plant.

    And heart kombucha. ❤

  2. Wow, that’s so not fair you have that many places to even get lattes and non-dairy ones at that! JEALOUS! I’m a coffee addict but I don’t go out for coffee all that much anymore…I just make it at home. Maybe I should go hunt down the great soy lattes of New Orleans 🙂 (if there are any to be had)

  3. Use a store-bought kombucha. I used a bottle of plain Synergy with a batch of tea I prepared, and I had a nice mother going within a few weeks. You can make the sugar content higher to help speed her growth.

    Otherwise, mine should be ready for a split in another two weeks and you’re welcome to it!

  4. I recently tried Cloud City Coffee in Seattle (my friends live just a couple blocks away!) and it was seriously the best coffee I’ve ever had in Seattle. EVER. They also had vegan pastries, which of course makes me happy.

    But, uh, you’ve heard my preferences in portland, no need to repeat!

  5. have you been to the little coffee shop across from the 5th ave seattle’s best, that used to be torrefazione years ago? caffe viale. got a couple good baristas and a couple friends of mine who work there–but can be hit or miss. the beans aren’t the best… buuut they probably have pumpkin lattes. just thought i’d throw it out there as a downtown option.

    i miss coffee plant! the coffee shops near my job in nw (other than the amazing coffeehouse nw) suck.

    also everyone loooves extracto but i just don’t really like their roast. i said it.

  6. I may be partial because I work at Floyd’s but… we serve a mean soy latte! And tasty vegan red beans and rice. Spicy and delicious!

  7. We hope to be open at our SW 6th and Pine location early in the New Year.

    We hope to see you soon,
    Jeremy & Rick
    Cafe Velo

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