The other Portland has some pretty good coffee roasters coming up, too. On a recent trip to Maine, we enjoyed a sonnet-worthy cup at Bard Coffee, a small indie that's caffeinating the city's Old Port one handcrafted cup at a time.
Small batches of mostly single-origin brews are available here in fine form: Single cups are hand-brewed through Kalita drippers, and even the cafe's grab-and-go is French pressed and decanted into an insulated server. On my visit, I had a press-pot mug of a Costa Rican microlot called Guapinal: A gently sweet, stone-fruity coffee with a bit of nuttiness and a nice, round body. Perfect for warming off some of that Yankee chill.
The baristas on staff were more than happy to geek out with me about brewing styles ("We live for this stuff, this is what we do."), and are committed, enthusiastic professionals. Bard proudly hosts monthly latte-art competitions to benefit Coffee Kids, and is one of a few small-but-mighty coffee companies encouraging improvements in the local bean scene by leaps and bounds. Despite (or perhaps because of?) its cafe being directly across the street from a Starbucks, Bard has become a community staple in Portland's historic district—a testament to the coffee as well as to the people behind it.
Come to Vacationland for the lobster rolls, but stay for the lattes. (Just maybe don't mix the two. Gross.)
About the author: Erin Meister trains baristas and inspires coffee-driven people for Counter Culture Coffee. She's a confident barista, an audacious eater, and a smiling runner, but she remains a Nervous Cook.