I don't know anything about tasting notes and cupping, but I know what bad coffee tastes like. To me, bad coffee is any of the following: too watery, tastes burnt or weak, too hot, not cold enough [sounds the same as too hot, but it's completely different, I'm not a fan of warm milk, that should be reserved for babies]. I can't be the only person this picky about coffee; so I narrowed down my top two favorite places to get coffee in Bend. I hope it saves you from spending four dollars on anything but the best.
BACKPORCH COFFEE ROASTERS
For the workweek, I usually stock up on Evan's Brothers Coffee from my hometown. Without fail though, one morning I have zero interest in dealing with my french press and that's when I go to Backporch. There are two locations in Bend, my favorite is off of Century Drive . This location is slightly out of the way for most people, so [that's why I assume] it's not as crazy-busy. The Newport Avenue location is bright and bustling with people. The Backporch on Century Drive has a darker, cooler vibe with reclaimed wood covering parts of the walls. If you're a freelancer looking to get some work done the Century Drive location is for you.
WHAT TO DRINK @ BACKPORCH
Everything is on-point, you could order a pour over and walk out happy. If you're into espresso, Backporch's shots come with some sparkling water on the side making for a nice mid-day pick me up.
What keeps me coming back is their cold-brew, it's on tap even in the winter and they always put enough ice in it. In the summer, Backporch usually bottles their cold brew like you see below.
This is not, I repeat not the place to do any type of Internet perusing; there's simply not enough space. The staff is fantastic, they won't rush you out or anything like that, but if it's busy, it's just not an entirely comfortable spot to hangout. However, there is an amazing, shared outdoor space between Sparrow Bakery and the Workhouse -- if it's a warm day, this is where you could hangout for hours on end.
Sparrow Bakery's Northwest Crossing location is brand new, big and beautiful. The lighting is the most striking feature, I've tried to Instagram it a couple times but can't ever get a good enough picture to convey what it's like. The ceilings are crazy high and with tall windows everywhere, it's a bright spot to enjoy a coffee.
The bonus of coming to Sparrow to get a coffee is you can also grab one of their pastries or bagels. I swear, their smoked-salt bagels could make anyone [who has a choice about being gluten-free] come back to the dark side after one bite. Don't ever try their Ocean Rolls! You'll be immediately addicted and have no choice but to keep buying them.
The Ocean Roll tastes like a hybrid of a cinnamon roll and a buttery, flaky croissant with a hint of cardamom and vanilla. It's delicious, don't get it, you've been warned.
WHAT TO DRINK @ SPARROW
I almost always order iced coffee which is why I have such a stupid-strong opinion about the amount of ice added. The baristas at Sparrow never skimp on the ice and that's what makes me love them and the iced lattes they create. They're generous with their pours of their house-made syrups, so if you're like me and not that into sweet things, ask for half the regular. If you're a bad listener and you tried the Ocean Roll, like I told you not to…then you might as well just get a cardamom flavored latte to top it off.
You won't ever be able to enjoy a plain, vanilla latte from Starbucks ever again, but I think you and Starbucks will both survive.