Stumptown has lost a good deal of it's shine over the past few years. It just got sold to Peet's coffee, which is in turn owned by a giant holding company, the same holding that company owns Jimmy Choo's. Word is that they want to take the supermarket canned cold brew world wide.
Heart is the big dog in town at the moment. They don't make coffee, just espresso. They will try and make you feel bad about yourself if you order coffee. It's really good espresso, its expensive espresso. Like so many things, after you start buying top quality stuff, the improvement you get from buying the very "best" is marginal and a big part of the satisfaction is the snootyness of the whole thing.
My roaster is cheap for premium coffee. The owner is a terrible business man. He sucks at sales and marketing, barely gets my orders to me in time, I have to remind him to bill me. They deliver everything by bike, I don't know how they make any money after the labor of slowly pushing coffee all around town. All their equipment is ancient, exotic and premium needing constant tweaking and maintenance. They brew their pour overs in mason jars topped with expensive German filters that totter precariously and occasionally tip and spill. It's just chaos. They ride no Wave and are on no bandwagon. Their coffee is usually great, occasionally bad and every once in a while it's just fucking amazing. He had a blog post not long ago where a thousand pounds of Giraldo Exotica showed up at his tiny roastery, he didn't remember buying it and had no where to put it but hell yea! Giraldo Exotica is delicious! I think the only thing he's good at is making coffee and riding bikes. Almost no one knows his brand but the few who do are excited because it is it's own thing. Unpredictable, unpretentious, and often inconsistent which gives it a chance to be occasionally amazing rather than safe (Stumptown is safe as the bank, don't think I've thought about how a cup if it tasted in years).
Dude gave me 5 pounds of Ethiopian Gedeb, a yirgacheffee. This is an announcement, yirgacheffee is a region with a bunch of different coffee's that are often quite different from each other, stop saying you hate yirgacheffee (it's fine to say you often hate them). This coffee tasted like blueberries. I don't say things like that. I don't "detect hints of apricot, mothballs and cardamon" I try and reduce it to straight emotivism, I like it or I don't. At most I'll have one or two reasons I like or dislike it, which can some times be "tastes funky". How the hell do you move five pounds of blueberry coffee? Shit was amazing in a I'd try that once kinda way, sure as he'll wasn't "safe". Honest to God it was like putting a blueberry in your mouth and chomping down while taking a swig.
I'm just blathering now...