Coffee Stop Spotlight: Insomnia Coffee Company -Portland Bicycling Club

Coffee Stop Spotlight: Insomnia Coffee Company

Finally, a west side spotlight! Typically, we choose not to highlight chain coffee shops because they have a set formula, look, and level of generic service. We will deviate from that attitude because each one of the six coffee shops in this chain are vastly different. Insomnia Coffee Company has five locations on the west side of Portland Metro at Cedar Mill, Murrayhill, Baseline, downtown Hillsboro and Tanasbourne. They also have a shop “way out west” in Cannon Beach. We visited the Baseline location for this spotlight, which is a stone’s throw from Baseline Avenue (in a little shoppette) next to Hillsboro’s 53rd Avenue Community Park. 

The Baseline location feels and looks like a “one off”; its homey decor and decorative lights strung between the fascia over the serving area and the opposite wall feel cozy. Other lighting is table lamps on top of antique market furniture or decorative floor lamps. Traditional lighting from the ceiling is minimal. The mismatched chairs and tables add to the non-chain atmosphere. The queuing space for placing your order curls around a rack of t-shirts, branded burlap coffee bags (three for $10), a basket of blankets to keep you warm while enjoying the outside seating, a houseplant, and a beaten-up old chest of drawers. You won’t see that in a Starbucks. The coffee, service, and pastries are all wonderful. They make their own pastries, with one of their specialties being orange rolls. You can get them in the shop or get a pan for baking at home. They roast several types of coffee that is available for purchase by the pound. Free coffee refills of any of the three kinds and an obligatory decaffeinated option. Their “merch” includes shopping bags, T-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, and chai. The workers are nice too! It’s an ideal coffee stop for small group rides of five to six riders, so that you can sit at one of their bulky tables and relax. The bike parking is limited to wherever you can lean your bicycle and still have it be observable from inside. I’m sure there are bike racks somewhere, and they’re probably too far away to feel comfortable. Check out the Baseline location and all the others on the west side!

Richard Higgins, Vice President

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