This time of year, pumpkin spice and eggnog lattes swarm around like biblical plagues over Egypt. But alternatives are popping up around the city, as baristas, chocolatiers, and ice cream scoopers dream up seasonal fall warmers. These two caught my eye:
Woodblock Sipping Chocolate and Fleur de Lis donut holes at Eb & Bean: Portland’s first organic-artisanal frozen yogurt shop opened on NE Broadway last summer. The impressive froyo-topping bar makes room for the highly addictive balls of Pinkleton’s Curious Caramel Corn and crushed Bakeshop cookies (we will eat Bakeshop cookies in any form, including the crumbs).
Now, owner Elizabeth Nathan is trying her hand at drinking chocolate, mixing up organic milk, Woodblock Chocolate (Portland’s rising-star bean-to-bar maker), with optional fresh whipped cream. Pony up 50 cents to add a mini Bakeshop shortbread, or on weekends, 85 cents for Fleur de Lis bakery’s cinnamon-sugared potato doughnut holes. Confides Nathan: “Have you tried them? I think they are the best in town!”
Hot Buttered Yam at Either/Or: It’s not a microroaster or coffee-bean think tank, but Sellwood’s Either/Or coffee shop percolates with fresh energy. Every inch, every sip of this Scandinavia-meets-vintage coffee shop is considered, from ginger-forward chai to espresso flights accompanied by a daily “taste pairing” (most recently shots of Heart Coffee Roasters, homemade panna cotta, and apricot preserves).
Now owner Ro Tam has turned Thanksgiving into a steamed milk drink. The formula includes garnet yams, black tea, caramelized bourbon and maple, plus a sprinkling of The Meadow’s chocolate fleur de sel on top. Tam likens the flavor to French toast or a bourbon maple bar without the sugar hangover.