Less and More Coffee Will Open a New Location This Spring
Though there’s no shortage of excellent coffee shops in Portland, Less and More stood out from the rest when it opened in October 2021. Housed in a vintage bus shelter in downtown Portland and adorned with sleek black-and-white graphics, after a quiet first six months it quickly made the rounds on Instagram for its signature drinks featuring Chinese and Korean flavors: iced black sesame lattes, ssuk (mugwort) lattes, and injeolmi (toasted soybean powder) lattes. It was also a rare case of these coffee drinks tasting just as good, if not better, than they looked, with completely house-made flavors, custom-roasted coffee, and a light hand with the sugar.
Now, owner Ryan Jie Jiang is making good on his promise to open more locations, far earlier than he expected. In April, he’ll open a second location of Less and More Coffee just a few blocks away in downtown Portland at 811 SW Sixth Ave, former home of a Water Avenue coffee shop that recently relocated a couple blocks away. A customer who worked in the new location’s building alerted him to the vacancy. “It was wintertime, and he said, ‘It’s too cold to walk three blocks [to Less and More]!’” Jang says with a laugh.
The new location will offer more premium coffees than the original, focusing on single-origin espressos and pour-overs. Jiang is partial to washed Ethiopian and Kenyan coffees, so he’ll focus on those at the new location; the first location, in contrast, serves Guatemalan, Ethiopian, and Colombian coffees. All the roasts are custom for Less and More, made in conjunction with Joe Yang, formerly of In J/Superjoy Coffee. Eventually, Jiang hopes to offer pour-overs of expensive varieties like the famous Geisha coffee. (A cup of Geisha coffee served at Proud Mary recently made headlines for its $150 price tag.) It’ll also feature a few specialty drinks, though not as many as the original location—but including the injeolmi latte, which has since been retired from the original spot.
And while the bus shelter location only has a few barstools, the new location will have indoor seating for about 16, including counter seats. Coffee will be served in ceramics from Year of None, a Houston-based studio. He also plans to feature a different designer in each of his locations. The original location’s logo and art, featuring a man sipping coffee and reading an upside-down newspaper, was designed by Vincent Tsui, whom Jiang met while working in Los Angeles. The new location features design from Portland artist and ceramicist Saejin Jang, @saejinsdirtyhands, including a beige-and-orange minimalist logo and a massive handmade pot that’ll house an olive tree inside the shop.
Part of the mission of the original Less and More was to make coffee that was intriguing and accessible to all. “For the non-coffee drinker, what can I bring to make them start drinking coffee?” Jiang told Portland Monthly in a previous interview. The goal here is the same, but geared a bit more toward coffee nerds; that said, you can also ask your barista for recommendations if terms like natural versus washed are newer to your vocabulary.
Stay tuned for more Less and More openings in the near future. “There’ll be more locations to come—five locations in the next three to five years,” Jiang says. “In every neighborhood—Southeast, Southwest, North, and hopefully all the way to Hillsboro. I feel bad for the customers that drive all the way from Hillsboro and Happy Valley and Vancouver. There are even regulars who come every week, sometimes even twice or three times a week.”
Less and More Coffee, 1003 SW Fifth Ave, new location at 811 SW Sixth Ave opening April 2023; lessandmorecoffee.square.site, @lessandmorecoffee