Portland got a brand-new coffee shop this week with the soft opening of Less and More’s much-anticipated second location. It’s tucked in the lobby of an office building at 811 SW Sixth Avenue, right next to Pioneer Courthouse Square, just three blocks away from its first location in a sidewalk vintage bus shelter. Owner Ryan Jie Jiang is expanding at a time when coffee shops in downtown Portland are closing locations, including Coava, Heart, and Water Avenue, which previously occupied the space. A gutsy move, yes, but we would expect nothing less from one of the major faces in Portland’s changing coffee scene.
The original Less and More is a PoMo favorite that captured our hearts with its signature drinks, incorporating ingredients like mascarpone and black sesame. The heart of all the drinks, the espresso, comes from award-winning Portland roaster Joe Yang. Drinks have that quintessential Asian trait of being not too sweet, fueled by made-from-scratch flavors mostly drawn from Jiang’s Chinese Korean background. Here, the menu differs slightly, making a visit to both locations worth the effort.
The must-orders at the new café:
- The EnjoyMe latte (injeolomi), which combines nutty toasted soybean powder with an airy cream cloud atop iced espresso.
- Beet latte?! There’s no coffee in this drink, but for an afternoon pick-me-up, this could make a nice alternative to the Starbucks pink drink. The beets are fortified with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
- The Espresso Tonic. A while back, it was trendy to add orange juice to your espresso (even Dutch Brothers is on it), but Jiang is taking a more tropical turn by adding pineapple-coconut juice.
- The Colombia Finca El Diviso pour-over is spectacular, with a distinctive smell and flavor reminiscent of strawberries. It’s like drinking a summery, juicy red wine with toasty coffee notes.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the pour-overs here are top-notch; after all, Yang entered (and won) a coffee competition in Colorado with this particular roast. Right now, all three pour-overs are roasted by Yang, but in the future, look out for guest roasts from places like Scandinavia, all priced under $7.
When I last spoke to Jiang in March about his plans to expand Less and More, he promised five new locations in the next three to five years. The newest location was originally slated to open in April. When reminded about his initial timeline, he doubled over, palming his face. “Give me another three years,” he laughs. Who’s next? Beaverton, you’re in luck.