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Subscriber Post: An interview with Friday-morning funsters PDX Coffee Outside

Posted by on October 2nd, 2017 at 9:50 am

attackcowboy attacking a donut

Will Christenson

This is a subscriber post by Armando Luna.

PDXCoffeeOutside is a group of bike riders and coffee lovers who meet every Friday to grind, brew and enjoy their coffee in the great outdoors of Portland. The organizers pick a different spot each week, which you can learn about on their Instagram feed, @pdxcoffeeoutside. I’ve attend a few of these gatherings this summer and asked one of the organizers, Will Christenson, a few questions.

What started PDXCoffeeOutside?
PDX Coffee Outside started because a group of friends had a desire to meet up in the mornings before work (hence the 7am start time), make coffee, and socialize. Most of us have a bunch of camping gear anyways, so it’s a good excuse to use that, and we’re also pretty passionate about coffee.

Brewing coffee at PDX Coffee Outside (all photos by Will Christenson)

How long have you been meeting?
This group has been meeting since July, 2016, but we certainly weren’t the first people to come up with the idea, even in Portland.

Are there competitions on who makes the best PDXCoffeeOutside?
We try not to be judgemental about our coffee – we accept all types of brew setups, coffee beans, preparation methods, and skill levels. It’s really more about the ritual of coffee making, and the opportunity to talk with good folks and enjoy the outdoors.


The locations change every week. What are some of your favorite spots?
One of our most popular spots is probably Laurelhurst Park – we get really good turnouts there, and it’s always nice. Personally, my favorite spot is Skidmore Bluffs / Mock’s Crest, though.

Welcome to the coffee bar.

If someone wants to participate, what should they bring?
Ideally, they would bring a full brew setup – which would include a means of boiling water, a coffee brewing method, a coffee grinder or pre-ground coffee, water, and a mug. If people don’t have all the gear, someone else almost always has what you’re missing and is willing to share. If you don’t have any of the gear, just bring some donuts or treats to share, plus a mug, and someone will make you a cup of coffee!

Anything else you want to add?
It’s not an official “rule” or anything, but most people bike to the location – although, we won’t turn you away if you take a different form of transportation. The only firm rule is that people should only bring good vibes – we’re all here to have a good time and enjoy being outside and drinking some great coffee. Also, we’d like to give a shout-out to Ristretto Roasters, who have been supplying us with great coffee all summer long.

Enjoying a cuppa.

Thanks, Will! I’ve enjoyed meeting and talking with the folks there. I’ve received tips about coffee making equipment, but also bikepacking equipment, bike routes and trail conditions throughout Oregon and Washington.

I hope to make PDXCoffeeOutside part of my Friday morning commutes throughout the fall and winter.

This post was submitted as a Subscriber Post, one of the benefits of being a paid supporter of BikePortland. Learn more here.

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Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)

That first picture of Will is pretty great. I’m not a big bean man myself but i appreciate a good morning routine. thanks for sharing. so much bike stuff that happens in this city that you don’t know about.


I have to start meeting up Friday mornings.