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The Skinny on Alameda-Irvington’s New Scandinavian Cafe, Guilder

There’s a new local coffee roaster to watch

Guilder owners Mike and Caryn Nelson
Emily McIntyre

Guilder Cafe is a promising new gathering place inspired by Scandinavian cafe culture at Northeast 24th and Fremont. Opened in April, Guilder comes from husband-wife team Mike and Caryn Nelson, who founded Junior’s Roasted Coffee in Tallahassee in 2014. Guilder marks their return to Portland after years away — living in Sweden, New York, and Florida — and all Junior’s coffee roasting is now done at the Buckman Coffee Factory.

Mike Nelson cut his teeth with Stumptown Coffee and entered the roasting game at Portland’s Heart Coffee Roasters. His resume includes Blue Bottle and the American Barista and Coffee School, and he brings an academic focus, having researched such topics as how coffee-leaf rust invaded Costa Rica.

Expect to enter a smart and friendly atmosphere at Guilder. The cafe has two floors, plenty of natural light, and all sorts of seating in which to enjoy house-roasted coffees and a short menu of porridges, toasts, and pastries (wine, beer, and more bar food are also in the works). Single origins, such as the Brazil Fazenda Rainha and two lots from Leonte Polania’s Colombian farm, El Ocazo, proudly take top spots on the coffee menu. They can also be experienced in cold brew-form.

The Nelsons tell Eater they have big plans for Guilder and Junior’s Roasted Coffee. They’re dedicated to increasing transparency and cost analysis in coffee culture as well as perfecting cafe hospitality. It’ll be fun to watch how this plays out. So far, the cafe is a worthy addition to the famous Portland coffee scene.

Guilder is located at 2393 NE Fremont St. It operates daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (the kitchen opens at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays).

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