There’s nothing better than waking up to a clear, cool Central Oregon morning than with a steaming hot cup of locally roasted coffee. The high desert has had its foot in the door with local coffee for decades, and experienced the roaster boom in the early 2000s, with many of the original roasteries still standing today. Backporch Coffee Roasters, Sisters Coffee and Junction Roastery (being the most recent) are three Central Oregon coffee roasters with unique histories, built around community and great coffee. They have settled into the high desert roasting scene over the decades, beginning in the late eighties to 2022.
When it comes to serving up coffee in the high desert, local roasters do it best; they know the climate, and spend hours of time and dedication serving the community with each mug, to-go cup or demitasse (a fancy word for an espresso cup). The geography of Central Oregon makes for a unique place to roast coffee. Dave Beach, CEO and founder of Backporch Coffee, said that roasting at a higher elevation and in a desert climate changes the way coffee roasts as well as how it needs to be stored. Due to thinner oxygen levels and less moisture, coffee roasted in the region roasts faster than at lower altitude. Time the roasting process just right, and it leads to some excellent coffee.
Coffees Roasted to Perfection in Redmond, Sisters and Bend
In Central Oregon, roasters import their beans from around the world, and bring them to roasting perfection in the arid, dry climate of Bend, Redmond, Sisters and surrounding towns. As these roasters search for high-quality beans, Central Oregonians can enjoy an espresso or dark roast just down the road. Mitch Thisius, co-owner and primary coffee roaster at Junction Roastery, said that they mainly work with Colombian, Ethiopian, Papua New Guinean and Brazilian beans. At Sisters Coffee Company, head roaster Bubba Abbajay said they have strong relationships with farms in Rwanda, Guatemala, Brazil and Papua New Guinea to source their coffee beans. Beach with Backporch Coffee said they source their raw, green coffee beans from all over the globe, but their popular single origin roasts come from Ethiopia.
While local roasters may source from some of the same countries, the experience and style of each roaster can lead to vastly different blends which gives coffee drinkers a reason to try each and every blend. Thisius said that other than having high-quality beans, the process is up to the roaster’s style. “I like to roast in a way that allows the natural sugars to caramelize,” he said. This gives the beans a rich, smooth, sweet nutty flavor while still preserving the original flavor of the beans. Aside from the roasting process, Junction Roastery’s cafe is located in the Patrick Building—Redmond’s original hospital—giving the environment another edge to its character. Thisius hopes for Junction Roastery to be a place that brings all Central Oregon communities together through coffee, food and friendship; their mission is to be the social junction of the region. Junction’s Railroad Spike blend is a medium-to-dark roast with full-body flavor; featuring notes of dry cherry and dark cocoa. Experience it at their cafe in Redmond, located on Southwest Deschutes Avenue.
In their newly built facility across town from the original location on Hood Avenue, Sisters Coffee takes the roasting process to passionate heights. Consistency is key for Sisters Coffee which was founded in 1989. The dedication to the pursuit of consistent quality is important to Sisters Coffee. “For our staple blends, we work tirelessly to ensure our roasts match the flavor profile our customers have grown to love,” Abbajay said. As for their single-origin coffees, Abbajay said they endeavor to find a roast for each coffee that both exemplifies the innate qualities it possesses while still adding sweetness through caramelization in the roasting process. When visiting Sisters, try Sisters Coffee’s flagship roast, the Black Butte Gold blend. Abbajay said he notices notes of dark chocolate, roasted almonds, clove and even pipe tobacco. This moody roast is perfect for an early morning walk.
Beach, a 19-year veteran roaster and a mentee of Alfred Peet of Peet’s Coffee, is heavily involved in the roasting process at Backporch, and creates all their coffee recipes. He said the most important part of the roasting process is proper heat application at the right time. “You have to know how each coffee will react to varying temperature applications and what that will do to the flavor of the coffee when it is finished.” Next time you head to one of their four cafes in town, be sure to try their Backporch Blend. With notes of citrus, dark chocolate and berries, it makes for a great pour over before you start your day.
More Coffee Roasters in Central Oregon
Looking for more carefully sourced and expertly roasted coffees in the region? Thump Coffee has three locations in Bend. There, find sustainably sourced coffees and from-scratch pastries including flaky croissants. After opening in 2009, Lone Pine in downtown Bend became a steadfast staple of the Central Oregon coffee roasting scene. For those looking to venture out in the later hours, Lone Pine also has apero hours from 5pm-8pm. Megaphone Coffee Co. spreads the joy of their local roasts throughout Central Oregon. Looking for a midday caffeine kick? Find their coffee at El Sancho and Boss Rambler in Bend or Sweet Spot in La Pine. Brewed Awakenings in Sunriver is the perfect stopover (to and from) an adventure on the river.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Winter Tours You Have to Try in Bend and Central Oregon
Twinkling lights, fresh snow and fire pits bringing people together; it’s winter in Central Oregon! Bend and the surrounding towns within Central Oregon are great places to cozy up when the snow falls, and even better places to take part in winter recreation. Locals love to explore the nearby Cascade Mountains, with Mount Bachelor and plenty of sno parks located just a 30 minute drive away. Back in town, there are several breweries, cideries, wineries and distilleries waiting to be sampled. With so much to do, it can be tough to know where to start. Luckily, tours in Central Oregon that showcase the best outdoor and indoor recreation are available to help visitors make the most of their winter vacations.
Your Guide to Biking in Redmond, Oregon
Redmond, Oregon is located in the high desert between Bend to the south and Terrebonne—home of Smith Rock State Park—to the north. The city is perfectly situated to explore Central Oregon’s biking trails. As a lesser known destination for outdoor recreation, Redmond can sometimes feel like a local’s secret playground, featuring tons of trails to explore. From a pump track in town to the nearly limitless access to the nearby mountain biking trails of Central Oregon, avid bikers should consider a stop in Redmond for some adventure.
Favorite Year-Round Mountain Bike Spots
When winter comes and the snow falls, some of Central Oregon’s popular mountain biking trails become a little too muddy to ride – which means some of the unheralded spots in the region get a little more love. Places like Smith Rock can get scorching hot (and quite crowded) in the summer making it a great spot to head come winter. Want some good locals tips on where to ride? Ask the folks at Hutch’s Bicycles, Pine Mountain Sports or The Hub Cyclery for the 4-1-1, or set up a tour with Cog Wild Mountain Bike Tours and Shuttles.
Curl Up and Get Warm – Central Oregon’s Cozy Romantic Getaways
With the weather making a quick turn toward winter, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about creative ways to get cozy with your significant other.
Hot Springs in Central Oregon Near Bend and Beyond
Oregon is known for being an outdoor paradise; where else can travelers discover misty forests, snowy mountain peaks and vast desert expanses in one day? From the Cascade Mountains to the Painted Hills, volcanic activity has helped shape the many different landscapes of Oregon. Along with mountains and valleys, Oregon’s volcanic past helped create a host of hot springs scattered across the state. These hot springs are natural, hot pools of water—natural hot tubs. Some are more developed and have lodging nearby, while others feel completely remote and undiscovered. So whether it’s a soak under the stars in the high desert or a steamy pool in the forest, there’s a hot spring calling.
Top 5 Tours to Take in Bend, Oregon
Bend is a nature-lover’s paradise blended with a hop-head’s dream; nowhere else will you find this much craft beer and this many outdoor activities. The city’s been growing quickly, reaching 100,000 residents in 2020, and with the growth comes plentiful opportunities for adventure. From walking the very halls that brew your favorite beer to any number of adrenaline-inducing sports, we have you covered for the five best types of guided tours in Bend, Oregon.
Hiking Black Butte – Central Oregon’s Iconic & Majestic Cinder Cone
From a distance, Black Butte looks like it doesn’t quite match the picturesque alpine mountains that surround it. The volcanic rock that emerges above the tree line gives the impression of a hill constructed with loose stones that was carelessly dropped in the middle of the woods. Unlike the Cascades that puncture the horizon to the west and north, Black Butte can be hiked and enjoyed in under four hours.
Outward Bound in the City: Central Oregon’s 5 Best Urban Hikes
Hiking in Central Oregon can take you deep into the wilderness, far away from worry and stress. But sometimes all you need is a quick break from reality…just a half hour or so outside in nature, on a trail, alone with your thoughts (or with your dog, husband and two kids.) There are hundreds of hikes and trails available in and around Bend, Oregon and Sunriver, Oregon. These “Urban Hikes” are the perfect remedy to slow down our all-too-busy lives.
8 Pictures That Will Have You Rethinking Some Life Decisions (Central Oregon Food Edition)
Is this plate from 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar art or food? (It’s food. Definitely food.)
Panacea at the Canyon: Central Oregon’s Luxury, Off-the-Grid Retreat
Central Oregon has no shortages of places to unwind. From the banks of a high-alpine lake to a trail alongside the Deschutes River, you don’t have to go very far from your hotel room to find an escape from the real world.