Last year, Oblique Coffee Roasters in SE Portland caught my eye as I headed down Stark. With a fun, graphical sandwich board on the street corner and an obviously renovated historical building, Oblique beckons. Another independent coffee roaster in Portland? It had to be tried.

Notes on Oblique Coffee…

Where: Located at 3039 SE Stark, at the corner of 30th and Stark, and just a couple blocks up from the crazy dancing club of my youth, The Good Foot, Oblique Coffee Roasters is housed in an 1891 Victorian mercantile that used to sell cigarettes, beer and new and used wares. In 2007, Oblique’s owners took possession of the building and turned it into a comfy neighborhood coffeehouse. The cafe describes itself amusingly as: “A super bitchin’ Victorian Coffee Mercantile with scrumtrulescent beans micro roasted in an uber German cast iron roaster named Bart!”

Coffee: Oblique serves Oblique Coffee and they roast it right inside the coffeehouse behind the counter on Bart. By definition, “oblique” means “diverging from a given straight line or course,” and I’d say that is a good way to describe this micro-roasted coffee. Oblique’s coffee is somehow earthy-tasting, without a lot of acidity or kick. I’m not sure if it’s how they brew it (French Press or Pour Over?) or how they roast the beans, but it’s a unique flavor that I haven’t tasted before and would like to try again.

Cool stuff: Old mercantile/antique feel and memorabilia (antique tins, bottles, etc.); original fir floors, events & entertainment, including piano concerts and Oregon Duck games (Oblique is staying open for the BCS Championship game Monday, Jan. 10, 2011); bright, blue-colored chairs in green, natural garden where I can’t wait to chill out with an iced coffee when the weather gets warmer.

Not so cool: Inside, the space is a little like an over-stocked mercantile, with too-close, too-large tables.