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Harder Day Coffee is Making it Look Easy in Portland

Harder Day coffee

Inside the new Harder Day coffee shop and roastery in Portland. All images courtesy of Harder Day.

The co-founders of Portland, Oregon-based craft brewery Steeplejack Brewing have plunged headlong into coffee with the Harder Day Coffee Company.

Founded by Dustin Harder and Brody Day, the new coffee brand’s roastery and cafe opened last month in Southeast Portland, while three more locations are already in the works. Those include a shop planned to open next month in Beaverton, a Southwest Portland location opening later this summer, and a bar inside the Steeplejack Brewing location on SE Hawthorne Boulevard this fall.

Harder day coffee bar

On Woodstock Boulevard, the first Harder Day occupies the coffee shop and roastery previously operated by Esperanza Trading Company. Brody Day told Daily Coffee News that few changes were required to rebrand the space, which was already embraced by the community.

“We tried to keep as much of the charm and aesthetic of the previous shop as we could,” Day told DCN. “It had a great feel and we wanted to continue that.”

The bright white walls, rattan pendant lights, natural wood surfaces and lush potted plants all remain in cheery familiar contrast to the black-surfaced bar, ceiling and frames. Customers entering the approximately 1,800-square-foot location can see the hopper of the same black Probat UG-15 roaster through a window behind the bar.

Harder Day roastery

Natural light and fresh air flow into the cafe through a glass garage door that connects the modern industrial interior to outside seating.

Drinks are crafted on a La Marzocco Linea Classic espresso machine, Mahlkönig grinders and a Curtis batch brewer.

Continuity for customers also comes through the presence of former Esparanza head roaster and barista Ren Hua, who at Harder Day splits time between the bar and the roastery.

Harder day garage door

Harder and Day met in 1998 while attending UC Santa Cruz, when Harder was diving down the specialty coffee rabbit hole while Day experimented with home beer brewing.

A commercial bakery supplying Harder Day is a third new business launched by Harder and Day. The new bakery’s name and branding is still in the oven, as it were, although the operation is up and running.

Harder Day bakery

“We have a clear vision of what we want to be, and feel that we have something to offer customers in the greater Portland area,” said Day. “Our differentiator is the ability to offer a best-in-class coffee and pastry experience, while making it an accessible and welcoming experience for everyone.”

Harder Day Coffee Company is located at 4229 SE Woodstock Blvd in PortlandTell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here

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