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Matta Café is a Colombian Gem in the Pearl District of Portland

Matta Cafe Portland 2

At the new Matta Café bar in Portland’s Pearl District. All images courtesy of Matta Café.

Colombian coffee company Matta Café has opened its first retail location in the United States, offering tropical vibes and flavors both day and night in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon. 

The beverage hotspot is a collaborative space, operated by Matta in the daytime followed by a cocktail and music concept called Secret Grove after dark.

Showcasing the coffees grown on the family farm of Matta Café Founder Aura Matta in La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, the coffee shop is offering drip selections, espresso-based drinks and other flavored concoctions. 

Matta Cafe Portland 3

“The special [drink] is the coconut cold brew,” Aura Matta told Daily Coffee News. “When I sip on our farm’s coffee, it’s a connection to my roots, and the coconut cold brew, with its unique blend of flavors, transports me to the hot afternoons in Santa Marta.”

Secret Grove, founded by underground events planner Daniel Maloney, carries the coffee baton into the nighttime with espresso martinis, coffee-whiskey combos, a coffee-infused Margarita Negra and a coffee aperol spritz called the Sierra Nevada. Additional cocktails maintain the theme with agave spirits, aguardiente and other Latin American twists.

Foods available at all hours include pan de bono, arepas and Colombian empanadas. Both concepts also embrace the shop’s natural wood-panel walls, abundant potted palms and ferns, handmade woven pendant lighting and other touches made through a collaboration with Colombian architect Julian Gomez.

Matta Cafe Portland 1

“We aimed to create a space that embodies the essence of my roots in the lush coffee plantations of the Sierra Nevada and the vibrant spirit of Santa Marta,” Matta told DCN. “Our goal was to capture the sensory experience of sipping coffee amidst the Caribbean lifestyle, with coconut trees, ripe bananas, and a cool breeze in the air.”

Matta founded the business in Colombia in 2020 as both a retailer and green coffee exporter. Today, the company operates two retail bars in Santa Marta, one on the campus of the public university in Santa Marta, and the other inside a mobile Volkswagen coffee truck. All coffees for the bars in Colombia and Portland are roasted by Bogotá-based Vive Café.

Matta’s father, Manuel Matta, worked with producers in Colombia and El Salvador as an agronomist prior to establishing the family’s 59-acre coffee farm about 20 years ago. 

Aura and Manuel Matta cafe

Aura and Manuel Matta.

“My father laid the foundation for our venture,” said Matta. “Drawing on his connections with roasters across Europe, Asia, and North America, we were able to establish a strong foothold in the coffee market. Growing up in this environment, I absorbed insights from influential figures in the industry, which ultimately shaped the vision for Matta Café.”

Aura Matta previously worked at Procolombia, a state-sponsored promoter and export organization of Colombian products. The entrepreneur is currently pursuing an MBA at Portland State University.

“The city’s love for Colombian cafes and its welcoming atmosphere for immigrants resonated deeply within me, guiding me to take this leap of faith,” said Matta. “It was not just a business decision; it was a deeply personal and emotional choice to pursue after my aspirations and share a piece of my heritage with a new community.”

Manuel Matta coffee farm

Matta Café is located at 1425A NW Flanders St in Portland. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here