Established in 2009 and owned by the pro snowboarder and Finnish native Wille Yli-Luoma. He was inspired by the Swedish fika coffee break and wanted to bring it to his adopted home town of Portland.
Heart says it draws its coffee influences from Scandinavia and the local Portland scene -- emphasizing light roasts in two starkly designed cafés on Portland's East and West sides.
It manages to hold on to its Nordic light roasting mantra well without collapsing into grassy, under-roasted disasters -- perhaps reflecting Wille's risky life as a pro skateboarder.
But the roasts, the stark designs, the fashionable clientele, and the perceived attitude of the service staff here make Heart one of the most divisive, love-it-or-hate-it coffee institutions among Portlanders.