On Hawthorn Boulevard in Portland, Oregon, there sits an unsuspecting, red double-decker tour bus. While it may appear to just be a bus sitting off the side of the road, albeit with shaded tables and chairs parked outside of it, it is so much more. Changing the way we enjoy coffee is a freshly brewed featurette we just updated.
Who is Behind this Eccentric Shop?
Walk on up to and inside of it and you will be greeted by Joe Nazir, the owner and founder of Tov Coffee and Tea, which is the most eccentric and innovative coffee shop currently in Portland. Tov, pronounced as the word “toe” but ending with an added “v,” translates to “beautiful” or “good,” and
Tov Coffee and Tea epitomizes both of these. Though the outside bears the look of a standard double-decker bus yet brandished with the business’s name in the license plate positions and on the side, the inside makes up the beautiful aspect of Tov.
A Colorful Egyptian Coffee Bar
Uniquely, it is largely filled with purple, both covering the walls and ceiling, but also much of the equipment. Fabric covers some spots, such as the cushions of the chairs, and these are in red, yellow, and blue hues. Overall, Tov is more colorful than your typical coffee shop. All of the design elements are meant to lend themselves to providing the feel of an Egyptian coffee bar.
Joe Nazir and his family had immigrated to the United States in the late 1990’s, and by 2015, after time working within the industry for other businesses, he was able to provide a taste of his heritage. This is not exclusive to the appearance, but also many of the products that Tov serves.
Turkish Styled Coffee with Fun Names
Many Egyptian coffees, crafted in Turkish styles, make up the menu at Tov. Some of these include sahlep, karkedeh, some fun-named beverages like “Are You Crazy?” and “Winey Mocha,” and a canned beverage simply titled “Mint Thing.” This particular drink is available in retail stores and is made up of cold-brewed coffee with mint, oat milk, and raw cane sugar.
Tov states that every other shop seems to have a “thing,” and so this is their “thing,” hence the title. Also, on the menu are teas and standard coffee beverages such as mochas, lattes, and the like. These espresso-based drinks are not made with the Egyptian coffee, but rather with espresso provided by the Seattle-based business, Espresso Vivace.
Home-made Cookies Baked By Mom
The last component of Tov’s consumable offering is the baked goods on hand, such as rose cookies, which are made by Joe Nazir’s mother and a family friend.
In being operated by the owner and with items made within the family, yet with the option to sit down and enjoy what you have purchased, either inside, outside, or on the covered top level of the bus, Tov takes on a sort of hybrid cafe/food truck form.
It provides the friendly, family-esque customer service that food trucks tend to, and it is literally in a vehicle. However, it is stepped up a notch or two from a simple food truck with its large size and accommodation. Pair these aspects with the totally original feel, food, and beverages and it is a place worth trying out.
3207 SE Hawthorn Blvd, Portland, Oregon, 97214.