Contrary Coffee House on PSU Campus

I can't believe the beady-eyed little man behind the counter is a real business owner! I saw him throw a credit card back at a lady customer. Apparently, he prefers cash.

He also has a potty mouth that won't quit.

I have been there twice; that's twice too many times for me. The guy's a loser, although he was right on with one thing: He named his coffee shop The Contrary.

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Apr 06, 2015
by: Isow

This post on the Contrary Coffee House on PSU camps was much helpful and I hope that many of the students will find the post helpful. This website about Portland is doing a great job by sharing their latest updates on Portland.

Nov 20, 2014
Great espresso
by: Alessandra

I had a great shot of espresso there. That's what I was looking for.

I wish I lived in Portland so I could have it every day. I would spend a lot of money there.

Aug 01, 2011
Contrary Coffee: I Must Be Contrary Myself
by: Anonymous

Maybe it's time and distance (since the last reviews) and I love Contrary. Seriously LOVE!

I arrive at work at 6.30 AM in the coffee-desert that is the PSU campus and my actual "I am alive" moment doesn't happen until I take my first sip of Contrary's coffee.

My biggest "WTF" is actually that the PSU campus is absent more than one independent espresso bar. I don't count the swill that is sold along SW Hall at 4th and 6th Ave. at "cafes". The folks that operate both Sunny's Espresso and the Chit-Chat Cafe are very pleasant and well-intentioned, just that I have had to throw out what I was served as an Americano because it was so bitter, sour and undrinkable, even with huge amounts of cream.

While I might not listen to everything on the iPod playlist at Contrary, I have never heard "potty" mouth behavior by anyone there. I do get a consistently great cup of coffee / espresso day-in day-out at a fair price. And Kerry is an awesome small business guy, a fabulous barista and really pleasant dude. Be who you want to find!

Nov 16, 2010
Contrary Coffee at PSU: Mediocre Coffee, TERRIBLE customer service
by: Just Ducky

I've been trying to remember to stop in here since I noticed it waiting for the bus. I live on the PSU campus, but don't have any classes in this area, so I sort of kept forgetting it was there.

A few of my friends wanted to gather for coffee, and someone suggested this place. Small, indy business with Stumptown - how bad could it be?

I got there, and the place was pretty full. Only two of my crew was there, but a table's worth of individuals were heading out, so we grabbed it. I bought a cup of coffee, and we sat down to chat. More of our group arrived, all of whom bought coffee. I think there were 6 or 7 in total? We were trying to be respectful - it is a tight space, so we smooshed in good and close. There were a stack of chairs against the back wall, so we figured they were used to this.

About halfway through our visit, the barista turned on the hip-hop - it wasn't even particularly -good- hip-hop. Regardless, no big deal. But he cranked it up, so much so that I was having a hard time hearing the person across the table. The following transaction occurred:

"Excuse me, Mr. Coffee Dude. I know this is your house and all, but would it be possible to turn the music down a little bit? We don't want to get too loud, but we're having a hard time hearing each other."


I sort of blinked, cocked my head, and then: "Can't or won't? We'd like to remain patrons..."

"You asked, and I'm telling you no. Got a problem with that?"

Deep breath. "Okay. No problem. I thought I'd ask. I just won't bother coming back again." I shrugged, and walked away. Then:

"Why don't you leave now, B****!"

I returned to my table and the gaping mouths of my friends. Our plan, at that point, was to continue the conversation, and then leave anyway. However, he decided that it was a great time to crank the music up even more. I looked at one of my group, he looked at me, and we all got up and left.

This appalling behavior from a business, towards potentially repeat customers, was bad enough. However, a couple more people we'd been waiting for had shown up after we left - we'd planned on leaving when they got there, anyway, since we knew we'd be at capacity for the place.

They went in to ask if the barista had seen us, and apparently got an earful about how disrespectful and rude we'd been, and they were appropriately confused.

Now, if we were being too loud, okay. I get it. Just come over and ask us to keep it down - we'd be happy to have done so. If we were too big of a group, I understand - just let us know, and we'll leave, no hard feelings. But to result to passive aggressive behavior and name calling... Yeah, I don't think so.

I really try to support the independent businesses around campus, and encourage others to do the same, but if this is how they treat their customers, I can't encourage people to return.

Dec 23, 2009
Just Wow!
by: Tony

When you have a business in this day and age, you definitely don't want to be someone dishing out horrible service.

Good news spreads fast. Bad news spreads faster than the speed of light!

Sorry to hear about your experience ;(

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