October 29th, 2021

Tiny Travels: Hot takes on warm drinks in McMinnville

Three tiny figurings are placed on a mug of hot cocoa and accompanying saucer.
The Tiny Travelers get cozy with some gourmet hot chocolate.

When the Tiny Travelers first moved to Oregon, we heard about a strangely compelling Pacific Northwest philosophy: It’s perfectly okay—even necessary, sometimes—to travel to another city during the rainy season to hang out in a cafe. 

So today we’re sharing the places we send travelers and townies alike for chai lattes and chill, hot takes on hot chocolate, tempting teas, and coffee drinks worth writing home about.

Vadnay Chocolate Co.

The sweetest new shop in town is a destination for chocolate connoisseurship and, dare we say it, chocolate love. The retail outlet for a family-run chocolate factory Vadnay Chocolate Co., mixes sugar and cream and chocolate dreams in its signature drinks, chocolate chai and classic hot chocolate (pictured). Plus, it has dairy-free options. It’s a cute shop you want to hang out in with family and friends, just steps away from the downtown action.

Mac Market

If you really want to spread out and occupy space, you could spend an entire day at Mac Market, a multi-use warehouse home to a coffee shop, bars, food carts, a restaurant, a sustainable goods shop, and more. The in-house coffee company, Caravan, from nearby Newberg, sets a flavorful base for all manner of espresso, pour-over, and drip coffee drinks. 

Union Block Coffee Co.

Tucked into a historic building right in the heart of the Third Street shopping district, family-owned Union Block is a perennial local favorite where pumpkin spice lattes are just the beginning. Order the two most popular for Fall: The Pumpkin Patch — it’s white chocolate with Torani pumpkin flavoring — or Harvest Spice: brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin. Both are next-generation autumnal espresso drinks. 

Flag & Wire Coffee Co.

Single-origin coffee roasted on-site is just one of the perks of this family-owned local hotspot, which shares space in an old granary with the Grain Station Brew Works. You’ll probably want to grab some beans for the road: “Road Trip” is the obvious best choice, with notes of brown sugar, milk chocolate, and hazelnut/almond nuttiness.

Velvet Monkey Tea

You’ll forget it’s even raining in the lower-level tea shop Velvet Monkey, where you can let loose with loose leaf from green and black varieties to herbal and medicinal teas. Aztec Spice would be a good choice for the season, with organic cinnamon, honeybush, cocoa nibs, sweet ground chocolate, safflower and chile flakes.

Moonbean Cafe and Odditorium
The folks at this cafe for dreamers have a cure for what ails you in a fantasy land of coffee, tea and art. Some travelers have been known to visit just to hang out with the baristas, fonts of good vibes unto themselves. Come to pick a coffee drink based on your zodiac sign, stay to run your hands on some crystals or buy local art.

Illustration of writer, Emily Grosvenor

Emily Grosvenor is the creator of Tiny Travels, Editor of Oregon Home magazine, and the sustainability coordinator @mcminnvilledentist.