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Tea shop paints its whole world green

Coffee and tea aren't the only items strutting the stamp of sustainability at the recently opened World Cup Coffee & Tea shop, tucked inside the Ecotrust building.

Tables are made from wheat board; cabinet doors are bamboo (wheat and bamboo are both fast-growing renewable resources); the cool countertops are a cement-based material called Slatescape; and even the comfy armchairs are stuffed with recycled fibers. Southeast Portland's own Environmental Building Supplies outfitted the place, and it shows how pretty going 'green' can look.

Several of World Cup's food suppliers also are doing their part for the environment, crafting dreamy quick breads and desserts with organic, locally produced ingredients.

World Cup's manager, Lisa Belt, says she prefers to buy these treats from small-scale food providers because their goods 'are more like Mom makes.'

One of these providers is Ellen McFarland, who makes World Cup's cinnamon-sour cream coffee cake, scones and brownies through the wholesale pastry business, Angel Food, that she launched in March.

McFarland, formerly a pastry chef at Higgins, Wildwood and the Red Star Tavern & Roast House, says it's tough to stick to organics in baking because organic dairy products cost twice as much as nonorganic milk and butter. But she says, she's committed to using seasonal, local ingredients in her baking.

'I'm doing pretty much everything I learned at Higgins,' McFarland says.

Darren McGraw supplies World Cup with his brown-butter blueberry tarts and banana-pecan bread. McGraw, who sells his goods under the name Sustainable Sweets, concedes that the bananas and sugar aren't locally grown. But he otherwise relies on Northwest produce and gets organic sugar and flour from small purveyors in Eugene.

'Organics just makes sense; I think most of our health issues are due to what's in our food,' McGraw says.

And west-side fans of the Savory Tart, in Northeast's Hollywood district, should be thrilled to learn that World Cup is stocking its vegetarian tarts and divine lemon-chocolate tarts. Just be warned that they cost a little more here: $3.50 and $3.95, respectively.

World Cup Coffee & Tea, 721 N.W. Ninth Ave., 503-546-7377, is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Thirst of the nation

At last week's Taste of the Nation hunger relief benefit, the most in-demand item wasn't Cafe Azul's show-stopping black mole or Bluehour's luscious lamb p‰tŽ. It was water. The several cases supplied by Evian ran out faster than Campbell's Bar-B-Q brisket, prompting organizers to dash to Safeway for more bottled water.

Notable nosh at the annual chow-fest included Assaggio's heavenly cocoa cannoli, Pho Van's mango salad, morels the size of pine cones served up by Dayton's Joel Palmer House and alcohol-free Caprese salad Jell-O shots by Serratto.

The event brought home $110,000 for local hunger relief organizations.

Contact Christina Melander at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..