Interior of Blake Orchard in Portland. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

My first visit to Blake Orchard was in December, and I was so impressed by the smoothie I had there that I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It was that good.

By the way, Blake Orchard is not an actual orchard. It’s a plant-based juice and smoothie bar on Forest Avenue in Portland, not far from Woodfords Corner and Back Cove.

Not one to mess with perfection, I ordered the same thing when I paid the place my second visit.

The exquisite 16 ounces of liquid ecstasy is called the Dark Mocha. I chose almond milk (other choices were cashew or coconut milks), and the other ingredients are nitro cold brew coffee, banana, raw cacao powder, cacao nibs, honey roasted peanut butter, maca and local raw honey. The icing on the proverbial cake was the chopped almond garnish.

Now comes the part when I tell you how much this thing cost and how I felt like John Travolta during the $5 milkshake scene in “Pulp Fiction.” His Vincent character is shocked when Mia, played by Uma Thurman, orders a shake that costs a whopping $5 (the film was made in 1994). He asks for a sip and she obliges. Vincent loves it and uses a few colorful expletives to describe how tasty the shake is. That was me after my first few sips. The Dark Mocha is worth every penny of the $11.

Will this be a regular purchase for me? Absolutely not. But when the craving hits, I’ll fork over the dough with zero regrets. It is perhaps the most magnificent coffee delivery method I’ve ever known. Every sip tantalized my taste buds as I forced myself to take it easy, lest I inflict brain freeze upon myself.


The Dark Mocha smoothie from Blake Orchard. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

I could have spent even more money on my order, as many add-ons are available (for 75 cents or $1), such as hemp seeds, shredded coconut, bee pollen, spinach and pineapple. But I felt confident with the Dark Mocha in its original state, and I was right.

When I next visit, I may try the Strawberry Roots (orange juice, choice of vegan milk, coconut cream, strawberries, banana, carrot and beet with a bee pollen garnish). I’m also drawn to the Toasted Coconut (choice of milk, nitro brew cold brew coffee, banana, toasted coconut, vanilla and the chopped almonds garnish).

Blake Orchard also offers several bowls, including the High Tide (choice of milk, mango, lime zest, vanilla and cinnamon blended smooth and topped with fresh fruit, sliced almonds and honey drizzle for $14.50).

A selection of what they refer to as Wellness Drinks will run you about $6. One is the Ginger Matcha Latte, with house-made vanilla almond milk, organic Japanese matcha and fresh pressed ginger juice. I feel healthy just writing those words.

The raw juice menu includes the Iron Man, made with spinach, orange, cucumber and ginger ($12).

Owner Alli Messenger opened Blake Orchard in the Old Port in 2016 and then moved to the current location in 2019, according to the juice bar’s website.

Aerial view of the Dark Mocha smoothie from Blake Orchard. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

Blake Orchard is spacious, warm and bathed in natural light. I can see hanging out there with my beverage and maybe a book or laptop. People-on-the-go can place, and pay for, orders online, and they will be ready when you get there. Handy.

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