If there is one common factor that ties all people in the Pacific NW together, it is the coffee gene. We all have it….and we all have to have our coffee. …NOW!
I lived in Houston the first time I ever visited Portland, where I now live. One day, I read there was going to be a poetry festival here . 3 hours later, I was on a plane, winging my way out here. I fell in love with the city immediately. Portland is a magical city…just wonderful.. I remember it being a typical rainy day, and I was walking around downtown, poking around in the plethora of fabulous shops ….and I also remember stopping into this obscure coffee shop on Pioneer Square. The name of the shop? I’d never heard of it before. It was called …..Starbucks! And I thought I was gonna die! The coffee was rich and strong and as I carried that now-familiar white cup with its green logo around with me, I remember thinking how well I fit in with the rest of Portland…because that’s what it’s like in this city. Everyone walks around with coffee. There are coffee shops everywhere…and they’re all packed full of people. It’s funny, because now that I’ve lived here, I sort of turn my nose up at Starbucks, opting instead for the Portland coffee connoisseur’s choice brew, dark French roast Stumptown coffee….notably the best coffee on the planet…but back then, I didn’t know better. It was clearly the best cup of coffee I had ever tasted!
People in Portland and Seattle take our coffee seriously. I have a friend, Kelley, who posts a picture of her coffee online every morning. She calls it, “The Daily Foam” and it features coffee art similar to that shown here on this blog. Being a barista in the Pacific NW is not unlike being a surgeon somewhere else. It’s a big deal. People refer to their baristas as, “My barista…..” “I was talking to my barista the other day about the difference between Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee and the Bourbon Island varietals.” (And that is Bur-BONE…not bourbon, like the drink…) (Mind you, I have family and friends in the wine industry in the Napa Valley, and this talk is not unlike the talk I hear when I go there….Just substitute “coffee beans” for “grapes.”) We in the Pacific NW take our coffee seriously!
John’s favorite breakfast spot here in Portland is a French restaurant that is located not far from our place. They serve HUGE cups of coffee. The cups look like big mixing bowls! When you order a cappuccino, they ask if you want it “wet” or “dry”. They don’t even ask you that in friggin’ ITALY….at least, not in my own experience…and again, there is the wine reference, as in describing a liquid as, “dry.”
The bottom line is…I adore my coffee. I am having my third cup of the day right now. I spend a fortune on teeth whitening implements for this very reason. If I didn’t, I’m sure I would have brown teeth by now. I love coffee. I love the way it smells. I love the way it makes my house smell. I love the way it tastes. I love the way it makes me feel after a night’s sleep. I love coffee.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters…..Thank you for being you xoxoxo Right now, your delicious brew is only sold in Portland, Seattle and at the Ace Hotel in New York. We are so lucky to have you!
Je t’aime! Ti amo! Te quiero! Ahhhhhhhhh!!
BUT WAIT….There’s more!…..Now, Trader Joe’s actually has a great coffee for a fraction of the price that I pay for Stumptown! It’s the Dark French Roast. Mmmmmmmm. So good! First Trader Joe’s coffee I’ve ever liked! (but Stumptown really is better…)