Photo love. Coffee love.

I love this photo.

It was taken in Portland, and by the looks of the textured brick wall and nice corner nook, at one of the Stumptown‘s. Yes, I do spend way too much time in coffee shops. If you have no idea what Stumptown is, you are missing out on one of the best coffee experiences. That’s not just hometown bias coming out but backed up by the New York Times and other brilliant media outlets. You can check out this page if you really want to see what you’re missing. New York is getting a slice of it and so is Seattle. So if you don’t live in one of those cities, well, there’s no hope for you. Put Stumptown on your list of things to experience before you die. There’s nothing better than starting out a day with a French-pressed cup, the Bible, and a glorious sunrise. But that is my bias coming out. I’m sure some people would think you shouldn’t quit at a cup and should go straight for the whole pot.

But back to the real topic at hand. The photo.

It’s brilliant. Everyone loves coffee. We drink it by the cup, the pot, the gallon. We all have our favorite blend. Some love the kind with flavors built in, others specific-origin blends with names that sound like pedigrees. Still others swear by the ones that come pre-ground and dissolve instantly in water. There’s nothing wrong with any of those categories, even if I do fall into the high-maintenance, single-origin, french-pressed, perfectly-paired-to-match-the-flavor-profile one. I’ll admit to being somewhat of a coffee snob.

Coffee is the almost-always socially acceptable drink. There aren’t large groups who abstain from drinking coffee for religious reasons. Okay, the Mormons but even Utah has a thriving community of Starbucks. In American culture, coffee has changed things. We linger over coffee. We go out on quasi-dates to coffee shops. We chat and gossip and flirt and share life over coffee. Some people even get married in coffee shops. If we’re drinking it solo, we’re either in it purely for the caffeine as we kick-start our day or we’re in a contemplative mode when we should be doing something else. We medicate ourselves much like with vitamins, drinking in our daily dose without a second thought.

It’s a good thing. It’s a bad thing. It’s a wondrous thing. Next to gold, coffee is one of the most sought after commodities in the world. In 2007, the UN reported that the industry was worth $80 billion. People treasure the good stuff. They don’t just gulp it down or water it down with half a gallon of creamer and three pounds of fake sugar. They drink it black, enjoying the flavors, the nuances of the growing region, much like wine connoisseurs. They let the flavors dance on their palates.

Simply put, coffee is a many splendored thing. Go brew yourself a pot. Love your barista. And try a french-press.

2 Responses to “Photo love. Coffee love.”
  1. johannapuelston says:

    yum. Thanks a lot – now I’m craving french press and I have neither a press or a grinder to grind it properly. Must remedy this disastrous dearth. 🙂

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