A Coffee Reality Check

Shortly before I left NYC for Portland, OR, a friend in Brooklyn took me to the newly-opened Stumptown coffee outlet there. It was, indeed, really great coffee. I was inspired to seek it out when I hit town, and sent bags cross-country to several friends.

But a bit of perspective is in order. Stumptown carries the best coffee according to the tastes of the people who run the company. They have great taste, but others do too. There's a bit of backlash here over the company, which is what happens when something local goes nationwide, losing its indie cred (barf).

Anyway, this is an interesting take on the whole high-echelon coffee phenomenon. As someone who never sunk to saying the word "venti" at Starbucks, it was nice to see where all this is leading: a whole supply chain catering to coffee connoisseurs, along with coffee tastings and the trappings of the high-minded wine crowd. Makes me want to drink nothing but Maxwell House for the rest of my life.

Winner comment: "Stumptown’s coffee is delicious. They do not have a monopoly on that, no matter what they say. As a buyer of Stumptown coffee for my cafe I can tell you I am not alone in feeling alienated by a ‘local’ roaster who doesn’t even have a rep to check in with me anymore.

New York City? Get a rope."

1 comment:

unMuse said...

I'm going to be moving to seattle next year, so I know I'm in for a whole lot of uber coffee bickery. Listen, I love coffee and I'm a coffee snob. But I don't care if it's local or national or how cool the roasters and drinkers think they are. I just want a quality, rich, not burnt bean. To hell with all the rest.

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