I’m sitting at my kitchen table as I write this blog post thinking, “If only I could pour myself a cup of coffee right now.” Unfortunately, it’s almost 10:30pm, and any amount of caffeine in my system at this hour would result in me watching Bravo TV till the early hours of the morning.
Coffee is such a staple part of my being that I’m surprised I haven’t written a post about it yet. It’s a welcome aroma after a tough morning workout, an energy-booster during an afternoon slump, and a delicious nightcap after dinner. I purposely ignore all those health cleanses that urge us to cut back from coffee.
And we can’t forget the role coffee shops have played in the movies. There wouldn’t be You’ve Got Mail without Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan frequenting the same Starbucks. There wouldn’t be Bridesmaids if Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolf didn’t bond over a cup of coffee while discussing last night’s activities (Okay, that movie would probably still exist with or without that scene, but you get my point).
At the beginning of the summer, my mother casually mentioned in conversation, “Let’s road trip across the country and stop at all the favorite coffee shops along the way. We’ll go on a Coffee Shop Road Trip.”
Speaking of my mother, it’s important to mention that my friends and I all refer to her as The Coffee Snob, and it’s for a good reason. This is a woman who will want to walk out of a restaurant if she sees a Bunn-O-Matic coffee maker on the counter (apparently, it doesn’t brew a decent cup o’ joe) and who now has her own burr grinder because the store didn’t “grind her coffee beans the correct way.” If I were to hit the wide open road with her, I’d be sure to encounter some top-notch cafes.
Well, the summer flew by, and we didn’t make the time to embark on this road trip. There’s always next year though, which is why it’s time to start compiling a list of coffee shops that we’ll have to travel to if we ever do end up clamoring into the car and heading across the country. Below are three coffee shops that are only the start to what I hope will be a lengthy list:
This coffee shop was named Roast Magazine’s 2012 Micro Coffee Roaster of the Year, and they are committed to cultivating sustainable relationships with the farmers who grow their coffee. According to their website, they pay 50-100% over the Fair Trade contract price and focus on helping the farmers produce the best possible coffee through experiments and investment. The shop is located in La Jolla, California with another shop coming soon to Little Italy in San Diego.
I’ve been hearing a lot about this coffee company recently, from my mother telling me about its excellence to articles appearing on my Twitter feed. The background story featured on their website is worth the read, and it will make the prices of their bagged coffees a little less intimidating. They have locations on both coasts, so Mom and I would most likely make a pit stop in one of their California locations.
Stumptown is another coffee company that prides itself on the relationships it sustains with the farmers. As they say on their website, “From plant to portafilter, we pay homage to these folks through our own fervent attention to detail at every step.” They have locations in Portland, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle, so it looks like it’s the West Coast yet again for mom and me. I read a blog post about Stumptown’s resident Camp Coffee Expert and pioneer about how to brew coffee when out in the wilderness that sold me on the prospect of checking out this coffee company.
I can’t wait to add more coffee shops to the list, but it’s now ten minutes to midnight, and I have to be up in six hours. Thank God for my morning cup o’ joe.