The online Travel and Leisure magazine just announced its survey results for the top twenty cities in America in regard to coffee culture. The survey recorded more than just the coffee category – there are 53 additional qualities. So if you like traveling, or are thinking of moving, you’ll find the article and its links entertaining. If your city’s on the list, you also might enjoy reading what others think of it. Many of us coffee lovers check out the coffee shops first thing before moving to a new city, and for sure once moved there. Some of us pick our neighborhood based on the location of coffee shops. For some, a new home must have at least two coffee shops within walking distance, which is not a difficult feat in the coffee-crazy America of today. So this survey could be helpful. Some of us might not agree as to the rating of the twenty cities. To many, the placement of Seattle as number one might be surprising. After all, Starbucks is not universally loved and the fact that Seattle is its first home does not give it points. However, Seattle is indeed a coffee-loving city, with coffee joints on almost every block. It’s possible the love of coffee came with the large population of Scandinavians, who are known to love their coffee. Many of them migrated directly from Scandinavia, while others migrated from Minnesota, (whose twin cities also made the list). Regardless, Seattle is a kingpin in America’s coffee culture. The next city in the top five is Portland OR, followed by San Francisco, Providence RI and New York City. Most of the top twenty, 80%, are located on major bodies of water, coincidentally. The article doesn’t mention this, but it is a characteristic that makes one wonder. Why did Georgia’s Savannah make the list, but not Atlanta? Was it the close proximity to the Atlantic shore? Or is there a lack of interest in coffee in the central part of the country? It IS mentioned that several of the towns have historic districts with unique café culture. Another quality common to many of the winners is that the neighborhoods offer fine coffee establishments with lots of choices for finding great coffee. New York stands out because many of its shops are bars with barstools at counters, the kind of place to gulp down a quick espresso, reflecting the fast-paced character of the city. From Seattle to Washington DC, neighborhood coffee shops offering great brew are becoming the norm. What’s YOUR favorite coffee city?
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