I wrote in my introduction here that I had become quite the coffee fiend after living in Portland, OR for a while and last night I couldn't help but think about it a little bit. I had been out to Mexican food, and this a casual resturant, anyway they happen to serve Blue Bottle Coffee with a custom blend specific to them. They really have a nice equipment, looks very similar to the espresso machine used in WBC. However, I didn't get any coffee there as you might have guessed from my last post.
What got me thinking about Portland was the fact that even still in the Bay Area with all of their coffee shops and great local roasters having good coffee at every little place is not nearly as wide spread as it was in Portland. This was something that really surprised me when I first moved after living there because there are roasters like Blue Bottle that have been around for years now, but they are not part of the soul of the area like Stumptown was there.
Let's be real, I still have it pretty good when I am out that I am going to find a shop that serves good coffee compared to other areas. However, I have a lot of fond memories of going out to breakfest with my wife and not evening having to worry about if the coffee was going to be good, it wasn't even something you thought about.
One of my favorite spots was this resturant called Jam, and it was a small place maybe 10 seats crammed into a small space, but they had about four vacuum pots sitting outside for you to gulp down on Stumptown coffee while you waited for a seat. That was part of the allure of going there was just to relax and talk outside with people while drinking your coffee before ever being seated. Really every place that we visited there was Stumptown waiting for you, if you have ever visited Portland I would be surprised if you didn't have Stumptown coffee, you have to not drink coffee while you were there.
I do see things like the Blue Bottle being offered at a Mexican resturant that make it apparent that good coffee is becoming a real sticking point of this region. Heck even the other day I caught a small cafe at a mall that was serving Blue Bottle, where once you probably would've seen 'Proudly Serving Starbucks.' I guess I am spoiled.
For those that live in areas where even my mention of places that I have access to would amaze you I am sure your eyes are rolling around in your skull as you are reading this and I don't mean to brag about it. It's just one of those things that you take for granted when living in an area that has access to something really good, and even a little lapse in it becomes apparent when going else where like I did.
I hope this trend continues to other regions besides my own, as it seems like once people start tasting good coffee they don't want to go back.