If you don’t live here, you really don’t get it. Sure, you need your coffee in the morning just like any other responsible adult. But in Seattle there is a special connection with our java that transcends the relationship of people in a lot of other places. We drink it hot, iced, mixed with other stuff, straight-up and super-concentrated, and even diet. Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Tully’s, and lots of other less famous places got their successful start here for a reason. Here’s why:
Rain: Yes it rains all the time here. Really! All the time. We have cool rain (Spring), warm rain with sun-breaks (Summer), more cool rain (Fall) and stinkin’ freezing rain (Winter – sometimes literally freezing). It isn’t like rain in other places though. You can walk around for an hour and not get soaked. None of us use umbrellas or wear raincoats unless we are dressed up particularly nicely. We just dry off when we go back inside, where we spend a lot of our time. Coffee warms us up and gives that added burst of energy we don’t get from seeing the sun ever.
Clouds: If it isn’t raining, it’s probably still cloudy. But we like it that way. A few sunny days in a row makes for some really cranky Seattleites, and also a fire hazard because of all the dry trees. The clouds block out the UV rays, which makes us pale and in need of extra energy. Any Californian who moves up here suddenly faces SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is depression from lack of sunlight. There are lots of light lamps for that too that sell like hotcakes. The born Seattleites, or born-to-be Seattleites (like me) don’t have a problem with it. But again, our coffee supplies the pep that the sun doesn’t give.
Northern Latitude: Compounding the natural cloudy raininess supplied by the “rainshadow effect” of mountains and ocean, we in Seattle are pretty darn far north. We are farther from the sun than a lot of the world. So, coffee. Seeing a pattern here?
Microsoft: OK, it’s not just the big M, but that and a whole lot of other companies in Seattle are office-based, cubicle lifestyles. Nintendo, Amazon, Adobe, and many others have flourished in an environment where people would just rather stay inside and mess around with computers rather than going out and getting wet and cold. Don’t even talk to me about fluorescent lighting. Ugh! Coffee is warm and comforting, helps you stay awake in front of the one-eyed monster (the PC) and gives you a great excuse to leave your desk and go bother other employees.
So that’s why we love it with a special passion up here under our blanket of clouds. What makes coffee special to you?
Here are some great coffee links to waste time with:
http://www.starbucks.com/ The big fish woman gives us our fix.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/worlds-largest-cappuccino_n_1860838.html I’d be awake for days. No, this wasn’t in Seattle, but very little in this new-fangled town is 150 years old.
http://coffeegeek.com/ Where you can learn how to refine your experience in many ways.
http://www.coffeeresearch.org/ Gettin’ scientific here.
http://www.ncausa.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=68 And historical. This is really interesting!