Diary of a Coffee Addict

“You did it! Congratulations! World’s best cup of coffee!
Great job, everybody! It’s great to be here.”

Buddy the Elf may have found the “World’s Best Cup of Coffee,” but I’ve found the best in Portland…apparently.

When I’m pressed for time, I take the quick, back way downtown. It’s a pretty ride over the St. John’s bridge in North Portland and a fun hill to coast down on the other side. After that though, the route is all industrial, passing warehouses and railroad tracks and little gems like the Coffee Express here. Even though it’s not so scenic, funny things like this always make me smile as I pedal along Mt. St. Helens Road.

Maybe someday I’ll actually test their claim. We’ll see if the coffee express can give famous Portland roasters Stumptown and Cafe D’Art a run for their espresso-stained money.

One of my favourite things is coming downstairs or in my front door after early morning errands to the warm smell of freshly brewed coffee (thanks to a nifty ‘delay brew’ feature on my machine). As wifi hotspots, great meeting places, and cozy reading venues, I frequent many of Portland’s amazing cafes. I go through phases with my regular Americano drinking, sometimes adding cinnamon and honey, or a shot of hazelnut or peppermint syrup. But one of my favourite discoveries here is the the orange cappuccino at Rimsky Korsakoffees. It’s a scrumptious post-dinner treat at this eclectic late-night venue, where the live pianists look like Regina Spektor and the upstairs bathroom is decorated like the ocean floor.

Maybe It’s just the caffeine buzz, but all this got me thinking about what exactly makes coffee so marvellously addicting. Of course, I know plenty of people who don’t like coffee or prefer some triple-soy-half-whip-double-hot-twice-stirred-with-a-twist concoction that is about 2% actual coffee.

Either way, here are some fun coffee facts from bean to brew to Starbucks and you:

“Coffee” came from the Dutch term koffie, a derivative of the Turkish pronunciation of qahwa, an Arabic term meaning wine of the bean.

Starting in the 15th century the city of Mocha, in Yemen, was a main coffee trading port…sound familiar?

Supposedly, a 9th Century goatherd in Ethiopia discovered coffee. Ethiopia is thought of as the birthplace of coffee as we know it.

in 1911 the National Coffee Association was established.

Venice was the sight of the first European coffee house in 1645, and five years later The Grand Cafe was the first in England. You can still go there today, except not i’s a wine bar.

1971-The first Starbucks opened in Seattle.

The original Starbucks at Pike Place Market on my trip to Seattle, summer 2010

The Oatmeal website has a really funny and informative coffee poster; check it out here!



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