It used to be that the arrival of autumn was marked by the changing colors of leaves. In recent years, however, it seems to be marked by the addition of pumpkin spice lattes back onto coffee shop menus. Americans love coffee. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, 54% of us drink coffee everyday at a cost of approximately 40 billion dollars a year. There are 75 coffee shops in Kitsap County alone! What is it about coffee that speaks to us? How has it won over the hearts and palates of our nation?
I have been a coffee drinker for years. Like a lot of people, my love of java began when I was in college and cramming for exams or writing last minute papers. My taste has run the gamut from strong black drip coffee through soy caramel macchiatos and back again. I love trying new drinks, and it seems like the longer they take to order the better! But until recently, I never stopped to think about where my coffee came from. How did it get to the bag at the grocery store or the coffee shop? When I had the opportunity to talk to coffee buyers and roasters, I realized that the journey that coffee takes from the plantation to my cup is a lot more involved than I ever realized (and a lot lower tech than I expected). I may not be able to pull my own shots or roast my own beans, but I have a new appreciation for the people who do.
If you are interested in learning more about the coffee industry and the work that goes into our favorite drink, you can join us at our upcoming program From Bean to Mug on November 7 at Sylvan Way. We have invited Nathanael May, the Director of Coffee at Portland Roasting, to share with us about the growing, processing, importing, roasting, and brewing of coffee. Can't make the program? Check out some of the great resources we have at the library:
Uncommon Grounds Uncommon Grounds tells the story of coffee from its discovery on a hill in Abyssinia to its role in intrigue in the American colonies to its rise as a national consumer product in the twentieth century and its rediscovery with the advent of Starbucks at the end of the century. A panoramic epic, Uncommon Grounds uses coffee production, trade, and consumption as a window through which to view broad historical themes: the clash and blending of cultures, the rise of marketing and the “national brand,” assembly line mass production, and urbanization. Coffeehouses have provided places to plan revolutions, write poetry, do business, and meet friends. The coffee industry has dominated and molded the economy, politics, and social structure of entire countries.
Left Coast Roast For "foodies", coffee connoisseurs, and especially food tourists visiting up and down the West coast, this guide to the best in contemporary coffee roasting profiles fifty-five unique roasters and explores the nuances of their unique products and processes. Beginning with thematic sections on coffee terminology, roasting procedures, and brew craft, the bulk of the volume consists of profiles of roasters divided by state covering California, Oregon, and Washington. Each entry provides contact information, production volumes, and a brief narrative overview of the history and unique characteristics of the roaster. Information on where to buy or sample each roaster's coffee is also provided.
Coffee Obsession This is perfect your barista technique with over 100 global coffee recipes from chai latte to ristretto. You can take a journey from bean to cup with CoffeeObsession, which shows you how to make iconic coffees through step-by-step barista training. From the techniques of roasting, grinding, tamping and brewing to how to make a cappuccino, you'll learn everything you need to know to make the perfect coffee and about the beauty of latte art. Over 100 recipes include brews to suit every taste, from contemporary favourites such as the flat white to classic choices such as the ideal Irish coffeerecipe. From french presses to cloth brewers you'll explore all the different equipment you need to create fantastically flavoured coffee, along with a guide through the flavour wheel and "cupping" tasting notes. You'll also go on a voyage through the life of a coffee bean and learn the ideal harvest seasons and roasts of each different bean, all combined with mouth-watering flavour profiles. Coffee Obsession is perfect for coffee lovers who want to make the best cup of coffee in the world in their own home.