Friday, March 14, 2008


I'm not usually a picky person, but when it comes to my coffee, I'll admit, I'm a snob. I'm not talking about the person who goes to Starbucks on a regular basis and drops $5 on a foo-foo drink just to seem important. Point of fact, I will drink Starbucks only when the alternative is worse. No, I tend to patronize micro roasters, who turn out a good product that's not made to turn profit but to share the passion for the ebony elixir with their fellow coffee drinkers.

When I returned home just before Christmas, I spent a couple days in Juneau, the nearest major airport/travel hub to my hometown. Taking advantage of me being in the larger city, I got a request from my family if I'd do a little shopping for a few items that can't be found in the local store. I find myself back wandering the familar aisles of Safeway, where I once did the majority of my grocery shopping when I worked for on small tonnage boats in Auke Bay.

Stopping at the aisle marked: Coffee, Tea, Hot Cocoa, I can't help but smile, this is a definate sign that I'm back home in the Northwest. The entire left side, if you're standing in the front of the store, is dedicated to coffee, Heritiage Coffee (local roaster), Raven Brew, Safeway Select, Starbucks (bleh), Duncun Doughnuts, Seattle's Best, Tully's (another Seattle roaster), plus the usual MJB, Hills Brothers, Yuban, etc.

I take a moment to bask in the earthy armoma of whole bean coffee beconing me to walk down the aisle. A few strides and I'm at the Heritage Coffee display where I puruse the familar shiny black bags trimmed in gold. They list the roasting dates for each blend, a few are old as a week, and the freshest was roasted that day. A few of my favorite blends are held close to my nose as I inhale deeply, aah, fresh coffee. So many blends, so little time and the need for sleep and rest is on my mind for this trip home.

First into my basket is a Columbia Estate blend, a rich medium blend, smooth crisp finish with a hint of chocolate, goes well with a splash of mocha cream. And onto my favorite, Deadman's Reach, "Served in Bed, raises the Dead" is the slogan on the bag. Despite that warning and a drawing of a skeleton holding a cup of coffee by Ray Troll, many a rookie brewer makes this blend strong. Color wise, it's almost a light blend, but taste is smooth almost delicate with a nice sweet finish. But like the slogan says, "raises the dead" it's a "high speed" blend, a little goes a long way and if you're not careful that long way will be wrought with a jitters of a caffine overdose.

I also have to consider that not everyone that stops in to socialize with the parents likes having their heart race after drinking my coffee, so also into the basket goes a breakfast blend. A nice light blend that's perfect for sipping on throughout the day. This blend suites the family well, there's almost always a pot of coffee brewed at all times and the largest cupboard in the kitchen is stacked full of coffee cups. For these colder winter days, it's a way to warm up while stopping to swap stories about local gossip, seek advice for a troubling home renovation, talk politics (which very often turns heated fast), keeping up with the activities of extended family or my favorite, curled up infront of the wood stove reading a book.

Instead, I'm sitting in front of my laptop, sipping on a cup of fresh ground "Deadman's Reach" staring out the windows of my Aunt's house in Seward. The waters of Resurection Bay are blue with the reflection of the sky, but greatly disturbed by the gusts wind blustering down the wind tunnel created by the mountains on either side of the channel. Another cup of coffee and its time to pick up my book, I've been on a reading kick lately.

As one of my maritime instructors announced at the begining of one of many classes, "The Maritime Industry doesn't run on DFM (disel fuel marine), it runs on Coffee!" But that's a topic for another post.


Blogger e.e. said...

mmmmmmmm, coffee, and in Alaska, no less. So, what are you reading lately?

1:30 PM AKDT  
Blogger e.e. said...


Catch me on Facebook!

Not Myspace!! ewww ewww!

1:53 PM AKDT  
Blogger e.e. said...

Someday, you'll update your blog....

5:23 PM AKST  

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