Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oregon and Coffee

For one to be socially acceptable in the great state of Oregon you must hug trees, recycle everything, embrace your inner hippie, choose to be either a Duck or a Beaver and drink coffee. Coffee in the Pacific Northwest is an obsession. In my small town of Keizer we have 5 Starbucks and several other coffee establishments. Keizer has little to offer in the way of restaurants but we have an abundance of places to purchase coffee.

I have to confess that when I first moved here I just didn’t get it. High priced coffee and the hippie free spirit of Oregon seem like vinegar on a pancake. Why are Oregonian’s so passionate about their liquid bean?

One of the first clues I received that I was a coffee simpleton was making the mistake of asking someone who was drinking Starbucks if they have ever had Dutch Brothers. You would think that I just stabbed a baby seal. “You drink Dutch Brothers?”

When I was young I hated coffee. I would drink it with six teaspoons of sugar and a half cup of creamer. I now enjoy coffee but my philosophy on a great cup of coffee is the same as it was when I was kid. I like my coffee like Hannah Montana, weak, blond, and sweet. I found that the good people of Oregon don’t even consider this to be coffee. “That’s not coffee, it’s sweetened milk.” I feel like a coffee Nancy every time I buy some. My wife makes fun of me because I put sugar, hot chocolate mix and caramel vanilla creamer in my coffee. Don’t knock it until you try it.

People are so serious about their coffee that it becomes a part of their personalities. In Georgia when you order a cup of coffee they write your name on the cup and call you when it is done. In Oregon the type of coffee you order is now your name. When you drink sissy lala coffee like myself this can be very embarrassing. “ One Caramel Machiato with double caramel and a side of extra caramel with sweetened condensed milk.” People look up from their Mac Books and gawk at the freak of nature who just ordered that sugar bomb. At first I was embarrassed by my public coffee flogging but now I try to make the poor barista call out the most obnoxiously long coffee concoction my evil mind can create. “One cinnamon dolce crème frappuccino with double caramel, low fat milk and a spicy chai chaser.”

I’m a blue collar coffee guy. I can find a great cup of coffee at any coffee house in town. Make it sweet and bad for you and I will love it. The coffee snobs of my great state find this unfathomable. I’m doing my best to be a good Oregonian. I hug a tree every day, I recycle hippies and I have decided to be a Duck fan. Stevey wonders how do I become a coffee snob?


erik w/a "k" said...

Two words...Nas. Ty!

Anonymous said...

"recycle hippies"... genius. i'm with you too... i never met a cup of coffee i didn't like. just sayin.

Jewlz said...

I don't drink coffee myself but my husband and a lot of friends do and yes, they are very particular about what they drink! Don't come between them and their coffee! LOL By the way, I'm a Beaver fan myself but I live with a Duck fan.....Ugh! LOL :) Gotta love Oregon!!!