Driven to Espresso: Drive-through Coffee Stands in the Northwest

If you think coffee culture is cool, you have come to the right place. I have loads of information and opinions to share about espresso in the Pacific Northwest, especially the drive-through phenomenon.

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Location: Edmonds, WA, United States

Monday, December 14, 2009

Multnomah County Library

The Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon, recently wrote about my book on their blog. I enjoyed reading what Kate Schwab had to say about it. Here is a partial quote: "These beautiful black and white photos showcase the amazing variety of drive-through coffee stands, from a double-decker bus to a trailer staffed by a bikini babe."

Other libraries with my book available include the Seattle Public Libraries and the University of Washington Library.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Who buys Driven to Espresso?

According to, customers who buy Driven to Espresso, also buy The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting and Running a Coffee Bar.

I have decided not to infer that idiots are buying my book.

But this reinforces what I have said is an excellent reason to have my book--that is, that any individual considering the ownership of a drive-through, would do well to see the wide spectrum of building styles that are possible. It is quite important when going into this business, to ensure that drivers will notice your building, and seeing the many types that are shown in Driven to Espresso will surely inspire some creativity as well as giving an idea of the competition.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What? Can't you find a hot-babe drive-through?

I'm sorry, for some reason, I can't resist writing about the "sexpresso" phenomenon. It's possible you know about the controversial stands in the Northwest -- Everett and Bellevue recently -- but you may not have actually seen one of the stands, so I thought you might like to know about a new website that will help you locate one. That is, if you want to locate one. I have no idea who came up with it, and I probably don't want to know, but isn't it just a little crazy to have this website?? No, I suppose not.

Just to clarify, I am not judgemental about this business "model" because I look at it from the perspective of a drive-through coffee stand chronicler, if you will allow me that title. I am amused by the whole evolution of this culture, I think, and I'm keeping track of it at least in the cyberworld, because people do ask me from time to time what I think of it.

Friday, December 04, 2009

So how do you hire a bikini barista?

Have you wondered how you would go about finding and hiring a barista for a drive-through if you wanted them to wear skimpy clothes? Well, read this Craigslist wanted ad.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The great Bikini Barista Debate

Of course you all know that some drive-through coffee stand baristas here in the Northwest wear bikinis and other minimalist outfits and of course, you also know that this has turned out to be a huge controversy. Okay, not as big as the number of troops in Afghanistan, but it is a lot more fun to follow. I actually think it is a healthy, constructive controversy because it involves the balance of moral acceptance that makes America such a special place. We are Free, but we are also Correct. We are Cool, but we are also Cold. We are Experimental, but we are also Cautious. We say "Who cares," but we also say "Not in my backyard."

I have read plenty of reports and blogs about all this, most recently about prostitution charges brought against baristas at the Grab N Go in Everett, and the closure of the drive-through lane of Knotty Bodies in Bellevue, but I found very entertaining this video report from The Young Turks including the back-and-forth banter between Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian. They echo what I read over and over again in the blogosphere.

Outsiders (not of the Pacific Northwest) must find this all very interesting, and I can't help but think the male outsiders must find it more than interesting.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Great review

Driven to Espresso has received a great review on CoffeeCrew, a Canadian website that educates and entertains on all levels of coffee culture. If you want to learn about roasting, brewing, or drinking better espresso, or if you want to be entertained with lively stories of travel to cafes in far-off places, or if you want to discuss some coffee-related ideas with others like yourself, this is a great gathering spot.

Thanks for checking out my book, Colin!