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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friends of Malindi

Support the best kind of independent coffee farming, drink wonderful coffee, and help a small village of tenacious Tanzanians combat poverty.

I am urging you to support Friends of Malindi, one of the small African villages being helped by Plant with Purpose. With the support of people like you, the village is learning about organic farming, reforestration, and village community banking. The community banking program helps villages to build small businesses among themselves, generating income and saving money. Through these efforts and more, people's lives change on a personal and community level.

On their website you can order coffee grown in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. You can also order a tee shirt with a pretty cool graphic that will make your friends jealous!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Possible genetic reason for coffee addiction

Anyone can become addicted to coffee (caffeine, really). As you probably already know, caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world*. This popularity is largely influenced by the fact that it's legal, I assume.

As reported by Jordan Press in the Vancouver Sun, researchers from Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital, the US National Health Institute, and the University of North Carolina, have identified two genes—CYP1A2 and AHR if you must know—that may cause some people to be more addicted than others.

Dr. Marilyn Cornelis, a Canadian researcher at Harvard said that having the genes may mean a person metabolizes the caffeine from coffee faster. The coffee buzz wears off faster for them, so they need to consume more coffee to feed their addiction.

I had more or less assumed that some people just liked coffee more, but now I see that they may not be able to help it. What about people who don't like coffee (shudder to think!)? They just don't have the genetic makeup, I suppose.

Like so many other things in modern life, we just don't have the choices we thought we had, and no one's behavior is truly controllable. Yeah.

*I have found this statement repeated on very many websites, but have not found any substantial proof of that fact. I welcome any comment to satisfy my curiosity.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Alternatives to coffee as a stimulant

Why in the world would anyone need an alternative to coffee? Well, whether or not you’ve ever considered yourself in danger of caffeine toxicity (or perhaps a doctor has suggested it after a trip to the emergency room!), there are other ways to get the energy boost and alertness that you associate with coffee. Afterall, caffeine toxicity can be a rather serious condition—symptoms include tremors, insomnia, seizures, schizophrenia, and cardiovascular instability.

In a recent blog at, 10 possible substitutes are discussed and offered to students who often need to pull “all nighters.” According to the blog, one reason that coffee may not be a student’s best choice is that it has been shown to hamper learning and memory (although these results are not without debate).

The suggested substitutes include gingko biloba, ginseng, vitamin B12, as well as some non-dietary suggestions such as swimming, meditation, and... ready for this?... getting more sleep!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Coffee while you sleep

We have one of those coffeemakers that automatically makes coffee while you sleep. So we don't use it very often in the middle of the day, because we're just not able to fall asleep.