It’s not just the drab misty weather of Portland Oregon in the United States’ Northwest which has led to it being one of the greatest coffee cities of the world.
And it’s not just because Portland is the proud home of Stumptown Coffee Roasters, the trailblazing specialty coffee roaster run by the famed Duane Sorenson who exactly a year ago today pulled off the most shocking coffee industry stunt ever by quitting coffee for a week right at the start of the Specialty Coffee Association of America trade show (the country’s largest annual coffee convention). Instead, what makes Portland really rock the specialty coffee scene as we know it today is its stream of unique thinkers that it keeps producing.
Take for example, the self-proclaimed journalist, author and smart-ass, Taylor Clark. He’s that incomprehensible guy you remember from high school who hung out at the back of the class, never being too much concerned for anything more than perfecting the Metallica engraving into his desk and keep his classmates entertained with snide remarks at the teacher’s expense. And yet, when it came to exam time he was far from the back of the class, pulling in scores that made all the poindexters blood boil with jealousy and frustration. Well, now that guy has grown up, graduated from Dartmouth and set his sights on answering the question of how Starbucks, the once-modest Seattle coffeehouse become the international juggernaut that it is today. How is it that millions of coffee lovers the world over have made a daily stop (or two, or three, or four…) into Starbucks a daily ritual that they suddenly can’t live without? Whether you happen to be among the legions who love this coffee chain, or if you’re more of the opinion that they make the worst drip coffee imaginable, one thing’s for sure: you can always find a Starbucks when you need one. So while its coffee quality may be questionable, the presence of a Starbucks on every downtown corner can be relied on.
‘Starbucked is the story of how our fine nation threw off the cruel reign of flavor crystals and acrid diner coffee, and opted instead for the cruel reign of designer four-dollar lattes’. -Taylor Clark
This is a book that has been written with an historical, yet entertaining accuracy of the company’s early beginnings, providing a unique insight into its wacky, impetuous and ruthlessly strategic growth which will no doubt help you to decide whether you really do hate –or love- Starbucks.