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My long-standing relationship with coffee (and 10,000 coffee stands)

Posted on February 7, 2017 at 6:00 am

Real coffee cards from my own collection.

By Amanda Flanery

“Love is in the air and it smells like coffee.” —Unknown

How many of you, by a show of empty cups/mugs, have a stack of coffee stand cards in your vehicle or wallet? Do you also think the best time for coffee is right now? And in a few minutes from now?

Yeah. . . me too. I love coffee. It gets me.

While I do have a “go-to drink” that I typically order (20 ounce, triple, not-too-sweet, caramel latte), I really love and drink all coffee. Heck, I even wore it for a little while (mostly, by accident). It’s not what you think—I found a new perfume I loved and was told while I was paying for it that one of the ingredients was none other than my beloved, coffee.

This post has in no way been sponsored by any of these coffee companies.

I remember my first latte like it was yesterday. I was a pre-teen. My sister and I had ventured to Spokane from our central Washington home for a little “big city shopping.” She is 8 years older than I, so I followed her lead on pretty much everything—music, fashion, pop-culture—and eventually, my beloved coffee. We were just heading back home when she stopped at the produce & coffee stand that used to occupy the southwest corner of Hayford Rd and Sunset Hwy in Airway Heights. The drink was an Irish cream latte, and from the first delicious sip to the last, sweet drop, I knew I’d been introduced to a true love. I’m sure if my present-self were to try that first latte, I would decide it’s far too sweet as my taste for coffee has matured. But in that moment it was perfection that made me a life-long fan.

During my pre-teen years, the coffee culture in Washington state was just starting to brew. Starbucks hadn’t ‘blown-up’ quite yet, and you weren’t likely to find a coffee stop every few blocks. As the popularity of coffee in Washington grew, so too, did my love for coffee.

All of these years, coffee has been one of my truest companions. I turn to it when I’m tired, cold, excited, going out, staying in, when it’s sunny, snowy, overcast or crisp. I love coffee iced, hot, blended, poured-over, pressed, with foam, or just drip. Some days I only drink coffee in the morning, sometimes all day, occasionally in the afternoon, and I’m always up for a cup after dinner or with dessert. When the weather turns cold, I’d prefer to have a hot coffee in my hand at all times, though my budget (and constitution) doesn’t really allow for that kind of frivolity.

I’m realizing I have a few free coffees on these cards!

I’m an equal “coffeertunist.” I’ll sip coffee from artisan coffee shops, drive-thru espresso stands, local chains, and a very occasional stop at the big chain (you know the one—it’s already been mentioned). I even enjoy a homemade coffee affair—experimenting with different milks and flavors in my espresso. Coffee is a reliable mate for gatherings with my family, friends, and colleagues.

If you love coffee half as much as I do, mark your calendars! Spokane County Library District has partnered with Revel77 to bring you two free events next month featuring COFFEE! We’ll learn about my beloved and sample some delicious drip coffee. I’ll see you there!

History of Coffee
REVEL77, 3223 E 57th Ave, Spokane (Moran Prairie)
Saturday, March 11, 2-3:30pm
Registration required

Current Coffee Trends
REVEL77, 3223 E 57th Ave, Spokane (Moran Prairie)
Saturday, March 18, 2-3:30pm
Registration required

If you’re impatient like me and need something to perk you up until then, here are some great books featuring coffee you’ll find in our library catalog:

For the aspiring barista/foam artist

The Home Barista: How to Bring Out the Best in Every Coffee Bean by Simone Egger and Ruby Ashby Orr

For coffee enthusiasts everywhere, here’s a charming handbook on becoming your own favorite barista. Connoisseurs Simone Egger and Ruby Ashby Orr enlighten readers with insights and advice from crop to cup and beyond. The Home Barista guides you through the essentials—from understanding your bean’s origins and establishing your palate to perfecting your technique.


For the bean-roasting enthusiast

The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes by James Freeman

Famous for its complex and flavorful coffees, Blue Bottle delights its devoted patrons with exquisite pour-overs, delicious espressi, and specialized brewing methods. One of the country’s most celebrated roasters explains how to choose, brew, and enjoy the new breed of artisan coffees at home, along with 40 inventive recipes that incorporate coffee or taste good with a cup.


For the gourmet-drinks-at-any-time-of-day drinker

Making Your Own Gourmet Coffee Drinks by Mathew Tekulsky

Now you can enjoy gourmet coffee drinks at home with Making Your Own Gourmet Coffee Drinks. This guide to all things coffee has more than 100 recipes and not only shows you how to make all the standard gourmet coffee drinks but also introduces you to exciting new flavors.


For the on-the-go espresso aficionado

Driven to espresso: drive-through coffee stands in the Northwest by Ray Weisgerber
This book is a fun and informative look at the car-centric side of coffee culture in America. It includes over 100 photos of the most unique drive-through stands in the Pacific Northwest, the capital of caffeine lust. This fascinating, inspirational, and lively book documents and celebrates the creative spirit of these small businesses.


For the please-give-me-coffee-in-everything-including-my-perfume coffee lover

Coffee: More Than 65 Delicious & Healthy Recipes by Avner Laskin

There’s nothing like a fresh cup of coffee to start your morning off right. And now you can enjoy the robust, satisfying taste of coffee all day long. In this attractive collection, Avner Laskin shares more than 65 recipes that range from delicious hot and cold beverages to sumptuous baked goods and desserts.

My editor said, “there’s a fourth image of coffee cards?!” I think I’ll go for coffee now.

Amanda Flanery

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