Post by Guud contributor Jill Zimmerman
What makes your favorite coffee spot “good”? What defines “good” for you? Is it being kind to the environment? Giving to charity? Keeping it local? Fair trade or direct trade beans? Organic? Consistency? The atmosphere? Just the taste of your drink? Or maybe it’s all of the above.
On a large scale no one can compete with Starbucks when it comes to giving back. Go onto their website and you can read what they claim to do for charity and the environment. The list is a mile long. I’m not quite sure how this correlates in relative terms though when compared to how much money they make. Especially knowing that Howard Schultz is the highest paid CEO in Washington State. I’m not complaining but making more of an observation that it is hard to compare the local coffee shops to the giant. I must say that my kids prefer the Strawberry and Cream Frappuccino over any other drink anywhere. And I do have a Starbucks loyalty gold card. They’re easy. They can be found everywhere.
Local coffee shops can claim just that. That they are local. Therefore the money made goes back into our local economy and we all enjoy helping out locally when we can.
My favorite local spot is Urban Coffee Lounge. They carry Stumptown coffee which up until recently was a great local roaster in Portland. Unfortunately they have just sold about 90% of their company to a large New York investment firm according to sources on the net. Lame….
I like that Urban carries gluten free bakery items from the local bakery Flying Apron. I like that they carry organic teas. They also have hemp milk which is a great alternative to rice or soy if you are intolerant to dairy. Their milk is from a local farm, Sunshine Dairy in Portland that is rBST free. Not organic but better than nothing. Every Friday night they have local bands that play. And for those not in the mood for coffee, they also offer wine. How can one go wrong? If you purchase a prepaid card (that you don’t have to carry because they will keep it in their computer) you get a free coffee after purchasing ten. You would think I’d work for Urban Coffee with all this good free press. But I don’t. I just truly enjoy this place.
So, tell me what makes your favorite coffee shop your favorite! I love to try new places. Or tell me what makes you not like a place. I’ll try to stay away. :)
Coffee houses mentioned in this post: