Expanding upon my Oregon reads, I thought I would dedicate to The Great Northwest as a whole. It’s vast and natural splendor is astounding and I love literature that captures it’s spirit, grit, and enchanting beauty.
I’ll of course throw in a few well-known coffee roasters that are sure to impress.
Here are the books that I feel really showcase the quality of the NW:
At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he’s found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit at the market; they later return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase.
Rated 4.0 on amazon.com
The gorgeous shop expands on the simplicity of Coava’s signature menu with direct-trade Cocanu mochas, house-made Madagascar vanilla, and elegant teas from Portland’s Jasmine Pearl Tea. We always offer two origins for espresso based drinks alongside our rotating black coffees. Our pastries are crafted locally by the incredible folks at Little T American Baker. We always have fresh bags of our current coffee offerings. Whether for a gift, a special occasion, or just daily drinking, we can help find the perfect one for you.
It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world
Rated 4.8 on amazon.com (out of almost 20k reviews!)
Victrola Coffee Roasters
Victrola Coffee Roasters We source premium coffees, roast them to highlight the natural beauty in bean and prepare them with care and intention as we tell the global story of coffee.
From the beginning, Victrola, named for the popular home phonograph of the 1920’s, embraced the liveliness, exuberance and fun of the Jazz era. In our popular imagination the roaring 20’s represent excess, prohibition, flappers, and speakeasies. The era’s fingerprints mark much of what we do, from our passion for live vintage jazz to our cafes unique architectural charm.
by Timothy Egan
Timothy Egan describes his journeys in the Pacific Northwest through visits to salmon fisheries, redwood forests and the manicured English gardens of Vancouver. Here is a blend of history, anthropology and politics.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com
San Fransisco, CA
Forty years ago, a cup of coffee was nothing more than a caffeine delivery vehicle. It didn’t really matter how it tasted, it just had to slap you awake in the morning or prop you up through a long afternoon. But in the last decade or so, things have changed. A lot. A few people scattered across the country discovered how amazing a cup of coffee can be when you source the beans directly from farmers you know. When you roast the beans yourself in such a way that nothing intrinsic to the coffee is removed. When you brew the coffee with down-to-the-second precision.
On San Piedro, an island of rugged, spectacular beauty in Puget Sound, home to salmon fishermen and strawberry farmers, a Japanese-American fisherman stands trial, charged with coldblooded murder. The year is 1954, and the shadow of WWII, with its brutality abroad and internment of Japanese Americans at home, hangs over the courtroom. Ishmael Chambers, who lost an arm in the Pacific war and now runs the island newspaper, is among the journalists covering the trial – a trial that brings him close, once again, to Hatsue Miyomoto, the wife of the accused man and Ishmael’s never-forgotten boyhood love.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com
Our charter is to research, develop, and prepare caffe espresso as a new culinary art. “Espresso Vivace” translates loosely as great enthusiasm and excitement for espresso, the new world coffee.
Vivace is a partnership founded by David Schomer and Geneva Sullivan in 1988. Since 1992 we have been roasting in the Northern Italian style: searching the world for the mildest arabicas and bringing each bean in our blends to the fragrant peak of caramelized sugar content. Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse has described Vivace espresso as the best coffee in the US, if not the world. Check out their Professional Barista Course as well.
This award winning book tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written; this story is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
Rated 4.6 on amazon.com
Sherman Alexie is Also the Author of 2 other great NW novels:
His first book “Reservation Blues” (winner of the American Book Award and The Murray Morgan Prize,) and “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fish Fight in Heaven” and many many others.
Roastery and Tasting Room
OUR LOVE AFFAIR WITH COFFEE KNOWS NO BOUNDS.
Introducing a one-of-a kind coffee shrine in our hometown that captures the past, present and future of Starbucks.
This is our Roastery, a place we had to create. The Siren called. We listened.
A Building as unique as the coffee.
At twenty-two, Cheryl thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com
We’ve been roasting coffee in Seattle since 1995.
We are an independent, locally-owned company. From our beginnings at the base of Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood, Caffe Vita now operates nine cafes in the Pacific Northwest, a roasteria cafe in New York City, and a cafe in Los Angeles.
We are pioneers of the Farm Direct movement, meticulously sourcing the best coffee available while developing long-term, mutually fruitful relationships with coffee growers in more than 11 countries.
They also have the Public Brewing School A complimentary class that delves into the world of understanding and brewing better coffee at home. PBS focuses on manual brewing methods but is also an open forum to talk all things coffee!
Brautigan was a literary idol of the 1960s and 1970s whose comic genius and iconoclastic vision of American life caught the imagination of young people everywhere. He came of age during the Haight-Ashbury period and has been called “the last of the Beats.” His early books became required reading for the hip generation, and on its publication Trout Fishing in America became an international bestseller. An indescribable romp, the novel is best summed up in one word: mayonnaise.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com
The motivation behind our coffee is simple: uncompromising quality. We are a specialty coffee roasting company aiming to bring people a focused and an exceptional coffee experience.
We begin with some of the best green coffee from mainly Central America, South America, and Africa.
We roast our coffee to the ideal degree, while fully developing complex flavors, and bringing out delicate clarity. The coffee is then cupped in the lab and must pass the standard of excellence before reaching our customers.
We believe that starting with quality green coffee enables us to put the care into the roasted coffee we serve—from the source to the final cup. We love what we do and want to share it with you.
Take a seat, let it cool a little, and enjoy the difference in heart coffee.
Internationally bestselling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe. His warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels—including Still Life With Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, and Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates—provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination. Madcap but sincere, pulsating with strong social and philosophical undercurrents, his irreverent classics have introduced countless readers to natural born hitchhiking cowgirls, born-again monkeys, a philosophizing can of beans, exiled royalty, and problematic redheads.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com
Blue Bottle Coffee
In the early 2000s, in Oakland, California, a slightly disaffected freelance musician and coffee lunatic, weary of the commercial coffee enterprise and stale, overly roasted beans, decided to open a roaster for people who were clamoring for the actual taste of fresh coffee.
Using a minuscule six-pound batch roaster, he made a historic vow: “I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my guests, so they may enjoy coffee at peak flavor. I will only use the finest, most delicious, and responsibly sourced beans.”
In honor of Kolshitsky’s heroics
(see story here), he named his business Blue Bottle Coffee and began another chapter in the history of superlative coffee.
Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award: a deeply moving and evocative novel of fathers and sons. Danny Kachiah is a Native American fighting not to become a casualty. His father, Red Shirt, is dead; his wife, Loxie, has left him, and his career as a rodeo cowboy is flagging. But when Loxie dies in a car wreck, leaving him with his son, Jack, whom he hardly knows, Danny uses the magnificent stories of Red Shirt to guide him toward true fatherhood. Together, Danny and Jack begin to make a life from the dreams of yesterday and the ruins of today’s northwestern reservations.
Rated 4.1 on amazon.com
Columbia River Coffee Roaster
Coffee That Floats the arts
On the Coast, where we’ve been roasting fresh beans to order since 1992. We are ever-mindful of presenting a lovely cup of coffee to accompany our varied and ever-changing lives.
Our ongoing work includes a journey to expand our offering of direct-trade, organic, shade-grown, sustainably-harvested coffees, which also benefits the growers and their family of workers.
Our roasting facility makes its home below the Megler Bridge in the historic Uniontown District of Astoria, Oregon
The fascinating true adventure of widowed Muriel Wylie Blanchet who packed her five children onto a 25-foot boat at the end of the 1920s, and acting as skipper, navigator, engineer and mother, took her family into the coastal waters of Vancouver Island, summer after summer, charting a world they made their own, encountering storms, fogs, rough seas, cougars and bears with the high spirits, the courage and the respect for native cultures and the natural world of a bona fida pioneer.
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com
I am a proud Pacific Northwesterner and I hope these books give a, if not complete, at least true illustration of it’s dazzling allure, strength, & character.