Portland Woodstock ‘08

A420AA7D-E419-4FE3-9476-3D96385B409AThis weekend was Portland’s 2018 book festival Wordstock. The event was held at the Portland Art Museum and featured over 100 authors. Their was books signings and readings for all ages all and numerous historic locations in the area. It was a great day for writers and readers alike.

I came home with lots of information and goodies.
I chose to go the exploratory route and pick just a few random new books.

My 2018 Wordstock spoils:

Arms From The Sea by Rich Shapero

A young sculptor from the State of Salt swallows a poison pill that transports him to a watery heaven, whose monstrous, seductive creator reveals to him what it might mean to redeem a desolate world.

A confusing and interesting read so far, but I haven’t given up on it.

A Doctor A Day by Bernard Mansheim
Under white coats, behind caring eyes, beneath sterile stethoscopes is the human within the doctor. The one that bears bad news, holds pain and mires in a stream of death and the dying. In this fictional story, Dr. James is in crisis as his practice is further burdened by a crushing lawsuit. Unmasking the psychological burden experienced by many practicing doctors this work portrays one physician’s unbearable experience as examined and articulated by a seasoned MD

My choice cafe drink of the week:

Book Bean: Eggnog Spice Latte
98014BCE-D8F0-4832-98A9-C058CCBD4DEBStart with 1-3 shots of espresso to taste (or for the ‘Au Lait’ version try 4-6 oz of strong black coffee, 1-2 oz eggnog, and 1oz milk) stir in a tiny pinch of cayenne and pinch of pumpkin spice. Pour in steamed eggnog mix: 1 part (2-4 oz depending on number of espresso shots) rich creamy eggnog and 1 part non-fat milk (or milk of choice.) Finish drink off with a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Vampire Boy (Adventures of Alex Vambarey)
by Aric Cuching

I chose this book because, first off books have no age, and secondly it seem like a clever synopsis. We shall see.

It seems it has also won quite a few awards, so I’m hopeful that it will not disappoint 🙂


Which local book events do you look forward to?

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Top U.S. Coffee Houses 

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To celebrate national coffee day here are some of the best coffee houses across our nation.

Coffee culture is booming and with it more high quality coffee houses are opening. Each have there own style, coffee blends, unique menu items, and techniques.

There are many great coffee houses, however I chose to highlight a few that stand apart. These coffee houses are well known for uniqueness, quality, popularity, and dedication to the art of coffee.

Here are my top picks for Noteworthy Cafes in the U.S.:

Madcap Coffee (Grand Rapids, MI)

17160486-standardMadcap Coffee has won me over by offering tasting flights, use of latte art, and serving espresso in snifters.Madcap-Coffee-table-of-cups

However, what really set them apart most of all was implementing a zero waste policy; trading trash cans for bus bins and sorting all of their trash into compost and recyclables.

Heart Coffee (Portland, OR)

original-5983-1404617574-3Coffee drinks & gourmet baked goods offered in stylish, industrial-chic quarters. Taking an absolutely obsessive approach to excellence and quality in roasting and brewing, Heart Coffee is one of the best cafes in the U.S. Try the affogatto; espresso dolloped over homemade coconut ice cream.

1369 Coffee House (Boston, MA)

the-139-coffe-house-in-cambridge1369 serves up Espresso drinks alongside homemade soups, sandwiches, and freshly baked pastries. Locations in Inman Square (1369 Cambridge Street) & Central Square (757 Massachusetts Ave). download (5)

 

It is a top-notch coffee house that draws local creative types and features a gallery.

 

Everyman Espresso (New York, NY)

fromthegroundup_6_everymanespressointerior.jpgCoffee & espresso from direct-trade beans offered in a small, no-frills setting or to grab and go. Sam Lewontin was the champion of the 2015 Northeast Barista Competition. With his love for coffee and knack for mixology, he offers unique drinks at his SoHo coffee shop.

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Everymans Espresso is also known for having the best espresso shot in New York. If that wasn’t enough they also have unique offerings like almond milk as well as sheep and goat milk.

 

Seattle Coffee Works (Seattle, WA)

Seattle-Coffee-Scene-Seattle-Coffee-Works-12A modest coffeehouse with an espresso bar & a slow bar for comparing single-origin beans. Seattle Coffee Work is located at 107 Pike Street close to the Pike Place Market.

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They roast quality coffee, and boast direct relationships with farmers. Their impressive brew bar offers a “slow bar” utilizing Chemex, Hario pour-over,
Aeropress, and syphon brewing.

Peregrine Espresso (Washington, D.C.)

Peregrine-Espresso-800x533.jpgConsidered by coffee connoisseurs as the premier place to go for a cup of delicious, micro brewed coffee. Peregrine Espresso is owned by husband and wife team Ryan and Jill Jensen, and has a strong focus on great service, education, and sustainability.They have both coffee and tea option, cold press juices, bakery items, sodas, and Mexican chocolate.


Café Grumpy
 
(New York City, NY)

location_chelseaOffering sandwiches, homemade pastries and cookies, excellent coffee, and a No Laptop Policy; this independently owned and operated cafe, bakery, and roastery is

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a popular New York hangout.
Café Grumpy is also a Member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Panther Coffee (Miami, FL)

8023902019_280ec98f25_bThis coffeehouse first started as a cart on a bicycle serving cold brew at food truck roundups. Now with three locations, with more on the way owners Joel and Leticia Pollock have established themselves reputably in the coffee business. l-11

At Panther Coffee they roast their own beans, curated from small farms (such as Grupo las Cuchillas in Nicaragua.) The coffee shop also showcases information sheets about the growers; your cup’s story from plant to cup is entirely accessible.

 

The Coffee Fox (Savannah, GA)

IMG_5808A craft coffee house in historical downtown Savannah, Georgia featuring the pour-over coffee brew method as well as pastries, cheese boards, wine and beer.ls (1)

 

 

A quirky coffee house in a charming town, what could be better. Aside from the enchanting atmosphere the cafe also offers a fun and interesting menu with items such as a Mexican mocha, cold brew coffee, and a horchata latte.
This is a coffee house worth visiting.


Barista Parlor
 
(Nashville, TN)

bbp31Nashville’s Barista Parlor does credit to the cities culture. It is housed in a former auto repair garage in Music City’s hip east side. The coffee house serves artisan espresso, as well as local seasonal cafe food.

 

Not only is the location hip with a cool industrial vibe, but they also offer unique drinks such as a bourbon vanilla latte.


Cafe Du Monde
 
(New Orleans, LA)

New-Orleans-Cafe-du-Monde-0414-1-lo-res - EditedCafé du Monde French for “Café of the World”, is a coffee shop on Decatur Street in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is best known for its world famous café au lait and its French-style beignets. The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market.


Ritual Coffee Roasters
 (San Francisco, CA)

0345b2414c34f54efdfcdc5acda86a83Ritual has been a pioneer in this delicious shift in coffee consciousness since they opened their doors on Valencia Street in 2005 and started what some call a coffee revolution in San Francisco.

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Ritual’s San Francisco cafes are also known as popular hangout and working spaces for tech workers in the city.

 

I am sure there are so many coffee houses that are absolutely wonderful and I wish I could give credit to them all. The venues listed here came up reputably in my research for high quality unique coffee houses.

Please share about a great coffee house you have visited. What set them apart?

Fun Coffee Facts

images (1)Its Friday so here are some Fun Facts!

Just a few coffee tid-bits nothing too deep:

  • Arabs were the first to cultivate coffee and the first to make a beverage from the roasted beans around 1300 AD.
    Coffee was originally used by monks and “prescribed” medicinally.Turska_kava
  • Today coffee is grown in more than 70 countries – all in subtropical regions – and more people drink coffee than any other beverage except water and perhaps tea.
  • The United States consumes more coffee – 300 million cups a day – than any other country as a whole, but other countries drink more per capita. The average  citizens of Finland drinks about 2.64 cups of coffee a day, higher than any other nation.
  • Workers who drank coffee rather than napping were more alert and performed better on the job, studies show.
    I don’t know how accurate this is, but considering  I can’t nap, I’m going to choose to believe it. 😀
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  • Most research shows that drinking coffee has a variety of health benefits and may be good for heart health.
  • It takes about 5000 pounds of coffee cherries to produce 1,000 pounds of green coffee beans; the beans lose another 20 percent of their weight in the roasting.
  • Coffee is a relative of the gardenia plant family and is thought to be indigenous to the African region which is now the country of Ethiopia.
    The flower is also beautiful and smell similar to Jasmine!
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  • Coffee beans have up to 800 flavor characteristics that our senses can detect. Red wine, by comparison, only has 400. Most coffee connoisseurs prefer mild roasts because the longer a coffee bean is roasted, more characteristics are burned off.
  • Espresso Coffee has just one third of the caffeine content of ordinary coffee.
    This is why I always use medium roasted coffee for my lattes and cappuccinos. Okay the flavor is actually why, but hey, good to know right!
  • The process of roasting causes coffee beans to begin to release carbon dioxide. When you pour hot water over freshly roasted and ground coffee, as in a French press, you will get a foamy head like that from a dark beer.
  • A coffee tree lives for between 60 and 70 years.
    Long live the coffee bean!!!

kauai-the-garden-island-20150916-is-coffee-good-or-bad.jpg
The Coffee plant is one INCREDIBLE edible,
fragrantly delicious creation!

Legend:
Sheikh-OmarThere are ancient accounts that attribute the discovery of coffee to Sheikh Omar. According to the ancient chronicle (preserved in the Abd-Al-Kadir manuscript), Omar, who was known for his ability to cure the sick through prayer, was once exiled from Mocha, Yemen to a desert cave near Ousab. Starving, Omar chewed berries from nearby shrubbery, but found them to be bitter. He tried roasting the seeds to improve the flavor, but they became hard. He then tried boiling them to soften the seed, which resulted in a fragrant brown liquid. Upon drinking the liquid Omar was revitalized and sustained for days. As stories of this “miracle drug” reached Mocha, Omar was asked to return and was made a saint. From Ethiopia, the coffee plant was introduced into the Arab World through Egypt and Yemen.155677098

Do you know any fun coffee facts? 

Oregon Reads & Portland Perks

“She Flies With Her Own Wings”

I love living in Oregon, I cannot imagine living anywhere else.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSo I thought I’d put together a list of Oregon books. Whether by a local author or set locally, these Oregon rooted reads are sure to entertain, amuse, and/or inspire readers of all varieties. Just like the state itself. I’ve also included a few special Book*Beans that are specifically found at local shops. So please, enjoy the weird and wonderful world I live in.

Here are my very special hometown selections:

Fugitives and Refugees
Chuck Palahniuk provides answers to all these questions and more as he takes you through the streets, sewers, and local haunts of Portland, Oregon. According to Katherine Dunn, author of the cult classic Geek Love, Portland is the home of America’s “fugitives and refugees.” Get to know these folks, the “most cracked of the crackpots,” as Palahniuk calls them, and come along with him on an adventure through the parts of Portland you might not otherwise believe actually exist.

Palahniuk is also the genius behind “Fight Club.”

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Café De Olla
Revolucion_logo_OK-300x205@ Revolución Coffee House
I could hardly choose just one from this colorful cafe
1200px-Café_de_olla_-_Restaurante_Don_Chon,_Mexicobut the Café De Olla won.
Its distinct flavor is provided by the ingredients of rich mountain grown Mexican coffee beans that have been ground and Italian roasted, added cinnamon and piloncillo or brown sugar. Cold bottled version coming soon!!

Bone River

From award-winning author Megan Chance, Bone River is a haunting tale of passion and identity. This beautifully written, lyrical literary novel engages with the themes of the despoliation of the Pacific Northwest’s native culture, and 19th-century concerns about race, degeneration and miscegenation.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

 

258sBook Bean: Orange Mocha
@ Rimsky-Korsakoffee House
A decadent real chocolate mocha made with orange infused sugar. It is delicious!
Rimsky is a Portland must visit:
8d864085662f5cacfccd899571098620An eerie, quirky, strange, and unique ambiance fills this old pdx style house turned cafe, and it is an experience you will not forget. You’ll wish you hadn’t gone to the bathroom alone (inside joke, sorry you’ll just have to visit to understand 🙂

Astoria
In the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Skeletons in the Zahara, Astoria is the thrilling, true-adventure tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition, an epic, now forgotten, three-year journey to forge an American empire on the Pacific Coast. Peter Stark offers a harrowing saga in which a band of explorers battled nature, starvation, and madness to establish the first American settlement in the Pacific Northwest and opened up what would become the Oregon trail, permanently altering the nation’s landscape and its global standing.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

1915511_58034154945_7993784_nBook Bean: Homemade Ginger Lemonade
Ginger-Lemonade@ Random Order Coffee
Fresh and delicious, a great treat for spring and summer!

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Starvation Heights

In 1911 two wealthy British heiresses, Claire and Dora Williamson, came to a sanatorium in the forests of the Pacific Northwest to undergo the revolutionary “fasting treatment” of Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard. It was supposed to be a holiday for the two sisters. But within a month of arriving at what the locals called Starvation Heights, the women were emaciated shadows of their former selves, waiting for death.

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

 

DragonflyLogolamar copyshotdark2Book Bean: Shot In The Dark
@ The Dragonfly Coffee House
Double shot of espresso added to Drip. Great for a pick-me-up!


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey’s novel has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Turning conventional notions of sanity and insanity on their heads, the novel tells the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

email_signature_69b1f996-c18a-49ae-97a4-80fa94d8b035_95xBook Bean: Cascara Soda
@ Case Study Coffee
You heard it right, cascara soda, try it! There is also a Lavender Cold Brew 😀20150614_191603.jpg
Cascara = coffee cherry, an herbal tea is made from the dried skins of dried berries of the coffee plant. The word originates from the Spanish cáscara, meaning “husk.”

Sometimes a Great Notion
A bitter strike is raging in a small lumber town along the Oregon coast. Bucking the strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers: Henry, the fiercely vital and overpowering patriarch; Hank, the son who has spent his life trying to live up to his father; and Viv, who fell in love with Hank’s exuberant machismo but now finds it wearing thin. And then there is Leland, Henry’s bookish younger son, who returns to his family on a mission of vengeance – finding himself fulfilling it in ways he never imagined. Out of the Stamper family’s rivalries/betrayals, Kesey crafts a novel with the mythic impact of Greek tragedy.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

home-home_page_slider_04.jpghome-home_page_slider_02Book Bean: Dragonfly Chai
@ Bipartisan Cafe
Sweet Black + Spicy Black + Spicy Red (no caffeine)
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Ricochet River
Set in a fictional Oregon town in the late 1960s, Cody’s superlative coming-of-age novel is the story of Wade, Lorna and Jesse–teenagers preparing to break out of their small-town lives. Wade is the local sports hero. Jesse is his friend, a mythical athlete and the Indian kid who applies his own rules to sports and life. And Lorna is Wade’s sweetheart who knows there’s no hope in Calamus for a bright, independent girl. The river rushes past the town, linking the three friends with their pasts, their plans and the world beyond.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

lede_Klatch_TOV_EmilyJoanGreeneBook Bean: Karkadeh
Sweet Hibiscus Nectar (best iced)
and The Winey Mocha:
Mocha w/ a hint of wine.
I had to pick 2 for this location, the Winey Mocha is just too unique!
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@ ToV Coffee and Tea
They also have tradition Turkish coffee and tea for the daring and adventurous 🙂
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My Abandonment
A girl and her father live in Forest Park, the enormous nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, bathe in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water’s edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts. Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight. Inspired by a true story My Abandonment is a riveting journey into life at the margins, and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

woodlawn.0.0Book Bean: Gassato
@ Wood Lawn Coffee and Pastry
woodlawn-coffee-pastry-portland-front-counter-1600x1067In addition to a regular iced Americano or latte, they also offer Gassato, an iced espresso with a little sweetened milk and a float of fizzy water, all made with Stumptown Hairbender.

The Lathe of Heaven
A classic science fiction novel by Ursula K. Le Guin, one of the greatest writers of the genre, set in a future world where one man’s dreams control the fate of humanity.
In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George’s dreams for his own purposes.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

0b516eed815d1d264f654f54855cd07fBook Bean: Macciato
@ Common Ground Coffeehouse
ec915cf577ce9ecfb4996b9986d8cd0bSometimes called espresso macchiato, an espresso drink with a small amount of milk, usually foamed. In Italian, macchiato means “stained” or “spotted” so the literal translation of caffè macchiato is “stained coffee”, or coffee with a spot of milk.

Mink River
Like Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood and Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, Brian Doyle’s stunning fiction debut brings a town to life through the jumbled lives and braided stories of its people.

In a small fictional town on the Oregon coast there are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Cardamom Lattedownload.png
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@ symposium coffee
Symposium coffee is Sherwood and Tigard’s finest coffee house featuring Flag & Wire Coffee Roasters, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Steven Smith Teamaker.

A Heart for Any Fate: Westward to Oregon, 1845
I was drawn to this book because of it’s title, which is from my Longfellow favorite, the poem “A Psalm of Life”
Based on the history of a company of real pioneers, this book tells the story of the King family, whose careful plans are challenged by the harsh, unforeseen realities of overland travel. The family makes the unfortunate decision to follow guide Stephen Meek, who leads them into blistering weather, drought, and treacherous river crossings along a shortcut that becomes known as the Terrible Trail.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

png;base642027a94ca3229fdd.png348s (2)Book Bean: Lavender Latte, Mocha, or Cocoa
@ Rain OR. Shine Coffee House
A seasonal specialty worthy of a Nobel pallet!

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“I wanted to go to Portland because it’s a really good book town.”
~Patti Smith

Indeed it is.

What are some of your hometown favorites?