Reading The Pacific Northwest

20130602opart-m-630x571.jpgExpanding 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:

The Orchardist
by Amanda Coplin

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

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C
oava

on Hawthorne
Our espresso bar is about community.

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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.

The Boys in The Boat
by Daniel James Brown

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!)

logoVictrola Coffee Roasters
Seattle, Washington
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, victrolaseattle_612embraced 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.

The Good Rain:
Across Time and Terrain in The Pacific Northwest

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

download (1)Ritual Roasters
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. 470555875_cb228d4481But 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.

Snow Falling on Cedars
by David Guterson

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

vivace-logoEspresso Vivace
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. espresso-vivace-roasteriaSince 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.

The Absolutely True Diary
of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

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.

reserve-logo
Starbucks Reserve

Roastery and Tasting Room

OUR LOVE AFFAIR WITH COFFEE KNOWS NO BOUNDS.

Starbucks_Reserve_Roastery_and_Tasting_Room_03_galleryIntroducing 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.

Wild
by Cheryl Strayed

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

Caffe_Vita_Logo_2013Caffe Vita
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 caffe-vita-LES-NYC-outside-1200x887roasteria 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.

PBS_0They 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!

Trout Fishing in America
by Richard Brautigan

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

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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.
487f096a0a008c5539f41f4542016f65We 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.

Tibetan Peach Pie
by Tom Robbins

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

fb-og-image-default-b0bce82fbf6759deaa8fb9b4b848783f6108edc78c42af454c1f82e7e999e093Blue 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.
Blue Bottle BrooklynUsing 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.

Winterkill
by Craig Lesley

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

thundermuck-logoColumbia 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.
Joshua Bessex - Daily Astorian - Jan 5, 2015 - AR-150109903Our 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 Curve of Time
The Classic Memoir of a Woman and Her Children Who Explored the Coastal Waters of the Pacific Northwest
by Wyle Blanchet

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

Cave-near-Mt-JeffersonI 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.

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Beach Books

beach_books2.jpgI am spending the weekend enjoying the gorgeous Oregon Coast while currently reading two sea-worthy books, and it’s got me thinking about Beach Books; novels filled with the lore and adventure of the sea. So, as I pondered the ocean’s beauty, I have compiled a list of books reminiscent of the vast and wonderful sea.
I have come up with a list of really great books that capture the ocean’s beauty, strength, and wonder.

Here is my list of oceanic beauties, shore to decorate many beach bags:

The Old Man and The Sea


by Ernest Hemingway

The endearing story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Using the simple, powerful language of a fable, Hemingway tells the timeless tale of courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

 

The Little Mermaid



by Hans Christian Anderson

After saving a prince from drowning, a mermaid princess embraces a life of extreme self-sacrifice to win his love and gain an immortal soul.

Over a century after its first publication, this tale persists as one of the world’s most enduring works of fantasy for children.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com


The Light Between Oceans

by M.L Stedman
Australian Tom Sherbourne returns home after fighting in the western trenches of World War I in Europe. He and his wife, Isabel, move to an isolated lighthouse, where they remain for several years. While there they informally adopt a baby girl who washes up in a lifeboat. When the child is two years old, Tom & Isabel return to the mainland on leave. There they discover that “there are other people in the world”, and keeping the child “has devastated one of them.”

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com


The Swiss Family Robinson


by Johann David Wyss

Following a wild and raging storm, the Swiss family Robinson are stranded at sea. But the thundering waves have swept them off to a tropical island, where a new life awaits them. Their ship is laden with supplies and the island is packed with treasures, so they soon adapt and discover new dangers and delights every day.

Rated 4.1 on amazon.com


Life of Pi

by Yann Martel
Life of Pi, according to Yann Martel, can be summarized in three statements: “Life is a story… You can choose your story… A story with God is the better story.” A recurring theme throughout the novel seems to be believability. Pi at the end of the book asks the two investigators “If you stumble at mere believability, what are you living for?” According to Gordon Houser there are two main themes of the book: “that all life is interdependent, and that we live and breathe via belief.”

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com


 Gift From The Sea

by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Casting an unsentimental eye on the trappings of modernity that threaten to overwhelm us: the time-saving gadgets that complicate rather than simplify, the multiple commitments that take us from our families. And by lyrically recording her thoughts during a brief escape from everyday demands, Lindbergh helps readers find a space for contemplation and creativity within their own lives.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com


The Whale Rider

by Witi Ihimaera
Eight-year-old Kahu craves her great-grandfather’s love and attention. But he is focused on his duties as chief of a Maori tribe in Whangara, on the East Coast of New Zealand; a tribe that claims descent from the legendary ‘whale rider’. Every generation since the whale rider, a male has inherited the title of chief, but now there is no male heir, only Kahu. She should be the next in line for the title, but her great-grandfather is blinded by tradition and sees no use for a girl. Kahu will not be ignored and leads her tribe to a bold new future.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com


Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea


by Jules Verne

A classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus, as seen from the perspective of Professor Pierre Aronnax after he, his servant Conseil, and Canadian whaler Ned Land wash up on their ship. On the Nautilus, the three embark on a journey which has them going all around the world, under the sea.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com


English Passengers

by Matthew Kneale
In 1857 when Captain Illiam Quillian Kewley and his band of rum smugglers from the Isle of Man have most of their contraband confiscated by British Customs, they are forced to put their ship up for charter. The only takers are two eccentric Englishmen who want to embark for the other side of the globe. The Reverend Geoffrey Wilson believes the Garden of Eden was on the island of Tasmania. His traveling partner, Dr. Thomas Potter, unbeknownst to Wilson, is developing a sinister thesis about the races of men.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com


Robinson Crusoe


Daniel Defoe

A castaway who spends years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers before being rescued. The story is widely perceived to have been influenced by the life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived for four years on the Pacific island called “Más a Tierra”

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

Jacob Have I Loved



by Katherine Paterson

Sarah Louise, who lives with her family on a Chesapeake Bay island, grows up feeling less important than her beautiful twin sister. For once in her life, Louise wants to be the special one, but she must begin to find her own identity.
This is a great book (and movie) that I really love, think Hemingway meets Fried Green Tomatoes.

Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

 

In The Heart of The Sea



by Nathaniel Philbrick

This novel brings to life the extraordinary ordeal of ordinary men, in the incredible story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex. An event as mythic in its own century as the Titanic disaster in ours, and the inspiration for the climax of Moby-Dick. A wealth of whale lore and a brilliantly detailed portrait of the lost, unique community of Nantucket whalers. In a harrowing page-turner, Philbrick restores this epic story to its rightful place in American history.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

What sea-worthy book/s do you consider a beach bag must?

The Most Brewtiful Cafes II

lookbookThere were already so many stunning cafes in Part: I and yet
you will find in Part II that this world has many more incredibly
beautiful and interesting cafes.

Here is part II of The Most Brewtiful Cafes:

Bar Topolski (London)

Topolski gallery-bar-café-venue is a unique London space set in the railway arches near Waterloo Station, in the former studio of artist and illustrator Feliks Topolski RA (1907 – 1989).

Knoll Ridge Cafe (Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand)

Knoll Ridge Cafe is the highest cafe in New Zealand and has incredible views over the upper slopes. Serving a wide array of meals, including a fresh salad bar, hot dishes from around the world, café style snacks and espresso coffees.

Cafe Central (Vienna, Austria)

The café was opened in 1876, and in the late 19th century it became a key meeting place of the Viennese intellectual scene. Until 1938 the café was called the “Chess school” because of the presence of many chess players. The café occupies the ground floor of the former Bank and Stockmarket Building, today called the Palais Ferstel. Palais Ferstel was renovated in 1975 and again in 1986 after closing post WW2.

Dreamy Camera Cafe (Yangpyeong, South Korea)

This incredibly unique cafe stands out on the hills of Yangpyeong as a red, rectangular building in the exact form of a Rolleiflex.

Balzac’s (Toronto, Canada)

Balzac’s Coffee Roasters micro-roasts the finest selection of Arabica beans at their roastery and serves some of Canada’s best coffee at their Ontario cafés.

Callas Cafe (Budapest, Hungary)

The Art Deco style Callas Café & Restaurant has a prime location on Andrássy Avenue right next to the Budapest Opera House.  Budapest is a city of cafés. Its famed historic cafés can still evoke a reflection of the lustre of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s past…

Cafe Majestic (Porto, Portugal)

Belle Epoque-era cafe with ornate interior featuring carved wood, mirrors & chandeliers. This gorgeous cafe is rich with luster and history. Click here for More on The Majestic
“The Majestic Café is a wonderful place, where muses, thinkers and artists can get together to live the best moments life has to offer: simply sharing communication through words and gestures,glances smiles and even a few tears sometimes.” ~ Gloria Montenegro (President of the Paris Academy of Coffeeology.)

Well there they are, some of the most beautiful and interesting cafes in the world. I hope you enjoyed viewing them as much as I have. 
Please share if you have visited any of these magnificent cafes.

Which ones would you want to visit?

The Most Brewtiful Cafes I

lookbookPart I of my little guide to some beautiful and unique cafes/coffee houses from all around the world:

The Grounds (Alexandria, Australia)

Located in a former industrial precinct from the 1920s, The Grounds of Alexandria is a landmark coffee roastery, café and sustainable organic garden known for its abundance of fresh produce and hands-on experiences.

Caffè Greco (Rome, Italy)

This café has a rich history; it has been around since 1760 and was a known meeting place of artists, poets, and writers of all countries. Byron, Shelley, Goethe, Keats, Thackeray, Thorwaldsen, Mark Twain, Canova, Gounod, Bizet, Berlioz, Gogol, Wagner, King Ludwig of Bavaria and many other world celebrities having been regular patron of the Caffè Greco.

Mirrors Cafe (Gifu, Japan)

Covered in beautifully polished mirrored surfaces this building reflects the landscape surroundings. A row of cherry trees is planted at an embankment at its basin. The best time to visit is during the cherry blossom season.

Cafe New York (Budapest, Hungary)

An ornate cafe/restaurant founded in 1894 with frescoes & chandeliers. A stunning cafe serving coffee, cake & Hungarian cuisine.

Truth Coffee (Cape Town, South Africa)

This cafe was phenomenally designed by Heldane Martin. It features a steam-punk theme; adorned with vintage typewriters, Singer sewing machines, old candlestick telephones, exposed copper pipes, as well as old extending mirrors and Victorian tap levers. They also pride themselves on roasting and brewing the best quality coffees.

D’espresso (New York, NY)

Decor designed by Nemaworkshop was inspired by nearby New York Public Library turned on it’s side. This unique design is the backdrop for coffee, sandwiches & gelati.

Confeitaria Colombo (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)

Its huge stained glass, tiled, and mirrored interior features materials from France, Portugal, and Belgium. Serving an array of classic Brazilian and Iberian cuisine, delicious pastries, and of course a cup of tea or famous Brazilian coffee.

The world is full of beautiful Cafes, I wish I could visit them all!

Have you ever been to any of these? Which are your favorite?

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow!