Making It Rain Cafe Con Leche


My godmother once gave me a solemn warning about boys: There is no such thing as “just a cup of coffee.” She was right. Coffee is a cunning, baffling brew that has led political factions to battle; race is discussed through it; heartbreak has been stewed in it; and, much like my godmother cautioned me, many a passionate night has been launched with a single, delicious cup of coffee. – from NPR

I remember my grandmother’s obsession with her old tin coffee percolator. She would draw the bitter, iron laden water right from the tap, convinced that enough boiling and a few extra scoops of coffee would make it palpable. When she came to visit she raved about the coffee I made her. I sent her home with a french press and a bag of beans, but she wasn’t impressed. I guess I forgot the Oly mantra – It’s the Water. Olympia is steeped (pun intended – sorry) in coffee houses, coffee stands and coffee roasters, just like everywhere else in the country – or so I thought. Then I tried local coffee in Montana, in Minnesota, in Ohio. Scarier than the steak and mushroom “sushi” I once tried in Missoula.

Although coffee culture is not a new thing, the Pacific Northwest has re-invented what a cup of joe means for almost the entire world.  Originally from Ethiopia  coffee came to the new world in the 1600’s:  coffee was brought to New Amsterdam, a location later called New York by the British. Though coffee houses rapidly began to appear, tea continued to be the favored drink in the New World until 1773 when the colonists revolted against a heavy tax on tea imposed by King George.  The revolt, known as the Boston Tea Party, would forever change the American drinking preference to coffee. – http://www.ncausa.org

By the Mid 19th century coffee (along with tea, sugar, and cotton) had become one of the biggest commodities in the world and emblematic of oppression and slavery. Today it is a large part of many developing nations economies. And, thanks in part to the Empire of Starbucks, Fair Trade and Equal Exchanges Coffees and shade grown coffees that are more environmentally friendly have become more and more in demand. Fair Trade allows farmers to stay out of debt and receive a higher price by cutting out the middle man. Starbucks it’s self often purchases on multi-year contracts and pays almost double the commodity price.

You may or may not like Starbucks, but they have cleared the way for other smaller coffee roasters to flourish in the market and provide higher quality, environmentally sustainable and economically equitable products. If you have missed it, NPR has been presenting an interesting series on Coffee, covering every topic imaginable that you can associate with a cup of Joe from sex to politics to music.

And, of course, coffee is also about sex: How could such a powerful brew, oscillating between jarring bitterness and a sweet high, not be? The iconic Gran Combo de Puerto Rico sings, “How inspired was the creator, when he made womankind / Oh, and how good that he told her to let herself be loved … and he gave men sugar to put in the coffee” — a sweet description of how delicious a love between two people can be.  – from NPR

Coffee Houses of Olympia

Batdorf and Bronson

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Olympia’s most popular coffee roaster has multiple locations and all of them are busy. Their tasting room is located next to the Farmer’s market and their main coffee house is just up Capitol, flourishing two doors down from Starbucks.

Olympia Coffee Roasters

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Voted the 2013 Micro Coffee Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine, Olympia Coffee Roaster is a cozy place to get a cup. The have recently opened a new cafe on Capitol Blvd. next to Tasha Nicole’s “that was custom designed and built to our standards by working with a local designer, builders and sourced materials. The café is conveniently located on Capitol Boulevard at the intersection of four Olympia neighborhoods and features an open bar arrangement with wrap-around seating, a La Marzocco Strada espresso machine, pour-over brewed coffee, housemade Madagascar Vanilla syrup and French inspired pastries.” – From http://www.olympiacoffee.com/

Mudd Bay Coffee Company

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No one screams Hippy louder than Mudd Bay Coffee Roasters, located at 1600 Cooper Point Rd SW #630  Olympia, WA 98502.

We take the time to search for exceptional products, with alternatives to the usual “fluff” that you may find in other coffee houses. We only use products that contain NO high fructose corn syrup. We also stock wheat free and wheat free/gluten free cookies. If you are looking for something to excite the senses, try your favorite latte with Hemp Milk. – mudbaycoffee.com

Raven’s Brew

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Established in Ketichan, Raven’s Brew is now roasted not only in Alaska, but also stateside in Tumwater Washington, to better serve that vast market from a roastery that is identical to the original.

They may have to consider changing their tag line now that they are in Washington.

Olympic Crest Coffee Roasters

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Serving Lacey, because someone should give Starbucks a little competition there.

Olympic Crest Coffee Roasters has been roasting premium international gourmet coffees in Lacey since 1998. Olympic
Crest Coffee is Lacey’s only full service coffee company, providing custom on site roasting, free Internet cafe with breakfast and lunch served daily.

Olympic Crest Coffee specializes in on site roasting utilizing a state of the art Diedrich IR-12 roaster with computerized profile controls. Olympic Crest Coffee provides wholesale coffee to many espresso shops in the south sound region.

http://www.npr.org/2013/04/25/178849497/jittery-jams-10-songs-for-coffee-lovers

Café Mexicano

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  • 4 teaspoons chocolate syrup
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-½ cups strong hot coffee

Put 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup into each of 4 coffee cups.

Combine the heavy cream, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar and whip until it forms soft peaks.

Stir remaining ½ teaspoon cinnamon into the hot coffee.  Divide the coffee evenly between the 4 cups and stir each to blend the coffee with the chocolate syrup.

Top each cup with the spiced whipped cream and serve immediately.

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