Just how coffee-crazy is the Northwest? Consider this southwestern Oregon city of 24,790, which has 23 places where you can drive by, walk up or sit down for espresso drinks &...
GRANTS PASS, Ore. Just how coffee-crazy is the Northwest?
Consider this southwestern Oregon city of 24,790, which has 23 places where you can drive by, walk up or sit down for espresso drinks one for every 1,078 people.
That far exceeds the national average of one gourmet coffee outlet for every 18,380 people, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America in Long Beach, Calif.
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With so many to choose from, there is a real range, The Oregonian reports. You can grab a mocha and an oil change at Lube N Latte, unload your recycling while ordering a cappuccino at Xtreme Bean or sample hemp lattes at JoeBuzz.
“Hemp seeds themselves are pretty much the most perfect food in the world. It’s incredible how healthy they are. I thought, ‘Wow! I could offer hemp and coffee and that would be a niche,’ ” said JoeBuzz owner Trevis Webb.
The local coffee kings are Travis and Dane Boersma, who started Dutch Bros. Coffee from a used pushcart in 1992 and today oversee a regional brand sold in 61 outlets from Woodland Park, Calif., to Tualatin in the Willamette Valley. Their Grants Pass empire includes five drive-throughs, a coffeehouse and a walk-up stand.
Mike Ferguson, marketing communications director of the Specialty Coffee Association, said there is a lot of room to grow nationally, with only 16 percent of U.S. adults indulging in a daily cup of gourmet coffee, and even Grants Pass has a long way to go before it can rattle the world coffee order.
“In Italy, there’s an espresso stand on every street,” he said. “Until every American can walk to a coffeehouse and get a properly prepared espresso, then we can’t even begin to talk about saturation.”
That’s just what Dean Saxon is counting on as he launches a drive-through chain dubbed the Copper Barrel Coffee and Beverage Co. He’s building two stands now and negotiating to acquire two other locations.
At the Blue Stone Bakery and Coffee Cafe, 28-year-old Eric Rafdal downed his second whipped-cream-topped mocha of the day.
“I just had a craving for it,” said Rafdal, who relocated from Iowa a year ago. “The Northwest is definitely coffee crazy.”