Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn't get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that's how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our recommendation of random things that we've actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we'd actually tell our friends about. And now we're telling you.
Great. Some asshole Seattleite wants to talk to you about coffee. Sorry in advance. To be honest, I don't know anything about coffee and I don't give a shit about coffee. I will drink gas station garbage coffee and I will drink motel-room Yuban with powdered milk and I won't really care that much, because who has the time. But I also know that the couple of times I've moved away from Seattle for extended periods and been forced to drink nothing but the watery, gut-scouring coffee of other lands, I've felt the urge to buy a beret and sprout a twirly mustache and start talking about shit like "robustness" and "berry notes." I'm spoiled by my stupid hometown.
It's a super boring stereotype, but Seattle really does have really good coffee. (Some stereotypes are just true. Also my mother is a salmon and my dad is Tom Skerritt.) Pacific Northwest coffee is good enough to overpower even my intense desire to feel completely apathetic about coffee. In other words, mega-good. I know there are great independent coffee roasters in cities outside the PNW, but I just...I can't not prefer my hometown stuff. When I was living in LA, I always preferred the bags of beans I brought home from Seattle to the totally legit ones I bought at Intelligentsia.
The reason that coffee in Seattle (and Portland) is so good is simple: The people here are insane.
These are seemingly normal humans who spend their lives figuring out the very best way to roast a bean. On top of that, meticulous, artisanal bean-roasting is not only seen as a legitimate career, it proves its worth by being a lucrative one as well. An overabundance of coffee connoisseurs (read: snobby dickheads with opinions on things like "crema") make for a wildly competitive coffee market, which means that it's totally normal for some rando donut shack to have their own in-house bean roastery. It's weird. PEOPLE OUT HERE MAKE HELLA BEAN MONEY. And people like me spend hella money on beans.
Most people in Seattle don't go to Starbucks, but not out of some overt elitism—it would just be totally inconvenient and pointless. I would have to go out of my way to drive to a Starbucks, but there are like 12 independent coffee shops, with way more delicious coffee, within easy walking distance of my house. So, I do that. And you can too!
Caffe Vita has a new location on the Lower East Side, and they wholesale all over the place.
Portland-based Stumptown (my favorite, maybe?) also has a Manhattan location.
You can buy Victrola coffee online.
Espresso Vivace, ditto.