The Slow Bar


     We finally got to Seattle, the central city for coffee.  Yes, I went to the original Starbucks, and savored a dark roast as we looked out into the fog.  We drank a lot of other coffee there, and I think I enjoyed the Portland scene more.  One place in downtown Seattle struck me.  It was Seattle Coffee Works on Pine in the center of town.  They had a counter where you could get great coffee and move on out.  But they also had a counter called “the slow bar.” Here you could have the coffee that takes longer to make, chemex and pour overs and French press and a number of others.  What is more, you could experiment and try mixes or whatever you wanted.  You could take time to talk to the Baristas about what they were learning.  Of course, they never make you feel stupid for the questions you ask.  Everyone knows this is the place to take time, a boundary is set, conversation is encouraged.  The coffee was excellent.  Susan got a latte and I got a chemex with Malawi beans, I think.  We had a blast.  As you can see in the picture, Pepper our dog seemed to be enjoying himself too.
     My mom used to say, “What is this world if full of care, you have no time to stand and stare?” I don’t know where that comes from.  So I have been standing and staring.  I think our society has got “the fast bar” thing down pretty well.  I just think we need to set up more circumstances where we can sit at the slower counter.  If we don’t have time to stand and stare, I think we kind of miss the point.

Taylor Field
Upside Down Leader


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