By Polly Keary, Editor
I have narrowed a multitude of vices down to just one, so I take that one fairly seriously.
I love coffee. Furthermore, I’m a bit of a coffee snob. When I travel, a good portion of my suitcase is generally filled by a French press, a pound or so of excellent, locally-roasted coffee and a decent mug; good coffee out of a hotel cup is a travesty, and the coffee on offer in the Midwest is often best described as well-intentioned.
I have a little coffee map of the United States in my head. Ogden, Utah, has a stand near City Hall that makes surprisingly excellent coffee, as well as hand-cranked ice cream. There is a Starbucks a block over and half a block down from the Hotel Fort Des Moines in Des Moines, Iowa. Springfield, Illinois, has an excellent Italian deli downtown that sells good espresso roast for refilling the suitcase stash on long trips, and so on.
On that coffee map now is a little espresso stand in a church parking lot a mile from my house. There are coffee stands every half mile or so all the way to work, and this one is on the wrong side of the road for my morning trip in, but one day traffic was light and I swung across the road on impulse to try the place.
Called Jacob’s Well, it benefits the local church. The coffee is cheap, and each cup comes with a little sticker on it bearing a biblical Proverb, most of which make pretty good sense.
And the coffee is outstanding. It is so consistently good that I have a pre-paid card in my wallet all the time and I stop at least two mornings a week.
I asked a long time ago where they get their coffee, and the barista told me it was roasted in Everett by a company called Silver Cup.
I’ve been meaning to make my way up to the company to buy a couple pounds for around the house, but I’ve been short on time for months.
Then someone suggested I write about One Cup, a repurposed coffee stand at the corner of U.S. 2 and Main. The stand, I was told, raises money for things, some local and some international.
That sounded like a good story, especially given the season, so I pulled up to the window. As I waited, I noticed coffee mugs in the window for sale. They all said Silver Cup on them.
Sure enough, One Cup serves Silver Cup coffee.
It turns out that the guy who founded Silver Cup also owns One Cup, and the story of what he’s doing with it on behalf of people in Kenya and people here in the Sky Valley is quite interesting; you can read about it in this issue.
In short, owner Christian Kar has partnered with World Vision, which found so many matching grants that, for each dollar spent on One Cup beans, a full dollar goes to World Vision.
The thing that really perked (sorry) my interest was that One Cup has a subscription program. You can sign up for a certain amount of deliveries of Silver Cup’s One Cup line, and they’ll come right to your door.
Santa, are you listening?
I have to recommend that to anyone shopping for a coffee lover.
Silver Cup coffee is really remarkable; smooth, non-acidic and rich, so good a straight espresso with a splash of cream is not something to be bolted, but savored. (I bolt it anyway, but boy, it’s good for that second-and-a-half).
And if there’s anything that could improve that roast, it’s knowing that every dollar you spend for it results in a dollar going to projects in communities far, far less fortunate than ours.
That’s a good cup of coffee.