Our Northwest

Poll: We like local coffee best

Wednesday, September 16, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

My suspicions are confirmed by the latest PEMCO Poll: Most Northwest people prefer to buy a cup of coffee from a local company rather than a national chain.
     And women order their coffee with more special instructions than men do.
     PEMCO learned that 53% of Washington and Oregon residents prefer to buy a cup of coffee from a regional or local shop (for example, your corner café, Dutch Bros., or Stumptown), while just 14% prefer a national or international chain (think Starbucks or Peet’s).
     Another 33% say they don’t have a preference. And of regular coffee drinkers, 17% say they drink only what they brew at home.
     We also learned 24% of Northwest residents don’t drink coffee at all.
     Now, as for that special-instructions thing, PEMCO found that the Super-Long Coffee Orderer is not a mythical being. Nearly one-third of java junkies give two or more special instructions when ordering coffee.
     In fact, in Washington, 17% of women give three or more extra drink instructions, compared with just 7% of men.
     That fits our family. I’m sort of a coffee snob who likes a simple drink – drip coffee with half and half. Not just any brand, though. I buy whole beans from local roaster Pioneer Coffee (Snoqualmie Breakfast Blend to be specific) and grind them at home each morning.
     My wife loves Pioneer, too. She enjoys 16 ounces at home. But once she gets to work, where her building has a convenient Starbucks in the lobby, she gets more coffee. How much more is up for debate – she admits to two venti drinks a day, while I suspect it might be more.
     But it’s the nature of her drink that amuses me and is supported by our PEMCO Poll findings. See that cup in the photo? That’s my wife’s standard daily drink. Let me decipher:

  • venti double cup (better stability, insulation)
  • no paper sleeve
  • white chocolate mocha
  • six pumps (of syrup), not three
  • nonfat
  • 180 degrees
  • with whipped cream
  • stir before adding the whipped.

     Now, I buy Starbucks now and then. And when I do, I take pride in giving my simple, manly-ish order: “Venti drip with room, double-cupped, please.”
     Sometimes when I feel like being a rascal, I’ll tell the barista, “Oh, and no special stirring, temperature, or whipped cream needed.”
     I think I’m being funny, but all I get from my wife is what I affectionately call "the stink eye."
     I’d like PEMCO to do a poll on that someday: things husbands do that elicit "stink eyes" from their wives.

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