God in a Cup

October 19th, 2008 by Dawn

After a whirlwind Sunday hitting the foodie highlights around Seattle, writer Michaele Weissman stopped by the Muse Coffee Company in Queen Anne for a meet-up with Seattle food bloggers.  Michaele is a freelance reporter and is in our coffee-crazed town to talk about her book, God in Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee, released this summer.  Bloggers Traca Savadogo and Keren Brown had gathered us to get Michaele’s take on the coffee world.

Michaele Weissman chatting with Seattle food bloggers

Her interest in coffee was piqued when she discovered office coffee clubs popping up in companies around the country.  After writing about the trend for the Washington Post, she was inspired to dive deeper to learn more about the young guys driving this coffee culture, and write about it in her book.  She followed coffee-obsessed buyers around the world, to coffee farms in Nicaragua, Ethiopia, and Panama, and along the way, she became coffee-obsessed herself.

In our conversation, she talked about the strange disconnect between foodies and coffee.  She herself was one of those foodies who didn’t understand coffee, until her epiphany one day with a perfect cup of cappuccino.  She finds it fascinating that high end restaurants everywhere focus on sourcing the highest quality food yet neglect that cup of coffee that ends the meal.  She recounted stories that Eric and I could easily relate to, where the coffee can be downright awful at some restaurants.  Why is that, when there are so many great roasters out there?  It seems like the shift toward better restaurant coffee is coming, particularly here on the West Coast where more and more restaurants are pairing up with their local roasters.

Joining us was Brent Martin, owner of Muse, who had insights on our local coffee community.  When Michaele pointed out that every coffee house owes their livelihood to Starbucks, since they carved out the market, Brent nodded.  He said he’d actually be happy if Starbucks moved in across the street, because it drives business to places like his, where people seek out quality.  This was our first time visiting Muse Coffee Company, and it won’t be our last.  Brent opened the shop in December after 11 years in the coffee business, and this place holds its own with the serious cafés in town.

Michaele is pondering her next book idea.  She wants to know, what’s the next thing that people would find to be an interesting book topic?  Drop her a line to let her know your thoughts.

And if you’re interested in meeting her yourself, she will be at Caffé Vita for a One Pot / Kim Rickett’s dinner this Tuesday.  Email hebbory@gmail.com to reserve your seat.

Muse Coffee Company
1907 10th Ave W, Seattle
(206) 282-2711

Muse Coffee Company on Urbanspoon

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