Monday, August 12, 2013

Coffee time. Nice!

Nice Coffee Time fig. a:  hot off the presses!

Liz Clayton is a world-renowned coffee expert and a hardcore coffee lover.  She also writes, knits, loves cats, plays pinball, takes a lot of photographs, and travels extensively, sometimes in the company of a rock 'n' roll band or two.

She's just published her first book, and it documents (in photographs and words) an international coffee odyssey that took her as far east as Nordic Europe (Iceland, Denmark), and back and forth across the United States and Canada, from Boston to San Diego and Victoria to Atlanta.

coffee odyssey fig. b:  odyssey

And all in the space of a single year (!).

The photographs capture recommended coffee establishments in all of the far-flung cities, towns, and regions Clayton visited (Reykjavik!  Santa Cruz!  Oklahoma City!), as well as intimate portraits of fellow coffee enthusiasts in their abodes, either fixing up a cup of coffee, or fixing to enjoy one.  Together with the text, they provide some sense of the scale of the Third Wave Coffee International (at least the roasting, brewing, enjoying aspects of the industry), as well as some sense of the surprisingly mellow, well-adjusted, and good-natured people who inhabit this highly caffeinated scene.

SF coffee time fig. c:  415

You might be asking yourself if Ms. Clayton made more than a token effort to cover Canada as part of her survey, and the answer would be, "Yes!  Clayton is something of a Canadianophile and Canadian cities are covered in some detail."*  In fact, Clayton visited favourite cafés in Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.

You might also be asking yourself what the test kitchen at " endless banquet" looks like, as well as what method Michelle uses on those rare occasions when she brews a cup of coffee in it.  (Seems highly unlikely that such questions would be crossing your mind, but you never know.)

Mtl coffee time fig. d:  514

Luckily for you, all you have to do is pick up a copy of Nice Coffee Time to find out, because Michelle is featured right above a photograph of Café Myriade (natch!), and right next to an account of Clayton's adventures in the Montreal-Boston corridor.

Is Michelle an example of "the surprisingly mellow, good-natured people who inhabit this highly caffeinated scene"?  Why, yes, she is.  As long as she gets her morning fix.

You can find Nice Coffee Time in select coffee shops and bookstores now, as well as on Amazon soon.  It brings new meaning to the phrase "coffee table book."


* She also holds a Canadian passport, if I'm not mistaken.

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