Posted by Jason Diamond
I can’t tell you how many writers have told me that the Ace Hotel is their favorite destination to go to and write when they are feeling brave enough to venture past 14th Street. Why? Because Donald Glover hangs out there? Because all of the baristas dress like they’re extras from “Gangs of New York”? No — it’s because they have Stumptown coffee.
In the last few years, I’ve watched Stumptown join the family of obnoxious words and phrases that includes “yoga,” “juice cleanse,” and “gentrification.” To some people there is coffee, and then there is Stumptown. I don’t know why they’ve chosen Stumptown, because I can think of a dozen fantastic local coffee shops within five minutes of my house that are just as good, if not better, for coffee and reading or writing. But while I’ve been sipping my coffee at the joint down the block, Stumptown has become the Jesus Christ of caffeinated beverages.
Don’t think that I’m pointing fingers–because sometimes I drink Stumptown coffee too. Now that my office is mere steps from the Ace Hotel, I wait in line for upwards of twenty minutes to get my morning coffee. The coffee tastes good, but no man should wait for 20 minutes for one cup of black coffee.
When I am angry at the morning line, I justify the wait by reminding myself that the other options are two shitty bodegas, a food cart, and about sixteen Starbucks. I can’t go to Starbucks, because I have worked in coffee shops before and I know what goes on behind those green doors. Even though Stumptown is trendy, they still feel like “the little guy” so I drink their coffee anyway.
As of today, I might not have to wait in that line anymore, because according to Todd Carmichael at Esquire, Stumptown owner Duane Sorenson has “sold his life’s work to the highest bidder.”
My official stance: WHATEVER. I’m sick of caring that much about your coffee. Take my advice–there are only two things you you should ask from a cup of coffee:
1. Does it that taste like the blood of a poor farmer in a tiny country? The coffee trade has been shady for centuries, and only now are we slowly (emphasis on slowly) getting away from that. I would rather pay the high price of knowing that somebody wasn’t beaten or killed to fill my cup.
2. Can I drink it without milk? I like my coffee black. If I can’t drink it black, your coffee is shit.
Stumptown totally nails my coffee test, and since I’ve spent half my life crying about people selling out, I will have to pretend the buyout didn’t happen in the name of consistency.
Honestly, I just want my morning coffee.