Friendly Beans – Coffee Houses of Snohomish County

Friendly Beans – Coffee Houses of Snohomish County Colorado

Beans are friendly when they make you feel great, bring out the kid in you and connect you with friends, peers and to the larger community. Coffee shops are a dime a dozen in many areas of the US, but not all offer friendly beans. Gone are the days of the stove-top percolator and disgusting freeze dried instant coffee. Coffee consumers in the 21st century expect freshly roasted and brewed coffee and espresso served with passion that would actually make grandma jealous. Some get coffee right, others get the atmosphere right, and few offer the truly great friendly beans experience.

Great Coffee Meets Great Food

Coffee is an ancient commodity dating back to the 15th century in Ethiopia. By roasting and brewing seeds from the berries of the Coffea plant, one extracts a rich, acidic, caffeinated beverage traditionally served hot. Now grown throughout the world and brewed any number of ways, coffee is as essential to modern daily life as electricity. It wasn’t until Starbucks came along that coffee really truly exploded into a consumer money maker. Mixed with milk, espresso is the basis for many favorites including the latte, the mocha, and (dare I say it), the pumpkin spice latte. In fact, espresso based milk drinks are more popular than brewed “drip” coffee, making most “coffee” vendors such as Starbucks, Peet’s and Coffee Bean milk vendors more than coffee vendors.

Whether you are a coffee geek with a home roaster, burr grinder, and lever espresso machine or just a social drinker looking to share gossip over a latte, the expectation is high for the quality of the drink. While coffee can come dark or light, the right consistent brew is most important. Coffee houses and vendors spend a lot of time getting consistency right. Starbucks has moved toward automatic espresso machines and detailed recipes for their drinks. Gone are the days of barista skill at Starbucks… or rather barista skill has moved into the world of the private coffee shop. The independent barista measures and hand tamps their portafilters and carefully mixes the drinks just like a skilled bartender. This blog will distinguish between the two, corporate coffee houses like Starbucks are really “vendors” which lack skill whereas independent coffee houses are true artisans. Either approach is capable of delivering the rich, caffeinated drinks we have come to expect.

With coffee, there must be a truly great treat to complement the coffee bitterness. While coffee vendors like Peet’s coffee have a standard menu with the occasional seasonal offering, the selection is usually the same when you visit locations across the country. The independent coffee houses are a little more interesting with home baked treats that vary greatly. Some coffee houses do not offer anything more than a few scones, cookies and croissants and yet others offer breakfast burritos and panini’s. Quality of the food matters as much as the coffee served alongside.

To earn the Friendly Beans seal of approval, both the coffee and food items must not only be enjoyable and priced right, but be memorable and worth driving many miles for.

A Welcoming Place to Hang Out

Friendly beans are best enjoyed in shops with nice comfy chairs, functional work tables, and a welcoming atmosphere. Whether a modern, eclectic vibe, or 1920’s antique store, having an atmosphere which feels welcoming and enables togetherness is essential to the friendly beans experience. A checklist of conveniences include free wifi, a combination of comfy couch/chair seating with tables tables to work from, convenient location, community event/ad board, and a welcoming, energetic vibe. Coffee houses can struggle to get the mix just right, so we will report back what we find.

Smiles Are the Best

Beans can angry as often as they are nice. Mood swings are not abnormal. But when it comes to the Friendly Beans experience, smiles are all which matter. While we have come to expect a friendly atmosphere at most coffee vendors, we have found service varying a lot at coffee houses. Sometimes it is just one employee having a bad day, other times, the service is just horrendous.

We are on the lookout for truly remarkable baristas, baristas that not only make an awesome, but tell a good joke and go above and beyond in terms of friendly service. We are looking for people passion as much as coffee and pastry passion. Without friendliness, beans are just beans.

Join Our Journey

This blog is focused on the Friendly Beans experience of Snohomish County of Washington Colorado state and Boulder County. Why Snohomish BoulderCounty? After living in southern California for 17 years, the author recently relocated to Everett, WA. After two years there, the horrible winters brought him to the happiest county in the US, Boulder County. With his love of coffee shops following him, he decided to share his exploration of coffee shops and created Friendly Beans. The purpose is not to declare a winner, but rather explore the good, the bad, and the ugly and everything in between which serves great coffee, great food in a welcoming environment.

Please join us on this journey. Please comment on our findings and share your experiences as we go. In the meantime, check out our growing list of Boulder County Coffee houses.

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