The Seattle Weekly

Visit for coffee on Mondays, at The Seattle Weekly.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Don't bother asking goo-gl.

Today, I finally accomplished two goals I've been struggling with for a couple of weeks now. First, I finished the initial draft of my paper on the history of the motet. Second, I found Java Bean Espresso. More on the paper later. For now, coffee:

It's not that Java Bean is particularly difficult to find. It's just that I didn't know where it was. I'd seen it in passing, and I knew which side of the street it was on, but not which street it was on the side of. In an attempt to visit the location last week, I shot a text to Google with the name and zip code, and it (as it ought to) sent me back an address. But it wasn't the address I was looking for... or the address of anything, as it turns out, except maybe a private residence on a one-way street I'd never driven down before. It certainly wasn't a coffee shop. So, after multiple trips down both of the streets I thought it might be on, I gave up and went home. Turns out, I was u-turning about a block shy of where I wanted to go. Java Bean Espresso is located at 5819 24th Ave NW in Seattle, and I'd only driven between 59th and 75th on 24th, though I'd been driving 50th to 65th on 15th. Obviously, neither was a productive use of my time.

Having been betrayed by Google Text, as will happen from time to time, I consulted Google-proper today before leaving the house. And, I'm happy to say, it sent me to the correct location. Here's my un-requested review:

This was a particularly inarticulate and indecisive day for me, which is a fantastic test of barista patience, and I can (gratefully) say that this crew passed with flying colors. Going so far as to humor me with a lengthy explanation of why "shade grown" makes a difference to the coffee bean. (Curious? Start here: Shade Grown Coffee) They serve organic, fair trade coffee, which is ideal... but it's also Tony's Coffee, which exists somehow on the order of Turkish coffee (ie, you can't see through a single americano if you hold it up to the light), and doesn't win prizes for originality. I do like the Elephant logo, though.

On the negative side: It's busy. Not in terms of customer volume (although, that too) so much as in reference to the way things are displayed. Whether I was actually feeling inarticulate and indecisive, or merely overwhelmed by an excessive number of cookie jars is difficult to say. Musical selections didn't always help. And they do not offer wifi, but as it can easily be... borrowed from surrounding establishments, that made no difference to my student-driven coffee-shop-haunting.

On the positive side: I sat there for 5 hours, studying, and was not glared at a single time by the staff. They turned the fireplace on for me when I remarked, 3 hours in, that it was cold. And the espresso mole is different from the average mexican mocha. In a good way. So if you're getting bored with mocha-land, I fully recommend checking that out. Also, I admit that the ski-lodge decor is charming. (Which is what they were going for, I'm pretty sure.)

Now, about the paper: I've decided that getting a Master-of-anything degree is a ridiculous idea. The purpose behind the papers is to demonstrate mastery of the subjects. But let's be serious here: when was the last time you actually mastered a subject? Let alone, say, ten? I'll be ecstatic if I walk away with working knowledge of the ten topics I have to write about. I think I'll be shocked if I've mastered any of them. We need to think of a new title. Preferably, one that can go before my name, like Doctor would, if I were getting a doctoral degree. Master Rose gives entirely the wrong impression.

1 comment:

Patty said...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being "a jack of all trades and a MASTER of none". Take from me, your uncle Jim.
Mastering anything is overrated!! Expectations from yourself and not-yourself get in the way of just doing a great job.
Take these posts on the coffee houses you are visiting (Please take these posts-Thanks Rodney), since you are on the way to your Masters people read the posts with a different level of expectations, in your case some low and some not-so-low.
Seriously (thanks again Rodney), the blogs are a great read and it's nice to see you have mastered the are of drinking coffee.
JT