Ketchikan is a Coffee Town
By JEFF LUND
August 17, 2016
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - This is a coffee town, probably a coffee state. You need it to talk. You need it to fish. You need it to hunt. You need it to kayak. You need it to be, or to tolerate, tourists.
As an English teacher who fishes (or a fisherman who teaches?) coffee is vital to my existence. The sweet (bitter) nectar is necessary to ensuring I function properly. Okay, maybe that’s a little much. I do like coffee but as a casual consumer. I don’t need it or get headaches if I don’t have it, I just drink it. By the way, when I say coffee, I mean coffee with coffee in it. Not something like a 620-calorie white chocolate mocha. That’s a drink, not a coffee. I take my coffee black unless I’m fishing in northern California or Oregon, in which case I’ll get an Annihilator from Dutch Bros because it helps me catch trout and has a cool name.
Anyway, there are really two divisions of coffee.
The first is the place you go simply because you need a brain slap. You don’t get the trucker blend at a truck stop then stick around to see what’s good. You get the largest size and get back on the road.
The other coffee style is the sit down and relax sort of way. You go there to visit with friends, tell fishing stories loud enough that everyone can hear, read the paper, eat or write.
Where you drink your coffee is almost as important as the coffee you’re drinking. No one wants to spend an hour sipping a few cups at a place you can’t stand. So with all that in mind, here are the best places to get caffeinated with a book, laptop or a friend.
5. Refiner’s Roast. It’s quiet, the seating is comfortable and the coffee is good, hot and comes in very tall cups. That’s the point.
4. The Point. For the same reasons an angler might prefer Green Bean, I’m sure plenty prefer The Point. It’s a gallery/coffee hybrid that appeals to others the same way Green Bean appeals to the angler, or New York Café appeals to those who want a mug on a creaky, aged, wooden bar. The views are good, even when it’s blowing 30.
3. Sweet Mermaids. This place certainly has a bakery feel more so than a coffee joint. It’s bright, the employees are friendly and efficient and the overall scene is not chaotic and uncomfortable.
2. New York Café. The perfect combination of ambiance, hearty mugs and coffee you can drink all morning. Boats floating in the harbor, old wooden tables, it just feels right to sit there and let the morning slide by. It’s the rustic authenticity that coffee chains will never, ever achieve. Ever. Because it doesn’t even try to be a coffee shop. It’s a place that happens to serve it and serve it well.
1. The Green Coffee Bean. Was there any doubt? All fly shops worth anything have a coffee pot but this is a fly shop that’s a coffee stop. How can any other coffee joint compete when there are fish on the wall, flies in a case and rods in a stand? But that’s not all, you can get a great tasting, freshly roasted cup of coffee there for a buck.
Jeff Lund is a Teacher, Freelance Writer, living in Ketchikan, Alaska
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