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March 24, 2006

What You Don't Drink, Serve

I'm in Vancouver for the next 6 or so days. The first four are devoted to the IA Summit, and then Stacy and I plan on staying a couple extra days to look around. (If you are a Vancouver reader of peterme and want to get together, email me.)

Anyway, this morning I wandered into the closest coffeehouse, Fahrenheit/Celsius Coffee. Looking at the choices, I asked the man behind the counter which roast is best. "I don't drink coffee," he replied. I turned to the woman behind the counter, "Me, neither."

Oops. By that point, I couldn't really turn and run, so I forged ahead with a cup of French Roast. Which was not a great cup of coffee -- brewed bitter and acidic.

But, really, mostly I was surprised that a coffeehouse would be run by people who don't drink coffee.

Posted by peterme at March 24, 2006 07:31 AM

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I don't drink coffee, but I'm fairly scientific about how I make it (yo Good Eats!), so everybody who's ever had my coffee seems to have genuinely good things to say about it.

(including my sig. other, who is intensely picky about his coffee.)

I would be surprised to see a whole coffeeshop run by non-coffee-drinkers, tho. Were they the proprietors, or employees?

Posted by: Elaine at March 24, 2006 09:57 AM

Forget about whether they drink coffee or not. How about customer service basically that knows nothing about their products and therefor cannot help you. THAT is the bigger problem. If they don't drink it, they should at least know the differences, just like a vegetarian at a restaurant that serves meat dishes... you don't have to be a consumer of a "product" to have at least basic knowledge about it.

Posted by: sloanNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 24, 2006 10:16 AM

Hi Peter:

We haven't met but I've followed your blog for many years.

I'd like to do a 5 minute Video Blog conversation with you (stream of consciousness no preparation required and no editing will be done :-) !) at the Library Square Pub on Saturday night in Vancouver. I'll be posting it on and YouTube

Let me know if that works via email (roland AT , IM or calling me on my mobile at 604 729 7924.


p.s. If you need Vancouver restaurant recommendations, check out and email if you need more

Posted by: Roland Tanglao at March 24, 2006 11:26 AM

I found Trees Organic at 450 Granville this morning and really enjoyed it. They also had a killer scone. TO roasts their own coffee in small batches so it is always fresh (so they say).

Posted by: vanderwal at March 24, 2006 03:26 PM

Try not to drink coffee. More of a tea person now ... but love the coffee smell ... you just cant beat it!

Posted by: Daniel Szuc at March 24, 2006 06:01 PM

Happened to me as well, only that it was the sommelier at a restaurant in Miami, who, when asked which wine he would recommend, stated "I'm sorry, I don't drink alcohol"

Posted by: Tomas at March 25, 2006 03:41 AM

As you well know, your vegetarian Mother is the most versatile and satisfying preparer of meat dishes within our knowledge. Cannelloni and rigatoni with sausage meat balls, braised ox-tails, sauted lamb and pork chops, veal marsala, Dave Chasen's chili....

I could go on and on, as you know, but it's making my mouth water just to write this. The point, of course, is that your Mother has never tasted these exquisite concoctions. And it's not just the family. Everybody who eats here feels the same way.

How does she do it?

Posted by: BJMe at March 25, 2006 05:27 PM


Checked for about 5 minutes, but couldn't find the email address. Would love to meet up. Let me know when you're available.

- john

Posted by: John Koetsier at March 25, 2006 08:38 PM

I am also in town for IASummit, and I accidentally wandered in there. They were super nice, but seemed perplezed that I did not want food. I had tea, so I was pretty safe. They did have an internet station, and it's all I really went in there for anyways. I did like the name!

Posted by: jenny at March 26, 2006 10:10 PM

I guess the fact that your cup of coffee was bad might be due to the fact that the people behind the counter didn't drink the stuff. So how would they know if they were pouring out swill. They probably burned it.

Kinda like employees at software companies who never use the software they create. It's gotta be bad.

Posted by: Richard Friedman at March 27, 2006 11:00 PM

Vancouver hole in the wall restaurant info:

Posted by: Roland Tanglao at March 28, 2006 02:17 AM

I agree-people should definitely know what good coffee tastes like before they serve it.

Posted by: Marine mania at March 28, 2006 09:45 AM

I had to post - and I am a coffee addict.

I like the light, dark and weird roasts.

It should be a sin to not drink coffee and work in a coffee shop.

Posted by: Chuck at March 28, 2006 06:09 PM

Testing your mt-comments.cgi

Posted by: DH Test at March 29, 2006 09:53 PM