I thought I knew a little about the coffee craze, being an avid fan and connoisseur myself! But here, in the midst of some very serious coffee drinkers I feel like quite the novice. Alaskans are definitely serious about their coffee! I mean face it, in the south, it isn't unusual for people to give up coffee during the summer months and switch to a cold caffeinated beverage. Even I would have to cut down on my consumption when the heat and humidity caused me to reach for something cold much earlier than usual. Of course, my morning still started with a couple of cups of those rich, dark and freshly ground beans even when the day starts out in the 80's.

The heat or cool of the day is not the only issue though. All year long, people in Alaska deal with either very long days or extremely short ones. YIKES!!! Can we have one or the other, please? A cup of coffee is ALWAYS in're either trying to stay awake because you stayed up until dark-which happened to hit after midnight! Or, you are trying to get through the second half of the day and its already getting dark and it's only  3 o'clock in the afternoon! What constant transition!

Thank goodness for the little life saver coffee houses. They are more like a hut or a shack that you drive thru on both sides. Even if you weren't planning on it, your car just seems to make that turn and you find yourself in line with everyone else, waiting for your turn at the window. And yes, there is ALWAYS a line, even though these cute little coffee drive-thru shops are EVERYWHERE!

I love driving around the city and spotting the little coffee shacks. Each has their own adorable personality, catchy name and enticing headline. Who could resist?? And why even try?

It had seemed to me, that in the south, Starbucks had the market on the coffee industry pretty much in the bag. With their easy to spot logo's and conveniently located shops, it was kind of a status thing to have a "Starbucks" cup in hand. But here, they are just one in the many and not necessarily the label to be sporting.

Alaskans are big on "organic" choices and most of the local coffee companies offer it in large quantities. As far as I can tell Starbucks just doesn't make the cut in that area. Although they have added an organic option recently.

Alaskans are also very supportive of everything local. The option for local over something trendy will usually win out from my experiences.

So here, in this winter wonderland of snow, ice and freeeeeeeezing temperatures, the little no name coffee shacks with big bang coffee will continue to line 'em up!!



I have been collecting pictures since I first arrived and I think this will be an ongoing hobby. I just can't help but to admire them!

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