Eclectic Coffee Spots in Puget Sound

Marsha Glazière | Jan 29, 2013, 10:37 a.m.
Tacoma’s Marsha Glazière uses her artist’s sensibilities to capture the ambience, architectural character, motifs, furnishings, curb appeal, and distinguishing personality of 120 Eclectic Coffee Spots in Puget Sound. Her new book features 41 paintings, text, photos, maps & recipes.

It is very hard, if not impossible, to live in the Pacific Northwest, specifically the Puget Sound region, and not become seduced by, and ultimately become part of, the pervasive coffee culture that thrives in this part of the country—come rain or shine.

Eclectic COFFEE Spots in Puget Sound represents my journey into the realm of coffee establishments around the Sound. It is filled with my own paintings and photographs along with impressions of what I observed taking place in various coffee spots.

As an artist, my goal in creating this book was to celebrate the visual and eclectic nature of a particular Puget Sound coffee spot, perhaps its ambience, its architectural character, the motif, furnishings, or curb appeal, whatever its distinguishing personality might be. My book does not seek to focus on the characteristics of the coffee but rather on the place where we imbibe.

There have been many famous coffee drinkers for whom coffee has been a focal point of daily life and inspirational thought. Some famous coffee drinkers include Balzac, who had his own blend, Goërte, Jean Paul Sartre, Napoleon, Beethoven, and Voltaire, who was known to drink fifty cups a day.

My own transcendent experience with coffee began in the 1970’s. One of my family’s rituals on Saturday mornings was to eat breakfast at the Athenian in Seattle’s Pike Place Market and then meander through the many fabulous produce and craft stalls. We would explore the various shops located along the market’s charming, cobble-stoned street. On one such excursion we detected a wonderfully inviting aroma beckoning us to a shop called Starbucks.

That was in 1976 and that is where I learned that coffee did not necessarily come in a vacuum-packed tin, but rather in the form of intoxicating freshly roasted beans to be ground, brewed and savored with great intention…. forever.

Since that time, coffee itself has become a ritual for me.

I can’t actually pinpoint the moment when the muse struck to create a book depicting coffeehouses. As a coffee lover, I have had my share of lattés in numerous coffeehouses and, as an artist using a visual language, I have been able to reflect the world in which I find myself a part. Being immersed in a mega-culture of coffee consumption, could not help but be influenced by and inspired to paint about my coffee going experience. However, it took at least a year for this book to incubate and ultimately command my attention.

As the coffeehouse phenomenon took hold in Puget Sound, so did the desire to seek the perfect coffee spot to take a coffee break with our friends, kids, neighbors, school mates, and colleagues along with our books, electronic devices and pets. Without a doubt, each coffee establishment in the Puget Sound region offers its own distinctive and savory environment.

During my eclectic coffee spot exploration, I discovered an amazing, overwhelming at times, treasury of coffeehouses, coffee concessions, and coffee kiosks. I tried to confine my survey strictly to coffee purveyors, but increasingly found that many of these popular establishments are serving wine, beer, and cocktails, offering live music and facilitating special events, thereby extending their hours and embellishing the coffeehouse visit.

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