You just can’t find good coffee outside Portland.
That’s a fib.
We found tasty java in New York. But Istanbul? Paris? Rapid City?
Not so much.
A delightful garden boutique on Alberta Street in Portland offered me a demitasse of espresso while I browsed for birthday presents.
While window shopping in Amman, Jordan, a storekeeper insisted I accept a cup of his local brew.
During my fellowship in Amman I found the local grocery store devoted a corner of the market to coffee.
Buckets of coffee beans await your order and the table is piled with cakes of white powder that look like chalk.
The chalk is cardamom: a spice Jordanians add to their boiled coffee to give a distinctive nutty flavor.
Locals select their beans and an employee grinds the coffee with your specific instructions on how much cardamom to add—a dash, a healthy dollop or a generous dose.
My relative John, who lives in Rapid City, welcomes us with strong coffee from his single-brew machine.
He first pours a cup for Wakonta—the great spirit—and places it on the kitchen sideboard.
The offering will remain in place all day: a reminder of priorities