Ward’s First Publisher’s Letter


first publisher's letter

(Photo: Jan Weigel.)

People wonder what lunacy takes over one’s mind to get them into the publishing game. When the experts say most of America is getting all the news and entertainment it needs from television, when the experts say that periodicals are yesterday’s potatoes and are shutting down all across America for lack of readership and advertising, when the experts say it must be pure ego to see your name as publisher, why do it?

I can only reply: Coffee made me do it! Hot coffee. Strong brewed Sumatran. Flavorful, nutty Mexican. Steaming in a ceramic mug on a cool morning. Cold over ice on a hot afternoon. My personal love for good coffee began when I started cheffing at the Pettygrove House Restaurant in northwest Portland in 1974. Sandy Shea (whose Chez’ Shea Restaurant in Seattle’s Pike Market is now world renown), Mike Mullins, Mary Gidney and I tested, tasted, brewed and finally settled on Dave Kobos‘ french roast coffee, which we would pick up weekly at his small shop in the Water Tower on Macadam Avenue. We brewed it strong in small batches. We loved it. Better yet, our customers loved it. People flew in regularly from San Francisco and Seattle to eat our food and drink our coffee. Now, almost twenty years later, all of America is waking up and smelling the coffee. Good coffee. Cappuccinos, espressos, lattes, mochas.

So you see, it’s simple. As Americans, for many reasons, are shying away from traditional alcohol-oriented gathering places, they are looking for an alternative. I believe that alternative is found in the specialty coffee house, the espresso cart, the coffee bar. A latte and biscotti are replacing the martini and nachos.

It only follows that a change in lifestyle this pronounced needs a voice. Fresh Cup Magazine is that voice. Each month in Fresh Cup you will find information about that which is drawing us together; coffee. Every issue will feature articles of discovery for the first-time specialty coffee drinker as well as entertaining and informative articles for the caffeineophile. Our award-winning writers, photographers and artists will inform, entertain, and, we hope, make your time with coffee more pleasurable. Fresh Cup is printed on recycled paper using soy-based inks, recyclable and biodegradable. We welcome your comments as to how Fresh Cup can better serve you and the specialty coffee industry. So sit back, relax, have a Fresh Cup, and enjoy.

Ward Barbee, Publisher