You might not have thought about it before, but there's a connection between the trees in your yard and coffee. Both have roots in Seattle, and both are diverse. Like coffee, trees range from light to medium and dark. While they don't taste as good as that fresh cup of pour-over you might be sipping, they're as pretty to look at as an exquisitely decorated espresso. Both your coffee and trees are important to your home.
Seattle's Coffee History
Although plans were in the works before, Seattle's coffee history officially dates back to 1971 when the first Starbucks opened. The name for the coffee company comes from Moby Dick, one of the most popular books in American history. Specifically, the chain was named after Starbucks, who was the first mate. Initially, Starbucks just sold bagged beans of coffee. Today, you can still go there for whole beans, along with fresh coffee, tea, and food.
Joined at the Hip
Although Washington and California are separate states, their coffee cultures are very much entwined. In fact, it was a California coffee company (Peet's, which is still popular today) that lay the foundation for the development of Starbucks. The first Peet's store opened in California in the mid-1960s. Along with coffee, it specialized in tea, too. What made Peet's unique among its competitors is that it did not serve generic, pre-ground coffee. Instead, it was the first company that experimented with different types of beans. In tribute to the spirit of diversity and democracy that its patrons embodied, Peet's experimented with beans from around the world.
Starting a Revolution
Later in the decade, several coffee connoisseurs and intrepid businessmen decided to try their luck bringing California's popular coffee culture to Washington. To begin, they purchased large quantities of whole beans from Peet's. The beans were delivered to the company's first brick-and-mortar location on Western Ave in Seattle. Initially, Starbucks simply packaged and sold bags of whole beans to consumers. With the popularity of their beans on the rise, they decided to open a storefront that also sold hot beverages. The first Starbucks cafe location, which dates back to 1976, appeared in the Pike Place Market. The same original shop still stands there today.
The Coffee Culture Branches Out
If you look at the trees in your yard, you notice that they all have branches. In autumn, those branches are adorned with beautifully colored leaves. This shows that the trees are alive, healthy, and strong. Like a tree, an industry does not thrive if following a linear path. Naturally, this applies to the coffee business, too. The arrival of Starbucks in Seattle, which quickly expanded outward, opened the door of opportunity for other coffee companies. Not long after Starbucks planted its seeds in town, smaller independent coffee shops sprang up. These coffee shops were developed to adopt and maintain the same values and purposes that their predecessors in California and Europe embodied, which was to create a place for community members to gather and discuss ideas. At a time when Starbucks signaled conformity, they supported diversity.
While smaller coffee shops populated the streets of Seattle, Starbucks set its eyes on bigger sights. The company's popularity expanded through the 1980s. Eventually, this led the company's owners to consider an expansion. By 1992, there were 165 Starbucks stores across the country. That number nearly doubled by the following year. By 1994, Starbucks had 425 coffee stores and cafes across the country. To make an analogy closer to home, that's essentially a full forest of trees,
Diversity at Home
Although the number of trees in your yard probably doesn't equal the number of Starbucks stores in the country, they have nevertheless followed the same pattern of growth, expansion, and reproduction. Getting to know what trees you might find in your yard gives you a sense of place. When you know what species are growing on your property, you'll also be able to provide them with better care.
Big Leaf Maple
If you notice a tree with bright yellow leaves, it may be a big leaf maple. This species is identifiable for its five-lobed leaves that bear some resemblance to a human hand. These trees can grow tall and cover your yard with shade. As they lose their leaves, they also blow winged seed pods to the ground. This makes for a fun spectacle to watch, the pods also provide food for foraging animals.
Washington is called the "Evergreen State" due to its abundance of evergreen species. You probably have at least one species, if not more, on your yard. One of the most common species is the Douglas fir. This tree is identifiable for its three-pronged cones and needles that extend upwards and outwards. The wood of the Douglas fir is quite durable, which makes it a valuable tree for construction purposes. This species also has comparatively thick bark, which makes it resistant to fires.
Western Red Cedar
If there's a big, hardy, fragrant tree on your property, chances are it's the western red cedar. This species has a distinct aroma of cedar. Its scent is strong but still pleasant. The bark of the cedar has a reddish tint. It is also fibrous and tough. The needles are scaly and long. This tree is highly resistant to rot, which is due to the presence of resins in its bark.
Even though Washington is called the "Evergreen State," its state tree is a hemlock. Specifically, it is the western hemlock. This tree is identifiable for its small cones, which are about the size of a human thumbnail. This species also has relatively short needles. Although the western hemlock is most prevalent in Washington, its range extends to Alaska and California.
The next time you're going to get a cup of coffee, or the next time you are out removing leaves, think about the history of both. Although quite different on the surface level, both have important roots in Seattle. By now, you might have a better idea of the trees in your yard and how to manage their care. But if you need assistance, don't hesitate to contact Lawn Love for professional and affordable assistance.