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No American city is more closely associated with coffee and coffee culture than is snobbish Seattle, Washington. From the Emerald City’s brief turn as America’s self-obsessed ‘It City’ in the 1990s, certain aspects of the Seattle phenomenon persist into modern times. Of these, perhaps none is so undeserved as Seattle’s reputation as a coffee Mecca. The practically-Canadian city is thousands of miles from the nearest coffee crop.
This delusion manifests itself in the cancer-like proliferation of Starbucks, and in the tellingly-named Seattle’s Best Coffee. The city has seized upon an advertising vacuum created by the marketing unsuitability of actual coffee-producing countries. After all, most Americans aren’t aware that Uganda, Ivory Coast or Guatemala even exit. Vietnam is out, having achieved the rare distinction of beating the US in a war. Likewise, the slogan “Columbia’s Best,” would undoubtedly infringe upon trademarks already owned jointly by various cocaine cartels. And of course, advertising Mexican-grown coffee is a non-starter, largely because Americans are already up to their eyeballs in unscheduled Mexican imports.