Restaurants and Coffee Shops in Longview, WA
It was 22 years ago when avid coffee aficionado Ken Guse called a friend in Eugene who had built a remarkable coffee roaster.
That friend immediately got to work on constructing another big coffee roaster, which Guse eventually purchased and trucked back home to Longview. He’s been using that same roaster for more than two decades to keep his coffee shop in downtown Longview buzzing.
“Back when I purchased my roaster, there was no such thing as fresh ground coffee in Longview,” says Guse, owner of Guse’s (pronounced Goo-ZAYZ) Gourmet Coffee, which is located on Commerce Avenue. “But having the freshest coffee imaginable is the reason why I started my business, and I continue to roast coffee beans each and every day for my customers.”
Guse purchases green coffee beans in 155-pound sacks and then roasts them at 450 degrees in the back portion of his shop. After a cooling them, he packages the beans and then retails them the same day.
“When you open any random can of coffee that you purchase at the grocery store, the first pot of coffee tastes wonderful but then each subsequent pot tastes less and less desirable,” Guse says.
“That’s because when you hear that whoosh and the coffee smell first comes out from the can, all of the coffee freshness goes right by your face. That’s why fresh roasting is really where it’s at for true coffee devotees.”
The Guse’s Gourmet Coffee line of products includes Columbian, Costa Rican, Guatemalan, Mexican, Ethiopian and Kenyan blends.
“The Pacific Northwest is known for its excellent coffee,” Guse says. “My store is just one of many such successful businesses that exist in Cowlitz County.”
That statement is so true. Other thriving coffee businesses in Longview include Common Ground, Espresso Express, Hava Java, Intermission, Kaffeine Café Espresso and Quiver & Shake. Meanwhile, Kelso also has its share of coffee house hotspots, including Jitters and Coffee Cabin, while Coffee Cabin also has another store in Castle Rock.
The newest coffee shop in Cowlitz County is Kwik-E-Kup, which opened in January 2009 on First Avenue in Longview.
“The reason why my business might stand out from the rest is that I feature the very popular Batdorf & Bronson brand – I have the only coffee store in Longview carrying that brand of premium roasted coffee,” says Janice Bates, who owns Kwik-E-Kup along with her daughter, Denise James. “We also have other specialty drinks such as steamers, chai teas, smoothies, Italian sodas, Big Train mochas and hot apple cider with caramel.”
Bates agrees that Cowlitz County residents can be passionate about their coffee choices.
“I open my business at 6 a.m. because customers are already clamoring for their first brew at that early hour of the morning,” Bates says. “I wonder if coffee is the most popular beverage among the adult population in Cowlitz County? My guess is that it is.”
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