Our Coffee Obsession


lo/cal coffee shop in santa monica

My friend Luci, from Luci’s Morsels, at Lo/Cal Coffee in Santa Monica

Happy National Coffee Day!  Yes, that’s a thing.  When did we become so obsessed with coffee? Sure, coffee has always been a part of everyday life;  my mom would fire her Mr Coffee coffeemaker up every morning, filling our home with the delicious aroma. She was the only one in our home that drank coffee, but everyday she’d make a fresh 10 cup pot and nurse it all day long.  (I’d often go to use the microwave and find a cup in there that she started to reheat and got sidetracked from.) If I was lucky, she’d give me some on ice with cream and sugar, and I would feel really grown up! I’d head outside with my tall glass of iced coffee and make sure the other kids on the block saw I had it because that obviously made me more grown up than they were!  This didn’t happen often though because, as I’m sure you’ve heard, coffee stunts your growth.  At least that’s what my mom told me.  Maybe she wanted those ten cups for herself…

late and book from stumptown coffee

Stumptown coffee, downtown LA

Funny enough, I don’t drink coffee.  I honestly don’t care for it… unless it’s on ice with a ton of cream and sugar.  (I’m sure I have my mom to thank for that.  It reminds me of her each time I drink one.) But oddly enough, I love the aroma and flavor.  The smell of coffee brewing transports me.  And I can’t say no to coffee ice cream (Haagan Daz, please) or coffee flavored candies. Although I don’t contribute to the estimated 146 billion cups of coffee consumed in America every year, I am, however, a big fan of mom and pop coffee shop culture.  Find the right shop, you’ll find a community. My daughter just loves studying or reading in them, as well.  And she loves her lattes, so I always get my dose of cute latte art to photograph!

four barrel coffee shop in san francisco

Four Barrel coffee shop in San Francisco

Wallethub crunched some numbers and came up with a list of the 100 Best Coffee Cities in America. Not surprisingly, Seattle tops the list with Portland coming in a close second. My home town of Los Angeles, is fifth on the list with Laredo, Texas picking up the rear.

Here are a few of my favorite independent coffee shops to hang out at (I hear their coffee is good too!):

Many coffee shops have special savings today, for National Coffee Day, so hopefully your favorite neighborhood shop will be hooking you up! It’s always good to shop local and support small businesses whenever possible but if you’re curious about what many chain coffee shops are offering today, visit here for a list. Salud!

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I’m Karen, a Los Angeles based photographer. I always aim to document real moments, waiting for that one thing to tell it’s story. And everything and everyone has a story. These images are how I see the world. Welcome.



Los Angeles, CA


karen ard