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Good Coffee Comes to the Rogue Valley
Good Coffee Comes to the Rogue Valley   
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
By Dennis M. Powers

Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson

It used to be hard to get a good cup of coffee in the Rogue Valley and the rest of Oregon.  That's all changed.

Said one aficionado, "Coffee was watered down ink when I left in the late 1960s. When I returned here in 2002, this was espresso land.

Today's coffee kiosks adorn nearly every major street, offering fancy coffee-based drinks, from double-shot espressos to fruit smoothies and mochas.  Every morning, cars line up as regular customers patiently wait for their first caffeine of the day.  Each hut serves a large variety of specialty brews from premium, hand-blended  beans roasted daily for freshness.   

One of the pioneer companies in the Valley, Dutch Brothers Coffee, began as an espresso cart hauled out by brothers Travis and Dane Boersma [Boorz-muh], former dairy farmers in Grants Pass.  Today the coffee kiosk chain has 150 company-owned and franchise locations that roast more than a million pounds of coffee beans a year.  Other successful regional companies include Medford-based Mellelo Coffee and the Human Bean that opened its first store in Ashland, Ore., in 1998.

Caffeine cravers don't have to look far to find a good cup of coffee these days.

Today's episode of As It Was was written by Dennis M. Powers, the program producer is Raymond Scully.  Im Shirley Patton.  As It Was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society.  To share stories or learn more about the series, visit asitwas

Sources: Internet:;;; "Dutch Bros. co-founder dies at 55" Medford, Ore. Mail Tribune by Jeff Duewell, Oct. 16, 2009:;  "Caffeine Cravings Keep Dutch Bros. Growing."  Business Wire. Jan. 16, 2009: 

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