"The fact is, I don't know where my ideas come from. Nor does any writer. The only real answer is to drink way too much coffee and buy yourself a desk that doesn't collapse when you beat your head against it."

— DOUGLAS ADAMS

3 reasons to pay more for your coffee

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<Coffee for the Average Josh, Part 3 of 10> I got my start on coffee like a lot of people do, as a substance to wince-and-swallow like a caffeine pill before a session of late-night homework. To be fair, some coffee tastes like steaming sludge, as if someone snuck potting soil into the filter. (Hey, it’s already been ground.) But when I […]

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Growing up on the coffee farm

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<Coffee for the Average Josh, Part 2 of 10> Imagine you are a young Arabica coffee bean, brimming with hopes and dreams. You yearn to make it to the big-time: say, served up at a specialty coffee shop in Seattle. You may as well aspire to be the starting quarterback for the Seahawks. If this is your ambition, the road will be […]

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Where do coffee babies come from?

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<Coffee for the Average Josh, Part 1 of 10> Before Mr. Coffee drip-dropped this morning’s pot, or your favorite barista handed you your latte …   Before 12-ounce bags stocked grocery shelves, or your local roaster supplied the neighborhood drive-thru … Before the beans were roasted brown or even came to town … Where do coffee babies come from? When we are […]

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New series: Coffee for the Average Josh

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If you have a thing for Starbucks light roast coffee, my friend Jordan Farris advises to be careful how you order it. “I’ll take a tall, hot, skinny, blonde latte” just might malfunction a nearby steam wand. But what if you didn’t know Starbucks serves a Blonde Roast coffee — or what a steam wand is, for that matter? Enter a new […]

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Crazy coffee orders that were actually placed

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To introduce a new series on coffee literacy called Coffee for the Average Josh, I asked some friends about the craziest coffee orders they’ve ever received. The responses didn’t necessarily help me discover gaps in what people know about coffee, but they did prove that people have a sense of humor … “A 24 ounce caramel, creme de menthe, white chocolate powder, […]

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Why I’ve missed coffee shops …

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I once asked CJ Curtis her secret to repeat customers at The Garden, her Spokane Valley coffee shop that has soared in its first year in business. The customer service? The Indaba coffee? The avocado toast? “Personally, I think it is the presence of God; I really do,” she said. “I believe that people can sense his presence even if they don’t […]

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Help for your writing (with Bobby Knight)

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For quarantine last week, I introduced the daughters to a famously temperamental basketball coach known for his adversarial relationship with writers. One thing led to another, an old chair was thrown and an obscenely under-funded video was produced. I’ve been trying to brand the communication side of the business with the tagline, “You do great things. I do your writing.” Perhaps more […]

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Free gift!

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Are you a “scone-eating savage”? Blissful Whisk Owner Tiffany Cable prepares her scones like the Queen of England thanks to long-remembered advice from her grandmother. My free gift to you: Learn how to enjoy a proper scone and tea like the Queen and discover other standout coffee, tea and food options that fuel the people behind 10 of your favorite Inland Northwest […]

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10th annual Liberty Lake Photo Contest

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Send in your photos for a chance at the cover of the 2020 Liberty Lake Yearbook, cash prizes and a story about your photography! We will print as many of the best photos as possible in the 2020 Liberty Lake Yearbook (glossy magazine distributing in late March/early April) Top three photos receive cash prizes Winner’s photo appears on cover Winner featured in story (great opportunity for […]

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My books of the year for 2019

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Only since 2017 have I kept track of my reading (thanks, Goodreads). I wish I would have done so for years, as books have influenced my direction and priorities in life in so many ways. As a journalist, I should know better about citing and remembering the source of so much inspiration.  The best I can do is start today. Following are […]

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Letter from the Publisher’s Dog

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Note from Josh: The letter below ran in the front of the 2019 Liberty Lake Yearbook. I include it here because Fifa does a good job explaining where some of our “sponsored content” comes from. Starting with our 2020 Liberty Lake Yearbook, “content marketing” pieces from our print publications will also be included in the “Friends” section of this website. Dear Liberty […]

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‘You are what you say you are …’

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One of my all-time favorite gifts was a few simple words placed in a frame. Pictured below, it’s a reminder my wife had custom-designed for me by our friend, Brittany White. This is the story behind it … I was Skyping with a pastor in Uganda who has become a dear friend. Ronald’s church was preparing to take a pair of special […]

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