Edge of the Lake Magazine August | September 2022

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STORY LIV BUTERA PHOTOS STEPHANIE MILLER

The American writer Adam Gopnik once said, “You can’t have a decent food culture without a decent coffee culture: the two things grow up together.” The word “decent” is not exactly how most would describe the food culture here in Southeast Louisiana. Our food is world-renowned, and we know it. We live it. Many of us cook with century-old recipes every day. Monday red beans anyone? What is in your morning mug though? Like a probable fair amount of you, my family always brewed a big pot of Community Coffee every morning (Between Roast being our preferred blend). Baton Rouge company, established in 1919, is the largest family-owned coffee brand in the United States. With Community Coffee and other major brands roasting right here in Louisiana, we have been lucky enough to have easy access to good coffee for more than 100 years. On the Northshore, coffee culture has grown

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EDGE August | September 2022

exponentially in the last 15 years. Many of us grind our own coffee, explore local roasters, and seek out small businessstyle coffee shops over that giant Seattle-based company whenever possible. Coffee shops are the nerve centers of our communities. In Slidell’s newly opened Sirincci Coffee Company, where I happen to be writing this feature, I hear a young mother ordering a jazzed soda to get her through the rest of the day. I hear a group of teenagers playing UNO in the back room. I see a young man in headphones on his laptop, perhaps working on an online college class. There is a palpable energy, and not just from the caffeine. All walks of life come into coffee shops just like this one to work, commune, and yes… caffeinate. It is where college essays get written. It is where we power up for a long day at work. It is where musicians get their first break, and where many artists sell their first piece. It is also the setting of countless