Monday, October 20, 2014

Guest Post: Coffee Addicts Unite in Minnesota by Stacy Verdick Case

I hope you read my review of Stacy's new book a little ago, 
now I have a wonderful Guest Post from her for you!

Some of you may have noticed the coffee cups adorning the covers of all of the Catherine O’Brien books and wondered why. It’s because Catherine like so many of us (okay me) has a monstrous coffee addiction. Catherine being a native of Minnesota would have been indoctrinated from birth to drink the bitter brew. If you’re from Minnesota you are now nodding your head in understanding.

For Minnesotan’s our coffee drinking is the stuff of legend. We have a coffee habit in this state so epic that the recent news story that a drought has caused a worldwide coffee shortage made me fearful of leaving the safety of my home. I’m not kidding folks, I wanted to hide under my bed until it all went away.

Seattle may think they are the coffee capital of America, but Seattle is just a city. Minnesota is an entire state of coffee hounds. I’ll throw down on that point, so bring it! We’ve even decorated water towers to look like giant coffee pots. I kid you not.

mn water tower

My own hometown of Willmar Minnesota has the Celebrate Art Celebrate Coffee festival. Look it up! Then there’s the Calhoun Coffee Festival in Minneapolis. You see my point here we are cuckoo for coffee in this state.

Our state’s addiction/obsession goes way back. There’s a book called Coffee Made Her Insane by Peg Meier, the title comes directly from a headline in an 1895 Minnesota newspaper about a woman who drank 20 QUARTS, not cups, QUARTS of coffee a day. This predilection her defense lawyers claimed (you’ll have to read the book to find out why she was in need of defense­ sorry I’m no spoiler) made her lose her mind.

I once crossed the border into Wisconsin for a family wedding and witnessed a near riot when a table of Minnesotans were informed that while we could have all the beer and mixed drinks we wanted for free, we were not allowed any coffee. Not even if we wanted to pay for it ourselves. I was able to head off the riot when I requested a round of Irish coffee hold the Irish. Hey! It’s a mixer. I’m sorry to the bride and groom who had to pay mixed drink prices, but really what were they thinking? Why would you draw the line at the least expensive drink on the menu?

My own coffee addiction is a blockbuster, though I’m nowhere nears the 20 quarts the insane lady drank­I bow to her fortitude. I started becoming an addict as a small child. I was 9 or 10 and ordering coffee with breakfast. When the wait staff would glance at my parents for confirmation that it was okay, they would concede. They knew if they didn’t I would just drink theirs. 

Before you judge my parents, I should let you now that they did not give me my first coffee, it was my Norwegian grandmother. My parents tried to deny me coffee, and they threatened that coffee would stunt my growth. I don’t believe in old wives tails, so I could not be dissuaded. The fact that I’m just over 5 feet tall has less to do with coffee, and more to do with my ancestral lineage of wee­ women.

Now that I’m an adult and there’s a coffee house on every corner, with drive­ thru’s, and even coffee roasters inside my grocery store (that’s right we roast the bean right inside the grocery store here – God Bless Dunn Brothers) my habit has grown mammoth. I even hold a Starbucks gold card, which is their way of saying thank you for the bottom of our retirement funds you addict. If you see me carrying two 20oz coffees when I walk in the door . . . run. Don’t look back, just go. Hide until both cups are gone. Do not attempt to approach before the last drop is coursing through me.

Catherine’s coffee habit trumps mine but only by degrees. The warning above would be equally apt if you see Catherine with two cups of coffee. Those around her know her weakness and accommodate her. Of course she needs it to wake up in the morning, but those in Catherine’s life use coffee to sooth her before delivering bad news, or to calm her down after. And had Catherine been at the Wisconsin wedding I spoke about earlier, she would have pulled her gun and taken the bride hostage when the waiter said, “Sorry but you can’t have any coffee.”

When you venture into Catherine’s world just know that it’s all in fun, though some of the coffee related incidences in the book aren’t entirely fiction. That is the only confession I’m going to make.You can decide for yourself which ones you think are real and which are fiction. Just remember if you ever meet anyone from Minnesota you can start out on the right foot if your conversational opening is, “Can I get you something to drink? A coffee perhaps?”

About the Author :

Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.

Stacy has written all her life earning a High School Writer Award and a Daphne Du Mauier Award for excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense.Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband of twenty ­years, her five year­ old daughter, and their two cats. Visit Stacy on the web at, on Facebook and Twitter! And check out her cool Pinterest Pages too!


  1. Thank you for letting me be part of Bless Their Hearts Mom!

  2. I never knew Minnesota was that into to coffee. I am a big time coffee lover myself.


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