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Driven to Espresso

Drive-through coffee stands in the Northwest

“The retail phenomenon of Starbucks neither arose from a coffee wasteland nor left one in its wake. As this photographic journey amply demonstrates, individualism is alive and well in the land of caffeine. With a few scattered text entries, the visual contents of this small book—better sized for a tea tray than a coffee table—lovingly demonstrate the eccentricities that arise when shop owners ply their wares in unconventional buildings. Mostly small, these edifices are of all shapes and sizes, including tiny drive-throughs, modified trailers, windmills, mini-barns, converted gas statinos, log cabins, and more than one faux boat. Just the ticket for java lovers and the architecturally curious. And for those who want to know more about these little stands, the author blogs regularly on the theme at and tweets on Driven2epresso.”

—The Bloomsbury Review

“Somebody had to do it. Driven to Espresso is a wonderful portrait of the Northwest’s commitment to coffee lovers. It’s an endearing documentary that depicts the absurdity of the regions’ vice, which inevitably had to be recorded. Ray Weisgerber is the dedicated photographer who carefully compiled a representation of the Northwest culture’s need for espresso through his descriptive photographs of the most strikingly odd and quirky espresso joints. This documentary project is a well-rounded view of what you’ll find on the outskirts of the city. I feel lucky to be a part of the Northwest coffee culture and don’t mind a bit if others view us as crazed coffee snobs. Ray’s photographs reveal that we have something really special going on here.”

—Ann Pallesen, Gallery Director, Photographic Center Northwest

Thank you Ray for creating this book! I appreciate your skillful capturing of this memorable part of our Northwest espresso culture and history. It is a compelling documentary of our quirky and passionate fascination with espresso coffee and its many venues in the Northwest.”

—Kent Bakke, CEO, La Marzocco

“Naturally, the preface of Driven to Espresso does include a small amount on bikini espresso stands, but, for the most part, it’s a picture book about espresso coffee stands in the Northwest. Some—are interesting! Some—are vacant (, literally.) This would make a wonderful gift for someone who doesn’t live in the Northwest but who thinks coffee is cool. Or someone who misses fishing shacks.

—Will in Seattle, as reviewed in The Stranger

“A successful photographer in his own right, Ray Weisgerber has put some of his coffee love into a soft cover book that we can all enjoy—and on several levels. Ray Weisgerber’s photos encapsulate a part of the American experience that is familiar and reassuring.

— Full story

“The lure the book held for me was an odd sensation. I don’t drink coffee. I don’t like coffee. But, here I was living the coffee drinker slash adventurer lifestyle vicariously through this interesting book. I told Ray he really hit the nail on the head. Then I drank my juice and wondered if I might not be missing something after all.”

—Mark Monlux, Grand PooBah at Monlux Illustration

“Driven to Espresso is the perfect book package: great concept, excellent photographs, and a successfully communicated vision that tells us something new about the topic and the world we live in.

—Mike Greenstein, Owner-Operator, Mike Greenstein Writing & Editing

Browsing through Ray’s book, I want to get ready for a road trip. I want to see those drive-throughs, drive-bys, and stop-ins. And while we’re at it, make mine a double!”

—Joan Vermeulen, production editor, Adobe Systems

“Entertaining and insightful, Driven to Espresso takes the reader on a journey through the culture of the drive-through Espresso stand. The distinctive and striking photos reflect a genuine delight in the variety and personality of the subject matter. I recommend this book to anyone who has an appreciation of unique photography and the quirkiness of American roadside attractions.”

—Barbara Carey, Graphic Artist

“In his book, Driven to Espresso, Ray has captured the essence of the coffee culture in the Pacific Northwest. I would recommend it to anyone who has ever driven by an espresso stand and chuckled. Definitely the cure for the common jitters!”

—Jason Kaufman, CEO, Streamline Technology, LLC

“Apparently, our fascination with the mobile cup is not ours alone. Ray Weisgerber photographs the region’s drive-through espresso stands for his book, Driven to Espresso: Drive-Through Coffee Stands in the Northwest. These beautiful black and white photos showcase the amazing variety of drive-through coffee stands, from a double-decker bus to a trailer staffed by a bikini babe.”

—Multnomah County Library librarian blog

“I really enjoyed your book Driven to Espresso. I am in the process of trying to start a coffee drive thru in the Washington DC area and your book was very insightful and creative.

—W. Lee

You wouldn’t believe what a huge smile was on my face while I was looking through the book. I could just imagine Shirley patiently waiting in the car while you jumped out and stalked your drive-through big game—circling cautiously to find the perfect angle that would capture your unique perspectives (both linear/visual and point of view, not to mention artistic), juxtaposition of type and form, compositional design, and whimsy. I am also very impressed with the quality and depth of your writing, research, and knowledge on the subject. But I hope people who buy and read the book don’t see it only as a record of some of the many cool, fun, and entertaining structures used in this “significant niche” of the coffee culture. It’s that, of course, but there is so much more. I hope readers will appreciate the beauty you’ve created in each photo and the care you’ve taken with the layout of the book itself.”

—Al Tudor, West Street Enterprises

Media and press reviewers may obtain a complimentary review copy by emailing a request (


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