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Monday, October 16, 2006

Coffeehouses are 21st century malt shops

Jack Vaughn munched on a ham sandwich and sipped a café latte Monday afternoon at Java Jaay coffee shop on Sixth Avenue Southeast.

Vaughn, who moved to Decatur in April, lives only five minutes from Java Jaay, which offers books, meeting rooms, wireless Internet and cozy corners with couches. The coffee aroma-filled café has become his second home.

"You walk in the door, they call you by name," he said. "These are the only people who call me Jack."

Along with other Java Jaay franchises, several other area coffee shops have sprung up in the past five years, as the trend has spread from coffee-obsessed Seattle to northern Alabama. The coffee shop culture is fueled by consumers like Vaughn who love going somewhere — other than on a TV set in Boston — where everybody knows your name.

The trend is so strong that from 1999 to 2004, the number of coffeehouses nationwide increased from 12,000 to 19,000, according to the New York-based National Coffee Association. The NCA has tracked detailed coffee consumption statistics for more than 50 years.

Source: The Decatur Daily

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