Rain City Without Drip? Babcock Stages Coffee Party Protest

April 1, 2010, Seattle, Washington. Coffee prohibition could very soon become a reality. Skyrocketing tariffs along with a proposed Seattle coffee tax will make Rain City drip dry. According to the Department of Coffee Regulation, Seattleites have become sleep deprived, jittery, and generally unhealthy due to record-breaking coffee consumption. "The entire city is hooked on caffeine. Coffee should be taxed and regulated heavily, just like cigarettes - we need to cure Rain City residents of their caffeine dependency."

The Seattle coffee tax, which proposes to slow down the city's coffee consumption, would require neighborhood cafes to pay a 10% tax on every coffee served or shut down. "It's unfortunate, but we might have to start drinking bootlegged brews," says Bob McCormick head of the Serious Coffee Drinkers Society.

Livid at the thought of putting his beans on the black market, Jeff Babcock, owner and founder of the local Seattle coffee company, Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Company, staged a protest at the Port of Seattle yesterday--and it might go down in history books. Clad in a tri-cornered hat made entirely out of coffee filters, he dumped bags of Zoka's most premium coffee, Colombia Villarica Cup of Excellence, into the Puget Sound. "We won't stand for the illegalization of coffee and I wanted to make that known," he said. "Coffee is an American right and using a high tariff to virtually ban it from Seattle is unconstitutional." When asked for a statement about why he would use his most premium beans as a protest prop, Babcock replied, "If our customers can't have them, I don't want anyone to."

This is the second Coffee Party uprising Jeff has participated in. In September of 2003, Babcock protested a latte tax by throwing burlap bags into Green Lake. This time around, his percolated protest attracted the attention of the Seattle Police and the Puget Sound Guard, who wondered why the normally murky gray waters turned the color of cappuccino. "We thought sewage somehow leaked into the Puget Sound. Brown water and coffee grounds washed up on the shores of Alki Beach," said Seattle Puget Sound Guard Chief, Mike LaGilio. "Then we saw someone dumping burlap sacks of coffee grounds off this turn-of-the-century ship and it was like stepping back in time."

After watching the scene for a few minutes, the Puget Guard decided not to detain Babcock. "Coffee is a way of life on our ships and we're just as upset as he is about the thought of Coffee Prohibition. We let him off with a ticket and a stern warning." No marine life was harmed due to the roaster's revolt.

The Serious Coffee Drinkers Society said it will try and control the tariffs before they become too high and cafes start shutting down. "If we don't do something soon, we're going to be a dry city. Seattle will never be the same. The Department of Coffee Regulation declined further comment on Babcock's actions.