Of course we’re jittery in Bel Air — we’re parents!

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In today’s Baltimore Sun, insider-gossip columnist Laura Vozzella writes Bel Air has the 14th-highest java-to-resident ratio in the nation, according to epodunk.com. We have approximately 3 Starbucks per person here according to their stats. Mayor Terence O. Hanley couldn’t tell her why that might be. But isn’t it obvious? Bel Air is a town of sleep-deprived overscheduled parents. Starbucks picked up on this right away and opened not one, not two, but three coffee counters in a half-mile area in one of the busiest spots for getting parental things done. Sleepy-eyed moms can triangulate between the Starbucks tucked inside the Bel Air Shopping Plaza Target, the Starbucks attached to the Barnes & Noble across Route 24 in the Tollgate Mall Shopping Center and the Starbucks sold at the lunch counter inside the Bel Air Athletic Club just behind the Harford Mall. And that’s not even counting the Starbucks in the Abingdon Target or the one up Route 22 or all the non-Starbucks coffee shops scattered throughout the area’s shopping centers. Here in Bel Air we like to multi-task our coffee breaks. When getting a venti-sized fix means we have to untangle toddlers from car seats, we’ll wait until we’re near the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through. But if we can grab a cup while we’re shopping for school shoes or picking up a gift card for birthday party, we’re far more likely to ante up for an over-priced caffeine fix.

From Laura Vozzella’s column:

Getting all jittery in Bel Air

Is Bel Air a hotbed of caffeine addiction? I ask because the town has more Starbucks per capita than any other place in Maryland — and most towns in America, for that matter, according to the Web site epodunk.com.

Bel Air has only three Starbucks. But the town only has about 10,000 residents, creating a java-to-resident ratio high enough to rank 14th nationwide, the site found.

Mayor Terence O. Hanley is at a loss to explain why citizens there might be particularly coffee-crazed.

“We’re a pretty tame group here in Harford County and Bel Air. I don’t know,” he said. “I grew up in Harford County. I can remember when farms outnumbered everything.”

Hanley is among those willing to shell out for the famously overpriced, overroasted joe. He skips the maple macchiatos, though.

“I’m a regular coffee guy, nothing real fancy,” he said. “And I can only drink one cup a day because I’m a high-strung guy.”