Showing posts with label Seattle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seattle. Show all posts

Friday, May 31, 2024

Realfine Coffee


Part of the Fill in the Coffee Map Series

Subject: Realfine Coffee
Location visited: 35th Ave, West Seattle, WA
WiFi?: sure
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Nothing compares to the feeling of getting back to a place you missed. This feeling proved to be a profound experience in returning to Seattle recently. Back in 2019, I had last been in Seattle right before the COVID lock downs, and now that much of that was behind, I was jubilant to return to one of my favorite cities. 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Cafe Red



Subject: Cafe Red
Location: Seattle, WA
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

I had never before visited Seattle in the winter, but for a trip in February it was quite beautiful, especially compared to a NJ winter. Aside from the general warmer weather, the green evergreens of the area wonderfully offset the dreary skies, but the likely silver lining to Seattle that had the most effect is the plethora of coffee options.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Viora Lid


As I have learned in the past years, there are legions of coffee lids out there for your paper cups. Back in my early coffee days where I cared more for the caffeine than the flavor, I recall life with the crummy fold-the-lip-back flat lids that more often than not proved one tear away from an epic spill. Then when I began frequenting quality establishments, I graduated somewhat exclusively to the Solo Traveler, a fine top that offered more drink stability, though it took some time to master little things like not positioning the spout at the cup seam, and how to use your tongue tip to control flow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mugged: Peru La Convencion [Caffe Vita]


Subject: Caffe Vita
Coffee Mugged: Peru La Convencion
Rating [see key]: 4+

For a brief time in my life, I lived walking distance from a good coffeehouse called Rockford Coffee. Ironically it was also the poorest time in my life, so regular visits were not as regular as I would have liked, but when I could justify it, this coffeehouse was a pleasant haven for quality coffee and enjoying some downtime. Rockford was also my first exposure to Caffe Vita, and in the almost ten years since I first sipped a Vita coffee, I've always had my eye on company developments such as new locations (in 5 cities now) as well as their ever-evolving list of coffees.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

CC: Porchlight Coffee



Subject: Porchlight Coffee and Records
Location: Seattle, WA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

If there is one hobby I wouldn't mind picking up, it's buying records. I love the sound quality (especially of older, original albums), the huge disc shape and the seemingly undying surge of record collectors. If anything, it's purely the abundance of other stuff in my life that keeps records at bay.

Yet despite my lack of record keeping, I still love record shops and I love it when the concept of a record store fuses with that of a quality coffeehouses to create a megazord like Porchlight Coffee and Records. Residing on 14th between Pine and Pike, the coffeehouse has a pleasant muted exterior that funnels into a simple cafe, with white walls, large open windows and two namesake porch lights dangling from the ceiling near a rare Seattle skylight that does a good job of pulling in the limited rays.

As for coffee, they sling local Herkimer Coffee. As I perused the records that fine morning, I grabbed an espresso of their Espresso Blend and a drip of their Drip Blend.  The espresso, pulled short with a brown crema, smacked of a delicious blend of lemon, roast chicken, rosemary, cocoa, salty caramel and a little seltzer amidst a deep body. The drip proved a little too smoky for my liking (had a minor flavor of tobacco on the back end), but it still made for a tasty cup with notes of wheat, cashew, sage, spinach and some olive oil.

Except for the drip (which was still good and could have very well been a fluke that day), Porchlight made for a convenient quality coffee stop, whether you seek records or not. Make your way over when you're in town.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

CC: Broadcast Coffee



Subject: Broadcast Coffee
Location: Seattle, WA (Capitol Hill location)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]


Often when I listen to the radio during my frequent commutes, I more and more have come to fully grasp the heavy handed power of sponsorship. Between commercials and overtly redundant product placements in broadcasts, it''s a wonder that I still listen to the radio.

Fortunately, the cream rises to the top and with a society of cream lovers, you'll hear the wonders of great establishments regardless of their radio ad budget. Places like Broadcast Coffee in Seattle exists as one such place I would extol as a coffee spot worth a go. With two locations, I was able to wind my way to their Capitol Hill cafe one gloriously sunny afternoon. With it's red flat awning and a line of chairs, the shop owns a simple exterior that leads inside into a warm interior, with high-top wood tables, sleek black chairs and ample lighting.

The coffee hales from Sightglass and Stumptown, both excellent roasters starting with "s." I ordered an espresso of a Sightglass Guatemala and Clever Dripper of a Stumptown Ethiopia. The espresso, pulled short with a brown crema, smacked of vanilla, orange, sassafras, nutmeg and some butter, all together producing a bright and slightly malty sweetness that delivered fireworks. The Ethiopian rolled out notes of mellow cocoa, pear, sweet lobster, wheat and shiitake amidst a medium body, also proving delicious in its totality.

To reiterate the basic gist, I found my visit worthy of remembrance. Next time you're around Seattle, tune into Broadcast Coffee for a visit you can set your presets to.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

CC: Empire Espresso Bar



Subject: Empire Espresso Bar
Location: Seattle, WA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]


One brisk morning south of downtown Seattle, I found a great prospect for morning coffee in the Empire Espresso Bar. Situated in a sleek brick building within the Columbia City neighborhood, Empire seemed to have the all the trappings of a worthwhile destination: a good reputation and Kuma Coffee

Inside the cafe is cozy with an intimate layout allowing for maximum seating and close proximity to a team of chipper baristas. In the back, there's even a garage door that opens in nice weather to a pleasant shared courtyard. For my coffee, I ordered an Ethiopian for the espresso and a Panama via a Clever Dripper. The espresso, pulled short with a tannish/brown crema, spelled out a melody of heavy lime, seltzer, tomato, rosemary, hefeweizen and pine, proving bright and complex. The drip of the Panama doled out notes of apple, molasses, brown sugar, sunflower seeds, beef bullion and some spinach amidst a medium body; a coffee all together nutty, sweet and scrumptious.

The Empire Espresso Bar proved to be every bit worth the stop, a fact it seems the locals have not overlooked (i.e. it was packed). If you happen to be in the proximate vicinity, stop by for some great coffee.



Monday, April 22, 2013

CC: Metronome Coffee



Subject: Metronome Coffee
Location: Tacoma, WA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]


When I get over to the Seattle area, I try to make it outside the city for at least one adventure in a nearby destination. This last time I went out of my way to Tacoma, the "City of Destiny", to do a quick driving tour and of course grab some evening coffee.

Catching wind of a few places, I settled upon a spot with a rather large space called Metronome Coffee. Situated in a corner building with a gorgeous outside patio (for nicer weather), the interior is eclectic with clean horizontal lines, bright lights and an overarching classy feel. Their coffee of choice was Victrola (a perfect choice given the musically-related names of each establishment) from the north, of which I had the Streamline blend for espresso and an Ethiopian Wote Konga for a pourover. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, held nicely balanced notes of vanilla, fig, cocoa and salty peanut; a stellar beverage throughout. The Ethiopian pourover rang of fresh blueberry muffin, wheat, teriyaki, sage and slight Dr. Pepper in a medium body, rounding out to be one deliciously bright and delicious coffee.

After hanging about for a little open mic fun, I made my way out back to my Seattle hotel left with a desire to see more of Tacoma another day. If you make it there before I, give Metronome a stop for some great coffee.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

CC: Tougo Coffee



Subject: Tougo Coffee Co
Location: Seattle, WA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]


Sifting through Seattle's coffee scene can be, at times, more work than one would expect. Sure you have greater chances of happening upon a great coffee joint than in many other cities, but the sheer volume of coffee options can still make it hard to find a spot truly worth your patronage.

Fortunately, coffee geeks tend to be vocal and the cream rises to the top. When I was last in town, I had heard great things of Tougo Coffee on Capitol Hill and sure enough, my rental car made its merry way easily through the miry weather straight to the threshold of Tougo. The cafe sits in a brick one-story building with big glass windows and some outside seating for what nice weather can get through. Inside, the place is well lit with a spiffy wood slat ceiling (the slats technically extended to the top part of the wall) and a pleasing assortment of furniture.

The coffee comes from a variety of roasters such as Stumptown, Ritual, Oslo and Kuma. That day I had an Ethiopian from Kuma Coffee via espresso and a mystery coffee via drip (the barista literally forgot what she brewed that morning). The espresso, pulled short with an even brown crema, held notes of blueberry, molten chocolate, sweet nougat, jam torte and a little sage; a bright spro with a smooth body. The unknown drip coffee proved delectable as well, with elements of curry, biscuit, deep cocoa, basil and a bit of cashew amidst a medium body.

All in all, Tougo tugged firmly at my sentimental gut strings, proving well worth the stop. If you travel to Capitol Hill, toot over to Tougo.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

CC: Milstead and Co.



Subject: Milstead and Co.
Location: Seattle, WA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

A lot of folks in the coffee industry are very altruistic when it comes to fellow compatriots of the trade, but no matter how often I see or hear it, I still find it odd to for a barista to recommend another's coffeehouse. Such was the case, this time in Seattle when I was talking to a pro about where to go for coffee in the city, and this chap emphasized that if I were to go nowhere else, I should hit Milstead and Co.

Fortunately, his heavy-handed recommendation lined right up with my plans and I was able to stop by Milstead and Co.'s in their Fremont digs, right down the street from the fabled Troll. With a sleek, minimal exterior with an overtly enticing glow, I walked into their pleasantly huge space, with a coffee bar the size of a racquetball court surrounded by a pleasing assortment of tables and chairs, not to mention a shared zany patio with the History House next door.

The coffee comes from many a spot, and that morning I settled on an aeropress of Coava Coffee's Ethiopia Kilenso Sidama and an espresso of Stumptown's Guatemala Finca El Injerto Bourbon. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, sang of grapefruit, honey, charred oak, a little apple juice and some nutmeg, proving to be overall very potent and deliciously flavorful. The aeropressed Ethiopian also proved delicious, with notes of wheat, blueberry, vanilla french toast, fresh pear and a little black tea and cocoa.

Clearly, Milstead and Co. did great justice to the high marks given by their peers. If you happen to be in Seattle, stop by for a great cup of coffee. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mugged: Indivisible Blend [Starbucks]





















Subject: Starbucks
Mugged: Indivisible Blend
Rating: 4+ [see key]


Starbucks has historically been a mermaid bent on dark roasts. Instead of showcasing the nuances of coffees in light and medium roasts, the green machine put all of her chips in the cloaking flavors of dark roast oils, which tend to make most coffee taste similarly ashy and bitter. Sure some people love their darkness and many others don't even notice aside from the pungent notes of sugar and cream, but for someone who likes black coffee, I turned my back years ago and never really looked back.

But it seems the years have led Starbucks to the conclusion that some folks like light and medium roasts and hence a few months ago, they began to change their strategy with the advent of their Blonde Roast. Their lightest roast ever, free of all exterior oil, I wondered as to how these beans would fare against similar beans at chains like Dunkin Donuts. My opportunity came with their newest Blonde Roast, the Indivisible Blend, which showed up at my door a few weeks ago. Not only did it have a patriotic flare just in time for the summer holidays, but it also pledged a portion of each sale to the Create Jobs for USA fund.

With my curiosity piqued, I cracked open the bag and sampled it via drip, french press and siphon.

The drip held out notes of cookie and caramel (like a Twix), hard pretzel with extra salt, spinach and tootsie roll amidst a heavy body. Twas good but a little too salty and a bit heavy for me.

The french press proved better than the drip, holding a lighter medium body with notes of caramel and cookie, spinach, a bit of apple and a pinch of salt.

The siphon offered the best of show, with heavy flavors of caramel and cookie, almost syrupy in potency but light in body. Some salt and tootsie roll also made appearance on the end.

Though the coffee proved a tad stale in each infusion (sadly normal for large roasters), it seems Starbucks has found its non-dark roast stride amongst other giants like Archer Farms and Dunkin Donuts. If you're a fan of non-dark roasts and you frequent Big Green, sample some of their the Indivisible Blend. 


note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback. 
 

Saturday, February 05, 2011

CC: Neptune Coffee

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What's does "CC" mean?

Subject:
Neptune Coffee
Location visited: Seattle, WA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating:
6+ [
see key]




Usually when I use the word neptune in a conversation, it relates to SpongeBob (make poses with me!), astronomy or reruns of Hercules. But now, I gladly add Neptune Coffee to that repertoire.

Yet another glorious example of Seattle coffee, Neptune exists on Greenwood in the company of many other coffee companies (quite the quality coffee consuming community). Their cafe contrasts with its black exterior and red name emblazoned like a newspaper masthead. As you mosey on closer, their large windows give preface to their soothing interior, complete with globe lights and a long row of tables.

When it came to my order, I obtained a french press (their infusion of choice) of Allie's Extreme Laser Blend and an espresso of their El Salvador. The french press lent flavors of molasses, pecan, maple syrup, a little grapefruit and grass as well as a tinge of smokiness (a good coffee, displaying a pleasant sweetness with a touch of darkness). The espresso, pulled short with good crema, held notes of hazelnut, dark cocoa, raspberry jam, corn and a little spearmint (a well-balanced shot that proved delicious). The tea is free leaf.

Clearly the folks at Neptune rule amicably over their coffee and purvey it well. Definitely make a stop if you're in detour range.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

CC: Fuel Coffee

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What's does "CC" mean?

Subject:
Fuel Coffee
Location visited: Seattle, WA
[Wallingford location]
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating:
5+ [
see key]



Most people truly thrive on the natural boost of coffee to get through the day, a fact that has helped marketers through the decades come up with clever slogans and gimmicks. Even though I'm not a big fan of caffeine (I see it more as God's way of limiting me from having too much of a good thing), I do enjoy the creative associations that it elicits.

One of the more visually-effective metaphors that has been created over the years is that of fuel. Personally, I know quite the number of people who depend on coffee much like a machine depends on gasoline, and while I don't endorse substance addiction, the parallel is practically limitless in its implications.

Naturally, Seattle's Fuel Coffee had me allured with its name alone, never mind their reputable name amidst the credible coffee entities around town. Of their three locations throughout the city, I was able to stop at their newest location off 45th St. Their brown and white space offered a spacious cafe with wood floors, good lighting and plenty of places to rest your laurels.

The coffee offered is that of Caffe Vita. I ordered an espresso (they use the Cafe Del Sol as their espresso blend) and a cup of Queen City via drip. The espresso, pulled short with nice crema, purveyed bitter chocolate, heavy lime, cloves, cinnamon sugar and a noticeable thickness. As espresso goes, it was pretty good though a little dark for me.

The Queen City gave notes of carrots, celery, tobacco and a bittersweet character that emphasized a darker roast then I would have liked. Finding out afterward that the Queen City is blended post-roast with medium and dark roasted coffees, I can't say I would venture the same coffee again (Caffe Vita has better to offer).

I did not note the tea.

Aside from the dark leanings of my coffee experience, Fuel filled up my tank nicely. Give Fuel Coffee a visit when you're in town.




Monday, November 08, 2010

CC: Herkimer Coffee

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What's does "CC" mean?

Subject:
Herkimer Coffee
Location visited: Seattle, WA
(Greenwood Ave location)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating:
6+ [
see key]



It's still a rare find these days to see coffee roasters focus exclusively on coffees that are environmentally and/or socially responsible. But slowly enough it seems, such practices are becoming more and more common.

One Seattle coffee operation that seems to hold a healthy outlook on their products is Herkimer Coffee. I had caught wind of them due to their reputation for serving quality beans but upon a little more investigation, I was impressed to find their aims for quality extend into the ethical arena (organic, fair trade, etc).

I paid my visit to Herkimer's Phinney Ridge location one lovely weekend morning when the streets were flurried with activity and their shop full of patrons. The entire cafe has a lovely wood construction that makes it seem rugged yet dapper, not to mention the splendid accompaniment of gorgeous lighting, complimentary decor (especially the animal art) and extensive seating (both inside and out).

Of their coffee, I sampled their Colombian via drip and an espresso (which utilizes their espresso blend). The filtered coffee marched in a honey-sweet, grassy coffee with a nice earthiness, a little bright Belgian ale, some bourbon chicken and a subtle darkness that did not hinder the other flavors, but shadowed them well. The espresso espoused bitter cocoa, lemon, glazed doughnut and some dry-roasted peanut all rolled in a well-pulled short shot with robust crema. I did not note the tea.

The glory of Herkimer proved all it was foretold to be. I tip my hat to their tasty products produced responsibly. When nearby, go Herkimer.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CC: Trabant Coffee and Chai

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What's does "CC" mean?
Location visited: Seattle, WA
(2nd Ave location)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating:
6+ [
see key]



How the bustling cityscape calms to a lucid tranquility on weekend mornings. Especially in a city like Seattle, there is almost a ridiculous impetus to forgo any type of late sleeping in order to best take advantage of the urban peace.

Naturally, I also had my drive to find a good brew in the great coffee-tropolis, and hence I found myself standing at the front doors of Trabant Coffee and Chai first thing on a Saturday morning. The coffeehouse had just opened and my pal and I were the only souls present aside from the lone barista. The cafe is cavernous, with an open yet extremely well-constructed seating arrangement with vintage globe lighting.

I ordered a cup of Guatemalan Finca El Jaibal via their Clover, as well as a shot of Epic Espresso (both coffees from 49th Parallel). The El Jaibal produced nuttiness with a croissant buttery-ness, chocolate chip, some oolong and grain; a great balanced Guatemalan coffee. The Epic demonstrated well, with some cocoa, whiskey kick, pepper, sweet raspberry and a little smoke, all of which was embodied in a short pull with good crema. The tea is free leaf.

The tranquility of the early morning paired well with Trabant's wares. But even if the streets were overburdened with people, I would still make my way back. Get on down to Trabant if ye be in Seattle.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

CC: Hotwire Online Coffeehouse

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What's does "CC" mean?

Location visited: West Seattle, WA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]


Roaming the streets of West Seattle on a beautiful sunny day really allows for some beautiful views that many towns cannot compete with. The mountains amidst the various waterways really make for a nice walk. The only thing necessary to make the day a little bit better was a good lunch and a good cup of coffee.

I managed to find a really good Mexican lunch at Puerto Vallarta, with a nice burrito and chips. Afterward, I marched down the street to grab some coffee at Hotwire Coffee, a local place I had intended on hitting at a former location a few days prior. Their sole location sits in a small brick building with a fenced courtyard with several outside tables. Inside, the cafe displays a quaint space, with a few inside seats amidst brick walls and a row of desktop computers.

Hotwire roasts their own coffee, producing mostly single origins (the only blend is for their espresso). I sampled their Mexican; a saucy coffee that had prominent notes of chocolate but the brew I consumed proved overall flat due to what seemed staleness. The espresso, pulled fairly well, had a smidge of toasted almond in the front, an overall caramel-ish chocolate taste and but a small bit of charred darkness on back (not enough to ruin it). The tea is free leaf.

In the end, the stop at Hotwire made my day fairly splendid (minus the stale drip of course). The next time I'm in town I hope to make another visit on hopefully a similarly beautiful day.

If in West Seattle, give Hotwire Coffee a whirl.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

CC: Top Pot Doughnuts

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What's does "CC" mean?


Location visited: Seattle, WA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]



Breakfast pastries never really ever entice me at breakfast. Maybe it's my mind that has convinced my digestive tract that such food bodes as just quick-burning fuel and that what I want is lots of protein. But whatever the reason, there are few times I'll pick up something like a doughnut in my morning travels.

Then there are the few times where it sounds like a great idea, such as when your hotel is really close to a really fine doughnut place. During my stay in Seattle, I had such a morning when a colleague of mine, originally from Washington, had a monstrous craving for a maple bar and we decided to hit local doughnut hotspot, Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts. The place looked sleek enough, with its two-story glass front with some of the cutest bushes in a neat line along the bottom. The interior was arrayed somewhat like a loft with a huge staircase interjecting between two walls of giant bookshelves, with plenty of seating all over.

As a tremendous complement to their pastry selection, Top Pot of course serves up coffee. Admirably, they roast their own coffee in the back on a large drum roaster where they forge their doughnuts. The coffee (I believe it was their Diplomat blend) was bright and at a good roast level (no char); an overall fair coffee with potential but nothing tremendously distinct. The espresso, pulled short to medium, had the flavor of raisins up front along with a little sourness, and sadly had a good deal of char on the end. The tea is free leaf and the doughnuts lived up to the massive hype (my plain cake doughnut was great and my colleague's maple bar apparently was amazing).

While I did crave breakfast meat a little closer to lunch, Top Pot really made an amazing stop for a light breakfast. And while some of the coffee aspects could maybe grow a bit (the doughnuts need no change), I definitely will be hitting Top Pot next time I'm in the Emerald City.

So if you're up for a good doughnut and cup of coffee in downtown Seattle, give Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts a try.

Monday, May 04, 2009

CC: Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Co.

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What's does "CC" mean?

Location visited: Seattle, WA
(Capitol Hill location)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]


I never thought I'd be introduced to a great Seattle coffee company in Montana, but in my visits to Rockford Coffee of Bozeman, I became enamored with their roaster at the time, Caffe Vita (note: Rockford now seems to roast their own). Every time I got a drink at Rockford (especially their americanos), I really wanted to make a road trip to Seattle to taste the coffee direct at the source.

It took a while, but finally I was able to make a trip to the source. On a brisk weekday morning, I meandered over to Caffe Vita to meet a colleague for a cup of coffee. The shop is clearly visible from afar, as their mammoth sign broadcasts the location clearly. Upon moving closer, a few pieces of well-placed furniture underneath their ample awning drew me right through their front doors into the line. The inside itself has two floors, both with abundant furniture and rich woods, but the downstairs has a much more cozy and dim aura while the upstairs has a brighter and soothing feel.

Caffe Vita roasts their own coffee, having a nice selection of single origins and blends. Prior to this visit, most of my experience with their brewed coffee came from but one or two single origins, so I decided to try their Bistro Blend. It produced a zesty and buttery cup that had merit, but overall tasted a little too dark and a bit lackluster. The espresso came out better, as it was pulled short and demonstrated tinges of bittersweet chocolate and condensed milk, albeit small hints of bitterness on the back end. As for their teas, they have their own line of free leaf teas.

Given my past experiences, I would say this encounter with Caffe Vita really rounded out my perceptions of the operation. While I didn't end up falling as head over heels as I thought I might, I would say that I'm even more intrigued by the company than before. Definitely will warrant another try.

Thus, if you're in town, make a bee line for Caffe Vita to give them a shot yourselves.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

CC: Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company

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What's does "CC" mean?

Location visited: Seattle, WA
(University Zoka location)

Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]


As a rule, every college campus should always have a good coffehouse close by. Sure almost all campuses have coffeehouses near, but it is a rare sight to walk off the University property and in a few short steps, find yourself in a coffee establishment that knows how to pull espresso and serve quality coffee (it's even rarer to find such good coffee on the campus, but that's another rant).

Yet this dilemma does not exist at the University of Washington where Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company has a location right near campus beneath what seemed to be student housing (fortunate souls). The cafe itself is bohemoth, stretching longer than a tour bus and as wide as six team of oxen. The exterior holds basic but inside, the cafe has a nice wood and white theme complete with fireplace in the back, not to mention enough seats to sit the population of Oz (most of the seats were full when I stopped in).

Zoka of course roasts their own coffee, having a famed reputation as one of Seattle's finest. The brew I ingested this particular visit was their Costa Rican, a nice light coffee with hints of bran, cocoa and molasses. The espresso came out wonderfully (due to skilled hands I'm sure), with a pair of short velvety shots that relayed a nice zest and notes of chocolate cake and a touch of honey. The tea is free leaf of their own.

As I sat and finished my espresso, I really felt envious for the many students working so diligently. Not only did they have a mammoth, stylish place to do work and meet with people, but more importantly they can get a real decent cup of coffee without a small road trip. How I wish I had such fortunes when I was a school boy.

Whether you're at the University Zoka location or one of the others, make sure to give Zoka a stop if you're in town.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CC: Laughing Ladies Cafe

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Location visited: Seattle, WA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]



It proves very hard finding something when the name changes and you miss the transition. My most recent encounter with this issue happened in the northern part of Seattle when I was looking for a place called Hotwire Coffee, but fortunately I had a flash of intuition, stopped anyway and found that this past Hotwire location had now become Laughing Ladies Cafe.

The cafe sits on a big cement patio with some outside seating and a very large access ramp. The interior is a colorful cafe with all kinds of furniture, nice high ceilings and computers for patrons to use. The coffee comes from nearby 7 Coffee Roasters; I had the Guatemalan, a smooth coffee with traces of pear and fig (i.e. a decent coffee). The espresso proved mostly agreeable, as it was pulled to a medium volume and had flavors of bittersweet cocoa and sadly, a bit of a burnt tinge on the end. The tea is Teahouse Kuan Yin and Mighty Leaf.

While I had originally expected a different place, I felt that Laughing Ladies did a pretty good job living up to what I had indirectly expected. If you're north of downtown, give the place a try.