Vivace is, I think, a Seattle staple. They’ve been around for about 25 years and there are a few of them around town.
There wasn’t much to make my experience there very memorable. The barista politely took my order and made my drink with care. It was a very tasty latte and the milk was the best of the day- not too hot, no bubbles and pretty, shiny foam.
I liked the space a lot. It wasn’t super cool like a lot of the shops are, but it was comfortable and they had a back room for studying. Of all the shops I went to in Seattle this is where I would probably be able to get the most work done while I enjoy a solid latte.
After an insanely long drive and a long stop in Portland Cynthia, Tommy and I arrived in Seattle at 2:38am on Monday morning.
Once we finally got moving on Monday we had cupcakes for breakfast… at 1:30pm. It felt very Marie Antoinette. We then headed down the road to Caffé Fioré for the first of many, many cups of coffee this week.
There is a lighthouse in Seattle that I have seen in Cynthia’s photos and was dying to visit. We went out there and took some photos (I got to play with my new lens for the first time! Yay!), collected sea glass (well, they did), sang hymns on the rocks (I did) and sat on a driftwood log and talked about life. It was very nice. Colder than the dickens, but nice.
Later, Cynthia took me to Fremont to check out the vintage shops, used book store and Fremont Coffee (favorite!). We had a good time. I is so so nice to get to spend so much time with Cynthia. I just hate that we see each other so infrequently.
For dinner we went to Thai Tom in the University District. I LOVE Thai Tom. Generally, I don’t eat Thai food in America. It sounds like the snobbiest thing ever, but I’ve had too much good Thai food in Thailand. American Thai just does not compare. (Plus, Pat, my dad’s Thai wife, always orders so I don’t really even know what to order.) Thai Tom is the exception. Let me tell you why: going to Thai Tom is like going to Thailand. It’s hot. It’s a hole in the wall. They make you sit on uncomfortable stools. And it is SO GOOD. It is the only Thai food I have ever found that is like Thailand. The rice isn’t overcooked. The spices are just right… The moral of this story is: Go there. You will not regret it.
Ok, yes, I know. Stumptown is from Portland. But. I wanted to go to Stumptown in Capital Hill. I couldn’t wait until Portland. Deal.
Stumptown was our first stop on our DIY Capital Hill Coffee Tour. I’ve been to Stumptown in Portland and remember that their coffee is fantastic.
My cappuccino wasn’t the most beautiful thing, but it was good. Cynthia’s latte was better and Danielle’s espresso was wonderful. Perfectly pulled- smooth and delicious. Stumptown makes excellent coffee and seems able to maintain consistent quality.
Not much interesting happened while we were there- excepet that they were playing Black Sabbath quite loud and a man asked us to watch his stuff.
I love the personality of this company. Their mugs are adorable, their sign has a man doing a french press bong on it (Cynthia, “Wow! That’d be so hot!!”) The plates say ‘Good Luck’… there are tons of little touches.
Caffé Fioré in Queen Anne is my sisters ‘go-to’ coffee shop. It’s near her house, is nicely decorated, and is a comfortable space to sit with a friend or plant for a marathon study session.It was easy to park and we were greeted by a friend of hers studying when we walked in the door.
Sadly, this it was the worst coffee I’ve had in Seattle. Cynthia was disappointed I didn’t like it- I think I may have just gotten a careless barista. I ordered a small cappuccino- the foam was too dry and the shots a little sour. Really nothing to write home about.
Fremont Coffee is, I think, so far, my favorite coffee in Seattle. It’s in an old house so there are several small rooms which gives the space a lot of character and provides privacy for conversations and quiet for studies.
We walked in and were greeted by the friendly barista. He took our orders and chatted with us while he made our delicious beverages. When he slid my latte across the bar what did I see? Lo and behold, the BEST latte art ever!! Obviously, this little skull is not free poured, but it’s so damn cool who cares?
Not only was this the most badass latte I’ve ever had, it was also delicious! I have a theory- the prettier the espresso beverage the better it tastes. I feel this holds true most of the time and here’s why: If it’s beautiful it means the barista cares. If they care they make a good drink- and this care covers over a multitude of sins. If the espresso is amazing but the barista does not make your beverage with love, it won’t taste very good. If the espresso is mediocre but the barista makes the beverage with love (& sparkles) it will (usually) be a really delicious treat.
Back to Fremont Coffee. I loved it. I think that if I lived in Seattle this would be my regular stop.
I named him The Ghost of Lattes Past
Sometimes you just need to explore a new coffee shop, sit alone in a corner and watch the world go by as you sip a well crafted cup of love.
Sweet Tooth Espresso Cappuccino.
Ritual Coffee Roasters, San Francisco, California.