Coffee: CaffĂ© Vita Seattle

I am coming to terms with the fact that I may not blog all of the shops I went to on my Northwestern tour… I should have kept up with it while I was there. Oh well. Hindsight.

Ok, now for the shop at hand: CaffĂ© Vita. For several hours, this was my favorite shop in Seattle. The barista was friendly, but not over the top. The shop was cool- well decorated and comfortable, but not too much. (I think we have a Goldilocks thing happening here…)

But the espresso. Oh, the espresso. It. was. good.

I didn’t get a photo, but they use naked portafilters– my favorite. The espresso was smooth and rich but packed a punch. In my notes I wrote, “perfect latte” so, well, that sums it up. Go there. It’s in Fremont.

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Coffee: Lighthouse Roasters Seattle

Lighthouse Roasters was, well, not that great. The presentation of the latte was nice, and I liked the gibraltar-like cup… but that was about it. The space wasn’t very comfortable, the staff wasn’t very friendly, and the espresso kind of sucked.

It wasn’t awful. It’s better than what we have in Livermore, but for Seattle it was terrible.

Coffee: Joe Bar Seattle

Joe Bar was the last stop on our Capital Hill coffee tour (everyone was getting jittery and hungry…)

Joe Bar is a favorite among my sisters friends, though I am not totally sure why. I am not totally sure who’s beans they serve because it was a roaster I’ve never heard of. Their small latte (8oz) only comes with one shot (I hate that. Espresso shots pull two at a time. They’re wasting one!). It was a bit too milky. It was good… but unremarkable.

The space really didn’t do anything for me. It was hot and stuffy and smelled like food. Side note: I’ve decided I don’t like coffee shops that serve food. Do one thing and do it right. Adding a kitchen is too distracting.

So Joe Bar. It’s alright I guess.

Coffee 3/5

Atmosphere 1/5

Service 2/5

Coffee: Roy Street (aka The Fake Starbucks) Seattle

I don’t believe Starbucks is inherently evil (I was a happy employee for nearly two years) but I do think they’re awful. (That, however, is another post.)

Apparently, Starbucks wants to get on the Third Wave coffee train. I think this is great because, frankly, it shocks me every time I see someone in the Northwest with a Starbucks cup. (Let’s be real. They’re crazy… or have no taste buds.)

Roy Street is one such shop (to my knowledge there are two shops in Seattle). I wanted to go as a lark. See what it’s like discuss the pros and cons. Hate on the coffee… Much to my chagrin I loved this place!

Imagine opening a coffee shop and having no budget- nothing holding you back… it would be amazing, right? Well, Roy Street is kind of amazing. It’s an absolutely beautiful space. Perfectly decorated, cozy, comfortable, quiet. Just right to meet a friend or to get some work done. They have all kinds of fun Clover machines to play with and don’t mind showing them off.

The Baristas were friendly and helpful. Happy to geek out about coffee with us and talk about their employer and their strange new venture. My latte was nothing to write home about, but I enjoyed it. They get their beans straight from the distributor so they’re much fresher than any Starbucks and they get the pick of the crops… though their coffee doesn’t begin to compare to Stumptown or Intelligentsia. (Big surprise, right?)

We asked about the “worlds only Clover pour through machine” they had on the counter and they gave us a demonstration and a free cup. I loved that. We chatted all about Clover machines while they were brewing.

I liked Roy Street. I would go there to hang out… and honestly, I don’t have qualms about supporting a corporate giant. I worked for Starbucks and they took care of me. In fact, if I lived in Seattle this is where I would want to work. It’s the best of both worlds: you get the benefit of working for a corporate giant (benefits, good vacation time, etc.) but the perks of being in a cool shop (decent coffee, a nice espresso bar, latte art).

Coffee 2/5

Ambiance 5/5

Service 5/5

The worlds only Clover pour through machine