A while back, I promised to take a break from the baby business and write about random reasons why I love Seattle. Well, here it is, reason number three: split-shot breves.
It’s the most satisfying, most decadant coffee drink there is. It needs no sugar, no whipped cream, no caramel, no sprinkles. Just steamed half and half and your choice of espresso period. Ahhh! Delish! And the choices of espresso here in Seattle are endless. Okay, okay, I know it sounds cliche to say that Seattle has really great coffee. I mean, after all, ask a non-native what the first thing that pops into their head when they think of Seattle, chances are pretty high that Starbucks may be the first word out of their mouths. But to be honest, corporate coffee definitely doesn’t rule all here in the emerald city. Here is a short list of my favs, in no apparent order.
Vivace Roastaria These guys have been here in Seattle since 1988 (now I feel old). Their motto is “una bella tazza di caffee” which in Italian means a beautiful cup of coffee. Their website stakes claim to creating a specialized, scientific method in expresso preparation AND roasting technique. They are coffee experts. The owners have published books on the perfect cup of coffee. Yes, books plural. I heard from a local that you have to learn how to make espresso for six months before they let you serve. Not sure how true it is, but I am sold. There breves are to die for. Emeril says it one of the best coffees in the world. WOW. Don’t even try ordering a cup of coffee there either…it’s espresso only.
Caffe Vita: They are another smaller roaster here in the city with a few locations around town. It is also not uncommon to see them served at a plethora of cafe’s and restaurants around town. Fuel, which is the coffee place up the street from me, serves their coffee and it is delightful. I keep a pound in my freezer at all times. You never know when there might be a coffee emergency 🙂 They didn’t get their start until 1995 (babies, I know), but you would never tell. I especially like Punchinello on thier logo. There’s an interesting story about it on their site.
Caffe Ladro: They, like Caffe Vita, are seen all over the city. Their coffee is roasted in up in Bellingham. One of the qualities that I like about them is that they only serve 100% fair trade, organic, shade grown coffee. The other companies are social responsible as well, but for Caffe Ladro, its not an option.
Victrola Coffee Roasters:These guys got their start in 2003. They are a very small roaster, but their espresso is divine. I kinda like that they are small, unpretentious, and well, just simple. Check out their staff pics on their site.
Stumptown: Ok, I know what you are thinking. These guys aren’t from Seattle! Originally from Portland, they opened up shop here in Seattle a few years ago giving Vivace a run for their money. All I have to say is YUM-EE. I feel like I am drinking a glass of wine when I am in there. They are way serious about their coffee. I read somewehre that they paid over $50 a pound from some highly regarded coffee from Colombia. They are also known for doing vino’s version of tastings; they call them “cuppings”. You sit around and taste different types of coffee from all over the globe. And while it will give you the total opposite effect of wine tasting, if you have no reason to go to sleep that night, it’s so worth it. Drink up!