Tag Archives: seattle

They grow an awful lot of coffee in… Seattle?!

If you were super stalkeresque, I’m sure you could figure out my approximate age via my first post.  I’ll make it easier for you–I’m in my mid 20s.

Anyway,  I was looking to customize my blog a bit… looking for the right photo of some tasty food as a header.  I didn’t find it, but I did find a photo of a croissant and macchiato from a trip to Seattle.

You know that ambiguous part of my user name?  Yeah, it’s like Ambiguous and Indecisive.  I’m not a hardcore coffee drinker.  I like coffee, A LOT!  But I have found that when I drink it every day, I don’t appreciate it as much.  Oddly enough, most of my friends abhor coffee, which renders the whole “Let’s grab a coffee!” invite useless.

How do I take my coffee?  Oh, it doesn’t really matter.  That’s how you can tell I’m not a hardcore drinker.  My dad was straight up cream man (well, actually 2% milk… he has since  graduated to half-and-half.  Damn bourgeoisie!), but my mom was a sugar (eventually Equal) and cream type of gal who could drink without sweetener if necessary.  I would sneak sips of their coffee in the morning, and would get caught and threatened that it would stunt my growth.

I scoffed and grew to a whopping 5’1″.

Anyway, I take my coffee however.  I prefer sugar and soy milk, but I’m OK with cow’s milk too.  Generally I avoid half and half or cream because the oil on top of the coffee just drives me nuts.  Sometimes I don’t feel like a sweet coffee, so I’ll take just milk.  I’ve enjoyed straight up espresso in the past, including a super shot that made me tremble and stutter in one memorable Japanese class in college.  “Docheera kachee… Doocheekaraki…  Dochee… Doh!” (I can say “Doocheera kara iirashiyamashitaka?” quite OK now.  Excuse the horrible spelling!)

But I’m also a sucker for sissy, fussy coffee drinks too.  The coffee shop (No, not Starbucks!) at my alma mater made some amazing carmel macchiato’s and iced coffees.  Dunkin Donuts… god bless them and their iced coffee’s and Coolattas (their low-fat/calories one blows, though).  I’ve had Starbucks quite a few times, including their frappuccinos, but I need to admit that I can’t tell you precisely everything on their menu… People are shocked when I tell them that the closest Starbucks to me is 30 miles away.  I’m quasi-rural, I guess.

Anyway, I was visiting my friend Kris in Seattle, and decided to check out some coffee.  For my first coffee spot, Kris took me to Trabant Coffee & Chai (don’t know if I was at Pioneer Square or the Uni District).

Our barista was hip and pretentious, of course.  I asked her what she recommended, and she looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears (or perhaps it’s because I was wearing clothes that weren’t black, brown, olive green, or navy blue!).  She told me to order whatever I usually order.  Guess what?  I took the Seattle oppositional personality disorder (aka rebellion… I did it for you, Kurt Cobain!) and got something I usually don’t order–a macchiato.

Macchiato and Croissant from Trabant Coffee in Chai in Seattle

Macchiato and Croissant from Trabant Coffee in Chai in Seattle. I don't remember the croissant too much, except it was very flaky.

OMG, heaven heaven heaven.  Coffee heaven.  It was thick and strong and stained my lips and teeth.  My eyes rolled into the back of my head… coffee heaven.

And then I had a sip of my friend’s chai.

I like tea, but prefer it iced over hot.  I’m a sucker for a decent chai, though.  And OMG. OMG. OMG. Chai heaven! The macchiato made me roll my eyes back and die, but the chai.. I died, was reborn, died, and so forth; became enlightened yet refrained from entering Nirvana in order to help others… it was that good.   I picked up a bag to take home with me.

Starbucks around every corner...

Starbucks around every corner...

Some memorable coffee that I had:  I grabbed a Seattle’s Best latte.  It was horrible!  If that’s Seattle’s Best, I hate to know what their worst tastes like.  I like strong coffee, but Seattle’s Best is super strong, with a slight pungent taste.  No wonder–I later found out that Seattle’s Best is owned by Starbucks.  I don’t know if they use the same blends or what, but it explains the bitter Starbucksesque taste that latte had.

The cheeky barista from Commuter Comforts

The cheeky barista from Commuter Comforts. Excuse the blurriness--we were stealthily taking his photograph.

The best soy latte that I ever had came from a little coffee kiosk/shack called Commuter Comforts located at a ferry port (Sorry, can’t remember which, except it was the non-Seattle side).  I like to ask servers, bartenders, baristas, etc. what they recommend–they know which items suck and which ones rule and which ones have been spit in.

So I ask this cheeky barista what his specialty was, and his response was “Standing here and looking handsome.” I enjoyed his cheeky response, and was later told by my friend that he probably wanted to “get wit me.”  Damn me and my social awkwardness!  I thought he was being cheeky and did that to all his customers!  Sheesh!  Anyway, I ordered an iced soy latte with amaretto.  It was fanfreakingtastic.  Thank you, Mr. Cheeky Barista!

I had some awesome homemade coffee–thanks Kris! I had another good drink from a coffee shop on the University of Washington campus (they have 20+ on campus):  an iced soy carmel macchiato.  Even the cup of plain coffee I had on a ferry (it may have been Seattle’s Best) was good–fresh and hot.

I went to a coffee exhibit at a museum on the campus–The Burke (sp?) museum.  Quite interesting… I learned that there are more flavour and smell hints in coffee than in wine (like how Chardonnay is supposed to have an oaky

Tarbu

I asked my friend what the heck a Tarbu was. Then I realized... it's a Starbucks with trees out front hiding some letters. Epic fail.

taste, etc.).  That was pretty interesting, because it’s true–there were a whole bunch of beans there, and it was amazing how slight changes in bean type, roasting temp, or roasting time can change the smell of the bean.

So my unofficial coffee tour was pretty good.  My final conclusion is that people in Seattle know good coffee (with exception of that odd Seattle’s Best latte I had).  People know how to drink their coffee, and they know how to order their coffee.  Heck, I even lost my craving for Dunkin Donuts within a few days of being on the west coast (DD=probably my fave “to go” coffee).

It’s hot outside–I’m not a big fan of hot drinks during hot weather (especially in the middle of the day!).  But perhaps there is a iced coffee somewhere in my near future… mmmm.  Let me check those flights to Seattle first…