We checked out 5 excellent Seattle coffee shops and can say we love the coffee in Seattle – cappuccinos, pour-overs and cold brews.
We’re coffee snobs. Ok, We said it.
We weren’t always this way, but the plethora of boutique coffee shops in Philadelphia has raised our caffeinated bar. From specially sourced pour-overs to hand crafted, artistically decorated cappuccinos, we are spoiled by good coffee on a daily basis.
Across the country, Seattle is the epicenter for the second wave of coffee (consisting of Starbucks and the like) in the United States and is a leader of coffee’s burgeoning third wave.\
During our recent trip for the IFBC conference, we made it a priority to try several different shops to check out the best of the best coffee in Seattle. We tried both second wave and third wave shops, and we drank a mix of pour-overs, cappuccinos and cold brews. It’s fair to say that we were happily wired for the entirety of our short time in Seattle.
Without further adieu, here are five recommended shops for coffee in Seattle.
1. Analog Coffee
As we walked into Analog Coffee‘s tiny Capitol Hill shop, we immediately liked the vibe set by the array of vinyl LPs behind the counter that almost made the coffee station look like a DJ booth as well as the wall decorated with sections of the Sunday New York Times. Our positive feeling improved as we sipped on the well crafted pour-overs prepared by the long-haired, Seahawk-capped barista and shared a cakey, maple glazed french toast Mighty-O donut.
At Analog, the baristas brew the coffee with flat-bottomed Kalita stainless steel drippers. The holes regulate the flow, allowing for consistent cups of coffee. It’s clearly a good system based on the quality of the coffees served to us.
Analog’s coffee beans are roasted by Herkimer Coffee. Daryl thoroughly enjoyed his Uganda Buthale pour-over with flavors of cinnamon, caramel and cedar, as did Mindi with her Ethiopia Kochere pour-over with hints of honey, green apple and oolong.
For us, Analog Coffee represents the Seattle that we expected from the movies. If it weren’t for the 3,000 miles, we would be regulars at this ultra-hip shop both for the atmosphere and, more importantly, for the coffee itself.
Analog Coffee is located at 235 Summit Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102, United States.
2. Caffe Ladro
The original Caffee Ladro shop on Upper Queen Anne opened in 1994. We didn’t make it there, but we checked out the directly sourced, locally roasted coffee at a location near our hotel. No pour-overs here, the cappuccinos we drank at Caffe Ladro were traditionally crafted and went down quite easily.
Caffe Ladro has eight Seattle locations. We visited the downtown location at 801 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101, United States.
3. Milstead & Co.
With dinner plans in Fremont, it was a no-brainer for us to check out Milstead & Co, where coffee choices are not limited to one roaster. The shop showcases beans from the best roasters in the US and Canada such as Bows & Arrows (Victoria), Kuma (Seattle), Intelligentsia (Chicago), Wrecking Ball (San Francisco), Supersonic (Berkeley) and Ruby (Wisconsin).
Daryl chose a pour-over made with Honduras Carlos Ramos beans from Bows & Arrows and flavors of vanilla and watermelon. Mindi had a Honduras cold brew made with Intelligentsia beans and rocking flavors like raisin and jasmine flowers.
Using the AeroPress and Clever methods, the shop fully realizes where the latest wave of coffee emporiums can go.
It’s common for bars to offer multiple selections from breweries, distillers and vintners. We ask why can’t the same thing happen for coffee. Milstead & Co. answers this question with a resounding yes.
Millstead & Co. is located at 770 N 34th St, Seattle, WA 98103, United States.
Tasting Tip – The original Starbucks is located just a block from the Pike Place Market. Forego the long line of tourists and try coffee that you can’t get in your hometown. That’s what we did.
4. Storyville Coffee Company
Located on the second floor of the historic Pike Place Market, Storyville serves up cappuccinos in a tony space with outstanding views of the Seattle waterfront. Starting at 6:59 each morning, the Storyville baristas artfully prepare espresso drinks with expertise and finesse.
After taking a moment to appreciate the heart art, we practically inhaled the smooth cappuccinos made with Storyville’s freshly roasted signature blend of beans sourced from three different continents.
Storyville Coffee has three Seattle locations. We visited the Pike Place Market location at 94 Pike St #34, Seattle, WA 98101, United States.
5. Victrola Coffee Roasters
Based on a recommendation by Evan Iatome, owner of Elixr Coffee in Philadelphia, Victrola was the first stop on our Seattle coffee shop tour. We hoped that it would set the tone for our mini odyssey in the coffee capital.
With limited time and feeling hot from the uphill walk, we both opted for Victrola’s cold brew coffees. Our excitement grew as the cream slithered into the cups. We hoped that the coffee would meet our high expectations, but we’ve been disappointed before.
Victrola’s cold brew managed to be both refreshingly light and deeply flavorful at the same time. After just one sip, we suspected that we were in for some of the best coffee of our life during the long weekend. We’re pleased to report that our suspicion about coffee in Seattle was correct.
Victrola Coffee Roasters has three Seattle locations. We visited the Capitol Hill location at 310 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, United States.
Disclosure: Daryl despises the ‘snob’ connotation, but Mindi doesn’t care what people think.