Seattle Coffee

Where to Drink Coffee in Seattle

In Northwest, Wine and Beverage by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch46 Comments

We checked out 5 excellent Seattle coffee shops and can say we love the coffee in Seattle – cappuccinos, pour-overs and cold brews.

The Best Coffee in Seattle - Cappuccinos, Pour-Overs and Cold Brews.
Coffee in Seattle

Seattle Coffee

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

Analog Coffee Seattle Coffee in Seattle

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.

Coffee and Donut at Analog Coffee Seattle Coffee in Seattle

Coffee and Donut at Analog Coffee

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.

Baristas at Analog Coffee work the espresso machine in front of their extensive record collection. Coffee pour-overs are performed using the Kalita system which uses three holed metal filters that insure an even flow of extraction. Coffee in Seattle

Baristas at Analog Coffee work the espresso machine in front of their extensive record collection. Coffee pour-overs are performed using the Kalita system which uses three holed metal filters that insure an even flow of extraction.

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

Caffe Ladro Seattle Coffee in Seattle

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 Cappuccino Seattle Coffee in Seattle

Caffe Ladro Cappuccino

Caffe Ladro has eight Seattle locations. We visited the downtown location at 801 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101, United States.

3. Milstead & Co.

Coffee Selection at Milstead and Co. Seattle Coffee in Seattle

Coffee Selection at Milstead and 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.

Scenes from Milstead and Co. in Seattle Coffee in Seattle

Scenes from Milstead and Co.

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 TipThe 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.

Line at the Original Starbucks in Seattle Coffee in Seattle

Line at the Original Starbucks in Seattle

4. Storyville Coffee Company

Storyville Cappuccino Seattle Coffee in Seattle

Storyville Cappuccino

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.

Storyville Cappuccino Preparation Seattle Coffee in Seattle

Storyville Cappuccino Preparation

Daryl Enjoying his Morning Joe at Storyville Coffee in Seattle Coffee in Seattle

Daryl Enjoying his Morning Joe at Storyville Coffee

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

Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle Coffee in Seattle

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.

Inside Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle Coffee in Seattle

Inside Victrola Coffee Roasters

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.

Cold Brew at Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle Coffee in Seattle

Cold Brew at Victrola Coffee Roasters

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.

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    1. Author

      Since you live in New York, you have access to lots of great coffee. Drink up!

  1. After traveling through Central America all winter I went from being a no coffee drinker to a serious coffee drinking snob! I have to get out to Seattle again and check some of these places out. For now, I am exploring the very abundant coffee scene in South Korea!
    Katie recently posted…El Salvador Surf Lodge StoryMy Profile

    1. Author

      We were pleasantly surprised by the coffee scene in Tokyo. If South Korea is anything like that, then you’re in a good place for good coffee.

  2. Seattle’s best coffee shops are ones that aren’t Starbucks, Tullys or anything mainstream. As someone who grew up very close to Seattle I always went to the little ones in the alley or the ones with funky decorations, those always had awesome atmospheres and great coffee. One of my favorite places is Trebants, you should check it out next time you’re in Seattle. Millstead is a good one to visit!
    Samantha recently posted…Our First Experience With AirBnB in Seoul, South KoreaMy Profile

    1. Author

      We’ll add Trebants to our list for next time. You should add Analog to yours based on the kind of coffee shops that you like.

  3. After living and traveling abroad I’ve realized that the US doesn’t do coffee like say, Australia. BUT we’re getting there! Coffee shops like the ones listed in your article are becoming the trend! Thanks for sharing!
    Marie recently posted…Water-taxiMy Profile

    1. Author

      Cold brew is very tasty, plus it’s so refreshing on a hot day.

  4. Coffee!
    Got to admit I can understand the “snob” attitude when you have so much choice! It makes sense!
    Sadly coffee in our small town of China means only 3 in 1 sachet… And it makes me feel so sad sometimes! When we go to big towns around us we tend to run to visit a Costa coffee, our little pleasure!
    Marie-Carmen recently posted…Portraits of South East AsiaMy Profile

    1. Author

      On the upside, you probably have great food in your small town in China.

    1. Author

      We’ve not yet been to Finland. Hopefully we’ll get to taste Finnish coffee one day.

  5. Loved your tip about skipping the original Starbucks–I was fairly baffled as to why anyone would wait in a block-long line to get coffee they could get at home, or a couple blocks away for that matter! I did snap a photo of the sign, though 🙂
    Stacy recently posted…Review: Holy LandMy Profile

    1. Author

      There is definitely something about having anything, including coffee, right at the source.

  6. I love coffee and, before reading this post, I was under the impression they didn’t know how to do it right in the US. Being an espresso girl myself, I sometimes forget there’s more to the country than Starbucks… Although Starbucks has many times been my savior when traveling abroad and trying to find a decent cup of coffee.
    Sandra @ Tripper recently posted…Lisbon UndergroundMy Profile

    1. Author

      Starbucks can also be a lifesaver for free WIFI when you’re traveling. Don’t forget about that.

    1. Author

      It’s getting easier and easier to find good coffee in the US – especially in Seattle, but not just in Seattle.

  7. I’m a snob for a cafe’s ambiance, not the actual coffee itself. I’ve made it my mission in Barcelona to find all the cutest cafes. Seattle’s café scene sounds amazing!! And ha, I can’t believe the first Starbucks is a tourist attraction…actually, now that I think about it, I would expect nothing less.

  8. It looks like you stayed very well caffeinated while in Seattle and I must admit that I’m a tad jealous! I’m trying to discover the hipster coffee scene in Madrid, where I can spot the typical cafe con leche versus something worth be snobby about. Loved reading this and seeing your amazing photos.

  9. Having lived in Seattle for four years, I’ve been to all of these except for Milstead. You forgot my two favorites though! Vivace (there is a stand and storefront on Broadway on Capitol Hill), and Stumptown (which is actually from Portland but has two locations on Pike St, also on Capitol Hill). I lived all four years on Capitol Hill (can you tell?) so I was a little spoiled with coffee. Check em out next time you’re there 🙂

    The third wave of coffee is just now starting to hit Berlin… but at ridiculous prices. The only thing that was reasonably priced in Seattle was delicious coffee! And I really, really miss cold brewed or iced coffee. Not too popular here in Germany.

    1. Author

      Even though Stumptown is from Portland, we can get it on the east coast. That’s why we skipped it. Wish we would have hit Vivace – it’s now on our list for next time.

    1. Author

      We had enough room to walk by Top Pot Doughnuts. Does that count?

  10. I so wanted to do a coffee crawl in Seattle but I was there on business and only had one afternoon. I did go into Starbucks– because I know my blog readers would want a souvenir there– and was actually surprised that they served premium coffees there they don’t have at my local starbucks, like a Kona bean (for $5 a cup for just coffee, no pourover or anything). There was also no line when I went (or I would have skipped it entirely). So glad to have all your reviews of the best spots so I’ll be ready for my next visit!
    Kristin recently posted…Top Ten Best Zen Moments in Tulum, MexicoMy Profile

    1. Author

      We have lots of great coffee shops in Philly. Our favorites include Elixir in Center City, Menagerie in Old City and Shot Tower near the Italian Market. You may also want to check out Federal Donuts for coffee, donuts and… fried chicken.

  11. I understand how it is to be a coffee snob. Jack, my partner, is an aussie, and he LOVES his coffee. When we were in Asia he would make us go searching for miles for that good coffee. Now we know where to go in Seattle!! Cant wait to show him these!
    Jenn of Who Needs Maps recently posted…Fitness While TravelingMy Profile

  12. Wow, thank you! So glad we stumbled upon this. We both love coffee and haven’t had a decent cup since leaving Prague :/ Sad, I know, but Spanish coffee in the Canary islands just isn’t that great. In fact, you can hardly get it anywhere. Everywhere you go they just serve Tropical beers.
    We’re adding these places to our list of foodie-must-tries in the US.
    – Marina from

    1. Author

      We noticed that too. Luckily, there are lots of better coffee shops there too.

  13. I am a major coffee snob also, living in Melbourne has opened my eyes to the fine art of coffee brewing and the perfect cup. I am trying to get as many Latte’s in my system as I can while I am in Australia, because I fear I will not be able to get the same type of brew elsewhere. I am a major instant coffee phobe and hope I can find in Canada and Washington state somewhere that is just right. Thank you for some options 🙂 any tips for BC, Canada?
    Carissa @ Start Wandering recently posted…10 Signs you Should Quit your Job to TravelMy Profile

  14. I’m glad you enjoyed your coffee tasting in Seattle! I live in Seattle and have tried a few of these places. Honestly, we have so many cafes serving great coffee that I tend to go for atmosphere more than anything these days! I am no coffee snob, but there are some snobby baristas around that definitely make me want to avoid some places. A perfect balance is good coffee, proximity, atmosphere, and friendliness. And if you do visit a cafe with not so friendly baristas, I suggest an overly cheerful greeting just to throw them off. 😉
    Tracie Howe recently posted…Alaskan Cruise – Port Day in Juneau & Whale WatchingMy Profile

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