I stopped in Seattle for a day, and despite my efforts to find somebody in their press office to have a cup of coffee with, I couldn’t meet up with anybody from Starbucks while there. Oh well, I was still going to check out their cool new roastery and tasting room.
It was worth the stop. The siphon coffees I tried were disappointing, but the espresso was excellent, and they take it seriously, with four different grinders, each dialed in for a different kind of coffee and adjusted throughout the day to ensure a proper shot.
The staff in the shop was also more than happy to talk coffee. The most interesting conversation I had was with their roaster Mikey, who started homeroasting a little before he started working at Starbucks about 15 years ago. He still roasts on a stovetop popcorn-maker, but he is skipping about 10 steps of home technology to upgrade to one of these babies in the near future. Count me jealous.
I also stopped at Victrola, which is next door and one of the Seattle shops with a better reputation. But after the equivalent of about 5 cups of coffee in a short amount of time, I was too caffeined out to check out any of Seattle’s plethora of indie shops. Next time.