Starbucks is the largest coffee retailer in Seattle. It was founded in 1971 at Pike Place Market as a roaster, but only later did it become an espresso bar. In 1984, the ownership of the company changed and Howard Schultz led a massive international expansion of the company. Even though the international coffee company opened a Starbucks Reserve Roastery & tasting room just a few miles away, visitors are still looking for the iconic spot to take photos of the original Coffee Brown logo.
There's no denying that Starbucks has helped shape the appeal of Seattle's coffee culture, but today's local coffee scene is much more than that. The city claims to have more coffee shops than any other city in the U.S. In the US, and that's not including coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants with an espresso machine behind the counter. What is it about Seattle that inspires coffee shop culture to thrive here? Some say it's cloudy and rainy weather, when the days are reduced to eight hours of daylight in winter, and a hot cup of coffee keeps a person charged.
Seattle is also a very literate city, with readers who drink coffee with milk while browsing the newspaper or a novel. There is also the urban appeal of public spaces to meet friends, share ideas and admire the art that your waiter has created with the foam of his coffee with milk. This is a great spot for coffee fanatics like me. It's another of our favorite places in Seattle.
Mostly because it's in Fremont, close to our favorite bar in Seattle, Schilling Cider, and they make great specialty seasonal drinks, which my mom loves. But they also offer a rotating selection of coffees from roasters across the West Coast. It's a great way to discover new coffee companies and try things that aren't usually found in Seattle (although they definitely have the usual Seattle suspects as well). My two brothers, who live in the Seattle area, have had a similar evolution to mine when it comes to coffee.
Allegro's coffee is available online, but to really feel the old-school Seattle vibe, you'll want to go there in person. Since then, I have followed a progression that began with a Keurig, evolved into a Nespresso machine and, eventually, became a full-fledged coffee snobbery, which made me prepare a cup of coffee by hand every morning, with an electric kettle, an electric grinder and a little finger raised while I drink. No matter what corner of Seattle you are in, you're usually just steps away from a delicious coffee in a cozy space. It was my first time there and it will be a staple on all future trips to Seattle to discover new and exciting cafés from around the world.
Anyway, here are the best coffee shops in Seattle, ranked by my two brothers and me, a few snobby coffee buffs looking for something to do last winter. I also really liked their “three origins within one origin” sample pack, which consists of three different coffees from Ethiopia with different processing and tasting notes that highlight how diverse coffee can be, even within the same country. Since I spend so much time in Seattle, I decided to put together a guide to the best coffee shops in Seattle to help both travelers and locals discover their new favorite place. That's exactly what their Kenyan coffee gave us, a coffee that would be lighter and brighter if prepared differently.
In general, I think I prefer coffee curators, who are looking for exciting and interesting coffees regardless of who roasted them. With a variety of seasonal coffees from countries such as Peru and Colombia and a solid, simplified menu of coffee drinks, this is paradise on Pioneer Square. On the coffee side, pandan lattes and iced Calamansi espresso tonics are a distinctly Filipino version of specialty coffee beverages. .