Seattle Coffee Company was created by a husband and wife team, Alley and Scott Svenson, whose inspiration was born from their experience with specialty coffee brands in their hometown of Seattle. Peter Howie (pictured above) and his business partner, Barry Parker, founded Seattle Coffee Company together in South Africa in the late 90s. I think I'm a good reflection of how the coffee world and, in particular, the Seattle coffee scene has changed over the past three decades. Espresso was the new language of coffee, and while I preferred to frequent independent coffee shops, it was the omnipresence of Starbucks that made latte an essential part of my day and that of many other Seattleites.
A new generation of coffee buyers, such as those from Counter Culture (in Durham, North Carolina), Intelligentsia (in Chicago) and Stumptown (in Portland, whose founder Duane Sorenson had worked for the respected Seattle roaster Ed Leebrick), began to obsessively search for the best beans in the world and would pay a lot. At Seattle Coffee Works, for example, you can try samples made with a French press, pouring and vacuuming one next to the other. Roasters began offering public tastings, teaching laypeople the strange process by which coffee experts determine the quality of a cup of coffee. One of the unmistakable pleasures of living in Seattle for most of the past 17 years has been drinking coffee.