Coffee in Seattle

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Seattle is a world center for coffee roasting and coffee supply chain management. Related to this, many Seattle-area people are coffee enthusiasts and they maintain a coffee culture in Seattle's many coffeehouses.

Coffee consumption[edit]

People in Seattle consume more coffee than in any other American city; one study stated that there are 35 coffeeshops per 100,000 residents and that Seattle people spend an average of $36 a month on coffee.[1] It is nearly impossible to walk past a single block in a commercial area in Seattle without walking past at least one coffee shop. Coffee drinkers can get coffee at a local sidewalk stand, parking lot, tiny coffee houses, big coffee houses, drive-through, and even delivery.[2]

Roasters[edit]

Seattle is home to several coffee roasters.

Starbucks[edit]

Starbucks is Seattle's largest coffee retailer. It was founded in 1971 in Pike Place Market as a roaster, but only later became an espresso bar. In 1984 ownership of the company changed and Howard Schultz led a massive international expansion of the company.[3] In 2003, Starbucks acquired pioneering Seattle roaster Seattle's Best Coffee (SBC, originally Stewart Brothers' Coffee).[4]

Tully's Coffee[edit]

Tully's Coffee is Seattle's second-largest coffee retailer. Tom Tully O'Keefe founded the chain in Kent, Washington in 1992 to rival the expansion of Starbucks with an alternative business model.[5] A distinguishing feature between Tully's and Starbucks is that Tully's uses a milder roast and keeps overstuffed chairs and fireplaces in its stores to set a mood.[5]

Caffé Vita Coffee Roasting Company[edit]

Caffé Vita Coffee Roasting Company was founded in 1995 to produce excellent artisan coffee and to implement an ethical model for coffee production which bypassed the fair trade business model and sourced coffee beans directly from the farmers producing it.[6]

Espresso Vivace[edit]

Espresso Vivace is a set of coffeehouses and a roaster. Founded in 1988[4] by a Boeing engineer, the coffee is produced to exacting specifications to match the owner's taste and the taste of patrons who prefer this different blend.[7]

Victrola Coffee Roasters[edit]

Victrola Coffee Roasters is a coffeehouse which gives regular classes on coffee appreciation.[8]

Lighthouse Roasters[edit]

Lighthouse Roasters was founded in 1993 by Ed Leebrick. They source from small coffee farms, and roast in small batches.[4]

Stumptown / Peet's[edit]

Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters opened a roasting facility in Seattle[4] in 2010.[citation needed] On October 6, 2015 it was announced that San Francisco-based, Luxembourg-owned Peet's Coffee would acquire Stumptown.[9]

Other roasters[edit]

Other Seattle roasters include Fonté Coffee Roasters, River Trail Roasters, Caffè Umbria, Fremont Coffee Company, Herikimer Coffee, Seattle Coffee Works, and Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company.[4]

Coffeehouses[edit]

Coffee cupping at Stumptown

In addition to the international success of coffee mega-chains like Starbucks, Tully's Coffee and Seattle's Best Coffee, Seattle coffee culture is found in the many independently owned coffee shops.[10] Independently owned coffee shops include bauhaus books + coffee, Café Allegro, Caffè Umbria, Caffé Vita, Espresso Vivace, Monorail Espresso, Top Pot Doughnuts, Slate Coffee, Victrola, and Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Company . Most of these coffeehouses offer daily or weekly coffee cupping to the public. They roast their coffee in the back and open it for public viewing.[11]

Café Allegro[edit]

Café Allegro is a coffeeshop in University District. It is the first espresso bar in Seattle. Its founder worked with Starbucks roasters to develop the original Starbucks espresso roast, which is darker than most other roasts but still lighter than the darkest roast. That espresso roast remains the standard Starbucks espresso offering, but it was developed for Café Allegro.[3]

Last Exit on Brooklyn[edit]

The Last Exit on Brooklyn was a coffee house which opened in 1967 and closed in 2000. It was a gathering place for high-level chess players and intellectuals, and the proprietor worked to "create a haven where students and the benign crazies" were welcome and where "everyone felt equal and there were no sacred cows".[12]

Top Pot Doughnuts[edit]

Top Pot Doughnuts was founded in 2002 as a pastry bakery which also sells coffee.[13]

Ethiopian coffee[edit]

Several Seattle Ethiopian restaurants carry forward one or another degree of Ethiopian coffee tradition, which includes doing their own roasting. These include the Jebena Cafe in Pinehurst, Kaffa Coffee & Wine Bar in the Rainier Valley,[14] and Adey Abeba in the Central District[15]

Coffee technology[edit]

In 2007 the Coffee Equipment Company released a product called the Clover, which was a machine which brewed coffee one cup at a time. The company was acquired by Starbucks who now produces the Clover.[16]

Coffee culture[edit]

In the early 2000s in Seattle a coffee concept called the bikini barista began to be implemented by various marketers throughout the area. Coffee distribution in this business model utilizes baristas wearing little clothing to prepare and serve the coffee.[17]

Coffee events[edit]

Coffee: World in your Cup is the name of an exhibition and community series which premiered in Seattle through most of 2009 at the Burke Museum. The exhibition includes displays of equipment at the museum and a lecture series with talks in various locations wherein experts talk about aspects of the coffee industry.[18]

The World Barista Championship was held in Seattle in April 2015.[19] The competition, and its winner Sasa Sestic, were the subject of a documentary film The Coffee Man.[20]

Seattle coffee in popular culture[edit]

In the NBC series Frasier, the characters are often seen drinking coffee at the fictional Café Nervosa, which is said to have been inspired by the real-life Elliott Bay Café.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Coffee Capitals: 20 Cities That Drink the Most Caffeine". The Daily Beast. 27 July 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Coffee City". The Seattle Times. 
  3. ^ a b Schultz, Howard; Yang, Dori Jones (1997). Pour your heart into it : how Starbucks built a company one cup at a time (1st paperback ed.). New York, N.Y.: Hyperion. pp. 100–104. ISBN 978-0-7868-6315-0. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Shannon Borg, Seattle Coffee Guide: Locally Roasted Beans, Seattle Magazine, October 2010. Accessed 2015-10-23.
  5. ^ a b Ouchi, Monica Soto (20 February 2005). "Business & Technology | Tully's Coffee: A brand that belies its size". seattletimes.nwsource.com. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  6. ^ Fitzpatrick, Tamra (March 26, 1999). "Finding Niche Brews Big-Time Success For Small Coffee Roaster". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  7. ^ Meet espresso's exacting master Archived November 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. - Food Inc. - MSNBC.com, May 9, 2003
  8. ^ Borg, Shannon (October 2010). "Seattle Coffee Guide: Locally Roasted Beans" (Coffee: How Seattle Built a Culture). Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  9. ^ NY Times Peet’s Buys Stumptown Coffee Roasters
  10. ^ http://www.coffeechainworld.com/
  11. ^ Allison, Melissa (20 August 2008). "Starbucks no longer gives small coffee shops the jitters". The Seattle Times. 
  12. ^ "Last Exit, many returns: 20 years and many fads later, laid back U District coffeehouse show no signs of slowing down", Seattle Times, June 20, 1987, p. E1.
  13. ^ "About Us : Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts". toppotdoughnuts.com. 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  14. ^ Naomi Tomky, Seattle's Other Coffee Culture, The Stranger, 2015-10-13. Accessed 2015-10-23.
  15. ^ Julia Wayne, 8 Fantastic Ethiopian Restaurants Around Seattle, Seattle Eater, 2015-09-17. Accessed 2015-10-23.
  16. ^ "The Clover Brewing System". starbucks.com. 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  17. ^ Caitlin A. Johnson (February 18, 2007). "Shedding Clothes And Selling Coffee". CBS News. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Coffee: The World in Your Cup - Burke Museum". burkemuseum.org. 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  19. ^ Nick Brown (February 23, 2015), "Say Hello to the 2015 U.S. Coffee Championship Winners", Daily Coffee News (website), Roast Magazine 
  20. ^ Howard Bryman (April 7, 2016), "The Coffee Man: A Documentary on 2015 World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic", Daily Coffee News (website), Roast Magazine 
  21. ^ "Elliott Bay Cafe – The Inspiration for Cafe Nervosa on "Frasier"". Retrieved March 19, 2016. 

External links[edit]