We spent a quick weekend in Seattle a few months ago and managed to hit a bunch of coffee shops. Having already hit the 3 V’s (Vita, Vitrola, and Vivace) , we visited some other places: Analog Coffee, Kaladi Coffee, Bedlam Coffee, and Milstead & Co.
In some sort of iPhone mini-disaster, I lost all of the notes that I had taken and unfortunately only have photos and vague memories to describe my experience.
Analog Coffee was great. We loved wandering Capitol Hill and enjoyed the neighborhoody vibe of the place. People young and old were hanging out, in couples, with pets, or just on a bench with their knitting needles. From what I recall, the espresso was exactly what I wanted – a fairly bright ristretto that packed a punch.
And there was a bulldog inside.. I don’t remember her name, but “Stella” sounds good.
After asking our new knitting acquaintance for other neighborhood destinations, we took off through the streets. I saw a garage door with a giant Supersonics logo. A cyclist was towing his skateboarding buddy with some sort of strap that he had rigged onto his backpack. We walked through a community garden with a makeshift homeless shelter, and then through the beginnings of a Dykes vs Drags kickball game – or was it softball? We got beer and food at Elysian brewery and then ice cream and more beer at Bluebird Microcreamery & Brewery.
Bluebird MicroCreamery & Brewery
This is supposed to be a coffee post, but there was ice cream and a stout float..
and of course, to recover from food coma, we decided to get more coffee. Kaladi Brothers was nearby.
Kaladi Brothers Coffee
Kaladi Brothers Coffee shares space with a bookstore and the Gay City Health Project. This was a good spot for us to rest and hang out for a bit, but I found the espresso to be made from beans roasted too dark for my taste.
The next morning, we stumbled through the Hempfest crowd, unable to visit Olympic Park as planned. Visting Hempfest would probably have been fun, too, but wading through crowds and standing in a very long line did not look enjoyable.
I needed caffeine. We found Bedlam Coffee in Belltown. It is a crazy, funky place, that matches its namesake. Its intensely red walls are covered with posters, sculptures and signs.
It didn’t look like a place where the coffee was the main focus, and the “light roast” espresso I got matched my expectations. But it gave me the caffeine I needed to prevent further withdrawal and was worth the visit for the ambiance.
We walked and walked and walked. By the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project and then up the hills of the Queen Anne neighborhood with tired legs while taking in fantastic views over Lake Union and imagining the lives of those who lived in those fancy houses on the hill. We eventually made our way closer to sea level, snacking on blackberries along the way, to the Fremont bridge and found our next destination: Milstead & Co Coffee.
Milstead & Co. Coffee
The retail front overlooks the base of the Fremont bridge, and the dark grey exterior and the understated signage of Milstead & Co was in stark contrast to the visual energy of Bedlam. Milstead had clean lines and a wood-paneled bar with a black counter and matching La Marzocco machine.
As I’d mentioned before, I lost my tasting notes, so I don’t remember much about my cup. I recall thinking that I enjoyed Analog’s espresso better, though I wasn’t surprised by how light the body was in the cup since I had probably ordered a fruity single-origin.
It was a satisfying stop. From there, we made our obligatory visit to see the Fremont Troll, grabbed some BBQ and then walked towards Ballard for some whiskey and one last hangout before we boarded a bus downtown, collected our bags, and then parted ways.
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