Seattle coffee bars: Analog, Kaladi, Bedlam and Milstead

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

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..



I got an ice cream.  Sam got an oatmeal 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.



Bedlam Coffee

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.


bad-ass sign.


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.

Hayward to San Jose to Fremont

I did a very flat 60 mile ride to San Jose yesterday with the commuter bike and a pannier.  I didn’t want to spend the entire day on the bike, so I took BART from Hayward and started there.

I needed to repurpose my old iphone 3G and finally found a worthwhile use – GPS using the Trails Lite app.  I created a route on (yes, I used them despite their obtrusive ads), exported to .gpx and then loaded the .gpx file onto Trails Lite.  I can’t tell if it’s the app or the jailbroken OS (which I had to do since I lost my old sim!) that’s unstable but it crashed maybe 8-10 times over the course of the 60 miles.  GPS works reasonably well without a network and a compass.  I do wish that the screen were easier to read while riding and the app would tell me when to expect my next turn and which road to turn onto.  But, I guess that’s why there exist turn-by-turn navigation apps.  The iphone was held on there with one of those gorillapod holders.  It works decently well but it’s definitely not as secure as a clamp.

There was a lot of flat, straight riding.  Some roads were heavily trafficked with fast-moving cars (but at least a decently wide bike lane) and others seemed a bit more industrial with few cars at all.  In the residential areas, I saw tons of yard sales.  It was a good day for a yard sale.

I spent quite a bit of time on Mission Boulevard.  The Holiday Bowl has a pretty awesome sign.  I wish it were still open so I could have checked it out.

It was kind of funny riding along the hills – my route was super-flat which made me feel strangely guilty.


The route got kind of weird at points.  I feel a bit uncomfortable near highway ramps but at least there was a bike lane.

Tri City Rock – Family owned and operated since 1978.  They sell rock.

This was a stretch on Warm Springs Boulevard.  Pretty during the day but a bit scary at night if you don’t have lighting.

I took a quick break in Milpitas in front of Yang Dental to have an orange.  I don’t think I’d been to Milpitas before.  There were a fair number of cyclists out on Milpitas blvd, probably either heading to or coming back from a ride in the hills.

Milpitas city hall

I took Capitol Ave for a bit and rode along the elevated platform of the VTA

Saw some lunar new year celebrations going on at the Lucky Seven supermarket.  Stopped to watch for a minute.

I just missed the dragon dance!

finishing up


Eventually I turned off of capitol ave due to the volume of traffic and rode along Leeward way towards the Reid Hillview airport

tons of yard sales.  seriously.

and finally remembered what it was like to ride up a hill.

I stopped by a birthday party for a bit and then headed towards downtown san jose.  Airplanes were landing at the airport.

the gate was open, so I took a picture of mounds of rocks.

Rode through SJSU for a few blocks

(proof I was there)

I ate some leftovers, hung out for a bit with friends, then started making my way back to fremont.  the ride back in the dark wasn’t as enjoyable but it helped me pick up the pace.

one of many intersections

I finished with a burrito at Chipotle before getting back on Fremont BART.  I know it’s Chipotle.  But I like their burritos..