Seattle Coffee Society/Cafe Crawl

I heard about The Seattle Coffee Society meeting from Sara Dooley about a week before it happened and decided I would attend.  I got the day off so i could go up to Seattle and do some coffee stuff before the meeting what follows is a summary of where I went and what I had.

First stop Neptune Coffee located in the greenwood neighborhood.  Dan has been coming into our shop(OlympiaCoffeeRoastingCo.) a lot lately so I thought I would show some love and stop by.  As you walk through the door you notice to the right there is a long bench with tables along it and chairs across from it.  In the rear is a ping-pong table that was being used and I liked to hear that in the background.  To the left of the entrance is an over-sized table covered in laptops being analog I opted for the bench.  I ordered a shot of their SOE Panama Boquete Volcancito, Lauren pulled a most excellent shot, it was about one and a half ounces had great flecking and a nice caramel aroma.  I was punched in the mouth with toffee a great chocolate body and caramel finish that left me with a smile on my face.  I picked up some semi washed Sumatra Lintong which turned out to be the most amazing Sumatran coffee I have ever had.  When I got back to my shop on Friday I ran it through the Clover 35g/12oz/40sec, SUPER clean, nice cedar and tobacco undertones and as it cools it gets a really nice berry quality.  I also picked up some El Salvador La Fany that I have yet to try.

Ten blocks south of Neptune is Herkimer Coffee.  Heads up: cash only.  I had a double of the espresso blend the barista wasn’t quite sure what it was made up of.  The shot was a little over one ounce very bright and had a sharp finish.  The inside of the cafe was low lit but had a lot of windows for natural light to come through.  Very nice location.

I hit the road to downtown Seattle for Seattle Coffee Works(SCW) and Trabant.  After realising I parked in the most expensive parking garage I possibly could I headed to SCW.  SCW has a great location, it sits where the old johnny rockets was across from Pike Place Market.  When you walk in you instantly feel welcome.  Because they have a lot more space you get more choices for seating, there are benches, chairs and table, couches and a nice area where the slow bar is.  The choices don’t end with seating, you can get a pour over, siphon pot, espresso, or french press.  I opted for a  shot of El Salvador Villa España.  It was around two ounces, milk chocolatey with a wine like body and a great roasted hazelnut finish.  This was one of my favorite stops this trip.

Last but certainly not least Trabant Coffee & Chai.  I have recently fallen in love with this space.  During coffee fest I attended the train wreck party and had a great time.  The shot of 49th Parallel’s Epic espresso was very nice.  Matthew the Barista explained to me that he has been tooling around with long shots all the way up to three ounces.  The shot I had was a little over two ounces, there was a pleasing acidity to it very light body and a burnt sugar finish.  The Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Koke really came out as the espresso cooled and the Honduras added a nice milk chocolate finish.  Like Neptune they have a large bench with tables and chairs along the left side of the cafe with a small area at the entrance that has tables and chairs.  There are really great quilts on the walls which I believe are from the next door gallery…..if I’m wrong please correct me, my favorite of which was a depiction of an ice cream cone with the words “yum factor 10” sewn on.  I picked up some of 49th Parallel’s Costa Rica Helsar micro lot and have yet to brew it at home.  I highly recommend this spot for great conversation with Baristas that like to geek out more than what I have experienced in other shops.

Now that I am fully caffeinated I head back to SCW for the inaugural meeting of the Seattle Coffee Society.  Daniel Humphries put this together to get more open discussion within the Seattle coffee scene.  Daniel had just come back from Puerto Rico doing some research on the soil there.  Being from Puerto Rican descent I found this very interesting.  The main gist is that P.R. has a high market price for their coffee…somewhere around $3.oo so form the producers P.O.V. there is no reason to change practices.  When he asked them to pick ripe cherries for testing he got back a bag of very green and bright red cherries.

What I got from this subject was with enough education and investment into the P.R. coffee industry we can see some really nice high quality coffee coming from here within the next 10 years.  Another thing that interested me was the practice of par roasting coffee to be sent to P.R. due to the fact that the importation of green coffee is forbidden.  So the coffee is roasted for about five minutes and sent to P.R. where they add green beans along with the par roasted beans to their roasters and the product is often inconsistent.  There is most likely going to be another meeting at the end of January if you have any suggestions hit up Dan.

This was one of the most fun and educational coffee days I have had in a long time.  I thank Daniel for putting together the meeting and SCW for hosting.  I also want to thank all the Baristas I interacted with Y’all made my day even better!


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