Caffeinated in Seattle

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I must admit I’m not one who particularly enjoys sipping a cup a jet-black coffee. Jarred drinks [at least] one pot a day of the dark liquid, whereas if I attempt to stick to the basics my mug holds more cream than coffee. However, when it comes to espresso drinks – namely cappuccinos and lattes – I literally cannot guzzle enough.

 

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Three years ago for Christmas I decided to surprise jbabe with a cappuccino machine. I wish I could say the gift was motivated by pure selflessness, but I’d be lying. I was hoping the machine would compel Jarred’s caffeine cravings to a frothier alternative (and obviously make enough for two servings).

 

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Little did I know my selfish desires were creating a monster. To say the least, Jarred got very enthusiastic about the art of latte making. We may or may not have frequented numerous latte art competitions in Oklahoma City – which if you’ve never been to one you truly are missing out. Fast forward three years later and the Witts consume more lattes on a regular basis than I would have thought humanly possible. We have also been the proud owners of not one, not two, but three lovely cappuccino machines and in the words of Jarred Witt himself when talking about our current contraption, “it will not be the last machine we own.”

 

I say all of this to make the point that we were both very excited about moving to a city that claims to have more coffee shops than any other city in the US. I’ve previously mentioned Storyville, which is still near and dear to our hearts. We spend at least one morning a week with our laptops and lattes cozied up by their fire. However, after scoring free chocolate cake the past two afternoons spent there we may be deviating from our early morning routine on a more regular basis.

 

 

 

In an effort to diversify our caffeine intake we forced ourselves to stray into coffee shops we had yet to sample. The first stop of our new endeavor was Moore Coffee nestled on 2nd Avenue between Moore Theater, Moore Hotel and Moore Food. I don’t know about you, but I sensed a little bit moore than a theme here.

 

 

 

The shop itself was a quaint, and populated, little place. As we stood in line we noticed several appetizing sweet and savory waffles amongst the patrons and decided to follow suit with lattes and a waffle once it was our turn at the register. We originally planned out enjoying our treats outside and placed our order to go, but when our number flickered inside the gold frame signaling our order was ready we saw an available table.

 

 

 

We snagged the table and quickly realized what the place lacked in size they more than made up for with their impressive and tasty latte art. Their waffles were delectable as well. I can’t vouch for the calorie count, but the flavor was spot on. In my opinion, if you find yourself in Seattle skip the first Starbucks and instead be dazzled by the artistic talents of Moore’s baristas.

 

 

 

With Washington’s marijuana laws when I first glimpsed a sign that read “Top Pot” I assumed they were selling something much different than caffeinated beverages. However, upon future investigation I realized these aesthetically vintage stores were home to hand-forged gourmet doughnuts and delicious coffee. Jarred and I designated Top Pot the next destination in our coffee shop tour.

 

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There were several Top Pot locations to choose from, but we deemed their downtown flagship café on 5th Avenue the winner. One sunny afternoon with our laptops in tow we strolled to Top Pot. Between the inviting wall of windows facing the street, the two story floor-to-ceiling bookcases framing the interior and plenty of space to make yourself at home it’s hard to determine what my favorite part of the store was, but I can tell you I was an instant fan.

 

 

 

I’m personally not a huge lover of doughnuts; they are one of the few sweets I can usually pass on. However, when the display case full of handmade doughnuts came into view I knew there was no way I was walking away empty-handed. Even though we visited Top Pot in search of exquisite coffee (which we found) their doughnuts alone may be the reason I convert to a doughnut enthusiast.

 

 

 

 

Since visiting Norway for our anniversary two years ago I’ve been obsessed with their “vaffles” so when I learned there was a premier Scandinavian bakery in our backyard visiting it was nonnegotiable. Because the name of the shop, Byen Bakeri, means “city bakery” in Norwegian I had high hopes of indulging in a waffle alongside my latte. Sadly vaffles were absent from their menu, but there was a plethora of breads, cakes, pastries, cookies, sandwiches and quiches to choose from. Their lattes were understandably simple, yet tasty and their baked goods were phenomenal. It might not be on anyone’s list of “top coffee shops in Seattle” to visit, but I can promise you that you’re stomach will thank you if you do.

 

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What started out as a quest for caffeine quickly blurred into a dessert extravaganza. I wish I could say we spent every day exploring new coffee shops, but as you can see that wouldn’t be wise for our wallets or waistlines. Truth be told, more often than not we partake in homemade espresso drinks from our trusty [third] cappuccino machine. My claim to fame is that since living in Seattle I too have finally learned the skill of latte making. Jbabe may still be on milk frothing duty, but at least I’ve got (some of) the basics mastered.

 

 

 

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