Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Seattle's Famous Coffee Crawl

Seattle is to coffee as Alaska is to snow. For this reason, I signed up for an award winning walking tour called The Coffee Crawl hosted by a company called “Seattle By Foot”. After countless cups of coffee at 5 amazing stops through downtown and historic Seattle, I felt more knowledgeable, cultured and of course absolutely wired!

1.    Caffe Ladro

Our first stop was Caffe Ladro, a cute little coffee shop that is Italian for “The Coffee Thief”. Here we learned about the origins of the coffee bean and tried an Ethiopian blend. We drank a pour over coffee in an aero press. This new brewing method produced a very light roast and clean brew. I was amazed at how much the coffee looked like tea. I knew it was very high quality because the coffee was naturally sweet and had no bitter after taste. I usually load my coffee up with cream and sugar but I loved this blend exactly how it was.

2.   Caffé D’arte

Our next stop was an Italian coffee shop called Caffé D’arte. Here we started with a very balanced roast, which had a name that translated to “meaning of life”. I really enjoyed it just the way it was. The second blend we tried was a darker roast called Velletri, a smokey blend commonly used in lattés. I had to put cream in this cup because it was a little bolder than I’m used to. The last blend we tried was called Capri. This lighter blend was my absolute favourite. The barista used this blend to make a latté and demonstrated some coffee art for us.

3.   Trabant Coffee & Chai

I absolutely loved our stop at Trabant. This was the first time I tried coffee brewed by a clover machine. This method is basically the opposite of a French press. First you pour the coffee into the filter on top of the machine, and it vacuums in the coffee, creating a unique and absolutely delicious blend. We had an Ethiopian blend called Barboya, which was very light and fruity. The barista told us that the coffee tastes different each time when it’s made in a clover machine. She also said “making coffee is a balance between science and art”. Our second drink at Trabant was a seasonal specialty called a Freddy Quimby. This was apple cider steam with maya tea spiced chai. It tasted like autumn in a cup!

4.   Intrigue Chocolate Co.

Next we made our way to a chocolate house in Pioneer Square for a coffee and chocolate pairing. We met the owner of Intrigue who is a botanist, and he served us at least 8 different flavours of truffles with a studio blend cold coffee (different from iced coffee) made in a Toddy. Some of the truffle flavours we tried included basil, cranberry, and pineapple. Two of my favourites were the juniper berry – a very Christmassy flavour – and the Jamaican truffle, which was made with nutmeg, vanilla, honey and chili. I loved how every flavour told a story. Between each different flavour we sipped our cold coffee to cleanse our palates. It also worked in reverse, every time we took a sip of coffee between truffle tasting, we found something new in the coffee!

5.    Caffé Umbria

Our last stop was in the Historic Pioner Square at Umbria. At this point I could feel the caffeine buzz but I was having so much fun that I didn’t want to stop! We each had a ‘Gusto Crema’ blend espresso. This specific blend is served at the Ritz in florida and The Bellagio in Las Vegas. I could tell that the quality was very high as soon as I took my first sip. Although I would chose a latté or Americano over an espresso, I still appreciated this particular blend. It was darker and had more of a kick but was also had some smoky undertones. I really enjoyed the atmosphere at this stop. The baristas brought us macarons, which was just the cherry on the top of the icing!

After the tour officially ended, I got some more coffee recommendations from my amazing tour guide and then went to lunch with my new coffee tasting buddy. What an awesome day! I would recommend this tour to anyone visiting Seattle!

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