616 E Pine Street
The Capital Hill area of the Emerald City is an intriguing one to go for a stroll around in. Bars, live music venues, theatre houses, fashion boutiques, bookstores and coffeehouses abound. I think you could spend a full day up and down the main streets of this area and get in a complete day of good eats and entertainment. One of the most popular places to unwind and get a solid cup of coffee is Stumptown‘s location on the steeply inclined East Pine Street.
My only previous experience with their coffee was when I picked up some of their roasted beans in Vancouver’s Chinatown district. So I was keen on actually going to one of their two cafes in this part of Seattle. With limited seating outside and big glass windows leading inside, it was quite inviting from the sidewalk when you approach it. Stepping inside, you are in direct line of sight with the main service counter.
Friendly but busy baristas were giving off none of that stereotypical snobbishness that can sometimes come across when you enter a trendy coffeehouse. These folks actually smiled when I was at the front of the line. While waiting, I perused the small shelf upon which some fresh roasted bags of beans were being sold. As this was on my mind, I knew I’d revisit the space after I had my drink.
The delivery of my Americano came in a timely manner too. Temperature (not blistering hot) and flavor (bold and deep and certainly not burnt) are perhaps most important to me when I drink coffee. I won’t drone on about it as some might be apt to (and similarly like wine), as I know how personal the experience is for everyone and each has their own likes and dislikes. I just know what I enjoy and this was floating right into that wheelhouse.
I had to get two for the road. Now that its been some time since I’ve gotten these and prepared and drank several cups of each, I’ve found that I enjoy them both more than the Hairbender I’d gotten previously from them. If I had to choose between the two pictured above, I’d go with the one on the right, the Holler Mountain. I felt the differences were subtle but again, its all personal preference.
With so many other cool looking and reputedly excellent coffeehouses in this neighborhood, I really need to return and sample more of the Seattle coffee scene. If you have any tips or recommendations, please feel free to drop a note in the comments area. Thanks!