You can’t live in Seattle without loving coffee. Seattleites don’t have blood running through their veins, they have coffee. There are so many coffee shops in the city, it can be overwhelming to find the best ones! So we did the work for you! We tried 6 coffee shops around the city to see which ones were worth the hype, and which ones don’t meet the mark. 2 of the coffee shops we ventured to, are known for specialty drinks, so those will be rated separately. To level the playing field, we tried cappuccinos at the remaining locations to compare which had the best espresso and milk to foam ratio. We tried coffee shops we had never been to before to branch out – but I will post a list of honorable mentions at the bottom that are our go-to’s!
Cafe Umbria is a classic in Seattle with locations throughout the city. We went to the location in Pioneer Square so we could walk around and explore the area a bit more. This was one of our favorites – the espresso had a smoothness to it, with a rich flavor and the milk to foam ratio was just right. Cappuccinos aren’t meant to be heavy with milk, it’s all about that foam! We were delightfully pleased. The espresso wasn’t too bitter, but still had enough flavor to stand on its own. If you’re looking for a classic cappuccino check this place out! Rating: 10/10.
Preserve and Gather is a local neighborhood coffee shop located just north of Ballard. They have a great cappuccino and some delicious pastries as well. We couldn’t resist grabbing their peanut butter chocolate bar along with our coffee! Their espresso is smooth with a lighter flavor. This cup was definitely less powerful than Cafe Umbria’s, but still equally as tasty. Nevertheless, it was still enjoyable and they managed to nail the milk to foam ratio. If you’re near Ballard, check them out for a delicious mid-afternoon pick me up. Rating: 9/10.
Espresso Vivace is another wonderful shop in Capital Hill. Grab a drink and explore the area – there are so many cute shops to discover. The espresso was smooth and the flavor was in between that of Cafe Umbria and Preserve and Gather. I do have to deduct a few points though for the milk to foam ratio – this was heavier on the milk side, but this could be contributed to the fact that it was Saturday morning rush and foam can take a considerable amount of time to get just right! Rating: 8/10.
Musashi Newsrooms is a hybrid coffee and sushi restaurant located in Ballard. This place appealed to use because we could get lunch AND a cup of joe! They had some fun looking rolls – so we each grabbed a roll and a cappuccino. The sushi was decent, but nothing to ride home about – there are much better sushi places around Seattle with a wider variety of offerings. The coffee though? Unfortunately our cappuccino was more like a latte, with what seemed like a half gallon of milk. The espresso flavor didn’t come through with all the milk so I really am not sure if there was even coffee in my cup. My honest opinion? Skip this place and go get you some sushi and a cappuccino from separate places. Rating: 4/10.
Coffeeholic House is a Vietnamese coffee shop located in Columbia City. I do not have much experience in Vietnamese coffee, so I was excited to try this place and see what all the hype was about. I ordered the Coffeeholic Dream and my husband the hot Vietnamese Latte. Both drinks were delicious, but for me personally they were sweeter than what I would normally drink. However, I would still drink this without a second thought. Both had espresso and condensed milk, which is where the sweetness comes from. The strong espresso did help cut through the sweetness and had a bold, but smooth flavor. If you’re looking for a fun, delicious treat – look no further! Rating: 10/10.
Cafe Turko is located in Fremont and made it on the list because we were interested in trying Turkish Coffee. They also serve a variety of turkish food, so its a perfect stop while you’re out hoping to get a glimpse of the Fremont Troll or piece of the Berlin Wall. If you have never tried Turkish Coffee before, beware, it packs a powerful punch! Definitely order it with sugar and spices or your tastebuds might not forgive you. Even with the sugar, this was one my weak tongue couldn’t handle. My husband however absolutely LOVED it! If you’re a pro at downing espresso shots straight, this is the cup for you. The coffee still had a nice flavor, it’s just not for the faint of heart. Rating: 8/10.
Here is a list of our regular shops we can’t get enough of!
- Herkimer Coffee located in South Lake Union – try their London Fog if tea is more your style; I think its the best in the city! Their baristas are very knowledgable at all things coffee so it’s the perfect place for a great drink and to learn more about where your beans are from!
- Cascade Coffee Works located in South Lake Union – their Vanilla Latte is what dreams are made of. I think it’s the best I’ve had in my life (and I’ve had quite a few). This place does cost a pretty penny, but it’s totally worth it!
- Cafe Ladro located in Capital Hill – a great staple for a classic cappuccino that they’ve perfected!
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