Seattle Coffee: Best & Worst

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If you know me, you know I have an intense interest in coffee. Always researching, reading, learning and exploring the world of coffee.

I am presently on a school Food, Wine, and Agriculture trip. We spent some time with roasters and sellers, but there were many places outside of the itinerary that I had vested interest in; and I was not about to let the opportunity of being in seattle for a week pass me by. I was determined to make sure I got the most of it so here is the best, bad and ugly of my coffee tour!

Above is an espresso from Roy Street Coffee & Tea. It is a well kept secret of Seattle. It is lemony, sweet and mine came with a complimentary biscotti. Worth dropping in.

Note: you can use Starbuck’s Gold cards here.

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Victrola: Coffee Roasters on Pike

The baristas are relaxed and know their craft. A fun atmosphere, the cafe is light and open. You can peer in the back at the roaster; where they make those beans liquid magic. Ask for a tour! I was short on time, but they might offer them during production.

The Streamline espresso blend is as harmonious as their name.

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Caffé Vita: Coffee Roaster on Pike

I had a lot of fun at Caffé Vita with the buyer, Daniel Shewmaker and their roaster, Wade, showing me around. They are both extremely knowledgeable in their craft. The compaines coffee is in so many local shops, including the ports nearby. I had at least one cup of their coffee everyday when I was in Washington state.

The espresso has serious appeal to; came highly recommended by Daniel.

Note: They also sell really tasty gluten free treats which is always a plus.

WORST!

The original Starbucks. Yes, I was shocked too. I like Starbis! It’s good for a quick pick me up on the go, sometimes it can’t be all about quality, you know?

I was particuraly shocked at how terrible the espresso shot was that I had. Very watered down, no crema. I was told by the lady upfront that this is the only Starbucks that hand pulls all their espresso. They have a beautiful La Marzocco machine too, but did not use it wisley.

Not worth the wait, no matter how particularly Seattle it is.

A few other places that I hear are really wonderful, but didnt get the chance to pop in:

http://www.espressovivace.com/

http://lighthouseroasters.com/

http://b-oespresso.com/

I’ll be writing more food/coffee/cocktail reviews so be on the lookout!

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Vegan Shortcake

Herb Shortcake with Roasted Heirloom Strawberries

Many of my gluten free baking recipes have been, or are easily adapted, to be vegan. This shortcake recipe is simple, just how I like it, but more importantly tasty.

On another note, it is a major growing season here in the North East. I used herbs and heirloom strawberries from right outside which is so refreshing; No trips to the market were necessary! For the herb shortcake I used lemon balm and spearmint. This added a complex flavor to the cakes which I was rather fond of. The heirloom strawberries are much smaller then what you will find in the market, but they are sweeter and full of flavor. I prefer them over the strawberries that you find in regular grocery stores and I recommend trying to grow them in your garden.

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Vegan Herb Shortcake:

1 c Bob’s Red Mill flour

1/3 c sugar

1/4 t salt

1 1/2 t baking powder

3 T Smart Balance Light (vegan butter alternative)

1 t vanilla

3 oz. Coconut milk yogurt

1 sprig each of Lemon Balm and Spearmint

Preheat oven on Convection to 350°F. In a bowl combine dry ingredients. Scoop in the 3 Tablespoons of butter alternative. With your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it is mealy. Add in the vanilla and yogurt. Wash and chiffonade the herbs then add to the batter. Spoon the batter onto a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle sugar ontop and bake for 10 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.

Wash the strawberries, remove the tops and quarter them. Sprinkle desired amount of sugar (I used 1 tablespoon) onto the berries. Roast them on a baking sheet for five minutes while your cakes are baking. Scoop onto a halved shortcake with fresh lemon balm. A wonderful summer treat.