Thursday, April 04, 2013

"America's Best Coffee Shops Slideshow"

The Daily Meal:
30. Zoka Coffee, Seattle
Another roaster and shop in Seattle, Zoka has been a staple of the coffee scene since it opened in 1996. With carefully sourced, small-batch roasts (two have been top finishers in the Cup of Excellence awards) and an impressive lineup of teas, Zoka draws in residents for its atmosphere and customer service. Its four locations in Washington (Zoka has additional locations in Tokyo as well) have something for everyone — and it's known for being laptop-friend

17. Victrola Coffee, Seattle
The coffee shop on 15th Avenue has been called "the living room of Capitol Hill" — which makes us wish our own living rooms were filled with Victrola coffees, coffeehouse conversations, and a homegrown Arabica coffee tree. (Seriously, its own coffee bean tree!) Victrola, a staple on the Seattle coffee scene since 2000, ranked highly not only for its quality coffee but also for the atmosphere and customer service at each of its three cafés. Stop by the roastery and café for cuppings and a light, sunny coffeehouse vibe; head to Victrola Coffee and Art on 15th for a quirky atmosphere filled with art openings and neighborhood events; and stop by the Beacon Hill location for a neighborly feel. The company is named for the popular phonograph of the 20th century, and owner Dan Ollis has compared the era of the 1920s with the era of coffeehouses today. Said Ollis in an interview with CoffeeTalk magazine, "We believe that Jazz was about innovation and the creation of something new. We find the parallel in our connection to people at our coffee shops — a comfortable social place, interestingly eclectic music, unique and great coffee, great people, great conversations, and finding how they all connect. Our innovation comes from roasting and blending these unique coffees with the same passion for excellence as those Jazz musicians from the past."

12. Milstead&Co., Seattle
Owner Andrew Milstead has been praised for taking the most difficult approach to the coffee shop model — the multiroaster model — and excelling at it. That means Milstead balances a slew of different roasters, from roasters as big as Stumptown to as small as Heart Roasters in Portland, Ore., to put forth the best coffee possible — and that’s not always as easy as it looks. Writes Jordan Michelman in Seattle Met, "Coffee professionals regard the multiroaster model as the most difficult to pull off. It’s akin to a chef who works with different purveyors from week to week, a bartender who never sticks to the same base bourbon, or a band that plays a different set every night. The target is always moving, the parameters steadily shifting." But it's Milstead’s dedication to the coffees he serves that makes it rank so highly on our list for its quality. With more than 30 different coffees on the menu to sample at a time, you’ll never get a better education about coffee than at Milstead & Co. Stop by for a single-origin espresso or an Aeropress or Clever drip coffee, and consider yourself schooled in the art of coffee. Said Milstead in an interview with Seattle Coffee Gear, when explaining why they don’t serve Venti-sized coffees or decaf coffee, "We’re doing things a little differently… we’re totally quality coffee-focused. The coffees that we have are of the utmost quality and intended to be enjoyed on their own… and we seem to have a basic clientele that seems to enjoy coffee on its own."
Howie P.S.: This concludes the list of Seattle shops listed in the Top 33.

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