Entries tagged with “Coffee Shops”.

The best place to find Starbucks gossip is, of course, on the Starbucks Gossip site. (I felt guilty for declining to buy VIA instant coffee after reading employee comments on the pressure they felt to sell it.) One of the site’s regular features, though, the “Juan Valdez” reviews of random Starbucks sites, is coming to a close. In his latest post, reviewing an Anacortes branch, “Juan” writes that his 50th review will be his last. That leaves him seven more to go, and he’s taking votes on which stores to visit within a 50 mile range of Seattle. Early recommendations include the store at 7th and Stewart, the Columbia Tower branches, and the University Village remodel. If you don’t have a store to recommend (either pro or con), or if you’re not interested in discussions on understaffing, attitudes, and store cleanliness, well, you can always join the debate about what a chair was doing in the Anacortes bathroom.

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<em/>Tall Skinny Bitter/images by Chris Munson

Tall Skinny Bitter/images by Chris Munson

Here’s a different kind of coffee talk: Dani Cone, owner of Fuel Coffee, has teamed up with graphic designer Chris Munson for a book that takes “a visual tour” of the Northwest’s independent coffeehouses. The publication party for “Tall Skinny Bitter: Notes from the Center of Coffee Culture” will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday (June 20) at Bailey Coy Books, 414 E. Broadway. (Yes, liquid caffeine will be served, along with Cone’s High 5 Pies.)

In the book,  Cone interviews baristas and coffee shop owners from throughout Seattle and Portland, providing 112 pages of browsable — or maybe, given the context, I should call them sippable — stories. There are brief profiles, bites of information, guest essays, quotes, and lists.

(Sample: Top 5 Things Customers Say That Make Baristas Want to Punch Them In The Face. Surprise: “Can I have a caramel macchiato?” only comes in at #4.)

Some of the features are formal, e.g. a look at the geographic differences between Caffe Vita’s different blends, some are casual, as with the comic strip look at Kapow Coffee in South Lake Union. The whole look and feel of the book, actually, reminded me of a graphic novel; the layout and artwork are as integral as the words.


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Seattle’s Best Coffee is celebrating its 39th anniversary on Monday, April 6, by offering customers a free 12-ounce cup of brewed coffee. Unless you’re also 39, in which case you can get free coffee from April 6-28, among other anniversary promotions. And yes, SBC is now owned by Starbucks, and some versions of its history put its age at 40 or 41. I say it can celebrate 39 this way as many years as it wants.

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lusciousPassing by this drive-through coffee stand in Mountlake Terrace, my uncaffeinated mind couldn’t imagine what its new sign might mean. “Family Friendly”? Were they handing out crayons with the cappucinos? Mini punch cards for hot cocoa?

Turns out it was meant to repel all the aggrieved men who were pulling in after seeing the stand’s name — Luscious Latte — expecting bikinis or lingerie on their baristas. (The unhappy customers hadn’t referenced the Seattle Bikini Barista site first, apparently.) My barista was wearing a sweatshirt, looked very comfortable, and made a drink that was entirely decent.

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