While Seattle may be famous for being the birthplace of Starbucks, its relationship with coffee actually goes so much deeper than this. From the early 60’s to the modern day, this is the story of how Seattle became known as one of the best coffee cities in the world.
The Early Days of Coffee in Seattle
Americans were drinking coffee from as early as the 1930’s, but price was a huge factor when it came to coffee at this time, and everyone pretty much drank the same black brew. However, the early 1960’s brought with it the rise of counterculture, with young adults looking for something different than what their parents were drinking. Coupled with the cold and wet weather that Seattle is known for, the city became the perfect spot for the bohemian coffee culture to really thrive. Coffee houses soon began to pop up all around the city, and then, in the 1970’s, higher quality beans began to be sourced, leading to the creation of the first Starbucks in 1976.
Independent Roasters and Coffee Shops
The birth of the very first Starbucks really helped to pave the way for coffee culture in Seattle to really take off, and, in the 1990’s, the city experienced quite the explosion of independent roasters and coffee shops. Even though Starbucks had already acquired quite a large share of the market, these independent coffee shops were focusing on speciality coffee, rather than trying to compete with what Starbucks was offering, and this really helped them to succeed. With the perfect combination of expertise, interest, drive and coffee beans, it is no surprise that Seattle quickly became known as the city for coffee connoisseurs. For those who are wanting to learn even more about Seattle’s coffee culture, head over to the Elliott Bay Book Company, which is an independent book shop that stocks a wide range of books relating to coffee.
The Best Coffee in Seattle
With more coffee shops than any other city in the country, deciding where to go in Seattle for a freshly brewed cup can be quite difficult. Caffe Vita is a coffee house that was recently voted as one of the top ten places in the country for good coffee, while the Victrola Coffee Roasters is a spot that is passionate about educating the public on coffee, and does this by hosting weekly cupping classes, as well as by publishing tutorials on their website. Espresso Vivace is a coffee shop that has quite the history behind it, as it has been running since 1988, and is an iconic part of the city’s coffee culture, while Bakery Nouveau pairs its coffee with some of the best pastries in town, and has two locations to choose from.
Seattle boasts ten times more coffee stores per 100,000 residents than the United States has overall, meaning that you will never have to travel far within the city to find yourself an amazing cup of coffee. Whether you are seeking a strong espresso or a creamy latte, you can be sure that you will never be disappointed with the coffee that you drink in Seattle.