My Favorite Seattle Coffee Places (2014)

This weekend Seattle is hosting the SCAA (Speciality Coffee Association of America). This is the big coffee event for the industry. People from all over the world will be visiting Seattle. In addition to the big expo, I expect our visitors will be checking out the local coffee scene.

Below is my current list of Seattle coffee shop favorites broken down by neighborhood.

Biases: I only drink espresso and I loathe dark roasts.

Disclosures: None. I’ve never worked for anyone in the coffee industry. I am the organizer of the Coffee Club of Seattle, which is a group of 700+ coffee fans that have been exploring the Seattle coffee scene since 2006. I’ve also ran the coffee hobbyist website INeedCoffee since 1999.

Downtown / Belltown / Pioneer Square

  • Seattle Coffee Works
  • Trabant Coffee
  • Street Bean Espresso (closed on Sunday)
  • Motore Coffee (closed on weekends)

Capitol Hill / Central District

  • Black Coffee Co-op
  • Broadcast Coffee
  • Tougo Coffee
  • Victrola Coffee


  • Milstead & Co
  • Vif Wine & Coffee
  • Caffe Ladro


  • Toast
  • Ballard Coffee Works
  • Slate Coffee Roasters

Greenwood / Phinney Ridge

  • Neptune Coffee
  • Herkimer Coffee


  • Trabant Coffee

Eastside (Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond)

  • Urban Coffee Lounge
  • Zoka Coffee

On the way to the airport (South)

  • Caffe Delia (White Center)
  • Burien Press (Burien)

This list is not complete. There are many more great spots.

Caffe Delia

If you haven’t been to Seattle in a few years, the biggest changes have been:

  1. Many more coffee shops are offering more than 1 espresso option. Sometimes from multiple roasters.
  2. Caffe Ladro is much better.
  3. Caffe Vita is much worse.
  4. Espresso Vivace changed their Dolce espresso blend in 2009. They removed the premium robusta component and now it is a shadow of its former self. If you have fond memories of Vivace, stay away.
  5. When it comes to social media, Seattle coffee shops and professionals favor Twitter.

Welcome to Seattle!


Add yours

  1. I guess until now I thought they used only dark roasts to make expresso…learn something new every day!!

  2. Burien Press was my introduction to Seattle espresso (upon your recommendation, MAS). Loved that place. Thanks for pointing me to them.

    What has your daily espresso intake been recently?

  3. MAS…got any opinions of home expresso units? Are there any now that are worthy to own?

  4. In my neck of the woods….we only have Starbucks…but that is sufficient for me…it is my wife and I’s Sunday morning hangout before church…

  5. @Geoff – drinking about 1-2 espressos a day plus 1 Clever and 1 Aeropress.

    @Big Tex – The site is the place to go to learn about home espresso machines. I used to own a Rancilio Silvia (~$650 USD) and loved it. It may sound like a lot, but it quickly pays for itself.

  6. If you ever get to visit Astoria Or, you have to go to Astoria Coffee House. It features Stumptown coffee and has by far the best expresso around. YUM!!!

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