The last time I had coffee at this particular location was late in 2004.
At that time, this location was the main coffee store for Torrefazione Italia. Since then things have changed, Starbucks through some acquisitions ended up owning Torrefazione and eventually shut down the stores*… I don’t know what possessed them to do so but they decided in their infinite wisdom that was the best course of action to take.
Regardless, this location is now the flagship store location for the Caffe Umbria Coffee Roasters… which it just so happens used to be affiliated with the Torrefazione brand. If you have been reading my blog, you’ll know that Caffe Umbria is one of my favorite coffee roasters and I have been meaning for a while now to pop into this store to try it out. So it was nice after all this time that I happened to be in the area and I was able to finally drop in for a latte.
The place had changed somewhat from the way Torrefazione had been designed. Gone were the huge wooden tables I remember and in their place were cafe style tables. Also, gone were the shelve selling the Torrefazione ceramics. In the current store, I really liked the three European style stand up tables that were close to the ordering counter. I also really liked what they did with the ordering counter, giving it a more modern and elegant look and feel to it. The selection of eats looked great and I made a mental note to try one of the puff pastries next time I was in the store.
I ordered my usual double tall latte from one grumpy barista. Now I don’t quite know what was eating her but that wasn’t my problem. And just for that reason, I didn’t tip. I think if you’re going to be unpleasant, then please don’t expect me to be generous with the tips. Funny enough, the guy ahead of me ordered the doppio espresso which reminded me of one of the comments made on a previous posting.
Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, the coffee was pretty good. This was in line with my expectations. now I don’t know if I should have expected that the latte should have been better than the ones I get at Caffe Migliore’s. But then I guess I would expect not since every time I go to Caffe Migliore, it is always the owner who makes the espresso drinks. This is also the case with Scuie in that whenever I go there, it’s always the same guy, not the owner, but some guy who really knows his business, who pulls the shots and makes the espresso drinks. But at Caffe Umbria, I believe she was one of the regular baristsa ladies and so I wouldn’t expect her to be at the level of Migliore. All the same, I really enjoyed my latte.
All in all, I like the place and I will certainly be going back from time to time, despite the one grumpy barista… maybe she’ll be in a better mood next time…
*By the way, you can still get Torrefazione but you are most likely to get it in grocery stores and supermarkets now and some cafes… including the cafes in Swedish Hospital that’s up on Seattle’s Capital Hill.