What can I say? Victrola Coffee is one of my top three if not my all time favorite coffee shop. Zoka Coffee and Migliore both come in at a pretty close second. I also like Caffe D’arte as the third place contender. Vivace Coffee used to be my favorite coffee shop till I discovered Victrola Coffee up on 15th… and at the same time something happened with Vivace and I feel that for a while they had lost their way though they are certainly coming back strong.
What is it about Victrola that makes them number one in my book? There are a few things but the top two are the following:
They start off with freshly roasted beans. One thing I notice about many of the stores I like is that they actually roast their own beans on-site or at least pretty close to on-site. So the beans they grind in their espressos are extremely fresh. Next, they roast and blend their beans in a way that brings out the unique flavor that Victrola is known for. Many of the coffee shops that roast their own beans tend to have their own unique flavor. I think Victrola Coffee’s roast is pretty awesome… well the best. Finally there are the baristas. These are the folks who know, not just how to grinds the beans, the amount to use, but also how to pull the espresso, how to steam (or froth) the milk and bring all that together into the perfect latte. What I like about the baristas here also is that they are actually pretty friendly and pretty cool. And some with the tattoos just look like they ‘understand’ espresso… Now I don’t know what that really means, but I think they certainly look the part
In addition to great coffee, Victrola is also a big supporter of the local arts scene. They hosting various readings of poetry and art work displays and in fact I actually discovered Victrola when I went to a poetry reading they hosted for a number of poets which included a friend who had invited me to hear him
rant read. There were a number of poets in attendance and so I got my latte and settled down to listen to some ‘words of wizdom’. Now truth be told, one thing you notice if you’ve lived in Seattle for a while is that the art scene is a little… well may more than a little out there. So whenever you go check out some of these artsy stuff you have to be prepared for anything. And though most of the poets were really not my style I was able to at least listen to what they were talking about and enjoy the atmosphere at Victrola. Little did I know that this was the start of a long and beautiful relationship with a great coffee shop.