When I first moved to Seattle, Vivace was my favorite coffee shop hangout. I thought their roast was fantastic and their baristas talented. I used to frequent their shop that was just off of Broadway on Denny, not to be confused with their other little stand also on northern part of Broadway.
Later after relocating to another part of Capital Hill, I started frequenting Victrola Coffeehouse instead… this signaled the end of my love affair with Vivace coffee. As time went on, I found that I did not like Vivace coffee any more. At first it seemed that for a while, on the rare occasions I went to their Denny Way shop for a cup, their lattes were pretty milky tasting and bland. In my opinion, I don’t think it was the roast that was bad, I think it was the baristas pulling the drinks who were simply doing a crappy job. Yet despite this, I know plenty of people who still totally enjoyed their drink.
Then they opened their third store next to REI and through happenstance and necessity, I found myself going to that store on occasion and getting a latte there. Big improvement! I don’t know if it was just that store or if the store on Denny has also improved, but I am happy to say that I think their coffee has gotten much better… tending towards how I remember it when I first discovered the Denny Way store. On top of that, I discovered that one of my favorite baristas from Victrola works at that store so maybe that’s another reason why the place has gotten better 😉
Just a quick word about Vivace in general if I may. I really like the way they design the interior of the store with the ‘renaissance’ type murals on the walls that give the place an almost Italian feel. I also think that their coffee has much improved but I don’t feel like it is as good as I remember. Yet I believe there are a lot of folks who would dismiss what I think and would vouch that Vivace makes the best espresso drinks. If you have been to Vivace, please let me know whether you think they make great espresso or not, and why did you come to that conclusion.