Fonté Coffee on 1st Avenue

Fonte Espresso Lounge, originally uploaded by andai.

For a while now, I had been hearing rumors about Fonté Coffee Roasters opening their own retail location somewhere in downtown Seattle. Other than the fact that they would be having a retail location, I didn’t know anything about where this location would be, or even when they would actually be open. I guess I could have been a little more proactive and done some investigating but whatever…

Be that as it may, yesterday evening, I just happened to stumble upon the Fonté flagship retail coffee shop downtown, right on 1st avenue. They are located directly across the street from the Seattle Art Museum, next to a pretty famous Seattle landmark which I prefer not to mention. Since I was looking of a place to get dinner and not coffee, I decided that I was going to have to come back another day and check out the place.

But I was pretty excited to have found this location. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first being that Seattle’s downtown coffee scene is certainly becoming nicely represented with great coffee options. Long, long gone are the days when we mainly had Starbucks all over the place. It now seems that more and more new small and/or independent coffee shops are opening up especially in 1st avenue in and around the area close to Pike Place Market. And now when you consider that in the space of less than two blocks south of Fonté, we have Stella Coffee and Cherry Street Coffeehouse. And to the north, also in the space of less than two blocks, we have Seattle Coffee Works and DeLaurenti. These a great options right there. In actuality, there are more coffee shops when you go 4 blocks north or south of Fonté but I think you get my gist.

The second reason I am excited about this is because I would like to see more coffeehouses and coffee shops that serve beans from roasters other than the Seattle default i.e. Caffé Vita and Stumptown coffees. I personally think that there are not enough places here in Seattle that serves coffee from other roasters.

Fonte Espresso Bar, originally uploaded by andai.

Now in the case of Fonté, I know for sure at least two, maybe three places that use their coffee. These places include Joe Bar which is located at the Harvard Exit which is on the north end of Broadway up on Capital Hill. Then there is Chez Dominique which is funny enough about four blocks south of this Fonté coffee shop.

Anyway, later that Saturday night, I was in need of Wi-Fi access and where I was straying the internet connection was abysmal so I decided that I would go to a coffee shop and use the Wi-Fi there instead… and if I was going to a coffee shop, why not check out Fonté then?

I must say that I really liked the interior décor. Theirs is a more modern style and look and feel which I think perfectly suits the location at the new Pan Pacific hotel. And like a lot of the other coffee shops in Seattle, they also offer wine in addition to coffee. The baristas I met there were really friendly and helpful. They seem to certainly care about their customers.

I didn’t ask too many questions about their coffee about I can bet the farm that they use Fonté Coffee Roasters beans. I do enjoy Fonté coffee and my latte was good. I enjoyed it. I did spend a fair amount of time chatting with one of the baristas and so by the time I actually started to drink my latte it was a little cold. Next time I need to drink and chat, and not chat, chat, chat… then finally drink.
The other thing that I thought is great is that Fonté coffee is open till 10 at night, at least on Saturdays. So for those of you who want a more or less quiet place to enjoy a good late night espresso Fonté is certainly for you.

So here now is my dilemma. When I am downtown in the area around 1st avenue at Pike Place Market, should I go to Fonté, should I go to Stella, should I go to DeLaurenti or should I go to Seattle Coffee Works? I think these are good dilemmas to have to face once in a while.

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