Coffee at Columbia City Bakery



Columbia City Bakery Sign, originally uploaded by andai.
One of the reasons I was somewhat looking forward to moving to Columbia City was that I would be close to Columbia City bakery. Now depending on which Seattle neighborhood you live in, you will probably be familiar with Columbia City Bakery since they are one of the two more well known bakeries that supply bread to a number of the cafes and bakeries in the area. The other bakery is Essential Bakery, which as two locations, the first in Wallingford and the second location in Madison Valley.

The irony of bring just down the road from Columbia City Bakery was that where I was staying, a friend would bake fresh homemade bread every other day. So I really wasn’t interested in actually buying bread from the bakery, however I was more interested in their coffee. The other irony was that I only went there a couple of times for coffee. More often than not, I would go to Empire, Tuta Bella or some of the other ones on the ‘hill’ like the recently opened Porchlight Coffee.

Part of the reason that I didn’t really hang out at Columbia City Bakery was because the place tended to get just a little too crowded, especially on Saturday mornings, and so finding seating was the main problem. The other problem is that the seating area is relatively small so it does not take too many people to fill out the place, so you are left standing watching and waiting to see when some family will vacate the table so you can quickly jump on it. The crowd that seemed to patronize the place was more of the young couple with the kid(s) type of crowd, or the young couple and the girl’s parents (boy’s in-laws) catching up on the past week… pretty much the newer, gentrified Columbia City demographic … not the older generation that have traditionally lived in the area.

Customer service at the place was not supper exceptional, but I couldn’t really complain. The first day I went there for my latte I was surprised to see one of the baristas working there whom I remembered used to work at Essential Bakery. She was pretty cool to chat with as we talked about her previous life at Essential and her move to Columbia City. She made me a decent latte… decent enough for me to go back. However, the next latte I got there, from a different barista no less was nothing really to write home about. And I think that was the main reason I wasn’t super excited about going back too many times. The lattes were decent, but certainly nothing that was exceptional that I had to go back there. But now that I no longer live in Seattle, I don’t know that I would have the chance to try them again oh well…

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