Seattle, dubbed by many as the coffee capital of the U.S., has countless cafes and coffee shops.
Type in “coffee” in Seattle Yelp, and select “downtown” area, it shows 227 coffee spots in a small, roughly six-by-eleven block area.
One of these small chains that I love is Storyville; they are only three stores in the Seattle area, with a roasting studio on Bainbridge island.
Simple, fresh, elegant are the words I will use to describe Storyville.
Coffee experience at Storyville is simple: 2 blends, one caffeinated Prologue Blend, and one decaffeinated Epilogue Blend.
The best part about their coffee is freshness — roasted in Bainbridge island 10 miles away from Seattle, this supply provides coffee for the 3 stores.
Not only that coffee is fresh, their simple, few-item baked goods menu are hot-off-the-oven: cinnamon rolls, chocolate cakes and cookies that are bake fresh each stores.
My toasty soy mocha had an almost malty aftertaste which was very pleasant.
The soy milk used was an outright compliment to their coffee, completely void of beaniness of soy.
It is usually common to have “coffee mouth” after coffee consumption: a little astringent and sour on the tongue, little filmy mouthfeel left if consumed with milk; but the aftertaste in this mocha lingered so nicely, it was in a league of its own.
Coffee at Storyville is a luxury: my small, 12-oz. mocha is $4.75, a buck more than my favorite from The French Bakery.
I will still go back for an occasional treat when I am over on the Seattle side!
On this side of the lake though, I like Cesura, aside from the French Bakery.
The French Bakery uses Attibassi coffee, flown in fresh weekly from Italy.
The espresso is dark, bold, and very roasty; its character cuts through milk, and very much in-your-face.
On the contrary, Cesura’s espresso is smooth.
One store only in downtown Bellevue, with modern, simple décor, I once saw Washington senator, Patty Murray there.
Cesura uses Café Lusso‘s coffee which is freshly roasted in Redmond, WA.
Their mildly roasted espresso is fantastic.
Cesura’s mocha experience was ever-changing as the drink cooled down.
First, it tasted similar to a melted down Haagen Daz coffee ice cream with high cream flavor; as the drink cooled down, more of the chocolate characteristics showed itself beautifully, and as a supporting actress that was still letting the star coffee shone.
Their soy milk still had some beaniness to it unfortunately.
Cesura is not as impressive as Storyville with its pastries, but my friend swore by their excellent breakfast sandwiches.