A stop in Seattle’s caffeine kingdom (Washington state must surely host more drive-through espresso shacks in even the smallest hamlet than you will find tea caravans in lay-bys in the UK).
My current delight is the balanced Macchiato, delivering a really good shot of espresso, marked or only lightly topped with a small layer of foam. Whilst beautiful like those above, they must not venture into wet cappuccino or latte territory. Not over-extracted, not too long. Maybe I only now realized that I shouldn’t be getting all my vitamin-D from the dairy in my coffee, but I am developing a real aversion to excessively milky drinks. And don’t even get me started on sweetness, for that is a whole different object of terror.
The top photo actually reflects our SECOND visit. We were so impressed with our first visit (lower photo taken at outdoor table) that we ordered second cups then and there. Trust me – he never has a second cup of…
Of course this is all too reminiscent of the weeks I spent working in Seattle over a decade ago, returning to the Bay Area for a coffee-free weekend just so I did not have to be peeled off the ceiling. I was younger then (we all were), and these days we limit the coffee consumption to 1-2 really good cups. Supplemented by tea in the morning ❧
p.s.: oh, yes we did explore other things, like flying machines and hot glass (and the most amazing glass art ever). Betwixt macchiatos, aircraft wonders of yesterday and tomorrow, we had a slow week on a quiet bluff overlooking a passage of seawater where the grey whales and orcas come to visit.
note: I am finding that even ordering a double mach can confuse some less talented or earnest folks – you may end up with a very long drink that is not at all what you had hoped for, so back to single ristretto-sized pulls perhaps. I just have to learn to do this myself.
next: some other discoveries in other kitchens