Broadcast Coffee (Capitol Hill) – 1623 Bellevue Ave. Seattle, WA
- Espresso: ⨷ ⨷ ⨷ ⨷ ⨷ ~
- Cycle accommodations: Lean space on windows, observable from inside ~
- Cafe setting: Simple, Clean ~
- Interior seating: Variety of options, makes good use the space ~
- Exterior seating: Modest, Minimally covered~
- Pastry selection: Modest ~
Broadcast Coffee’s Capitol Hill location tucked neatly into the store front of a fairly newly developed building. Secure bike parking is limited, and you will want to make sure to keep your cycle in plain view against the window, or it may quickly vanish if unsecured. Perhaps when the construction project underway, directly south of Broadcast, is complete a bike rack will be installed. If not, Broadcast, we recommend that you call (206) 684-7583 and visit http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikeracks.htm to understand the options and request SDOT to provide accommodations for securing cycles near to you and preferably observable from within the cafe.
This part of the city seems to be rapidly transforming with new development and Broadcast Coffee took the opportunity to recently settle into their second location. The original location is at 1918 Yesler Way. We will plan a stop there to compare in the future to gage consistency of brand. There are a few chairs outside available to sit and sip a coffee and watch the activity of the neighborhood. We state no guarantees that the narrow canopy will keep you dry on a rainy day.
Inside is simple and clean, with sealed natural finish concrete floors and exposed structural concrete columns and slab ceiling. Pendant lights draw focus to the coffee bar, which is finished with a warm natural wood transaction top and basket weave tile facing on the front. The natural wood highlights are consistent throughout the coffee house, giving it warmth and a touch of character. There is a wall display of coffee and a few coffee sundries available for purchase. A vintage filmstrip projector caught our eye and brought back memories of an A.V. cart being rolled into a darkened classroom room for a filmstrip show with accompanying beep tone to signal when to advance to the next frame. In our humble opinion, a few more bits of A.V. and broadcast paraphernalia will fill out the decor of this new location just right.
The young man tending the espresso bar greeted us warmly with a smile and provided a good introduction to the coffee roasts they were serving. Dueling grinders were in operation. Grinder one was loaded with Stumptown Hairbender, and grinder two was loaded with a single origin ethiopian heirloom from Sightglass coffee bar and roastery of San Francisco. We discussed a bit about the qualities of each and how a single origin can be difficult to pull a good quality espresso with. We have had our fair share of Hairbender and with some thoughtful nudging from the barista we decided upon the Sightglass.
With a satisfied order taken, the barista served a soda water immediately and our expectation of a good espresso was set into place by the quality of the ritual that was being delivered. The barista was noticeably focused and took thoughtful deliberation in his preparations. He was careful to keep a tidy cup and delivered the espresso with deft movements placing it gently in front of us. The crema was wonderfully consistent and full. The aroma was clean and smooth. The texture of the coffee was good and provided an excellent flavor progression with a lingering sweetness to finish.
Broadcast we give you a solid four out of five wheels. The coffee bar is pleasant, clean and simple. The service was excellent and the espresso preparations done properly with attention to tradition. The pastry selection was limited like the bike parking. One might fuss that the espresso crema could have had a more reddish tint and a smidgen more velvety texture across the palette, however, all the other qualities ruled the day. Bravo, we know that we can come to Broadcast for an espresso performance well done.
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*Paradoxical footnote: All the cafes we spend time to write about we recommend as destinations. We provide the honest feedback and rating of the espresso experience because we are interested to help cultivate the best success for future visits. Even though we may give the espresso experience a one wheel rating we can still love and recommend a visit to the cafe because of the overall character of place, amongst other qualities.
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