Celesto Espresso Mobile Truck – Seattle, WA
- Espresso: ⨷ ⨷ ⨷ ⨷ ~
- Cycle accommodations: On the go ~
- Cafe setting: A fantastic truck ~
- Interior seating: Fabulous, but only on invitation ~
- Exterior seating: That is all there is ~
- Pastry selection: A fine modest selection ~
February 22, 2014 cold, wet, and gray are the descriptors for the day. The weather forecast promised that an 8:00 AM departure time would provide a window of opportunity for a dry ride. Upon review of the mendacious weather app, we saw that the bright red warning icon was flashing, saying snow was a possibility in the higher elevations. Turning a blind eye to that, a final check of the polished red brake levers of the Wilier was made. As the cranks turned, a drizzle filled the air closing the promise of the dry window. We were committed now and forged ahead climbing up to the top of Discovery Park to get warm and then to Perkins lane where freezing rain stung into our cheeks on the descent. Red alerts went off to say that the ride may need to be abandoned if the freezing rain continued. Fortunately, it was brief and yielded to larger drops of fluid precipitation. Looking at the glistening sleeves of the red Rapha rain jacket, today would be a day that will test the quality and performance of the gear. Another fleeting wise thought was that today would be a good day to use an indoor trainer. If that was the case, we would not have the opportunity to go out in search of our motivator for the ride, Celesto Espresso Mobile Truck. Would we find it? Would it be in its promised location on a day like today? Could Celesto provide a quality espresso? Most horrifyingly, would it be served in a paper cup?; lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! We pressed onward making for the dependable West Seattle loop, out beyond the Fauntleroy ferry terminal, up Marine View Drive, and then back northbound using the treacherous heavily motorized 35th Ave SW which provided the highest elevation point of the ride and heavy slushy drops that wavered between snow and rain. Only ten miles of glistening pavement stood between us and an espresso. Rain had penetrated through both gloves and booties but the Rapha rain jacket and winter collar kept our core warm and dry. A brief chill that slithered in during the descent brought back memories of the 2012 Tour de Blast.
Pausing at the Port for a moment to admire the Smith Tower, we mentally charted a route to South Lake Union (SLU) and the Center for Wooden Boats (CWB), the promised location of Celesto. The strategy was to warm up by climbing Western Avenue from Pioneer Square and then cut over to SLU via Virginia Street. The steep climb on the wet cobbles of Virginia required concentration to make it to the top upright without incident; we were now on axis with our destination. With the chill setting in, was this craziness to go in search of an outdoor truck for the ride’s espresso reward? Pedaling on, we started the descent to Lake Union; scanning forward in search of Celesto. Raindrops on our glasses refracted the green light of traffic signals and blinding white beams of oncoming headlights, then we spotted it in the distance, a small glowing red ember, tucked between the cedar shingled roofs of the CWB. Beckoning us forward, we made our way toward the warmth of the truck’s vermilion radiance. The foreboding weather had kept most of the visitors away but not Celesto, it was stationed stalwartly between the proud totem pole and the stack of lonely wooden dinghies, whose turquoise hulls complemented the bright fluid script and logo of Celseto. Basking in the glow and charm of the delightfully restored truck was enough to warm the day. Clumsily fumbling around with numb hands for money and camera we made preparations for the espresso order. The window slid open and we were pleasantly greeted by Celeste, the proprietor of the truck. We asked and were granted permission to lean the bike on the truck and were mindful to rest it gently so as to not blemish the paint. Through shivering lips an espresso was ordered and to our delight it was offered in porcelain and not paper. Celeste set busily to work crafting a wonderfully aromatic cup. The flavor was robust and satisfying and provided a lingering sweetness on the palette. A second espresso was needed and it was equally delicious. Celesto fulfilled our expectations and we give it a solid four wheels rating and make it a recommended cycling espresso stop when on the go.
Much to our delight we were given a backstage tour of the truck. The stow-away drivers seat flipped away and provided access in to the neatly developed interior. The simplicity of the drive council was outstanding; a large steering wheel with just a couple of dials and switches set into a flat metal dash was all that was needed to navigate the rig. We lingered a bit near Holmes, the heater, to admire the artwork sporting a skeleton in a camper. Finished with the tour and once again outside, we were powered by Celesto espresso and madly pedaled home to finish the ride.
Celesto is open on the weekends at the Center of Wooden Boats and in the future Sundays at the Fremont market.
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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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