Broadcast Coffee – Capitol Hill

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 ~

2013IMG_2491Broadcast CHBroadcast 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.

2013IMG_2490Broadcast CHThis 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.

2013IMG_2479Broadcast CH2013IMG_2488Broadcast CH2013IMG_2489Broadcast CHInside 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.

2013IMG_2485Broadcast CHThe 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.

2013IMG_2480Broadcast CHWith 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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Lighthouse Coffee Roasters

Lighthouse Coffee Roasters – 400 N 43rd St., Seattle WA

  • Espresso – ⨷ ⨷ ⨷ ⨷ ⨷
  • Cycle accommodations: Limited space, can be directly observed
  • Cafe setting: Bright, lively, pleasant, authentic Seattle character
  • Interior seating: Ample quantity, cozy
  • Exterior seating: Limited, no cover
  • Pastry selection: Average

It was a beautiful September summer Seattle morning.  The glinting azure and emerald colors filled the spectrum of our vision as we rolled along breathing the crisp salt air of Puget Sound.  It was a morning that made the drizzly dark days, long endured, seem to be a phantasm, never to return.  When we set out for the ride, we determined Lighthouse Coffee Roasters was the espresso destination.  We knew that they were north of Fremont and would provide a refreshing stop toward the end of the journey.

Lighthouse entry

Lighthouse Coffee Roasters is small batch roaster who has been providing fresh roast beans on a daily basis for over a decade. They occupy the bright corner of N 43rd St. and Phinney Ave N, which is just north of the center of Fremont.  A long wooden bench and a rock seat wall provide exterior seating to enjoy a cup of coffee.

The interior is simple with painted walls and ceilings.  The espresso bar is angular with a dark wooden top and is ringed with classic red vinyl cushioned diner stools.  There is a cozily spaced corral of seating, that provides for a dynamic and lively setting amongst the

Roaster

display of what we assume to be local art on the walls.   A cast iron roaster is showcased at the back of the cafe with large burlap sacks of coffee beans stacked in adjoining company.   A large selection of roasted coffee is for sale and is displayed in glass jars behind the espresso bar.  The aroma of coffee fills the air.

 

Menu board

We stepped up to the cashier to order an espresso and were impressed by the fair prices.  It was very busy and by 10:30 AM the selection in the pastry case was rapidly diminishing.  The staff was pleasant and engaged their customers making for a warm and inviting welcome.  While waiting we romanticized about an elegant espresso experience, having recently viewed a video of a cafe in Milan, where the baristas were smartly dressed men with pressed, collared, white, short sleeve shirts, and thin black bow-ties.  We were snapped back to Seattle, and Lighthouse roasters, where the baristas were men civilly attired with black tank tops, concert tee-shirts, shorts, and possibly Birkenstocks.  We will take pleasant and friendly any day and were warmly greeted.  Our

Espresso Bar

order was taken then passed along to the barista who went to work with great care.  The espresso was served lonely on a saucer with no spoon or soda water.  We were served a glass of ice water on request.  The aroma did not live up to the pleasant coffee fragrances filling the cafe.  The crema was thin and inconsistent with outcroppings of bubbles and mottled colorations.  The cup was not wiped clean before serving.  The flavor proved to be one dimensional; it started bitter and finished bitter.

Lighthouse Coffee Roasters we give you two out of five wheels rating for the espresso experience.  Your staff and barista had good customer engagement and your setting was an authentic Seattle neighborhood place worth visiting.  The espresso craft needs some work to perfect the crema and flavor of your fine coffee.  We have had an excellent Lighthouse blend espresso pulled at the Dutch Bike Company, so we know your roast can deliver a good cup.  Consider providing a soda water and spoon with the espresso to bring a touch of espresso tradition to your customers.

We look forward to a follow up visit as well as purchasing some fresh beans for our moka pot.

Sacks of beans

Selection of roasts

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