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Just when you thought Seattle had lost its coffee-edge, bam! It’s back. I was just in Seattle, WA for Coffee Fest 2012 but the real coffee fest is happening on the streets of Seattle every day. Everyone knows that coffee culture and popularity in the US stemmed from Seattle in the 80’s and 90’s and has since migrated South to Portland and then San Francisco and then jumped all the way to New York with a little coffee dust falling in Chicago on the way. People don’t really talk about the coffee scene in Seattle anymore as it is so established and seems old at this point.
The good news is Seattle is a young town and the coffee scene will never get old. Even with great, established roasters like Fonte, Vivace and Vita; they keep things fresh with varied brew methods and cutting edge espresso equipment. The simple fact is there is too much great coffee competing in Seattle to let the bar drop. Baristas are all top notch and blends that worked for roasters years ago are only getting better with access to higher quality beans.
There are contributions from new roasters like Kuma Coffee and Herkimer Coffee. Cafes like Analog and Trabant ushering in a fresh voice. Trabant was pulling espresso from Kuma, Madcap and Sightglass depending on the day you dropped in. Analog decided not to use the Analog blend by Intelligentsia, but rather went with the local Herkimer Coffee.
Finding a good coffee in Seattle is not the hard part, hitting up all the good coffee in Seattle is the real challenge.
Within the walls of Coffee Fest there were latte art competitions, cafe and espresso competitions and a floor of vendors standing by to help you create your retail dreams. This show in particular was geared toward retail shop, cafe entrepreneur. Some roasting and packaging vendors were present. Most of the classes offered were also geared toward the retail end of operations.
Notable showings included Cafe Vita with a great set up and a lever espresso machine.
Cimbali FAEMA with a full catalogue of espresso machines on the floor and serving coffees.
And I Know Hope, a non-profit producing stylish, functional bags out of recycled burlap coffee sacks. Everything is produced in Ohio with proceeds going toward education, food and other humanitarian relief efforts.