For a while now, my wife and I load up the kids on a weekend morning in search of the best coffee to be had in Seattle. Last weekend, we went to Zoka Coffee Roaster in Greenlake. They are located at 2200 North 56th St. in Seattle.
This is a standard yuppie neighborhood in Seattle. Moms with kids are everywhere. There are no worries about safety in this area. One thing that has amazed me since moving here is how nice people are in Seattle. Coming from Chicago, the people in Seattle can be too nice, almost like drinking fake maple syrup from a bottle. The last thing I want to do before I get my chance to fill up on caffeine is discuss how nice my kid's stroller is with a stranger. Please move along and let me get my damn coffee!
Ok, back to Zoka. This place has a very warm and cozy atmosphere. This inviting, neighborhood coffee shop atmosphere is what Starbucks wishes they could achieve, but just can't do on a large scale. There are couches and booths and penty of places to relax and get caffeienated. There are plenty of options of things to nosh on and as I understand it, are made by Zoka.
Just to the right of the computer screen is a Clover Coffee machine. These are the $11,000 masterpieces that supposedly turn out the best non-espresso coffee anywhere. As I understand it, Starbucks bought out the company, so don't expect to see many of these in other coffee houses. I didn't have the Clover coffee, so I'll have to go back and report back later.
On to the coffee. I ordered my standard weekend coffee: a 3 shot latte with whole milk. The last thing on my mind is cutting calories on the weekend. Since Zoka roasts in house, I had high expectations. I wasn't disappointed. These baristas turn out a wonderful cup of coffee. Clearly, this place is on their game. The latte has a nice roasted, nutty flavor without being too bitter.
They met one of my primary criteria for a good cup of coffee: a real mug. The last thing I want to do is snarf down my coffee in a paper cup. That would be like drinking a glass of champagne out of a plastic cup.
Last, but not least, this place will not disappoint men that come to have some coffee. The baristas are all between 20-30 and none of them were hard on the eyes.
So, if you are looking for a coffee house to hang out in and have a high-end cup of coffee, this place fits the bill.