Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stumptown Roasters (Capitol Hill)

What do lesbian couples, septuagenarians, families with small children, twenty somethings, & girls with nose rings have in common? They don't mind waiting in line for coffee at Stumptown Roasters. This place has a more diverse clientele than the waiting room at the DMV. They must be on to something.

Stumptown Roasters is a Portland based coffee roaster / coffee house that has locations in Portland and Seattle. The location I visited this morning was on 12th and Madison in Capitol Hill. This is down the street from another of my favorite restaurants in Seattle : La Spiga.

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Since my morning coffee didn't seem to get me fully awake, I grabbed my camera and drove over to Stumptown. This place reminds me a lot of Herkimer Coffee. The interior of Stumptown has the same clean, minimalist vibe. There are no comfy couches to lounge around on. There are two long benches with some very small tables that force people that are staying there to sit together. This seems to be more of a place to get out of the rain for a few minutes to drink some coffee rather than a place to pull the laptop out and hang out for a while. There was one big difference between Herkimer and Stumptown. Stumptown was jam packed on a weekday and Herkimer was practically empty on a weekend. Go figure.

I walked up and ordered my standard large latte. Thankfully, they don't fall into the grande / venti crap. Even with the large line, I was served my latte promptly. The barista was working on her own, but was cranking out the orders quickly. I got a little nervous as I was watching the barista, since it appeared that she was making my latte and going to serve it in a glass. My suspicions were when she called out the order for a large latte. While it's not like drinking coffee out of a paper cup with a plastic lid, a glass just doesn't seem right. It's like when my in-laws are at my house and serve themselves milk in a mug. It's just odd. Am I the weird one?

Anyways, the latte was a very good latte. I just couldn't get into it drinking it out of a glass. It was kind of a bummer. I know I sound like a baby, but it just didn't do it for me. Verite Coffee used Stumptown's beans and turned out a better final product. The next time I head back to Stumptown, I'll order a medium latte and see if it is served in a mug. The coffee was definitely good enough that I'll try it again.
Stumptown Coffee on Urbanspoon


Joe Brown said...

Wow, I've been to Stumptown on 12th about 20 times and I've never seen a large latte served in a glass like that. Did you check to see if they had any 12-oz mugs that were clean? If your rating is based on the glass, I recommend going back. They have been a 4.75 for me since they started roasting in Seattle.

Mike Rupp said...

Joe, I've been back to Stumptown several times since I wrote the post. Every time since then, they've always served me in a proper cup.

Being served in a glass definitely skewed my overall impression. Now that I've been there numerous times, I'd say that they are one of my favorites in town. I had heard so many good things about them that I went back to see if it was a fluke. Fortunately, it was. Last week, I had a latte that would rival anything else I've had from the other good houses. The espresso looked so perfect as the barista was preparing to pour the milk in, I almost wished that I had ordered just an espresso.

One of these days, I'll go back and order an espresso and write about it.