Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tougo (Capitol Hill)

I am tired. I am really tired. I am that kind of tired that is described so well by the narrator in Fight Club. Have you ever felt so out of it that you feel like you are awake, but the portion of your brain that controls the thought process is off? You are in a daze, your eyes are open, but your level of consciousness in your brain only controls physical movement. That is me today. I'm not sure if it is because my body thinks I'm still on central time. I'm not sure if it is because I'm about 36 hours into my normal eating pattern of no processed foods or sugar after a week of gluttony in the Midwest. One thing is certain. I am tired.

Deep down I know that the way to get back on track is to hunker down and plow through it, but I'm just not strong enough for it. I know I sound like a typical whiny bitch, but frankly, today I just don't care. I am in need of caffeine.

Last night, a friend gave me a coffee house recommendation. Like a crack ho who just couldn't say no, I was eager to oblige. This morning I went to Tougo Coffee. The first thing I thought was "WTF kind of name is that?". I wondered if my Asian restaurant name rule could be applicable to coffee as well. For those of you who don't know the rule, the quality of an Asian restaurant is inversely related to the sound of the restaurant's name. For example, a restaurant called Triple Happiness Seafood will be a great place. House of Hunan will suck.

Tougo is located at 1410 18th Ave in Seattle (Capitol Hill).

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They are quite clear about which side of the political spectrum that they support. On a normal day, I might get all pissy about it, but right now I could care less.

It is a nice little casual coffee house in a residential neighborhood across the street from an elementary school. How quaint?

As usual, I ordered a small latte. The first thing I noticed was that the barista has a case of OCD. I watched him make several drinks before he got to mine. As someone who has an on again off again case of OCD, it is easy to spot in others. When tamping the coffee into the naked portafilter, it was obvious that this guy was much more exacting than the average barista. My gut was right on this place. This was a fine cup of coffee. It was big and bold. It had the intensity of a brand new California Cabernet that is full of oak. When you take a sip, it smacks you. I was very happy with this latte. While I have grown very fond of Stumptown's nicely subtle flavors, sometimes you want something more assertive.

Man oh man, I was brain dead today. Normally, I take a picture of the coffee before I start to drink it, but today isn't normal as you might have noticed.

If I was able to converse today, I would have asked the barista if the beans come from Cafe Vita. I'll have to assume that they do, since the cup was from Cafe Vita. This latte did taste similar to Cafe Vita, so I'll just go with it. Honestly, I prefer Tougo to Cafe Vita. The OCD barista at Tougo did a better job at tapping the steamed milk to dissipate the large air bubbles and the Tougo coffee was smoother.

One thing I forgot to mention is that Tougo has a fairly large room in back for children. After spending 10 days in France where children aren't supposed to be in public, this is very welcoming. Sometimes you have the children along and just don't want to deal with snotty people.

If you happen to be in Capitol Hill, this is a really decent place.

Tougo Coffee Co. on Urbanspoon