The Great West Exploration: Seattle, Washington

In early March, I traveled across the United States to explore Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. The weeks leading up to the trip were spent researching coffee shops and chocolate factories in the two cities, which was a bit overwhelming as to the amount of cafes in each city. I had two full days of exploring in Seattle and it was filled with lattes, cider, and walking about 22,000 steps a day. I would list all of the great coffee shops here but that would turn this into a 100-page novel so here a few of my favorites. Caffe Senso Unico is a small, comfy coffee shop with a nice atmosphere, good coffee, and tasty treats. If you are down by the Pike Place Market be sure to take a walk through Post Alley and find the "Gum Wall".  Located next to the gum wall is a little hole-in-the-wall place called: Ghost Alley Espresso. This coffee shop home to "The Smog" which takes the London Fog up a notch and it is delicious. Another place definately worth stopping by is a place known for the latte art and is called Moore Coffee Shop - when I was there they drew a cat on my latte!

If you are a fan of Starbucks, or even if you are not, be sure to include the Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room as part of your coffee tour. It is located about 10 minutes (walking) up the hill from the convention center and includes more than the Starbucks experience that they regular shops offer us. Inside the roastery you can sit at one of two coffee bars and read a printed menu before ordering your drink and food. While enjoying your coffee or tea you can watch the beans go through their roasting cycle, preparing to be poured into someone's cup of coffee. There is also a beans station where you can see all the different kinds they have and even select whichever beans you want to be packaged, so you can enjoy them at home.

For those of you looking for a less caffinated beverage or a more refreshing one, there are numerous brewpubs and cider houses scattered all over Seattle. Just up the street from the Starbucks roastery is Capitol City Cider. This is a very cool place to go for a meal or just a couple drinks with friends. In the basement bar there are a couple of shuffleboards and a stage for live performances. They also offer an extensive list of craft ciders; varying in flavors to satisfy everyone.  My third morning in Seattle I got to check out one more coffee shop before heading to Chinatown with my mom to catch the bolt bus to Portland, Oregon.