Visited: Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 12:30 p.m.
You better believe we sought out good coffee in Seattle! I know it’s easy to find coffee around the city, but on our recent trip out west we arrived armed with some great solid suggestions thanks to friends at Crimson Cup Coffee.
One such suggestion was the La Marzocco Cafe, located at Seattle Center in a building with KEXP‘s studios. I’ve been watching concerts from KEXP’s YouTube channel for some time; the station is known for promoting new music from across the country.
The cafe is operated by La Marzocco, the Florence, Italy-based manufacturer of espresso machines. This cafe functions as a blank slate for a rotating collection of coffee companies; they’re able to set up a temporary shop for a month to showcase their roasts and coffee creations. When we visited, Seesaw Coffee had set up shop; here’s the blog post welcoming them to the cafe.
I’m in love with this concept. I appreciate that La Marzocco has built out this space to allow different roasters to reach a new crowd, especially in such a prominent location.
The coffee shop features a spacious, open floor plan. It was pretty busy when I visited – seats were hard to come by.
The square coffee counter sits close to the main doors, with a small line continually wrapped around it.
They offer the standard coffee service: espresso drinks, brewed coffee, pour overs, plus a handful of specialty items designed to showcase their coffees.
Seesaw Coffee originates out of Shanghai, China, and their menu focused in part on incorporating teas into their expresso drinks. I ordered The Meet-Up, which arrived in a pretty lidded ceramic mug.
The Meet-Up features a blend of an Ethiopian roast and rooibos tea, plus coffee flower honey and milk. Rooibos is an African red bush tea that typically features floral and earthy notes. Both the bright Ethiopian coffee and the earthy red tea were balanced out by the sweetened milk and the touch of honey. It was a delightful drink, both in flavor and presentation.
I managed to find a seat at a counter while I sipped my coffee. The cafe buzzed with conversation and clicking keyboards.
Through one window you can spy the DJ live in the KEXP studio; the ambient music is piped in from the station. The space also features a small stage for concerts produced by KEXP.
On the opposite side is a small art gallery and a record shop in its own open stall.
The coffee is certainly superb, and if you live in Seattle or travel there regularly, you have the unique opportunity to return on a monthly basis and discover a whole new coffee shop.
The cafe and radio station are part of the Seattle Center complex, which includes parks, museums, theatre companies, an arena, and the iconic Space Needle. So the cafe makes an easy stop while exploring the district.