The term coffee talk here is a misnomer. I hate coffee. If you drown it in sugar and milk I can stand it, but I don't think it even qualifies as coffee when I alter it that much. I do, however, love tea. Chai tea in particular. In my search for the best chai options in Seattle, I've visited four places. I will be using the CtS scale for measuring these places. The Compared to Starbucks scale exists because Starbucks is where I usually pick up my chai options in Florida and therefore I can make them the baseline. Starbucks will get 3's in all categories to make them the absolute average for comparison.
Not a coffee house, but I did try their chai tea when I grabbed a bagel the other morning.
Space: 5/5. They have a lot of room here, a dozen tables and counter space that can accomdate a large crowd.
Amenities: 4/5. They post a puzzle every week for their customers to work on, which is a nice time waster.
Chai: 1/5. Terrible. Practically water. I can't fault them too much. They are a bagel place, after all. But man, this was god awful stuff.
Black Coffee Coop:
Space: 4/5. Big area here. Couches, tables and counter space to accommodate the writer crowd. The place feels very open. They do share a bathroom with the lounge next door, which could be a problem on a busy day.
Amenities: 5/5. So much to do. Shelves full of books, newspapers and board games make this an ideal hang out for a lazy Sunday.
Chai: 5/5. Exceptional blend here. Not too strong, but enough flavor to keep me coming back. This is the kind of thing I would buy on a regular basis.
Space: 3/5. A few tables and small counters. The building is small so it's not a good socializing point.
Amenities: 1/5. Get your coffee and go, really. If you like metal they were blasting it but if you want to focus on something else you'd be hard-pressed.
Chai: 4/5. This is good stuff, but situational. The blend is strong enough to feel it in the back of your throat, so a bit more than I want. If I needed a kick-in-the-mouth morning pickup this might be the blend of choice but for most days I would probably opt for something smoother.
Space: 3/5. About the size of Stumptown but better layout. More counters keep the walking area pretty clear.
Amenities: 3/5 Some books on the tables and free wifi give this an average rating.
Chai: N/A - Ok, this place doesn't actually have chai but I'm mentioning them anyways. I was cold when I got here and I wanted a warm drink, so I went with a chocolate latte and it was really good. On my coffee scale I'd say a 4/5. Not too much coffee taste after a bit of honey and milk. Honorable mention for doing well at what they do.
It's interesting to me that all the coffee shops around here have simple syrup available at their fixins counter. I've tried it and I think I prefer it to honey or sugar. It definitely mixes better, given it's composition, and the sweetness isn't as shocking.
Tomorrow I will talk about my first job walk-ins and mass transit.