At six thirty on a rainy Sunday morning, four barista’s and three of their relative girlfriends (all coffee enthusiasts themselves) set off for the three hour drive to Seattle. Our mission was to check out the much hyped coffee scene in Seattle and see if it lived up to our expectations.
After a short interrogation at customs and the driving compilation cd to end all others (midlake, al stewart, hot chip,sufjan and knife to name a few), we arrived at David Schomer’s Vivace cafe on Denny. I had visited the cafe a year before when I went to the 2005 WBC, and so wasn’t suprised to see the que of people leading onto the street. We ordered all our drinks and huddled around the serving point, trying hopelessly to blend into the non barista customers as we gauked at the barista’s every move.
One of Schomer’s cooling fans built onto the back of one of his DRM belt driven grinder. I’m told that these grinders are sadly now unavailable.
The walls were all adorned with framed latte art pictures and the bar looked very barista friendly. They had two three group synesso’s, both set up at different bar heights with shorter staff on the lower one. Although quite tasty, the shots were all low volume and extremely bubbly and it was also really interesting too see his barista’s pull the drinks away without stopping the shot. Apparently they believe the cup should contain only espresso brewed under pressure, and not any last drops. I’m yet to test this but I know I definitely didn’t like the spillage on the side of each demitasse.
The other odd thing was watching the barista’s take the pf out after a shot, place a cloth to the spent puck, and then re insert the pf. I suppose they wanted to ensure temp stability in the pf and maybe avoid an overly dry puck that might be difficult to knock out??, but this seems unlikely. Any ideas?
I will post again tomorrow about the other cafe’s. I’m off now to do some wedding shopping and then later I’m hosting a private screening of Black Gold in my apartment. I would gladly have all of you over but sadly tickets are sold out for this gourmet, cinematic event.