Month of Memories: Coffee in Seattle

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SEA doughnutCoffee and a doughnut, come on! Is there anything so simple and pure and everything that’s good in the world?

Sadly, vegan doughnuts are not a given. So if you are lucky enough to have them in your life, you embrace those fried-dough sweeties. And don’t get me started on a good, honest cup of the local roast! Think of all the sad cups of coffee you’ve had, especially while traveling, stale, bitter, or that thin brown water. Yes, you drink it—because that’s all there is—and you drink it black because they don’t even have soymilk.

The Pacific Northwest is sort of a quality coffee safe zone, especially when you get into the cities. We just happened upon Herkimer on our location-scouting trip to Seattle, for the 2012 Tech Seminar, and it was exactly what we needed. When you’ve got a day or two in a city with a bunch of appointments, and you’re hoping so hard one of them suits your needs, stress can run pretty high. (What if you can’t find the perfect combination of location, capacity, wi-fi, catering, and price?) Taking a moment to sit down with the best partners ever and just eat a (Mighty-O) doughnut and drink a cup of coffee—leisurely drinking from a mug, not throwing back a paper cup—can be pretty special.

Thank you, Seattle. Thank you and your gazillion local coffee roasters. You spoil us.

Seattle Funspot: Herkimer Coffee

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Coffee and a doughnut, how idyllic? In Seattle’s University District, right by Sidecar for Pigs Peace and Wayward Vegan Cafe, is Herkimer Coffee, an omni yet vegan-friendly coffee shop.

The doughnuts are from Mighty-O, and they absolutely do taste better fresh. We can get them packaged down here in Portland, and in the bakery case here and there, but you really have to eat one in its native land. And the coffee? Get a straight-up drip—just a splash of soy is all you need; no bitterness here! Of course, if you’re more of the latte type, you’ll be well taken care of too.

The atmosphere is cozy, clean and warm, and it wasn’t too hectic, at least when we were there. I noticed the barista knew most of the customers’ names—there was lots of friendly chit chat—but we weren’t made to feel like we didn’t belong. No pretension, just coffee.

Oh, and grab a bag o’ beans to go. Your cup might not turn out as good, but you could come close.