Seattle Coffee Is Nearly as Weak as the Mariners

Why does the U.S. revere the coffee culture in Seattle? I honestly have no idea.

I’m from a part of the world that views coffee as almost as important as potable water. Let’s just say—I know coffee.

I’m currently a full-time college student with a job, so morning, afternoon, and evening coffee is essential. But if I want a truly exceptional brew, I have to go out of my way to a specialty shop, buy whole-roasted Kona beans, coarsely grind them (myself, of course), and brew it myself in my trusty French Press. But if I want to grab a cup on the go? Fuggedaboutit.

I’ll go ahead and just say it. Seattle coffee is just… lame.

I know, I know. I’ve been to fussy “coffee cupping” events. I’ve been to a tasting. I’ve even done a coffee crawl, and I just don’t get how it is that a city so obsessed with the very idea of coffee could turn it into such a bloated and flavorless sludge.

And don’t get me started about Starbucks.

Now, I’ll admit that I haven’t been to literally every single coffee house in the city, but I’ve sampled quite a lot of the region’s finest efforts, and I’m just not impressed. So, I decided to explore the subject in depth. Ask the important questions. The most pressing being: How did this reputation come about?

I’m willing to keep an open mind, and if you have any suggestions for where I can finally find a good, strong, complex of coffee, I’d be more than happy to give it a try. I’m still hopeful!

Until then, I’ll have to satisfy myself with my own ever-increasing collection of coffee paraphernalia.

When he’s not blogging or running to his Business Policy course in UW Foster School of Business, Emile Haddad is Seattle’s unofficial coffee pundit.