The Best Coffee in Seattle

Our tastes: We are both fond of the deep, dark roasts that initially put Seattle coffee on the map; these are the same roasts that those who prefer milder flavors often feel is too bitter. Remember YMMV.

What we tasted: 8 oz lattes as prepared (no special milk, no extra shots) plus Carol had a few 8 oz cappuccinos as well.

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Where: Mostly in Capitol Hill (Bauhaus, Stumptown, Vivace, Victrola) although we also tasted one location near Westlake (Vivace again) and one in Ballard (Verite). Pictured below in the order listed - both Vivace cups tasted the same and are lumped in the ratings.

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How we rated: Carol found that his ratings were influenced by the coffee shop atmosphere in addition to taste. We both found many of the coffee shops too loud with sharp, clattering acoustics. We both enjoyed the interior of Victrola the most and found Verite the most relaxing of the loud places (the cupcakes from Cupcake Royale didn’t hurt either). Livia rated on coffee only as much as possible but had a difficult time separating her top 4, feeling that they were so tightly grouped that on a different day she might have shifted the order.

Carol’s ratings:
1. Victrola
2. Vivace
3. Stumptown
4. Verite
5. Bauhaus

Livia’s ratings:
1. Verite
2. Vivace
3. Victrola
4. Stumptown
5. Bauhaus

Overall Victrola, Vivace, Verite and Stumptown all offered fantastic cups of coffee, were tightly grouped in both of our minds, and we would recommend stopping by or making a special trip to any of the four.  Bauhaus, which had been formerly a favorite of both of ours, served a disappointing, milky latte with weak coffee flavor and was a far 5th for both of us. I wouldn’t return even if I were walking by. Vivace which had been our ultimate coffee destination in Seattle prior to this trip fared quite well taste-wise although the new location was more plastic and less interesting than the location they were forced out of. If we both made a recommendation for someone visiting with time to visit only one place, we would recommend Victrola.

Compared to our two favorite locations in Victoria (Habit and Discovery), we both feel that Habit would take first above all of the Seattle coffees that we tasted. Carol felt that Discovery would move into 3rd on his list, moving Stumptown etc down one. I felt that Discovery was too close to my top 4 to rate it without having tasted it more recently but would definitely put it somewhere in the top four.

If you missed our foodie recs for Victoria you can find them here. This several day coffee binge was funded entirely with ad revenue – thank you readers!


  1. We'll definitely be trying your coffee spot recommendations sometime in the near future.
    Here are a couple of ours for when you're down in California:

    Both these places for their lattes. Verve is the roaster for both.

  2. Clearly, someone gave you an advance primer. Those are all our favorite places to go for coffee, and I agree w/ your rankings, though I do actually think Stumptown has the best espresso beans for those who want to make a cup of espresso at home.

    Gemini 105M
    Seattle, WA

  3. @Snortimer - looking forward to trying those.

    @Rob - Well, I used to live in the area so I had Vivace and Bauhaus already in my mind. The rest were the result of some online searching.



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