M&M’s Excellent Seattle Adventure Part 2 – Member Tour

M&M’s whirlwind tour through the streets of Seattle brought them to the doorsteps of some of our fantastic members. Over their six day stay in the Emerald City our dynamic membership duo managed to stop in and visit six SCAA members in their own shops and roasteries. It’s always refreshing to see people practicing their passions where they feel most at home.

First up was Dillanos Coffee Roasters where they got a tour of the roastery, cupping room, staff and client lounge (complete with espresso machine and custom pour over bar), and staff offices. They even got to meet the namesake of Dillanos “Dillon’s Blend” who works in the shipping department. The company’s motto is “Help People, Make Friends, Have Fun,” and Dillanos has certainly done everything in their power to make sure their business not only produces a quality product, but also embodies the lively spirit of the coffee industry. The SCAA is very grateful for all of Dillano’s support. They have 3 active volunteers within their ranks, Keith Hayward (Allied Council), Phil Beattie (Roasters Guild Executive Council Member), and Josh Boyt (BGA Northwest Chapter Rep, and our tour guide at Dillanos). With such great people and an amazing product, it’s no wonder that Dillanos was named the 2011 Macro Roaster of the Year!! Congratulations!

The next stop on the membership tour brought the girls to Makeda Coffee, owned and operated by Prashanthi Reddy. Everything about Makeda exemplifies their deep connection to the community of Seattle, from their selection of locally roasted Seven Roasters coffees to their bulletin board loaded with fliers for community events. They even have a section where little baristas in training can sit and play. If you look closely at the walls you’ll even see a La Marzocco painted on to inspire the kids. We commend Makeda Coffee for their commitment to community and their dedication to serving quality coffee.

Seattle Coffee Works offered Maria and Mansi a glimpse of what coffee shop owners are doing to give back. The establishment, located in the vicinity of the original Starbucks and Pike’s Place Market, has built up a very loyal customer base over the years and that’s no doubt due to their great service and excellent leadership. Both owners have traveled to origin with the Roaster’s Guild and have brought that knowledge back to the shop where they roast their own coffee on-site. They are also extremely dedicated to promoting sustainable practices as a roaster/retailer. Mansi and Maria learned about a public cupping hosted by the shop where the coffee farmer was present to meet people and answer questions. All proceeds from the event were donated to charity. Way to go, Seattle Coffee Works, bringing both great coffee and great causes to the attention of the community.

Whew, it didn’t stop there for our two girls on the coffee trail. Next up was e.t.g. (Espresso To-Go). Despite their speedy name, e.t.g. has proven that it has staying power; it’s one of the oldest coffee shops in Seattle going back 28 years! The shop fully embraces its longevity and just moments after you’ve walked in you realize you’re in a vintage lover’s paradise. From the décor, to the manual cash register at the counter, to the home-made daily pastries they serve, it’s clear to see that e.t.g is anything but a place you want to just get in and get out of. Do like Mansi and Maria and hang around on a rainy afternoon. We’re sure you won’t regret it.

Going along with that homey vibe they got from e.t.g., M&M made their way to Fremont coffee, just a few blocks down from e.t.g. This place really puts the house in “coffeehouse.” Sorry, we couldn’t resist the chance say that. In all seriousness, the shop is situated in an old converted house. There are still separate rooms so guests can share an intimate moment or conversation over their coffee or tea. Talk about service, Fremont roasts their own coffee on-site and they customize your tea bags when you order! It’s little touches like that that keep people coming back for more.

Last, but certainly not least, the twosome ventured out to Olympia to visit our friends at Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters. The facility, located very near to a local farmer’s market, has tried very hard to make their roaster accessible to the customer. During Farmers Market hours airpots of coffee with small tasting cups are lined up for consumers to try and there are giant glass windows in the tasting room where consumers can look into the roasting area to see all the green coffee, roaster, and other equipment. Both entertaining and enlightening, a photographic “seed to cup” story is told on the walls of the tasting room which only serves and sells whole bean coffee. The folks at B and B were very generous to our M&M. They got a full tour of the roasting facilities and even got a sneak peak of the new B and B branding (“Gorgeous!” according to Maria.) and experienced true coffee hospitality when they were sent away with a to go cup full of freshly brewed coffee!

If anything, we say that this tour proves that the coffee community is just that, a community of passionate professionals who are very invested in the spirit of quality production and community involvement. We’ve said it once and we’ll continue to say it, the coffee industry is more than just the sum total of all its parts. Rather, from origin, to roaster, to retailer, it’s an industry that pulls the best facets of each contributor and culminates in an amazing product. We’re proud to say that our members are our best example of this philosophy.

Thanks again to Dillanos Coffee Roasters, Makeda Coffee, Seattle Coffee Works, e.t.g., Fremont Coffee, and Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters for your hospitality. To the readers, do you have any suggestions for where our dynamic duo can travel to next?