Friday, March 1, 2013

Grounds for Greatness

The four top coffee vendors in Tacoma

By Cole Chernushin, Guest Writer
If you've ever ordered your favorite coffee from any given location on campus and thought to yourself "this surely cannot be Seattle's best coffee," you’re not alone.

Congratulations on your first step toward fulfilling the Northwestern dream of taking a deep sip of America’s most favorite bitter and non-alcoholic spirit. Let me give you a head start on your journey of magnificent satiation.

Northern Pacific Coffee Company (NPCC)

Garfield Street

Come visit Parkland’s own coffee Mecca. Dark wood frames the entry, setting a tone for the laid-back pace perfect for ordering products made with the utmost care and precision.

Aside from all the skinny jeans, scarves and music you probably haven’t even heard of anyways, NPCC serves Olympia Coffee.

Roast Magazine, a publication committed to specialty coffee roasters, named Olympia Coffee "Micro-Roaster of the Year."

That being said, should you be in search of a white chocolate drink, NPCC will leave you feeling small inside.

Come here instead for some of the best coffee on this side of the Atlantic, thought provoking artwork, authentic cafe conversations and superior Wi-Fi.

Experience what it feels like to be one of those cool kids who just might play on "Open Mic Night" every Wednesday.

Metronome Coffee

Sixth and Union, Tacoma. Parking in the garage and the lot directly behind the shop

Of all the coffee house atmospheres to be found in Tacoma, this place definitely tops the charts.

With a decor clad in stainless steel, a miniature stage in back and fireside seating outdoors, Metronome is the perfect spot to make a date with either a human or laptop.

Located mere minutes away from the Grand Cinema, this alter to espresso makes a wonderful addition to any outing.

Though this place certainly serves up a good cup of coffee, if one demands a barista with a Ph.D. in general coffee knowledge, then disappointment lies in store.

Also, rumor has it that Mondays here are designated "Opera Nights" where local performers step up on stage to serenade those fortunate enough to be caught in the right place at the right time.

Satellite Coffee

Various locations throughout Tacoma, my favorite spot: Sixth Avenue near Wright Park

When I first decided to make PLU my choice for collegiate studies, I asked the divine favor of my local coffee shop owner for the name of one great place to find my daily brew in the Tacoma area. His response: Satellite Coffee.

Though one also has the option of obtaining the bean on tap at this location — Portland’s own "Stumptown Coffee Roasters" — via a trip to 208, for some, a trip off campus might be worth the visit.

Readers of the Weekly Volcano — a Tacoma and Olympia newsweekly on entertainment, art and food — voted Satellite Coffee "Best Cup of Coffee" and "Best Coffee Shop in Tacoma." Coffee fans of all ages should launch into this orbit as soon as possible.

Batdorf and Bronson

516 S. Capitol Way, Olympia; 111 Market St. NE, Olympia

This brand can be found on both Main Street at a shop of the same name, and along the wharf across from the farmer’s market at "Jumping Goats."

This local roaster makes for a great cup of coffee no matter who is pulling the espresso.

Order a Con Pana, an espresso topped with whipped cream, for best results, or just use anywhere that serves Batdorf and Bronson for a quick getaway from the like of Starbucks and Tully’s.

Plenty of other coffee joints deserve mention, so keep in mind that the journey always surpasses the destination and go exploring.

So either take my advice, or take your choice of car, bus or bicycle by the horns and venture forth toward any number of other lovely coffee shops in our vicinity.

Stay caffeinated Lutes.