This is the fourth post in a five-part guest post series.
Everett Maroon is a writer of speculative fiction, pop culture commentary, and memoir in Washington State. He has a B.A. in English from Syracuse University and went through an English literature master’s program there. A member of the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association, he was a finalist in their 2010 literary contest for memoir. Everett writes about writing and his adjustment to living in the Northwest at transplantportation.com. He blogs at I Fry Mine in Butter.com, and at Bitch Magazine. Everett also has had short stories published in SPLIT Quarterly and in Twisted Dreams Magazine.
I spend a lot of time in coffee shops—too much time, probably. As the youngest in a large, noisy family, I now need rambunctious places so I can filter out the distractions and focus on writing. Call it a counter intuitive working process.
One of the advantages of my extrovert’s approach is that I can share my experiences with others who may someday find themselves out and about and wondering which coffee or espresso drink will suit them. Having tirelessly tested several drinks from all over Washington State, I am happy to share them here, for free, too. In other words, here are a few opinions:
Vivace (www.espressovivace.com/)—Hailed by many as the best Italian espresso outside of the mother country, the baristas have honed their drinks to a science. Far and away, Vivace makes the most consistent, high quality espresso; if an order doesn’t meet their standards, they won’t serve it. There is literally not a bad drink in the house.
Off the beaten path order: The Beautiful Stephanie, Earl Grey tea, vanilla-infused simple syrup, steamed milk, and ground cinnamon. I know, there’s no coffee bean in it at all.
Black Drop Coffee House (blackdropcoffeehouse.com/)—Snug up against Bellingham Bay with a regular ferry to Alaska nearby, this coffee shop brings a bit of artsy grunge to an otherwise more touristy area of town. At least it seemed that way when I was a tourist there. Coffee beans are primarily from Central and South America, and roasted locally in Bellingham. I liked the licorice notes in their espresso.
Great deal: On Fridays, they provide free doppios. Yes, it’s a little like drug pushers offering the first hit gratis. I don’t really care.
Walla Walla Roastery (www.wallawallaroastery.com/)—In spring and summer, sitting on the porch outside lets patrons gaze upon the very pretty Blue Mountains east of town. The Roastery supplies most of the restaurants and coffee shops in town, and they focus on mellow beans and careful roasting. There is no burn acidity here; the drinks are as laid back as the residents. When galavanting around Wallyworld’s wineries, be sure to take in some espresso or coffee on the edge of the city.
Well done standard: Mocha, with velvety froth and fresh whipped cream. There’s no overly sweet ending to this mug, and nothing to wreck one’s taste buds before getting to the next winery.