The Build-Outs train rolls on as we draw closer and closer to the end of summer. But before that, we have to check back in on Seattle, where Seattle Coffee Works is working on their fourth cafe. Residing in the Troy building, Seattle Coffee Works is rocking an all-white and copper Synesso three-group Hydra MVP and a plethora of manual brew methods.
The cafe is expected to be open in early November, but we’ve got a look inside Seattle’s newest coffee destination. Let’s take a peek at the new Seattle Coffee Works.
As told to Sprudge by Melanie Mazza.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Seattle Coffee Works sources super premium coffees directly from coffee farms in Latin America and small co-ops in East Africa. We roast in small batches to highlight the natural flavors in the beans, which shine in our espresso, cold brew, and in a wide variety of manual brew devices. We started our business in 2006 in a pop-up shop just steps away from Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market and we’re happy to now include two additional cafes in the Seattle Coffee Works family. We opened Ballard Coffee Works in 2012 and it has since become a staple of the neighborhood, and we proudly opened Capitol Coffee Works in Capitol Hill this May.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
The space is located in a light-filled, south-facing corner of the Troy building. Once home to the industrial Troy Laundry Company, it has been lovingly refurbished with meticulous attention to details like restoring the 19th-century laundry scale, preserving the original patterned brick facade, high ceilings, and warehouse-style windows. A new operable garage door opens up from our space to the generous, plant-filled sidewalk. Above, there’s a green roof with succulents and other plants, and outside our door there’s a breezy covered patio and bike causeway that leads into an open-air courtyard in the heart of the building block. Above the original brick building are two glass towers that house several hundred Amazon employees, and below our space is a huge bike garage and showers to encourage healthy cycling. Across the street is REI’s flagship store, right alongside a community garden and park known as the Cascade People’s Association. We feel fortunate to have found such a central spot in this traditional working-class neighborhood that is reinventing its identity as “Cascade, the heart of Seattle.” We plan to preserve the industrial warehouse feel of the space but soften it up with plenty of light-loving plants, mid-century furniture, a light color palate, and plenty of warm accents of native Douglas Fir and copper.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our approach to coffee has three facets:
Coffee is a Fruit: As with all fruits, ripeness, quality, and freshness matter! We love coffees that display the bright, tangy flavors that occur naturally in many heirloom varieties. We roast lightly to preserve juiciness and character. Nearly all our coffees rank 90 or above, even in our blends. We also innovate with the fruit of the coffee cherry itself in specialty cascara drinks and house-made cascara chocolates.
Focus on Farmers: Growing, harvesting, and drying coffee is extremely complex and challenging. Farmers, especially small farmers, are ideally positioned to impact both the quality of the coffee they produce and the quality of life for people in their communities. We partner with farmers whom we know and trust as agents of positive social change and agricultural innovation.
Equitable and Sustainable Livelihoods: Whether planting seeds, harvesting coffee cherries, roasting, brewing, or drinking coffee, everyone deserves a living wage and recognition for the work they do. We care about and support all the people along our supply chain. Stewarding the land, air, and water equitably and well is vital to all of our interests.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We’re excited to incorporate some of our equipment favorites with new innovations. Sticking with our close friends at Seattle-based Synesso, we’ll be working on a customized Synesso MVP. This all-white machine with copper plating and wood finishes will operate each of the three groupheads with independent pressure regulators. This allows our baristas to fine-tune the extraction of our coffees without any pressure loss. We’re also excited to incorporate a walk-in fridge large enough for us to offer a variety of cold brews on tap as well as a selection of beer and wine. As in all of our stores, we’ll be offering a rotating single-origin menu on several manual brew devices including AeroPress, Hario V60, Chemex, and Kalita Wave.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
November 1, 2017
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
We’re working with the renowned Seattle restaurant architects Atelier Drome (multiple Ethan Stowell restaurants) and Method Construction. (They built restaurants for chefs Maria Hines and Renee Erickson—Seattle’s answer to Chez Panisse’s Alice Waters). Both Atelier and Method are small businesses, local neighbors, and devotees of our other cafes. Retrofit Home in Capitol Hill, Seattle will once again provide stylish furniture that is whimsical and at the same time comfortable—including a macramé swing. With the help of the bold metal artists at Red Soul, we plan to salvage a giant barrel rack which once held gallons of soap for the Troy Laundry as well as a salvaged butcher block slab that will become a high community table. We are excited to incorporate our new cafe space into this historic building and preserve as much of its original features as possible. All of our photos are credit to local photographer, Devin Kahle.