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Coffee-holic Anonymous – Beware of Seattle

Me: Hi [sigh]. My name is Outhorn (oo-ton).

Coffee Anonymous Group: Hi Outhorn!

Me: And I am…I am… Effing out of here because I love being addicted to coffee!!!

 [End Scene]

Okay, that was a cheesy example to put my coffee bliss affair into context. But I am good with a little humility just like I am good being a coffee addict. It’s the one thing that I can honestly say… I can’t live without. It’s a part of my daily regimen and me. Coffee is my healthy start and it snaps me out of my morning trance. [Message to 5 Hour Energy’s morning commercial campaign. Eat S@$t… well, that’s exacting what your drinking.]

In poetic form – Coffee is in lieu of the sun starving NW residences that live in monochrome weather patterns of Seattle’s neutral and colorless landscape.

In a more cynical form – Coffee is an absolute vice in the eyes of the haters who are vexed by their self-diagnosed “coffee addiction.” I jab at the people who all of sudden believe that coffee has become so addictive that it has ruined their lives. These so-called coffee addicts believe that they just experienced a low point in their life as if they’ve just been dumped onto the street curb after a late night bender. I suppose they fear that they would end up like Hollywood’s village F%@k up – Lindsay Lohan. But I promise that coffee won’t mess your grill up like Lohan’s teeth. That would be the work of her economical choice of drug, meth.

To end my rant, this is a note to all the “coffee addicts” out there. Tea is not an alternative.

As I abruptly change the subject of coffee addiction to Seattle’s best coffee shops – I must put a disclaimer to all the coffee addicts out there – Seattle is not the place for you. Just like Vegas to people who are gambling addicts. What’s most important for Seattle outsiders to know is that there are much better options outside of your Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts’ coffee.

In a totally bias and opinionated list, I’m only going to mention Seattle alternative coffee shops to your mainstream fix.


Urban Coffee Lounge (UCL), Juanita Village – Alicia and Jeff Miner dreamed of owning a coffee shop and their dream landed in the slow up and coming neighborhood Juanita Bay. After successfully owning a coffee stand outside of Seattle in Issaquah, WA – Alicia and Jeff took their business to the next level. Jeff has prior architecture experience and conveniently design the shop’s lay out and the modern industrial concrete interior concept.

I have been a regular since it’s inception almost 6 years ago. They serve my favorite coffee roaster, Stumptown Coffee. UCL has a wide assortment of rotating goodies and food. They also serve beer and wine from local vendors.


Choice of drink: Quad (4 shots for all the non coffee drinkers) Ethiopia Duromina Single origin Vanilla Latte.

Milstead & Co., Fremont – Former UCL employee, Andrew Milstead recently opened his new coffee shop right beneath the iconic suspended truss Aurora Bridge and a hill climb to the tourist attraction, Aurora Bridge Troll.

Andrew probably wouldn’t openly say this about himself because of his humble persona, but he is well known in the Seattle barista community because of his latte art prowess and has nationally competed. He has a quiet and calm manner but is a surprisingly good conversationalist, which you kind of need a knack for if you are serving artisan coffee to patrons for a living.


The coffee shop has natural window lighting and a clean, spacious and minimalist interior. Much of the furniture was created and built by him.

He serves a few roasters, Stumptown, Intelligentsia, and Coava.

The verdict: Quality written all over this place! In my opinion, Milstead & Co could be “the barista’s” coffee shop but it’s inclusive to all patrons.

Choice of drink: Americano – it’s a verisimilitude of Andrew’s ability to pull unflawed shots with the right water temperature and timing. It doesn’t take a sophisticated pallet to taste burnt coffee. But then again, millions seem to be pretty satisfied at Starbucks.

Below is the rest of my list of coffee shops that made the honor roll.

Caffe Fiore

El Diablo Coffee Co.

Caffe Ladro

Café Cesura

Café Vita

Zeitgeist Coffee

Fuel Coffee

Espresso Vivace

Zoka Coffee

Now let the recovering coffee addicts relapse and ensue their downward spiral. If you don’t want to find your self at a low point in your life, the street curb can be a more comfortable place to lie if you just accept the wonders of coffee. Ah Bliss.


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