Want proof of Stumptown’s bean-geekiness? Founder Duane Sorenson—who earned his roasting chops at Seattle’s Lighthouse Coffee—opened the Seattle branch(es) of Stumptown because he refused to ship beans farther than 45 minutes from the Portland-based roastery. Finicky? Yes. But what a treat for Seattleites, especially those who live within walking distance of this pinnacle of northwest coffee cool.
With straight-backed benches and tiny tables, the 12th Ave café is geared more toward the read-and-sippers than to the study crowd. Which means that there’s somehow always a spot to sit, even on busy weekends when Capitol Hill locals lounge with pour-overs and the New York Times. Want to tease out the nuances between the Guatemalan Finca El Injerto and the Ethiopian Durmonia? Stumptown does a cupping every day at 3 p.m. Clear the palate with one of the impeccable pastries.
Try it there: Cold-brew coffee on tap and, if they have it, the matcha green tea pound cake from Fresh Flours.
Bring it home: Cold-brew coffee in a bottle