I've already waxed poetic about my love for lattes, but on this cold April day I thought I should share some of my favorites for the next time you're traveling. So go grab a latte and pull up this post to add to your travel list!
I visited Olympia, Washington for work, and although many of my coworkers spent their evenings making the hour-long trek up to Seattle each night, Olympia had the perfect vibe for me. Here was delicious fresh seafood, lots of walking and running areas with excellent scenery (fancy a lap around the pond by the state capitol building, anyone?), and beautiful ports matched up with Mt. Rainer in the distance, all less than five minutes from my hotel and super walkable. Everyone I met was relatively relaxed and friendly, and there was a happy borderline hippy sort of Western Massachusetts atmosphere that made me feel right at home.
And the lattes! I had worried that the espresso beverages would let me down after some stellar Seattle offerings (surprise), but just the opposite! From my hotel that offers a roaming cafe truck around the city with Victrola coffee, to cafes I dug up on travel sites and others I wandered into after passing by, I had successful bev after successful bev. Everything was coming up Olympia.
Assuming most of you will not stay at my hotel and do not want to spend the day following around a cafe truck on Twitter, I plan on focusing on the other two shops I found. The first, Burial Grounds, was a perfectly hipster low-key cafe, with lots of big old couches and chairs lining the place, the scent of clove cigarettes lingering, posters from Rocky Horror Picture Show, and a sarcastic and wonderful staff. Note: About a week after I visited, Burial Grounds started to move, so while the location is close and the furniture seems to be the same, you might experience a slightly different place than what I describe. If any of this sounds intimidating (why?!): push through! You are about to review one of the coolest and most eclectic latte menus, and end up with a huge treat: a skull on your latte foam. That's right, no beginner's flower here; a straight up skull at Burial Grounds. I went for the "Fuck That Shit" latte, a very technical term referring to a latte full of honey, cinnamon, and lavender. I imagine there are few things more exciting than working in a place where you get to scream "Fuck Your Shit Latte!" when serving a beverage - being the person to receive it was pretty thrilling itself. Oh yes you want to see it:
If you've decided that more predictable is for you, or you hate skull art in your fancy lattes in a relaxed environment, that's okay. I'll still like you. But I certainly won't invite you out for coffee. The other place I decided I loved was a bit more traditional. I noticed the sign for Batdorf & Bronson's roasters and tours on my way to dinner one night, and remembered reading about the chain's high quality bevs in my initial research. I stopped by the roastery (or roasters? Hmm) on my last day, but tours were done and the place was closed. Huge bummer. Luckily the cafe across the street was still open, so I was able to enjoy a sweet and warming vanilla latte. I KNOW okay, vanilla latte people are the worst. But I really couldn't help myself since the barista recommended it and who am I to turn down a suggestion as a newbie? Also I was really craving the light sweetness vanilla syrup provides and I'm a basic person alright?! This was a super smooth drink that made me want to immediately walk back in and order a second after my first sip. The only problem is that I'm rather caffeine sensitive, and a second medium latte would 100% send me over the deep end in terms of talk-quickly-shaky-hands-I-can't-feel-my-face-when-I'm-with-espresso. So, safety first.
I hope you have a chance to visit this magical place! If you do, let me know about your adventures and caffeine experiences, or any other places in Olympia/beyond I should check out.