september, brooklyn, coffee

September 10, 2013 |  Category:   dining out happy purchases life Seattle & the NW







On our last few days out in Washington, I really thought I’d come home and suffer from post-vacation depression. I used to get it really bad years ago, pre-kids, and I sort of felt that familiar feeling build up again. It’s a feeling that is hard to explain in words, but it’s like the Sunday blues, but bigger and it makes you lethargic and want to do nothing but mope around the house and eat chocolate. It’s interesting, however, that when we finally did come home after nearly 3 weeks, it felt fine to be back (oh, and a Depeche Mode concert in Brooklyn with my friend Anna the night after we landed helped kick me back to life on the East Coast). The girls agree. Brooklyn, you’re alright. Oh, and September…you’re ok too, even if you are almost half over at this point.


We have this ritual on our trips to the NW of bringing back bags of coffee beans from roasters that we like and some from new places that we discover. We bring back 8 or so 12 oz bags, enough to hopefully last us until a family member comes to visit with more bags of coffee. There’s better coffee to be had in NY now, but I guess the bean buying is just habit and I actually like opening up our suitcases to the aroma of coffee when we get home. It’s comforting to look inside the fridge, see all those kraft bags of coffee lined up in a row and reach for one of those bags every morning. It’s like keeping this connection to the Northwest long after we’ve left. Completely cheesy, I know.
But let me talk a little more about coffee. As much as we New Yorkers like to drink coffee and think we’re the center of the universe of pretty much everything, it’s curious that there really isn’t a big coffee culture here in terms of micro roasters, particularly since food and drinks have exploded with small independent businesses. We’re starting to see some new roasters, like the Brooklyn Roasting Company (who we do like and buy when our NW stash gets low) over the past few years and I know there’s some action quietly brewing where we might see more (and the only reason why I know this is because one of my design clients is in the coffee industry). I think it will eventually happen and we’ll see a really great local micro roaster emerge, but right now New Yorkers are still really captivated by ouside roasters like Stumptown and Intelligentsia.
We made a visit to Slate coffee in Ballard out in Seattle and the whole visit was an experience unlike I’ve had ordering coffee. To say that they take their coffee seriously is an understatement. I mean they serve it in wine glasses and cocktail tumblers and the whole experience does in fact feel like you’re at a wine tasting. A visit here means you’re going to spend some time because pour over coffee takes awhile (oh hey. Maybe that’s why pour over isn’t flying big time in New York just yet. We don’t have the patience to wait around). But we were sold and we bought 2 bags to take home.
Speaking of coffee at home, our 10 year old coffee maker finally met its final fate during a brief electrical brownout over the summer. Mark and I would always joke that we were so picky about our beans, only to run it through a $50 Mr. Coffee machine which worked fine (it really did), but when that thing croaked, we were excited to get something a little nicer. We ended up buying a Bonavita which in one sense is actually the antithesis of a fancy kitchen gadget because it has only one switch – the on/off button. But it is actually fancy because of the way it brews coffee at an ideal water temperature. Yeah, we’re pretty happy with it. Considering it’s probably the most used appliance in the kitchen and we rarely buy coffee out (unless we’re in Seattle), it was money well spent.

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  • Cristina September 10, 2013 at 5:19 am

    uhm…as an Italian I can totally relate to that!

  • Samantha September 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I LOVED Slate when I was visiting Seattle. The experience was so wonderful.

  • Jen September 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    So glad you made it to Slate. Coffee’s great and the owner’s always so friendly. I know what you mean about the post-vacation depression. My husband and I just flew back to Seattle from London and I have that discombobulated feeling of weirdness. London reminded us of New York in many ways so it made us miss New York too. Too much nostalgia

  • nichole September 11, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I totally understand bringing back things for that connection to place. We do the same thing with the butter and grocery goods we buy from Paris. It makes me happy to have our favorite things here.

    So perhaps you and mark should become a micro roaster? 😉

  • Emily September 12, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I’ll have to check out the BonaVita. We make our coffee with a TERRIBLE OLD Coffeemate machine, but I’m hoping it meets its fate soon so I can get a new machine.;-)