wheelhouse coffee

South Lake Union, Seattle

wheelhouse coffee | seekthewelfare

Another day off, another clear cold day. A trip to the bank took us into a new neighborhood, South Lake Union, where we had originally planned on living. Now it looks sterile and empty. Walking towards the sharp wedge of Wheelhouse Coffee, we walked in the bright shadows of great glass-sided apartment buildings. Still growing, the blue and grey of glass and steal is punctuated by the red and yellow lace of construction cranes.

Inside the crisp wood of the ceiling warmed the rectangular shapes that made up the space. Everything from the paintings on the wall to the service counter seemed sparse and battened down as if a wave could wash over the whole at any minute.


americano // smooth and chewy. caramelization takes over the other subtle flavors that might be there, though it does not include the smoky fog of burnt beans. slightly bitter, it is a wonderful coffee for a cozy late night cup.


citrus sunshine tea // it came tight wrapped in an over-stuffed bag with generously hot water. pulling it out with my fingers, I loosened the bag and discovered an array of clear, sharp flavors with sweet cherry undertones. going back for a second mug of coffee, the flavors remained rich, only losing some sharpness of the orange zest.


As Katie Jay waited for her americano, I read down the line of glass jars filled with tea. Gunpowder. Soothsayer. Smarty pants. Whippersnapper. We took the warm mugs into our hands, grabbed a couple napkins to wipe off the dirty handles, and slipped outside.

Sitting in the cold sunshine, we soaked in the neighborhood. The south lake union trolley whispered by with its polite bell dinging, a stark contrast to the clash and bang of Capitol Hill bars and buses. It's sidewalks are flat and even, freshly poured or never challenged by tree roots. You can see where you're going there and you can see what's coming. No need to worry that the buildings will slide off the hill. No one has their toes dug into the dirt or their hands out ready to catch themselves.

We were happy to go home again, though the warmth and tang of the tea made me wish for more.