Pioneer Square, Seattle
A long week of work was going to be followed by a long stretch of company in and out of our little guest nook. We needed to decompress and I felt the itch to walk and never stop despite the growing pressure in my head.
Walking downhill, we dodged others while squinting through our fingers with the afternoon sun blazing off the bay and between the skyscrapers. I stopped to take my jacket off and, for the first time this year, I felt the sunwarmth filter through my clothes and onto my skin.
Slipping from the movement and dust of the street into the sparse walls and high ceilings of the shop immediately soothed my headache and relaxed my shoulders. Here was space and quiet to think into. The bar, starting a little over halfway down the length of the shop, has a spacious and spartan minimalism that exudes confidence in the quality of the coffee's craftsmanship without being clinically pretentious. Glancing back at the front doors, I noticed the plant sentries and enjoyed the color play between their green and the orange bar stools.
Walking up to the barista, we found a young man, bearded, exuding an infectious relaxed calm and a fascinating rhythm of speech that I have been trying to dissect since -- unpredictable and offbeat without being threatening and open to any and all directions.
We got our usual and headed straight for the window seats. A few minutes later, the barista brought our mugs to us, both brewed, steeped, and ready to drink. Without a tea bag to deal with, I sat back and stared out the window to sip, relax, and watch the now-silent cars go by.
Sitio Groto Funda, Carmo de Minas, Brazil | Americano | Nose...steamed broccoli, baker's chocolate and cocoa, whole wheat unbuttered toast. Palate...toasted almonds, prairie grass, broccoli. An unexpected combination of smells and tastes, but quite delightful.
herbal tea | licorice root and mint blended into a syrupy sweet, huggable mug. I didn't end up drinking all of it but the steam proved therapeutic and the warmth was just what I needed in my hands.
A calm quarter of an hour later we had swapped tastes, discussing their characteristics, and detangled some of the stories we saw walk past us on the sidewalk outside. The barista appeared behind us and asked whether the drinks were helping provide the necessary emotional boost. We assured him they were and asked what bean and roast we were enjoying so much. He turned and walked away leaving us momentarily puzzled until he brought a bag of coffee to us to poke at, smell, and get the spelling. I thought about asking him to hold it for me to take a picture. I didn't. I wish I had.
As the sun moved further behind the buildings, our conversation slowly grew into silence as we sat and stared at the rhythm of the street. The coffee grew colder, the tea stopped steaming, we started having to think about dinner and getting back up the hill.
We slipped out the door as we had come in, this time accompanied by the halo of the barista.