P Pat Cotter

Finding Coffee on the Road

Apr 5, 2021 · coffee · culture · espresso · travel
Finding Coffee on the Road

Something that comes up all the time for anyone in a coffee hotspot is “what’s with all the chains?” It turns out that not even the biggest coffee towns in the country can avoid the big chance coffee shops. Some folks love the convenience of the big shops, and we can respect that! But it’s true that sometimes it’s hard to work out where the best coffee spots are in town. But why is it that you see lines out the door for some of Seattle’s (and other towns’) big chain coffee shops? It comes down to a couple of factors.

The Big Shops

First of all, it’s marketing. The big coffee chains tend to be household names. If you’re in a hurry you might be more inclined to check out the shop you know over taking a chance on one you haven’t heard of. The next big thing to note is locations. Oftentimes franchisers and big chain corporate locations have an easier time securing prime locations. It can be hard for a local roaster to secure a spot in an airport or sports arena. When you consider the brand recognition and locations that a lot of big chains have, it makes sense that they’d be busy and prolific even in a coffee town like Seattle. With that in mind, there are ways to find delicious coffee without relying on a web search.

How to Find a Delicious Cup

Some people think the only way to find that hidden local spot is on the internet. We won’t lie, that’s probably the easiest way. But if you’re in the mood for some exploration we’ve got a few tips to finding a good cup of joe without pulling your phone out. The first tip is a bit of a cheat, because it does involve some foresight. One great way to get delicious coffee is to try some local roasters before you’re in the area! We can certainly help with our selection of roasters, but either way, building a “coffee bucket list” is a fun way to have some planned coffee stops on your trip. Next, keep an eye out for cafes that roast in house. There are plenty of incredible coffee shops that don’t roast their own beans, but it can be a good way to get a baseline for a city’s coffee scene to try out a local roaster’s cafe. You’ll also get the coffee the way it was meant to be brewed by the people who know it best! Then there’s the menu, and this can really override that last point. It’s worth checking to see what a coffee shop offers in terms of drink types. Seems obvious, right? What’s also worth checking is what kind of info the shop offers on its coffee. If things like region and flavor profile are highlighted it can mean the shop is doing their best to match you with the perfect coffee. Another tip that never fails - ask a local! If you’re visiting a coffee town like Seattle odds are there are plenty of opinions in any crowd of locals! Of course, if you’re still hunting the perfect cup of coffee it never hurts to do a quick Google search!

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