Since my flight departure time allowed for a cafe visit, I stopped by Milstead's first thing in the morning (and I was their first customer of the day). The hotel wasn't serving breakfast when I left, so I was happy to see a nice selection of muffins and pastries:
Unlike the other two cafes I stopped by, Milstead's has a daily single origin espresso and a bright one at that:
The barista weighed the dose with great care and pulled a long 3-to-1 brew ratio to emphasize fruitiness. I mentioned I was a home espresso aficionado (they were unsure if they'd ever heard of home-barista.com
). We chatted about brew ratios and similar geeky topics; for the cappuccino, they use a more traditional 2-to-1 brew ratio and a Colombian coffee:
Who could say no to a muffin named "Morning Glory"? It seemed fitting for a week filled with gloriously wonderful weather. Isn't Seattle supposedly cloudy? Not this week; nothing but clear, gloriously blue skies and wonderful mild temperatures.
The single origin espresso was crisp, clean, and fruity. The longer pull tamed the acidity, though personally I would have pulled it tighter in hopes of increasing the sweetness.
The bar sported two La Marzocco Stradas:
Of the three cafes I visited, this one was the most "3rd wave" influenced, i.e., lightly roasted and emphasis on the coffee origin. Although they said the cappuccino was pulled as a true double, the Colombian was a bit lost in the modest volume of milk. If I were serving this coffee, I would try either increasing the dose or serving it as Cortado milk volumes. That said, I was glad to have visited Milstead's to experience less traditionally prepared Italian espresso; I would definitely return to try more of their selections.
Although there was no time for it during my visit, they explained they offer single serving coffees with an Aeropress:
That's something I've yet to see around here. Counter Culture Coffee has a few Aeropress fans on its staff; I need to give it a try soon.