Thursday, August 31, 2006

belated part 2

These are becoming sort of a staple introduction I know, but once again, I'd like to apologise for my inexcusable lack of communication. That said, I have been very busy, and thankfully my social life takes priority over blogging. (The day it doesn't, hit me hard in the gut) So, after Vivace, we ambled up to Victrola. It was only a few blocks away and it was nice to see some of the quieter neighbourhoods in Seattle. The well known neon sign marked the spot on the street, and it was one of the few cafes I've visited on my trip that was located in an area I had sort of already imagined. Often you're working off photos or descriptions online when you hear about well known cafes, but when you actually visit, their location can be very different to what you had in mind. The Elysian Room and Artigiano Hornby would be two good examples. I really enjoyed the Victrola space. It was a little dark and gloomy in the back, but the bar design seemed well thought out and spacious. There was a lot of seating and the cafe had a cool atmosphere with more people chatting and reading than buried in their laptops. As for the coffee, well I differed in preference when it came to the espresso's we were served in Seattle. The guys seemed very impressed by the Victrola espresso, Streamline, whereas I just found it ok. I mean it was tasty, and I feel the barista's were of a high enough skill set that I couldn't taste them in the cup, but I wasn't particularly wowed by it. It was an espresso free of defect, but just not exciting or different. Urgh, as I type this I'm kind of cringing cause I hate when people use one espresso to represent an entire organisation. But in saying that, I did have a shot of streamline in Cafe Grumpy in New York and that wasn't much better. AJ bought some of their single origins though, some of which really shone. These were a lot more enjoyable than the espresso and stood out from other seattle coffes we cupped. On this visit, Victrola for me was a classy cafe, with good baristas but a boring blend. Too tough probably. Everyone else I went with though really enjoyed it and for most of them it was their favourite coffee in Seattle.

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