HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Pike Place (9 msgs / 230 lines)
1) From: Allon Stern
http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2008-04-07-starbucks-
everyday-coffee_N.htm?csp4
Interesting how $* seems to be keeping themselves in the news lately.
"strong, but burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes water instead  
of open"
-
allon
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2) From: Sandy Andina
Terry Moran was interviewing Schultz at the original Pike Place shop  
tonight on "Nightline;" when Moran tasted a cup of the Pike Place  
Roast, clearly expecting that characteristic liquid-charcoal flavor,  
he did a double take and said "This is GOOD coffee!" Whereupon Schultz  
ecstatically hugged him--with an expression of joy and relief clearly  
implying "See, that's what I've been trying to do--you GET it!"  I am  
going to try my freebie cup today. Who knows--maybe it (and that brown  
retro logo) will take me back to the days when I could walk into their  
University Village store (their first "branch") and easily taste the  
differences between the varietal samples I'd be handed.  My sense  
memories of the Starbucks I'd swig from my Thermos as I'd hurtle  
through the foggy predawn darkness down I-5 on my way from Seattle to  
law school in Tacoma--Nilgiri, Celebes Kalossi, Sumatra Mandheling,  
Guatemala Antigua, Yemen Mokha, etc.--evoke flavors that were a far  
cry from the soulless dark roasts that would ensue and eventually  
develop into gustatory caricatures.  All in all, though, it's nice to  
have homeroast!
On Apr 8, 2008, at 12:24 AM, Allon Stern wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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3) From: Bob Hazen
Well said, Sandy.  I remember those days too.  Recall the Wet Whisker on the 
Ave?  Run by the Stewart brothers who then renamed it Stewart Brothers 
Coffee and then became Seattle's Best?  I didn't have a grinder in those 
days, so I'd buy a half pound ground.  I'd put it in my backpack and drive 
people nuts with the aroma of coffee.  Even beginning to stale, it was way 
better than the whole bean stuff you can buy in stores now.
Bob

4) From: Sandy Andina
Wet Whisker must have been after I left in 1978, since I lived at the  
south end of the Ave. (between Pacific & Boat St.) and the only  
espresso joints between me and NE 45th St. were Allegro next to the U.  
Bookstore on the Ave. (run by Starbucks ex-owner), Last Exit on  
Brooklyn (more for the coffeehouse culture than for the quality of its  
espresso) and this little shop at on NE 40th or Campus Pkwy (forget  
which) just e. of the Ave. (the name of the place escapes me but I  
doubt it was Wet Whisker) next door to Ice Nine Xerography and the  
convenience store, which shop opened in late 1977.  I remember when  
Starbucks opened its University Village shop in 1972--before I  
discovered them I used to buy A&P beans or go to Murchie's when I went  
to Vancouver or McNulty's on my annual trips back to my family in NYC;  
and I ground the beans in a blender! Starbucks sold me my first  
grinder, a little Moulinex whirley-blade which I still have somewhere  
for grinding spices and nuts.   Here in Chicago we have Stewarts (a  
commercial restaurant-bulk-coffee and hotel room-brewer-packet  
supplier as well as a mfr. of its own canned stuff), but I don't think  
it's the same Stewart as Seattle's Stewart Bros.--or is it?  Around  
1974 I discovered Olive's East in Southcenter--they roasted their  
coffees quite a bit lighter and I tasted buttery and nutty notes for  
the first time, especially in Guatemala coffees.  They also had killer  
pastries (the beehive was my fave) and a wonderful piroshky and salad  
plate.  Don't recall their having espresso, though.  Later on I used  
to patronize its Bellevue/Kirkland branch, but it wasn't the same.
On Apr 8, 2008, at 2:29 PM, Bob Hazen wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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5) From: Bob Hazen
Wet Whisker was in the Ave Arcade - unless you knew it was there, you likely 
would sail right by it.  I landed at the U in fall 1974 and didn't leave 
until... well... never mind.  Could be the Wet Whisker was post '78 - I 
can't recall.
I remember the Allegro as well.  It was in the garage of an old mortuary! 
Remember the big glass windows in the garage-door openings?  Did you ever go 
to the back room when the main area was full?  I suspected it was the 
embalming room because of the big fan installed in the wall.  Ugh..  They 
did server great coffee, though.  We drank Cafe au Lait; nobody had heard of 
a Latte.  Or straight espresso.  I can still taste, rather, "feel" the 
microfoam in the au Lait.  It was thick, the consistency of lightly whipped 
cream.  But it was light, and not wet or (dry either).
I didn't spend much time at the Last Exit.  I agree the coffee wasn't as 
good as the Allegro.  It seemed to be a throwback to my impression of the 
early 60's.  Had to be some bongo drums in their somewhere.
I haven't been down in that part of the city for a long time.  I wonder if 
those places are even there.  If so, they're probably unrecognizable to me.
Bob

6) From: Sandy Andina
Refresh my memory, Bob (and other Seattleites)--where was the Ave.  
Arcade? I don't remember it per se. Was it that little rabbit warren  
of shops near Allegro (I think NE 42 or 43)?  I do remember Allegro's  
back room, as well as their signature drink, Espresso Allegro (a  
single shot pulled into a tiny dollop of honey and a lightly crushed  
cardamom pod). But I also remember there were those little inside  
shops (I remember most clearly a soap-and-candle boutique and a tiny  
art gallery) adjacent to it--was that the Arcade? Or was it that  
little strip of stores on NE 40th bet. the Ave and 15th NE that had  
the laundromat, Ice Nine Xerography and the little grocery? (IIRC,  
they were all under the same ownership). I also remember further north  
(nr. NE 47th, north of Nordstrom Best--a shoe store before it became  
an empire) the old Spudnuts shop--yeast-raised donuts made with potato  
flour, and which had really, really good coffee--the first I ever was  
able to drink black, back in '71. I complimented the owner and asked  
him how much coffee he used per 10-c. pot--he showed me a metal 8-oz.  
measuring cup with a battered bottom and sides. He said he started  
with a full cup of ground coffee, and thereafter took a ball-peen  
hammer to it, stopping once the coffee no longer tasted too strong.   
Was Wet Whisker an espresso bar or did they just sell beans?
On Apr 8, 2008, at 4:34 PM, Bob Hazen wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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7) From: Bob Hazen
The Ave Arcade was a few doors North of 45th on the East side of the ave. 
It wasn't on 40th.  There were a number of shops in there; you couldn't 
really tell from the outside.  The Wet Whisker sold coffee beans and ice 
cream.
I'm impressed at your memory!  I bet you're seeing all this in your mind's 
eye.  Will you be putting some honey and cardamom in your espresso any time 
soon?  :-)
Here's a couple of links to peruse:http://web.mac.com/kapaws/Site/Historic_Building.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle's_Best_Coffee
Bob

8) From: Sandy Andina
Aha.  Definitely after I left Seattle.  (I lived there July 1971-June  
1978). There used to be a competitor bookstore to the University  
Bookstore on that block.
On Apr 8, 2008, at 5:53 PM, Bob Hazen wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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9) From: Bill
Sandy, I always love your walks down memory lane.  Your descriptions are
wonderful and vivid.  I especially like the point about the metal measuring
cup and the ball peen hammer... absolutely classic!thanks!
bill
On Tue, Apr 8, 2008 at 4:18 PM, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>
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