For the last thousand years coffee has brought different people together, from religious monks to revolutionaries to tech geeks.
Fearful of all their liveliness and ability to create fertile centers for open dialogue, kings, sultans, and governments over the centuries believed that coffee and coffee houses were a threat to their power. After all, coffee houses where known to attract people who plotted, planned, and argued about the issues of the day, sometimes for hours over what non-enthusiasts called “puddle water.”
“Scandalous reports are devised and spread abroad to the Defamation of his Majestie’s Government, and to the Disturbance of the Peace” read one proclamation to outlaw coffee houses in England in 1675.
Seattle is thriving city partly because of such scandalous coffee houses. I am not sure which sustains the other, but I do know that coffee shops are embedded in the DNA of this town. From neighborhood cafes to downtown coffee shops much happens in and around them. From discussions of tech start-ups to lively talks of politics, culture and everything in between, Seattle’s cafes are buzzing with caffeinated energy and innovation.
Uptown Espresso in South Lake Union is no exception. On any given day, you will find people socializing, talking about the latest news, or simply enjoying a cup of Fonte Coffee roasted beans.
During a recent accidental stop, I decided to camp out and get some work done at their South Lake Union location and was thoroughly impressed with the ambiance, the macchiato-level of energy (not too high, not too low), and their collection of diverse and engaged patrons.
Uptown Espresso, which has seven other locations in Seattle, offered large bay windows, easy-on-eyes art, good music, wide and burly tables, and friendly baristas. It is a great Seattle coffee spot.
A stone’s throw from Amazon.com’s complex and Seattle’s business center, techies, business folks, writers, regulars, and tourists alike, arrive in steady stream at this location – some stay and some go on about their day. But if you spend any time here, it’s not hard to imagine the wonderful ideas bounced, kicked, and even sipped around this place.
There's always a story popping up about the ills and side-effects of coffee. For better or worse, I tend to ignore them. Still, if I had to choose the side-effects that I love most about coffee it is this: it has the ability to create space for friendships, creativity, ideas, and of course, generate much needed revolutions from time to time.
A couple hundred years ago, coffee houses were called “penny universities” because you could pay a penny for a cup of coffee and sit for hours and listen, discuss, and learn about any number of subjects and disciplines of the day. Excluding inflation, some things never change – and sometimes, that's a good thing.
Uptown Espresso which handily occupies the corner of Westlake and Republican Avenue, offers a variety pastries, muffins, and menu items to complement their excellently-crafted coffee.Next time you are around South Lake Union check out Uptown Espresso. Feel free to bring along your revolutionary manifesto or laptop…
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Neighborhood: South Lake Union