Tacoma Coffee Culture & High Northwest Craft
Love the Bean
Find examples of Northwest bean all over town, with local and regional coffees better than anything the big boys have to offer (read why to the right). Wherever you are in Tacoma, opt for the roasts below to experience the flavors that have raised the quality of our every day lives.
Words of Others:
Northern Pacific Coffee Co.
401 Garfield St S, Tacoma, WA 98444
(253) 537-8338 Facebook
Supporting Artists 4 Life in the Sound
We like these guys so much we made them their own page . .
There is a distinct air of old world charm in this unmistakable gem of a Tacoma coffee house. Blended with sensible Northwest mindfulness is the artisan craft that our region is known for, and that brings to your life a quality of sensuous life.
Enjoy everything from house made sandwiches and salads to local beers and other refreshments. This is also an all-ages venue proudly supporting the spirit of the new and old generations. Bluegrass Tuesdays, shows are frequent.
On the Menu
On their own page here, on the right
True North Coffee House
Downtown & Easy to Find
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 353-7322 Facebook
Supporting Artists 4 Life in the Sound
Destination-quality coffee central to the downtown core, you will absolutely taste the difference of artisan craft Northwest bean. An upbeat and professional atmosphere make this a comfortable place to take business associates and friends.
Discover excellent coffee blends from one of the most highly touted roasters in the region, Olympia Coffee Roasters, and hand crafted, home made syrups like vanilla and mint, hazelnut and seasonal favorites like Pumpkin Spice. There's even a fireplace . .
On the Menu
Pumpkin Spice Latte House made syrups make this not-too-sweet, oh-so-right.
Classic Poor Over Meticulously weighed and timed to provide a consistent, flavorful experience, you will absolutely taste what coffee means to the Northwest tongue.
Doppio Machiatto The real deal
House Chai Spicier than sweet, this is an unusually good example of authentic chai.
Bluebeard: Better Brew by the Bag
2201 6th Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403
Nuanced with wide-ranging flavors and a continuously changing repertoire of options, discover something amazing in a pulled shot you won't need sugar to soften. This is good bean territory.
Words of others:
Ben Smith on Bluebeard
Click Pic for Where Else to Find Valhalla
3918 6th Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98406
Mon - Fri 7am - 6pm
Sat & Sun 8a - 6pm
Bold body brew at its best, if you like your coffee strong, your experience original and the taste for the craft from the hands of a master, this is your place. Tacoma's first independent roaster, Aj's craft is beautifully bold bean. Viking, Valkyrie, the Harrar and house espresso blends will rock your mind.
Words of Others
Bohemian bean, they do not have a public retail location. It's a unique, award-winning bean downtown Tacoma's only roast. Try it at Cafe Brosseau in the 3 Bridges District.
Words of others:
Regional Coffee: Olympia, Portland & Seattle Blends
Tacoma has a respectable variety of craft coffee across a spectrum of experience. For a well rounded Northwest experience, try regional coffees from all over the South Sound as well.
Metro Coffee Downtown - Museum District
1901 Jefferson Ave # B Tacoma, WA 98402-1611
Serving blends from the respectable small-house coffee roaster Lighthouse (Seattle), this is my go-to coffee shop for the visitor to the UW campus or the museums. Don't have time to jump up the hills to the Broken Spoke or Corina ? Jump in this little gem for a taste of Norhwest coffee at its best - fantastic Shots in the Dark.
Anthem Coffee, Tea & Wine Bar Downtown - Museum District
1911 Pacific Ave; Tacoma, WA 98403
This place is locally owned and serves coffee from a bigger company bean called Dillano's, out of Sumner. Their baristas know what to do with what they have, and if you don't have the time to try Metro (across the street, up the steps to your left), jump in and grab a cup.
Give props to the lady (and often DJ) of the house, enjoy a quick packaged sandwich or freshly prepared food if your timing's right and the menu's up. Beer, tea and wine are also available.
Metronome 6th Ave
3518 6th Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 301-2375 http://metronomecoffee.com/
Mon-Thu 7a-11p; Fri 7a-1a; Sat 8a-1a; Sun 8a-11p
Serving Cafe Vita coffee from Seattle, it's still a great place to study or get a piece of work done. Enjoy their excellent and unique Sumatran Beer (it's dark with cherry overtones - they'll give samples ; )
Pastries 'n short stack vittles here as well, the baristas are real people, and friendly; their fireplace warms indoors and out; they have great music here from time to time . .
Cosmonaut Coffee Stadium District
817 Division Ave Tacoma, WA
Mon-Fri 6a-9p; Sat-Sun 7a-9p
On top of coffee, Satellite serves vegan, gluten free baked goods. Plus they have almond milk, and proudly serve Portland’s Stumptown Coffee.
1102 S. Yakima; Tacoma, WA 98405
(253) 272-0112 facebook
Mon -Fri 6a - 4p
Owned by Debbie Portzer, who, with 20+ years of coffee and deli experience, is living her dream of owning her own shop. Her specialties include fresh made sandwiches, salads, coffee drinks and smoothies, and they can accommodate your special dietary needs such as lowfat and sugarfree options. Available for takeout, as well as dine-in and delivery for groups over 6 ($5 service charge for delivery).
They have friendly staff who make it a point to know you. Their specialties include fresh made sandwiches, salads, coffee drinks and smoothies.
Reasons 4 Local Coffee
1st: Big Coffee Killed the Jazz
(Read how at the link provided above)
2nd: Big Coffee Burns their Beans
Coffee is naturally diverse - every crop has fine nuances different from others, even beans grown in the same field vary in color and flavor. To get the same flavor in 10s of thousands of pounds of coffee, Big Coffee brands burn it for us.
Big Brands Burn Their Beans - They Have to
Ever wonder why big brand coffee tastes burnt and bitter? That's because it is: In order to distribute 10s of thousands of pounds of similar-tasting coffee all over the globe, the only option is to burn out the flavorful differences distinguishing individual crops of coffee from the close neighbors they're roasted with.
In contrast, small batch sensory (Valhalla) and third wave (Bluebeard) roasting techniques produce rich, creative, fine and nuanced flavors without putting a bitter taste in your mouth. Discover your local cup: Head to The Coop to buy Valhalla and Bluebeard blends in less than 1-pound bags. Do your taste tests and start supporting your better experience in bean - and our local loving ways.
Read more about our local roasts here @ Post Defiance
Music and coffee go hand in hand here, and where you find one, you can often find the other. For a standard example of how our music is better by the bean, read here about Culture by the Cup.
Tacoma's Coffee Culture in particular has a long, music-infused history that continues to this day. In times past we enjoyed cafes like The Usual, Temple of the Bean, Grounds for Coffee and The Blackwater Cafe (all legends in their time). Today we enjoy Valhalla, Bluebeard, The Broke Spoke and Corina, in large part due to the influence of Valhalla itself: Tacoma’s first 'indi' class coffee roaster, Valhalla may well be considered the catalyst for our city’s great change in its taste of Bean.
For music in Tacoma, follow here.
We Like Tea, too . .
Healthful stimulation of the body and the mind adds variety and flavor to your life in ways you may have not considered. Discover the variety of experience available to you, and the benefits that make tea a profoundly beneficial way to expand your day to day habits in a way that will benefit your body, your mind and those you love around you.
There are teas and botanical blends with medicinal properties reputed to heal. They've been used for millennia, were mankind's first pharmaceutical remedies, and are a good substitute for coffee when you require a bit of variety.
Mad Hat Tea Company Downtown - Commerce
1130 Commerce Street; Tacoma, WA 98402-4307
(253) 441-2111 http://www.madhattea.com/
There is nothing downtown quite like the Mad Hat. A tea company, yes, but enchanted entryway into our town’s personable, accessible culture all the more, it is not possible for your senses to be bored here.
Proprietors Tobin Ropes and Maureen McHugh create very different atmospheres - Tobin is more on the Mad side, Maureen a bit more Hat. Together they bring about something you might expect in a rural suburb of a european province - an open, creative atmosphere with supreme cordiality. Depending who’s running the shop that day, expect two very different atmospheres, but always laughter, artists, good music and colorful conversation.
Together, Tobin and Maureen cultivate and provide a most unique environment in which to enjoy our city’s widest variety of hand selected, internationally-sourced teas and house-made herbal blends. From rarer white teas to medicinal herbal remedies, the best Earl Grey this man's ever had, and more adventurous teas like Puerh and Oolongs, there is an endless variety of good tasting, restorative teas and herbs to enjoy.
Strong advocates of the local Art culture, you’re just as likely to cross paths with a local artist as you are to run into a city council member or erudite Professor. Expect the jovial, encounter a form of the divine.
Words of others:
Ben Smith on Mad Hat