Seattle >Food & Dining > Espresso Vivace Roasteria Cafe
901 E Denny Way, Seattle, WA | Directions 9812247.618759 -122.319514
Neighborhoods: Capitol Hill, Broadway
Straight-up, naturally sweet, precisely built coffee drinks - from lattes to drip with speedy and diligent service and friendly faces behind the counter. Expect a line but not to wait long.
Great cappuccinos by the shot – Yum! Their espressos are pretty good, rich.... I would say their soy lattes are some of my favorite---- iced or hot. If you want any pastries or biscotti, they've got'em. I love the baristas---- they're such quirky people! And expert at the coffees. Usually is super busy in the mornings, lines may go out the door. For some reason, you can find seating regardless of how busy this branch is---- and despite it looks small inside! Opens till 11pm, which is good, has WiFi :) If you like this place, I'd also try out Bauhaus Books&Cafe---- hard seating when busy, but they open till 1am which means if you're a hard-core nighttime studier, go there :)
easily my favorite latte – I used to work at a coffee shop, so when I go to a new one, I always watch the baristas. Do they foam the milk too much or steam it too long? Do they knock and swirl the milk pitcher? Do they pull the shot too long? Is the cappuccino the right proportions of milk, espresso and foam? When I get the drink, is there latte art? Does the coffee taste burnt?
Vivace is the only place I've seen where they consistently do it right, and you can taste the results. Properly roasted beans and milk that hasn't been over-steamed result in a latte so sweet that I never need to add sugar. The non-coffee drinks are also good, and while they don't have chai, they do have the "beautiful Stephanie," a steamed milk and earl grey tea drink that's delicious.
The service is good, too. I've never found the baristas to be snobby or rude, even when a customer asks for extra-hot or extra-dry lattes, which destroy the sweetness and texture of steamed milk. They do warn customers that they can't make lattes too dry, but they do it with a smile and no condescension at all. The baristas are always smiling and friendly, no matter how busy it is.
The atmosphere has its strengths and weaknesses. It lacks any big comfy chairs, and in the winter it can sometimes be a little cold, so it's not my favorite place to go when I want to curl up with a novel. Usually I enjoy the music they play, but can be too loud. On the other hand, they have a separate room that's quieter and perfect for studying, and the little tables make it a great place to hang out and chat with friends.
Their other drawback is the pastries, which are the same as like every other Seattle coffee shop's, with nothing particularly exciting.
Overall, Vivace is excellent for those who like perfectly executed artisanal coffee. If you prefer extra-dry, or more bitter lattes, or you care more about a cozy atmosphere or yummy snacks, you may want to find another hangout. In Seattle, that won't be hard.
These coffee roasters produce one of the best cups of joe around, in a town where the bean reigns supreme. – In Short
Northern Italian-style roasting and a whole lotta love go into roasting the beans at this Capitol Hill roasteria, where they take their coffee seriously (and have won competitions to prove it).Employees must work as bar assistants for a year before earning the coveted position as barista. Take a load off and have one of the double-shot espresso drinks in the cafe, with a view of the reservoir and life on Broadway.
Photo by Chris Daniel
Delicious Coffee, but frigid atmosphere – Yes, they do have some of the best coffee in Seattle. But, the music is horrible and very loud and the baristas don't care about patron comfort. It is freezing cold out, and the door is wide open as I write this. I asked them if I could close it, and the barista replied that it was too hot behind the machines. While I can sympathize with being too hot, and having to deal with discomfort in the workplace, the people they are serving are cold. Everyone is in their coats. People are hugging themselves from cold. My drink went cold in a matter of minutes. If they disregard the customer's comfort entirely, why should I care about theirs?
Sweet espresso with a little welcome sass – Espresso Vivace's staff consistently make some of the best espresso beverages around. Their "crappy square-plastic" grinders have a vented fan mounted on the back in order to cool beans that otherwise might get hot and essentially cook as they are ground--a small but essential alteration that many other caffes have somehow missed out on. And, upon reading the board, one is greeted with the information that Vivace's northern Italian style of esspresso preperation includes a cappucino that is very similar to a latte, with a creamy foam that melds seamlessly with sweet espresso, not the cup o' foam that so many have come to expect in this post-Starbucks age. Their espressos, (when drunk within 10 seconds, after which any shot goes sour) at their best acheive the owner's goal of tasting the way coffee smells. Fortunately, the well-trained and professional staff nearly always turn out espresso at its best. Unfortunately, not every drink can be perfect, and the variety that comes out of this unpredictable but reliable art might well be celebrated by patrons rather than bitterly ruled out after one or two experiences. And, to a self-assured individual, being on the recieving end of a little sass can be an envigorating and delightful thing.
Not the best I've had – I have been to several shops in Seattle, and living in Portland, I am used to Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Vivace needed to live up to that standard. Both my wife and me agreed after going to two of their Capitol Hill locations, that it did not. Granted it is good and may be better than most in Seattle. But, it?s nothing compared to Portland shops. When I order a cappuccino, I should not have to say DRY in order to prevent from getting a latte! And, what is up with those crappy square-plastic grinders they use? I mean? even I use a Mazzer for my drip coffee at home.
So so – After all the hype aound Vivace I was expecting an unbeatable experience and the best espresso ever. Maybe my expectations were to high. Here is what I got: rude service (gosh, those baristas are really arrogant) and my standard double-shot espresso tasted sour, clearly underextracted. Maybe Vivace is over its peak. There is definitely better espresso to be found in Seattle than at Vivace.
great! – I recently did a mini-survey of the coffee in Seattle based on good reviews online, and Vivace's wins hands down. It has the best coffee in town.
The only downside is the cafe atmosphere isn't that great. The acoustics aren't that good and the furniture is not too comfortable. All of this fades, though, as one sips a wonderful Vivace's espresso drink.
Simply the Best – There are lots of coffee joints in this city but only Vivace's does it right everytime. This is a great place to take a date after dinner and chat about this or that as well as introduce them to the best cup of coffee they've had in this city.
Really Really Good – This place makes the best coffee in the world. Well, the best coffee in the parts of the world that I have been to! Go there! Get up from your computer and go! Get the WHITE VELVET.
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