I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday. I did!
I wanted to do two things with my Coffee of the Week posts, acknowledge the best roasters, growers, importers, and baristas who enliven my every week, and to give myself a venue for spouting off on different topics. So while I have a desire to write about new and interesting things I haven't covered in the past, I'm just going to have to repeat myself this week: the Zoka Kirkland store is fantastic.
As I mentioned before, I have been going there quite a bit and have yet to get a single sub-par cup. Contrast this with another Seattle area coffee shop with a good reputation which will remain nameless where I went recently and had a terrible cup of coffee. This hasn't ever happened to me at Zoka. Everything is up to snuff every time. I don't even really think about it anymore. I just walk in, get my coffee, and walk out happy.
This week the coffee that made me happiest was a caffé macchiato I had there on a gloomy, rainy Tuesday afternoon.
I'm talking about a small, northwest-style macchiato that is served in a tulip cup with an ounce and a half of espresso and wet steamed milk poured to the brim. (Just to clear it up... since there are so many wildly different versions of the macchiato out there... a topic for another post.) Kyle Glanville used to say that the macchiato was the purest expression of the barista's art. The espresso forms the biggest part of the flavor, and so your shots have to be perfect. There's no room for hiding less-than-delicious espresso like people sometimes do in a 16 ounce monster vanilla latte.
But a good macchiato is tougher than making a good espresso, because you also need to nail the milk just right. Put those two basic elements together in their most basic, naked form, and you have the macchiato. When a macchiato is bad, it's really bad; and when it's good, it's really good.
Well, my macchiato was really good. Once again I didn't get the barista's name, but everyone there has been great. I'm officially relocating to the west side of Lake Washington in about three days, so I suppose this will be the last time I write about Zoka Kirkland for a while. Certainly it makes coming out to this side of the lake to visit my family just a little bit more pleasurable. Thanks and kudos to them.