Fourth in a series of the things I'll most miss about eating in Seattle.
I know it's a cliché, but man, will I miss the coffee in Seattle. The baseline quality here is higher than anywhere else in the country, and I've been disappointed with most of the Third Wave cafes I've visited in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles since moving here. For all the bullshit that certain Seattle cafes make customers endure -- and oh, I'll be naming names later on this week -- most of the baristas in town are gracious and forbearing about the pedantic requests they fulfill.
I went through a phase of ordering a very specific espresso drink, one that never raised an eyebrow here when compared to some of the foam-height requirements and precise milk temperatures that I would hear fellow citizens demand. That phase, though, ended a few months back when I spent a weekend in San Francisco. Checking out one of the Mission's vanguard cafes, I asked for my regular: "A supershort split-shot Americano with, say, one inch of water." Everyone in line turned to gawk at me.
The barista there asked, "Supershort? Split shot?" like I had just asked her for "???????."
"Oh. My. God." stage-whispered one of my friends, a prelude to 15 minutes of mockery.
I apologized to the barista and switched my order to a plain Americano. "I guess I've become a true Seattleite," I told her.
"You're from Seattle?" the barista asked, wistfully. "What a great city." We nodded at one another in agreement.