Turn off the AC (for the select 5% of Seattleites who actually have it in their homes), pull out the sweaters and scarves, and dust off your go-mugs. It's definitely Fall around here, and we're all back to normal now, inclusive of pasty white skin, and an ever-flowing source of caffeine. The colder it gets, and the darker the mornings, the more necessary coffee becomes for much of the city - and there's nothing wrong with a little friendly cup of Joe to start the day.
What is wrong is getting a bad cup of coffee and then drinking it any way, because (1) you already paid for it, (2) getting a do-over would mean standing in line again, or (3) you're still so asleep that you're not sure if the coffee is bad or you're still dreaming (you know which it is, but tell yourself whatever helps you sleep at night, okay?) Over the years, we've consumed thousands upon thousands of cups of coffee from all parts of the world, country and our dear city. So it goes without saying, we've got a good bean barometer, and have had some awful cups of crud in our day. Here then, are five of the grossest, wet-cardboard-tasting, I-can't-believe-I-just-paid-for-that spots we've found thus far.
5. Starbucks (4408 Fauntleroy Way SW)
Not all Starbucks are created equally, and this grab 'n' go location is just missing the mark. As you'll see with most other spots on this list, burning the coffee gets you noticed - and not in a good way. When in doubt, dump it out!
4. Cafe Solstice (4116 University Way NE)
Mediocrity in the brewing department is the least of Solstice's problems. Between the service snobbery, jacked up prices only drunk college students wouldn't notice, and blaring club tunes, this place makes you do an about face as soon as you enter.
3. Java Bean (5819 24th Ave NW)
Just because it's politically correct and fair trade with a price tag to prove it, doesn't mean it's going to be good. Inconsistency across visits is enough to keep your hand in the cookie jars, and out of the espresso menu. With so many years of experience under its belt, there's always a hope to resurrect Java Bean to it's former "wow" factor.
2. Cherry Street Coffee House (2719 1st Avenue)
Can you say burnt beans much?! This Northern Belltown stop-in pulls a little bait and switch action with the seemingly nice decor and case full of goodies. That's how they distract you while they pull a shot and turn it into a rancid latte you've got to be pretty desperate to down. Once bitten, twice shy.
1. Reader's Choice! (Bitch and Moan)
Every time a "Top" or "Bottom" 5 list about coffee comes out, anyone and everyone who has ever let the liquid java crack pass their lips insists we got it allllll wrong! We love every second of it, and this time want you to tell us who hits the top spot (or is that the bottom spot?!) for worst shot, drip or doppio. So go ahead, we're all ears!