I love New Year's resolutions. Not the act of making them myself, mind you, but watching everybody else make them is a lot of fun. For example: I am at coffee today with my roommate, whose New Year's resolution was to give up caffeine. We are (both) drinking (regular, caffeinated) mochas, and watching the plethora of people out jogging, all of whom are undoubtedly experiencing more success with the concept of initial resolve than is my friend.
This year, my first cup of coffee is from Herkimer, courtesy of Revolutions Espresso in the Green Lake neighborhood. Since I made no resolutions whatsoever (least of all any having to do with weight loss or the renouncing of vices), I've ordered a 12 oz, rice-milk mocha instead of my usual, leaner 8 oz Americano.
Revolutions Espresso, tucked away on Woodlawn just east of the Green Lake Starbucks, provides a lovely alternative to its always-busy counterpart. With far better coffee, better service and shorter lines, not to mention some of the peppiest WiFi in town, it's a wonder the spacious cafe always has so much seating available. This works with the concept of "revolution," I suppose, since it is a significant overthrow of the way we think of good coffee shops in good locations: Revolutions is consistently good, but never overly crowded.
Of course, the concept of revolution is additionally fitting in the moment, in that it may also refer to something that is turning around or turning over... the revolution of customers through the door, of days through a month, or of the earth around the sun, bringing us once again back to January for this unusually balmy beginning to another year.
But all else aside, I chose Revolutions specifically because I wanted to kick 2012 off with a rice-milk mocha, and there are only so many places in town where rice milk gets treated with any level of respect. It is common practice around Seattle to scald alternative milks, steaming them as if they had the same structure as cow's milk. Which, notably, they do not. While soy milk is popular enough that it has been formulated to withstand normal steaming practices, less commonly used alternatives (such as rice and almond milks) tend to meet harsh ends, steamed until an expected temperature or tone is reached, without making appropriate adjustment for the different contents of the pitcher.
At Revolutions Espresso however -- though latte art may not be a big deal, and lines may not be out the door -- rice milk is consistently treated with the same level of respect as regular milk and espresso preparation. I have yet to burn my tongue, or experience the delightful flavor of scorched rice in a mocha from this cafe.
Meanwhile, in terms of the coffee itself if you're a fan of Herkimer, you will also be a fan of Revolutions, which serves Herkimer's coffee with exceptional skill. In fact, my roommate reports that this mocha is quite good. ...Apparently, even better than the first one she had after resolving to go caffeine-free this year.
Revolutions Espresso & Bakery is located at 7012 Woodlawn Ave NE, and open until 7 pm every night. Make note that the website associated with a search for Revolutions Espresso in Seattle seems to be attached either to another business or to some kind of practical joke; go straight for the social media instead and find them on Facebook.