Seattle Coffee Tour: Aster Coffee

Today has been a great day. It's only the morning, but I'm in the best mood. Perhaps it's because it's my day off and I have no obligations and slept in. Perhaps it's the beautiful sun shining outside. Perhaps it's that I met a cute dog. Or that the ice spray worked perfectly on my windshield. I know, it's that I talked to my best friend on iChat. Or that I got a lovely mocha and pumpkin muffin...

Coffee Shop Name: Aster Coffee Lounge

Location: 5615 24th Avenue NW, Ballard, WA

The Order: I got a tall mocha. Eventually adding in Sugar Free Vanilla.

General Babble: Puntos (points = fun to say in Spanish) for the cool interior and logo. The Aster logo is well done. By the way, appreciating cool logos is something I picked up from the Brown family. They are big decorators and have an eye for good design. Anyway, that got me into the store. Plus it was close to home and easy parking (at least for a Friday morning). Then the lady behind the counter was very sweet. I found out her name was Beth. When I told her about my blog, she gladly fielded my questions. I was on the fence about getting a pastry, but then I saw a pumpkin muffin and better yet that they were homemade at the store. Sold!


Overall Visit: 4.5 - The seating was plentiful. The people were nice. The coffee smooth and tasty. The mocha was a darker chocolate that they make at the store. At first, I thought it was a bit too dark for me; however, she graciously added some vanilla. With a bit of a stir, it was heavenly. Nice and sweet, but not overpowering.  I've found with mochas that you definitely need to give it a bit of a stir to get the chocolate permeating throughout the drink. I enjoyed sitting by the window, eating my muffins, drinking my mocha, and enjoying the sun rays.

Latte Art: 4 - Beth made this seem so easy. I'm sure she could have done a more complex design, but her rosetta was quite pretty. I wonder what it'd look like on a latte. Next time!

Atmosphere: 4 - Like I said, the interior was quite nice. Lots of seating, and a nice, comfortable temperature. The stars in the window were fun. The clocks with the different time zones of popular coffee growing regions was a fun idea. People were chill just reading the paper or talking with friends. It was not a total hipster place which was a nice to see, but normal everyday people.

Drink Options: 4.5 - Besides Starbucks, this is the first place I've come across on my tour that had Clover brew available. I'll have to try it there next time. Clover is a great way to enjoy a cup of coffee. It's like a mix between a french press and a vacuum pot. You can really taste the type of coffee with the Clover. If you like french press, you must give Clover a try. There are not a whole lot of the brewers out there, so get it when you can. Otherwise, they had the normal coffee menu. I noticed a few holidays drinks on the sign out front - eggnog and peppermint mocha. However, they do offer beer and wine in the evenings. Now, I want to return at night!

Coffee Knowledge: The espresso drinks use Intelligentsia, which is what was in my mocha. They also Stumptown for single origin coffees. Apparently they invite guest roasters every few months as well.

Food: You can't beat freshly made onsite bakery goodies. They even offered waffles there, something I'm sure Josh would spring for if he were with me (he's traveling for work today). My pumpkin muffin was tasty and the hard sugar on top was a good touch. I wouldn't say they are comparable to my pumpkin muffin from Full City / Palace Bakery in Eugene, but a nice decent muffin. The other stuff looked good, like the cookies. I'll have to try an afternoon or evening treat there sometime.

I haven't mentioned it yet, but I'm going to be using the Disloyalty Card as I tour around. It's a good start for where to go...Get it? Disloyalty? You're going to different coffee shops (so you're not loyal). HA! It's cute.

Seattle Coffee Tour - Disloyalty Card

P.S. I really enjoyed my visit, and will definitely return with Josh. Next time, I might come in the evening for a coffee and cookie and Josh can get a beer. Sounds fun! Oh, and sorry my pictures are a bit blurry. I forgot my camera...again. I need to get better about that. The iPhone is handy though! And sorry, the muffin picture has a bit in it -- I was hungry.

Seattle Coffee Tour - Aster Seattle Coffee Tour - Aster Seattle Coffee Tour - Aster

P.P.S. On some online research On Intelligentsia, I came across another coffee blogger. Check it out. He's probably more coffee knowledgable than me. Mine are more just for fun than anything. If I keep going though, I'm sure I'll get more knowledgable. Or if I become a Coffee Master...