Coffee: the motivation that gets Washingtonians out of bed in the morning and through just about every part of the day. Seattle is even considered the coffee capital of the United States, and has world fame for being the home of some of the most popular coffee chains. However, as impressive as Seattle’s coffee culture is, the slightly smaller city of Tacoma, located south of Seattle, has fierce coffee competition.
The Emerald City
Seattle is one of the most magical places that I have ever been to (I may be biased because I’ve lived in the Greater Seattle area for my 19 years that I’ve been on Earth, but it’s one of the coolest cities you will ever go to, trust me).
Perhaps one of the coolest aspects of Seattle is the infinite amount of coffee shops. There are a whopping 35 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, which include many popular Seattle based coffee roasters and houses such as Starbucks, Caffé Vita Roasting Company, and Tully’s Coffee.
Many Seattle based small coffee businesses thrive as well such as, Café Allegro and Top Pot Doughnuts, giving Seattle a variety of options for their coffee loving customers. In fact, Seattle thrives due to its coffee-crazed customers. On average, customers in Seattle spend $36 per month on coffee. The commonality of getting the same drink everyday can be the comforting factor to a Seattleite on one of the average 155 rainy days that Seattle receives.
Due to the increase in the coffee industry, many Seattle based companies and non-profits have started to work to benefit coffee farmers in other countries that supply for Seattle-based coffee companies.
The City of Destiny
Tacoma, the second largest city in Western Washington, has some of the coolest attractions in the area, and their coffee and restaurant scene is almost as up to scale as its big sister, Seattle.
Tacoma, like Seattle, has its fair share of original coffee roasters, such as Valhalla Coffee, Madrona Coffee Co., and Bluebeard Coffee Roasters, and various coffee shops, such as Cafe Brosseau, Metronome Coffee, and Anthem Coffee & Tea.
The personality of the coffee shops in Tacoma make up for their lack of numbers. Anthem Coffee and Tea and Metronome Coffee are two of the most popular small coffee shops in Tacoma. Without the significant presence of large coffee corporations, it is easier to focus on the small, local coffee businesses instead.
Anthem Coffee and Tea locations are limited to just Tacoma and Puyallup (a town located about 20 minutes south of Tacoma). This unique Tacoma coffee shop has the most hipster vibe complete with string lights and a stage for local performers inside the shop.
Metronome Coffee, with its only location in North Tacoma, makes Tacoma the center of its focus. Along with their direct trade coffee, they provide Washington-made wine and microbrews. In addition to that, they have a Tacoma mural and live performances from local artists.
What makes the coffee shops in Tacoma great are their local spirits. The smaller size of Tacoma helps make the coffee shops in Tacoma more localized. The shops show their love of the local culture, they incorporate Tacoma beautifully into their shops through live music, art, and food and drink.
In comparison of the two cities, Seattle beats Tacoma by numbers. The larger city has more coffee shops and a larger coffee network (particularly due to Starbucks and the rival chains that started in Seattle after Starbucks was a success). However, even with the grandness of the Seattle coffee culture, Tacoma holds its own with its unique, small coffee shop personality.