Sip by sip

Seattle has its obsessions, and a lot of them can be poured into a glass. Today I’m going to share our drinkable culture with you.

Most people know about Seattle’s coffee fixation, and it is as intense as it is rumored to be. Many blocks have multiple coffee shops, and some people will only go to specific ones. Most coffee snobs avoid Starbucks in favor of independent places where they still use manual espresso machines, because the baristas can alter the shots on machines like that. We also like to support our independents. I love this facet of Seattle, because it means I can get great coffee on almost any corner. Unfortunately, some places do not have drip coffee, and that’s my usual beverage of choice. Americanos just don’t do it for me.

Seattleites also love tea, especially that spiced-up concoction known as chai. It’s based on black tea, and usually features cinnamon, sweetness and a bit of milk. Chai can be a heavenly thing. Here there are passionate feelings, too. Some think that chai should be sweet, like a spice cake. Others, myself included, like our chai spicy. I worship at Travelers, where they make their chai from scratch using black pepper and a modicum of sweetener. I am addicted.

Alcoholic drinks are popular here, too, as they are throughout the world. Seattle has numerous bars where they make fancy cocktails. I had a lovely sage cucumber vodka martini a few years back, and a mai tai at a tiki bar for my birthday.

Washington is a wine-growing state, so wine is everywhere. The grocery stores have enormous selections, and something tasty is always on sale. There are special wine bars where you can go to educate your palate or torment your liver. It’s a popular entertainment.

Seattle is also big on beer. There are many micro-breweries in the Northwest, and some of them even have restaurants where you can go and get a beer sampler. I love to do this. I don’t drink much, and it’s great to be able to sample a number of beers all at once while consuming only a few pints. These breweries have frequent seasonal specials, and I had a marvelous pepper beer a few weeks back.

I think Seattle culture is so focused around liquid refreshments because it’s relaxed here. People like to take the time to sit and talk with each other. I love that about Seattle. I toast the city with my glass of chai. Mmm, spicy.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

152. When did you last take time to sit and talk with a friend? Pick the beverages of your choice and do it again today.

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