Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ghost Alley Espresso

Once again it's time for the "Monthly Grind". This is where I put the spotlight on a local coffee shop. The visit this month takes us to Ghost Alley Espresso to see what all the buzz is about! 

With it being the Fall season and Halloween already here, I knew I wanted to do a spooky blog for October. I actually was told about Ghost Alley Espresso from my friend Ryan who sent me a photo and suggested I check it out.

The coffee shop is located at 1499 Post Alley in Seattle WA. It's in a unique location right under the iconic Pike Place Market. If you make it to the gum wall...Yes I said gum wall…you went to far! For the non-Seattlities, there is a wall on the side of a building full of gum from random people donating their used gum. This will have to be a different blog all together. 
The history of this coffee shop is really very interesting. With the history of the space dating back to the 60's! It was once used as a woman's restroom, then a storage unit for a couple different business in the market. Another interesting fact. there are two access tunnels, now closed up, was told to me was once used to move people who had overdosed on drugs. They would then move the individuals through the tunnel and away from the market and away from public view. Apparently not everyone was lucky enough to be saved in time. I was fascinated listening to Jim, the lead manager, tell me countless stories about the history and background about the location and the market in general. 

Jim not only helps manage the coffee shop, he also leads the daily ghost tour offered by the coffee shop! Ghost Alley Espresso started serving coffee about two years ago. I was fortunate it too be visiting the cafe when Mercedes the Owner, and her dog Nicolas stopped in to refill supplies. I got a chance to talk to her for a little while. She is very proud of how far her little coffee shop has come and what it has become today. She also mentioned it's too bad I wasn't going to be visiting next week. They are very excited to be getting a ModBar installed. She told me this is the first of it's kind to be installed in Seattle. This unique coffee bar system is installed under the counter. Be sure to click on the link and check it out! I will definitely be back to see the new installed and sample a coffee from it!

I ended up ordering one of their most popular coffee's…the Salty Nut latte. It's a mix of two flavors: salted carmel and hazelnut flavors. As Jim prepared my latte I continued to ask him a lot of questions and find out as much as I could about the coffee shop. Of course one of the questions I had to ask…"Is it haunted, and have you seen any ghosts?" He did say that yes the market is haunted and there has been numerous occasions of spooky things that has happened inside the coffee shop. Instances such as books falling off the shelf, strange noises and a few other unexplained occurrences. He mentioned that with the market being a landmark and it's long history there is bound to be some spooky things to happen.  I suppose that is why there is a ghost tour offered. Being that myself has always been fascinated with the paranormal, I will definitely be booking a tour soon! The coffee shop is meeting point and the start of the tour. You can grab a latte and indulge yourself into some of Seattle's history while enjoying some great coffee…and maybe even see a ghost! 

Overall I really have to hand it to Mercedes and her team for creating a unique and fun coffee experience. While it isn't the biggest space, it really is a cosy and inviting space. Be sure to check out their ghostly items for sale and maybe pick up a bag of coffee from their partner Middle Fork Roasters. A local Seattle roaster about 4 miles from the market. Apparently delivered to the cafe by bike! If you still don't have plans this Halloween why not book a ghost tour? You can by visiting their website:

In closing, I highly recommend checking out this coffee shop. Why not grab a cup of coffee and stroll the beautiful and exciting Pike Place Market!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Caribbean Coffee Adventure

I’m back from a long break! So a little info on why I haven’t had a blog update in so long. Back in July I started working a new job…this job happens to be on a cruise ship! It isn’t always so easy to keep up on my blog entries. Of course that doesn’t mean I stopped drinking coffee nor does it mean I don’t have lots to share with you!

My ship cruised between Miami and the Caribbean islands. It was amazing to experience the culture and meet a lot of nice people from the Caribbean! It was also great to drink some amazing coffee while being there and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Café Trinité is a very popular Caribbean coffee brand. This Caribbean Coffee House was originally started as OK Coffee in Trinidad in 1931 by the Melizans, coffee plantation owners, and by José Perez a Cuban coffee connoisseur and roast master.

On each package of coffee they display a colorful historical background picture of the Caribbean. The artwork is an extensive collection of Dermott Louison's. He was born and raised in Trinidad around the second world war. Each of his works of art display a variety of characters and customs of what life in those days were like. I think it is really special that they showcase the artwork and it adds a little history to the coffee.

I brought home some packages of this coffee to give as gifts for my friends and family. They have a wide variety of flavored coffee’s such as mocha, coconut and of course just original coffee. I haven’t tried all the flavors yet…but from tasting just the original I really liked it! I have to admit it is a really strong coffee…I lived up to my name Coffee Buzzed after drinking this coffee! The friends who have tried it so far has really enjoyed it as well. I hope to try the other flavors soon.

Another coffee that I brought home with me was from the Tortuga Rum company. This brand is also very well know in the Caribbean. It is also a very popular gift in the cruise ship industry. I also brought home some of the Tortuga Rum Coffee for my friends and I to try. A little taste of the islands! I have some friends who are big fans of rum and I just knew they would love to try this. They have a variety of flavors of the rum coffee. I brought home just the original rum coffee. I got to try it a couple weeks ago and was presently surprised on how good it tasted!

Now of course you know I visited a few Starbucks on my travels. I was happy to see that they had a Starbucks in Nassau, Bahamas! It was fun to see how they do things a little different then they do in the States. I know a lot of cruise passengers were very happy to see a Starbucks too! It felt nice to have a familiar site in the Bahamas. Now like I was saying they do things a little different…they are a bit more behind on their drink choices. For example I would go into a store in Miami and they would have some of the new drinks choices out and then I would go that some week thinking I could get that same drink in Nassau…but nope! I really noticed it during Christmas time. They were really late on the holiday drinks and didn’t even have the same ones! I’m not complaining it was just something that I found interesting. Another thing I noticed was that the Miami Starbucks stores offered Cuban or Spanish drink choices. I didn’t try them…and now I’m kicking myself for that!

I really enjoyed learning and observing the Caribbean culture in the Bahamas. Coffee was just a bonus in the culture. I was really happy to take a little of the islands back to my friends and my family. My next ship goes between New Orleans and Mexico. It will also head up the West Coast and then to Seattle and Alaska! I can’t wait to write my next blog on all the coffee experiences from all these regions!