Lighthouse Roasters was one of the first partnerships we sought out when we began our odyssey of making fresh, local Seattle coffee a mainstay for anyone, anywhere. They are established– one of Seattle’s original roaster cafes, born in 1993 and going strong. They are close-by– their Fremont cafe/roastery is just a short drive/bike, or slightly-longer walk, up the street. Their reputation is singular and stellar– they don’t need multiple cafes in every neighborhood to make a splash, and their space is always dotted with local regulars who appreciate that personal touch.
One of the first things you notice when you walk into their cafe is their roaster– a large, vintage, cast-iron giant that presides over the entire space. It’s set into the corner on a raised area, often surrounded by burlap bags of green beans waiting their turn, and the smells, sounds, and bustle of roasting (Lighthouse roasts every day!) are ever-present and so delicious. Akin to watching an egg peeking out from under a hen, or an apple plucked from a tree and handed it to you, watching, hearing, and smelling the roasting beans draws you into the process and reminds you that real coffee is an experience– and that experience does not come pre-packaged, pre-ground, and/or freeze-dried from the grocery store.
Lighthouse roasts and single origin offerings run the gamut, but we were drawn to their darker roasts, which we found particularly complex. Overly-roasted coffee tends to be bitter, and it takes a light, careful touch to ease a bean into darker territory while keeping the flavor profile clean and rich– which is why we chose the Roaster’s Choice blend to introduce to our subscribers. The freshly-roasted beans, on pick-up, are as dark in color as chocolate chips. We’ve already heard feedback that the Roaster’s Choice is a Bean Box favorite for those who prefer darker coffees in their black, unadulterated state, but we think it stands up to a splash of cream and sugar very nicely as well.
So, if you ever find yourself in Seattle, stop by Lighthouse Roasters at 43rd and Phinney (a stone’s throw from the Zoo!) and say hi to Ed, the owner and founder. He’ll probably be there, taking care of the business of coffee, just as he has been since 1993. Hey, someone’s got to, right? Tell them Bean Box sent you!