Trabant Coffee & Chai

Overall Rating: 7.800

Address: 602 2nd Ave.
Cross Street(s): James St.
City, State ZIP: Seattle, WA 98104
Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Phone: None
Hours: M-F 7am-6pm; Sa 10am-4pm; Su 11am-4pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 7.50
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 6
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Synesso
Coffee Rating: 8.10
Aroma: 7
Body: 8
Brightness: 9
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $2.25
Last Update: 05/17/2010
First Reviewed: 05/17/2010
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

This space - opened in 2007 - is for coffee nerds, no question. It's part vacant art space, part café, and part retail coffee lab. They have a few cheap sidewalk chairs out front along 2nd Ave. But inside it is a sparse, stark space with a tall ceiling and a lot of echoes. The tables and benches are excessively wobbly. Contrast this ambiance with the coffee investments on display, and it comes off a little like dope house for coffee addicts. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as the staff here are regularly sampling and experimenting with the goods - always a positive sign. They were testing out a new Brazilian roast in their Clover machine when we visited. They also use Anfim grinders, 49th Parallel Coffee, and a three-group Synesso for espresso. They're pretty much pedigreed. They pull shots with a mottled medium and darker brown crema in white Nuova Point cups. It has good brightness without being a sour brightness bomb, and it carries a potent herbal to tobacco flavor. Maybe not the best espresso in Seattle, and it's definitely not the best environment. But it's a good place to test and sample coffee from a great Canadian roaster on this side of the Maple Curtain.