Top Five Seattle Coffee Shops

If you didn’t already know, people in Seattle tend to be obsessed with this drink you may have heard of, coffee. With over 1,500 coffee shops in the city, there can be an awful lot to choose from. So hopefully this quick guide to my favorite places to grab a cup of coffee in Seattle will help you narrow down your choices.

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5. Starbucks Reserve

Please read the rest of this before attempting to murder me for even writing the name Starbucks on a list like this. The Starbucks Reserve really is unique experience. The menu is jam-packed with Reserve exclusives that really are borderline genius (you can get a cold brew Manhattan!). They also have a really cool shop in the store with tons of high quality coffee accessories like tumblers, water bottles, tea pots, and other really neat items. On top of that, they roast all of the Starbucks Reserve coffee at that exact location! You can sit and watch the coffee beans be roasted and then served to you within a few minutes! With tons of comfortable seating, I love to spend a few hours there reading a book on a nice sunny day and would definitely recommend you check it out.

4. Stumptown Coffee Roasters

I know, I know, Stumptown is another coffee chain, but this Portland based brand really does deserve a mention. Credited with starting the third wave coffee movement, Stumptown is a great place to grab a quality cup of coffee. Neither of the two Seattle locations have much seating, so I personally only stop by when I am out and about in Seattle and want a good cup of coffee to carry with me. With two locations on Capitol Hill, this makes Stumptown a great option for me to grab coffee on my way downtown when I’m going to work. So if you’re ever in a rush or just out running errands, Stumptown is a great option.

3. Empire Coffee

Located just a block away from the Seattle University campus and with ample table space in the upstairs seating area, Empire is amazing study/work area. Throughout finals week the store is packed and definitely the place to be. The large glass storefront and floor to ceiling windows allow the space to be filled with tons of light, making it a really beautiful place to hang out during a rare sunny day in Seattle. With fun drink options like root beer on tap or cayenne mochas coupled with delicious baked goods made in-house, Empire really stand out from the Seattle coffee clutter.

2. Victrola Coffee Roasters

Okay, so Victrola is where I went on my first date with my significant other, so I may be a little biased. But this place is still a really great coffee shop. Located on Pike just a few blocks from downtown, Victrola’s pretty yellow and blue storefront is hard to miss. With an exposed brick interior and local artwork hung on the walls, it really is a charming spot. On top of the cute decor, Victrola roasts all of their own coffee beans in house! A pretty impressive feat here in Seattle. With such lovely decor and such close proximity to fun activities in both downtown and Capitol Hill, Victrola is a great place to stop and sit for a while.

  1. Honor Coffee

Honor Coffee has a few different locations, however I didn’t encounter this small Seattle based chain until their opened their fourth and newest location on Broadway in Capitol Hill. The reason Honor is ranked as my favorite coffee shop is quite simple, it combines every aspect that I love from the other coffee shops on this list. The care and love of coffee from the Starbucks Reserve, the simple and consistent quality of Stumptown, the exciting drink options and baked goods from Empire, and the lovely decor and storefront that Victrola has. Top all this off with consistently lovely baristas, and it really is a foolproof formula for having a lovely coffee shop.

While you may not be as coffee obsessed as I am, I really hope that at least one of these recommendations caught your eye. If you check out any of these cafes, or have any coffee shops you think I should try, let me know in the comments below!

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What I’ve Been Listening To

I don’t know about you guys, but I love using spring break as a way to find lots of cool new music. Load road trips or hours spent lounging out in the sunshine are ideal for listening to new tunes, and this spring break did not disappoint. With tons of new releases alongside the rediscovery of some old favorites, I’ve got tons to talk about and share with you guys.

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  1. ÷ – Ed Sheeran

Wow, if you haven’t listened to this album already, what have you been doing?! Go listen to it now! Sheeran proves yet again that he is a complete lyrical genius with this record. I found myself tearing up during one song and then laughing out loud during the next. As usual, the album is full of the beautiful ballads that Sheeran is known for and are sure to be the slow song of choice this prom season. The record also touches on quite a few more personal notes, the most standout of these being the song ‘Supermarket Flowers’, a song about the death of Sheeran’s grandmother. There are however, lots of more upbeat numbers to round out the album, making it something truly worth listening to. Personal favorites include a Gaelic inspired number called ‘Gallway Girl’, ‘New Man’ (the song that had me actually laughing), and ‘Barcelona’.

2.  Green Light – Lorde

A huge departure from Lorde’s typical “dark pop” sound, ‘Green Light’ marks a triumphant return for the 21-year-old singer songwriter. Taking inspiration from Swedish pop sensation, Robyn, and David Bowie who previously called Lorde the “future of music”, Green Light is an upbeat heartbreak pop anthem. Since the release of ‘Green Light’, Lorde has also released a second single, ‘Liability’. A slow piano ballad, the song focuses on the message of loving oneself without the usual cheese-fest that self love songs usually have. These singles have really peaked my interest in her sophomore album, ‘Melodrama’, set to release on June 16th. If you’re a fan of Lorde’s previous work, or of good pop music in general, I’d definitely give these a listen.

3. Intertwined – Dodie

While this isn’t a new release, singer-songwriter/YouTube personality Dodie just finished her first U.K headlining tour earlier this week and if you haven’t hear this EP already, I highly recommend it. Dodie’s angelic vocals accompanied mostly by her ukulele create a unique and addictive pop sound. While most of these songs have been preformed acoustically on her YouTube channel, the in studio makeovers that they all receive creates a very different listening experience. A mixture of fun songs about things like toothaches mixed with more serious topics create a very fun six song debut EP that I am absolutely in love with.

4. TALKING IS HARD – WALK THE MOON

What a classic! WALK THE MOON’s sophomore album was released a few years ago, and even though the group is an absolute favorite of mine, this record had definitely fallen to the wayside of my collection.  Heavily inspired by 80’s pop, ‘TALKING IS HARD’ is packed to the brim with fun upbeat tunes, including their #1 hit single ‘Shut Up and Dance’. If you like that song even just a little bit, I beg you to give this album a chance, as that isn’t even the strongest song on the record. My personal favorites include ‘Different Colors’ and ‘Work This Body’. This record is almost exclusively made up of tracks that are amazing to dance to and the perfect songs to jam out to over spring break.

5. Fitz and the Tantrums – Fitz and the Tantrums

While this self-titled album was released in June, I happen to think that it’s the perfect collection of upbeat pop jams for any spring break outing. You’ve probably hear the records leading single, ‘Handclap’, but there are tons of other amazing tunes that are equally as catchy. Due to the lack of guitars the band uses, Fitz has a unique sound unlike so many other indie bands and always keeps me coming back for more. Personal favorites on the record are ‘Roll Up’ and ‘Walking Target’.

Hopefully at least one of these recommendations peaked your interest, or at least inspired you to try and find some new music this spring break! If you have any thoughts on the music I wrote about or have any musical recommendations for me, leave me a comment below!

Five Tips for Surviving Dead Week

As any college student knows, dead week is possibly the worst and most stressful time of your life. Suddenly all of those projects that you’ve been putting off all quarter are due and you’re regretting the fact that you ever even signed up for a Netflix account. On top of all the ridiculous work that you have to do, you also have to study for your finals that are next week. What the hell?!

As someone who has had many successful and unsuccessful dead weeks, I feel as though I finally have some helpful wisdom that I can share that may hopefully make your dead week a little less terrible, or at least a little easier to manage.

1. The weekend before dead week, make yourself a schedule. 

Sit down with all of your syllabuses and figure out exactly what is due in the coming days, because it’s probably a lot. The last thing you want is to forget you had one final quiz in a class because you were too busy focusing on a giant essay that’s due. By knowing exactly what you have to get done, you’ll be able to budget your time and stay on top of all of your tasks.

2. Find a study partner.

This may be a personal preference,  but I find that if I have a friend that is studying with me, I’m way less tempted to start slacking and take dumb Buzzfeed quizzes for an hour when I should be doing work. The two of you don’t even have to be doing the same work, just having someone else with you and focusing can really help hold you accountable. Just make sure it’s someone who is just as dedicated to studying as you are. The last thing you want is to invite someone to study and they end up distracting you the whole time.

3. Try studying somewhere new.

I find that when I study in the same spaces all the time, I get way too comfortable and proceed to goof around instead of working. By going to a new environment, it really makes me think “oh, this is serious studying time now”. This can be something as little as picking a new floor of the library to go to, but it really can make a huge difference. Plus, this gives you a fun excuse to go try a new coffee shop or explore a cool new library!

4. Look for resources on campus.

A lot of schools will host fun study sessions during dead week that offer resources like extended tutoring hours or essay writing assistance. Taking advantage of these can seriously help boost your grade on a final project, or help you understand a concept that you’re not very strong on. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

5. Make time for fun.

I know everyone says that taking breaks is important, but this really can’t be stressed enough. When I schedule out one afternoon of fun, I definitely put a lot more effort into the work I am doing earlier that day. It is so much more effective to have a few hours of concentrated work than a full day of halfhearted work while you’re staring at your phone the whole time. By taking a few breaks, you’ll make the most of the time that you do spend studying.

While everyone’s experience with dead week is different, I really hope these tips help. Just know that everyone around you is equally as stressed and sleep deprived. And hey, spring break is just around the corner!