The Seattle Weekly

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Revolutions - Greenlake

Here is The Great Quandary of Coffee faced by grad students all over the world: There is an appropriate ratio of coffee:food which must be carefully observed and coupled, by individual, with the prefigured ratio of time-of-day:hours-of-sleep in order to reach the full potential of coffee as a studying aid. If these formulas are ignored, or reorganized, or parts of them are discarded (the most common resulting formula being that one dimensional "coffee:hours-of-sleep"), coffee can actually become a studying hinderance. And so here I sit, an hour later, having achieved precisely ONE line of music transcription and ZERO lines of writing, jittery as anything, and unable to focus on one thought for more tha...

Greenlake is calling to me, I can hear it. It is saying, "Come on! It's not raining! You know you'd rather be walking in a giant circle to nowhere than sitting at a table accomplishing nothing." It's probably right. I probably would. But I am determined to pretend like I'm studying, in hopes that I might accidentally actually get something done. (It's likely this mentality grows out of my years of chorister's commitment to setting my music on the piano or table or desk nearest to me in order to absorb its contents without ever being forced to practice. To all my choir directors over the years: I'm sorry.)

Today's troublesome caffeine comes from Revolutions Espresso and Bakery in Greenlake. It is tucked away on Woodlawn, at 70th, between Title 9 and Road Runner, which seems like an odd place for a coffee shop, and I don't think the building was originally intended for this purpose. It's a funny, retail-store sort of shape. But it works. (Watch the steps on your way in.)

Revolutions is an independently owned coffee shop, serving Herkimer coffee. As far as studying goes, it isn't very well lit, most of the tables are really small, the chairs are about as inviting as the sort you'd find at Subway, and the bare concrete floor and open setting mean that conversations carry well. If you're over-caffeinated and under-fed, these sorts of factors can prove distracting. As can the abundance of Bob Marley, which makes me want to abandon school and go live life on the beach instead. There are armchairs, but I've commandeered one of the few larger tables and spread all of my studying materials across it, so I can't speak to the lounging quality of the other furniture.

The wifi, however, is great. There are six MacBooks (yes, really) up and running in here, and either not a single one is streaming Anime films, or there is a lot of extra bandwidth running around. Either way, all of the research information I am ignoring is downloading really fast, which makes me happy. (Downloading more information makes me feel like I've accomplished more, even when I haven't.)
Revolutions: 7012 Woodlawn Avenue NE

Because Revolutions is independently owned and associated with a bakery, they have a unique assortment of pastries, all of which look delicious. They also offer rice milk, even though they serve a coffee that doesn't usually come with a rice milk option. So I'm drinking a mocha today. I'm still not a fan of Herkimer's espresso, but I have to say that I'm impressed by the quality of coffee preparation here. (If anyone knows how to make rice milk foam like this without burning it, will you please share the secret with me?) This is a well-made, perfectly timed, ideally mixed little mocha. From a friendly, helpful, cheerful barista, who liked and encouraged all of my nosey questions.

I think, if I were inclined to study today, this wouldn't be a bad place to do it. But better than study, I'd say stop by for a cup of coffee and a board game with friends, since I just noticed that they have an excellent supply of games for customer use on a shelf near the bar. You may have to play them on the floor, since the tables really are that small, but hey... why not?

1 comment:

bramblenotebook said...

ah, the quest for rice milk foam. i used to enjoy working on mine while at bibo. never had the chance at starbucks as they don't serve it and probably wouldn't want their baristas to waste time perfecting a little foam... or... anything? hehe.