Now that you’ve mastered making an amazing cup of coffee at home, let’s talk about those occasions when you can and do want to go out for a great cup of coffee. Maybe you just need to get out of the house and enjoy a good cup of joe in a different environment. Did that just sound like a such a mommy thing of me to say? Yes, I admit, I love to frequent coffee shops just to get out of the house and catch a break. So what if I have four different coffee machines at home to make coffee every which way I desire… sometimes I just want to drink my coffee in a cozy coffee shop with a good friend by my side. I’m sure this is the case for a lot of you as well. We’re always meeting up at coffee shops for business meetings, dates, catch-ups, study groups, quiet time, and of course coffee. We’re lucky to be spoiled here in the PNW with so many great coffee shops around every corner, but with so many options, which one do you choose? We decided to do the leg work for you and scout out dozens of different coffee shops in the area and highlight our favorite Tacoma coffee shops. Ones that we just keep going back to and simply can’t get enough of. This is the first of our coffee shop series that will be broken up by region; Tacoma, South of Seattle, and of course the mecca of all coffee: Seattle. Join us on Mondays for your daily dose of coffee trivia and learn about our favorite local coffee shops.
Our Favorite Tacoma Coffee Shops
Possibly my favorite of all Tacoma coffee shops, Metronome has a seasonal coffee menu that is always changing and keeps me excited to come back and try all the different flavors that they offer. It was hard to decide, but this time, I had the brown butter latte which was every bit as good as it sounds. Brown butter mixed with brown sugar, freshly frothed milk, and two perfect shots of espresso. Of course they make all the regular flavored coffee drinks as well but what’s really amazing is all the specialty brewing methods that they offer. Try out something new and different when you visit, there is plenty to choose from; the pour over, Chemex, syphon brew, trifecta, cold brew, french press, espresso, etc.
If coffee is not your thing, they serve a great variety of tea as well. Metronome is open till 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on Saturdays which makes it great for a cozy date night since it is really hard to find a coffee shop that is open past 6pm. As if I need to sweeten the deal any more, they have local bands performing live music here on the weekends as well. What’s not to love about this place?!
Now let’s talk about food… Metronome has some pretty yummy breakfast bagels to pair perfectly with your morning coffee. This bacon, egg and cheese one is my personal favorite. I love coffee shops that actually have decent food items on the menu. In addition to the breakfast sandwiches, they carry a wide assortment of freshly baked goods from the local bakery (Corina Bakery) that makes an amazing almond croissant (if you get there early enough to snatch one up before they sell out)!
Another thing I love about Metronome is that it has a lot of seating options. I’ve never had trouble finding a table here before which makes it a huge bonus, especially if you have kids and a stroller with you. This place feels surprisingly family friendly and the parking lot out back makes it even more convenient to visit! (No need to find street parking in a downtown location? Sign me up!)
Bluebeard Coffee Roasters:
I drove by this place way too many times before I decided to try it out. Let’s just say I’m glad I did! They roast their beans on site so you know you will always be getting the freshest cup of coffee possible. You read in our earlier post about why you should choose Arabica coffee beans when selecting your coffee, and looks like Bluebeard agrees! They roast only high-grown Arabica beans sourced from Latin America, Indonesia, and East Africa. When you have a bean that is this good in quality, you want it to retain as much of it’s coffee flavor as possible and that is why they typically roast their beans light-medium. With this type of roast, you get the most coffee flavor which is actually more acidic than the more traditional dark roasts. A dark roast results in a very deep, bold and rich taste that comes from the roasting process so if this is the type of coffee you are used to drinking, a cup of light roast can come off tasting sour due to its high acidity level. It is an acquired taste, but it is the roast that truly highlights the coffee bean’s original flavors. It’s always great to sample different roasts to find out what your preference is.
Their menu is pretty straight forward and standard, no fancy-shmancy flavored lattes, just good old-fashioned quality coffee. (If you did want a fancy flavored latte, however, they make theirs with amazing Monin syrups, read more about that below!). Ample seating is available throughout the shop, and an overflow area is attached with a comfortable sectional that can seat a crowd. We gladly occupied this area, seeing that we had two rambunctious toddlers with us who needed a place to stretch out and play without disturbing all the hipsters inside.
Located in the center of the University of WA Tacoma Campus, this place is usually filled with students studying (or taking a break from studying!). However, it wasn’t too busy on a Tuesday afternoon and we were able to find a table that sat two adults and two children comfortably. Although noticeably smaller than Metronome coffee or even Bluebeard, it is very cozy and charming. Paintings by local artists (as well as a few bicycles suspended form the ceiling) decorate the brick walls and the couch in the back is just begging you to sit down, relax, and read a book while sipping on some delicious coffee. Speaking of coffee…
How amazing does that look?! I decided to try something a little different and went for a peanut butter breve cappuccino. Verdict? Delicious. A Breve cappuccino is essentially a cappuccino made with half and half instead of just foamed milk. The creaminess pairs so well with the bold espresso. If you’ve never tried your cappuccino this way, head over to Metro coffee asap!
But what’s really great about this place is they use Monin coffee syrups instead of the usual Torani Brand that most other coffee shops use. Monin is a French-based company that uses more natural ingredients and produces a syrup that is a lot more “true” to taste and results in an amazing flavored coffee. There is no high fructose corn syrup or preservatives used in Monin syrups. Most coffee shops avoid this brand of syrup because it has a shorter shelf life (due to the natural ingredients vs. highly processed and artificial ingredients) and is higher priced, but once you try their syrup, you will notice the difference right away! Not all their syrups are exclusively Monin, they do carry other brands of syrups as well, but the Monin coconut latte that we tried was outstanding. The flavor just made your taste buds dance! If you like flavored coffee drinks, stop by Metro and ask which Monin flavors they carry and make sure you try one to see the difference for yourself!
Great coffee, great food, great vibes, great view… I can’t find a single bad thing to say about this place. I have never had a bad cup of coffee here, and that is not an easy thing for me to say. I’m sometimes scared of trying new things in fear that it won’t be as good as my “usual” but this place makes it very easy for me to order something new because I know whatever I try will be amazing. They exclusively brew DILLANOS COFFEE ROASTERS from Sumner, WA. All their coffee consistently comes out great; so smooth and never too sweet. I find that all too often, flavored coffees are way too sweet. I normally have to ask for 1/2 the syrup in my latte so that it doesn’t overpower the coffee itself. But I’ve never had to do this at Anthem, they seem to have found the sweet spot for coffee sweetness (pun intended). Some of my personal favorites at Anthem are the Caramel Latte, Brown Sugar Latte, Cuban Espresso, and cold brew coffee.
They recently added some pretty amazing food items to the menu as well and I’ve been enjoying their sweet potato fries a lot! Their menu also offers really yummy flat bread pizzas and at happy hour (3-6pm) you can score them for 20% off regular menu price. Otherwise, they also serve the regular pastries, scones, and muffins.
The photo above sums it up pretty well– “A yawn is a silent cry for coffee”. So if you find yourself in need of a great cup of coffee, try out one of these four Tacoma coffee shops, you won’t be disappointed! They all have great tasting coffee, yummy food pairings, and an inviting and comfortable atmosphere.
Stay tuned for next week’s post about our favorite coffee shops South of Seattle. You will be surprised which made it to the list…