April 23, 2012 · 6:24 am
When my friend Suzanne and I took Frankie to Equal Exchange Espresso to try Slayer-made Lattés, we made a detour to this neat little park. It’s the only park I’ve been to with a cement living room in it.
We sat on the cold, hard, overstuffed chairs and sipped our lattés. It was better than it sounded. Rain and sun won’t damage this furniture. And Frankie won’t wreck it either. A+ for durability and creativity.
Suzanne wore a dove-gray jacket that she got as a Christmas gift. As cute as it is, she admitted that it wasn’t a good cold-weather coat.
I wore my tartan rain boots and a jacket I got at a consignment shop. I was also ready for rain, but not cold. Only Frankie, in his black and white knitted sweater, was prepared for the elements.
Luckily the coffee warmed us up on the walk home.
April 11, 2012 · 10:31 pm
Deep in the heart of Ballard, Washington lies a dark, rich, heavily caffeinated secret: The Slayer.
The Slayer is an espresso machine made by hand, right here in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. It’s the Ferrari of espresso machines–in craftmanship and price. It’s not cheap, and I wanted to see if it was worth the hype.
So what does $14,000 get you? The best espresso ever. Seriously. This is an industrial machine. It’s not going up against the $30 coffee maker in your kitchen (that wouldn’t be fair).Your local coffee shop spent a few grand on its machine, making the Slayer not as exorbitant as it first appears.
I first heard about the Slayer on TV. It’s been featured on a lot of shows, as you can see on their website. I heard there are nine in the US (Europe is their biggest market), with three of the nine right here in the Puget Sound area.
I drove past countless other coffee shops and headed over to Equal Exchange Espresso Bar in the Ballard Market, where a Slayer is working overtime to satisfy locals and visitors alike. I met my friend Suzanne at her place and we walked over with my dog, Frankie. I had to tie up poor Frankie, who wasn’t too happy to be left out of the action.
Equal Exchange is a co-op that focuses on fair trade, and environmental sustainability. Whether it’s coffee, tea, chocolate or snacks, you can support global farmers when you buy Equal Exchange products at your local grocery store. We were lucky to have an Equal Exchange retail store nearby so we could drink fair trade coffee from the Slayer.
The Slayer looks sexy but it’s styled to work. It’s a work of art too. The walnut paddles change the pressure of the water. Start slow and get the oils from the bean. Speed up and make an espresso that will knock your socks off. If I had the money, I’d have one of these beasts at home.
I’m a frequent coffee drinker but true aficionados will be sad to hear I ordered my shots for a latté–diluted with soy! Oh my. The drink I had was smooth, rich and strong without being bitter. I will buy more and I’ll definitely go out of my way to buy a latté with shots pulled from the Slayer.
I love Ballard but it’s about 15 miles from my house. I heard the best news today. Remember how I said there were three Slayers in this area? The other is at Vovito Coffee in Bellevue. I’ll be paying them a visit tomorrow. Until then, I’ll remember this drink fondly.