Top Seattle Coffee Spots: Ballard’s Slate Coffee Roasters

Slate brings sophistication to the daily grind

By Rachel Hart May 21, 2014


This article originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of Seattle Magazine.

More of a coffee bar than a coffee shop, Slate Coffee Roasters offers an elegant education in your daily elixir. Chelsey Walker-Watson (who worked for Peet’s Coffee & Tea for 9 years) opened the spare, rustic space a year ago in Frelard with her brother Keenan Walker and mom Lisanne Walker, inspired by the notion that coffee should be fun and bring people together. Case in point: While you can grab a white paper cup of coffee to go, the brew (roasted in SoDo, varieties changed several times a week) is best enjoyed in house, seated at the bar or perched in the window (no café tables here). The approach is precious but not pretentious; coffee is served in a glass because “we want people to taste the aromatics, swirl it around and see the color,” Walker-Watson says. And while you won’t find packets of sugar, simple syrup is available on request, should a touch of sweet be in order. Menu standouts include the deconstructed espresso and milk, served in three wine glasses: one with straight espresso, one with steamed milk (a creamy version from Pure Érie Dairy) and one of the two combined (around $6). But at this time of year, the iced coffee ($4)—brewed pour-over style with a Hario Fretta and hand-blended with a cocktail shaker to a frothy head—makes for the most refreshing moment in coffee theater. Ballard, 5413 Sixth Ave. NW; 206.240.7174;


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