Driven to Espresso: Drive-through Coffee Stands in the Northwest

If you think coffee culture is cool, you have come to the right place. I have loads of information and opinions to share about espresso in the Pacific Northwest, especially the drive-through phenomenon.

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Location: Edmonds, WA, United States

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Now you can search within this blog

I added a search capability to this blog, so you now can easily find every time I mention haggis (once) or baristas (ten). It's right over there to the left.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

If it's called Toxic, it must be good for you!

We had a great 4-day weekend getaway over in the Methow valley, visiting Winthrop and Twisp, relaxing in a small cabin gazing at the amazing fall colors, and taking a few hikes in the beautiful mountains surrounding the area. While researching which trails we might like to hike, we found a hiker's trip report that mentioned Michael's espresso stand in Twisp. The thing that caught our attention was the Toxic Milkshake laced with coffee beans. We had to try it!

We found Michael's Coffee in Twisp, right on Highway 20, the highway that connects this area to Western Washington. If you haven't been on Highway 20--the North Cascades Highway--it's definitely worth a trip. It has to be one of the foremost scenic drives in the US. If you're going, though, be forewarned that it will close whenever the first big snowstorm occurs. It remains closed the entire winter.

After arriving at Michael's on Sunday evening only to find the stand closed for the day, we got down there Monday morning before our day's adventure in the mountains and ordered one of the shakes. It was worth the second attempt! If you find yourself in that neck of the woods, you won't have any trouble finding it; the town is small and this stand is right on the highway.

Michael whipped up the milkshake and handed it out through the window, giving it a quick flip in the air in the process. I think that was a clear demonstration of just how thick the shakes are (very, very thick!). And they are generously endowed with freshly-ground beans. For my money, it's a great alternative to iced coffees or fraps when you switch your needs from hot to cold caffeine refreshment.

Michael has had his drive-through in business for 16 years. He got the idea for the Toxic milkshake when he was at school in Bellingham at a coffeeshop called Tony's. I haven't researched to see if Tony's is still there.