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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Latte Latte


Here is one of the most unique espresso drive-throughs I have encountered. It is twins. Or they are twins. Besides being more expensive to build two buildings, the owner purchased the lot where they stand, making this a fairly pricey way to start up the business. However, common wisdom tells us that the more architecturally significant a business is, the more recognition it will receive, and normally, the more business as a result.

The location is a good one: the business is located on the side of the Bothell Highway (SR 527), north of Seattle, where thousands of morning commuters pass each morning, as they inch their way from the outer suburbs to a major freeway into town.

When I shot this photo, it (they?) were called Atomic Espresso, however, it (they?) have been purchased by Gourmet Latte.

I was speaking with the barista in one of the stands today, and she told me that having two separate buildings, with only one drive-up window each, is not as much fun for the baristas, because they are not together in the same stand. To make the best of the situation they use walkie talkies to chat with each other. I think it's a fair assumption that this stand is unique in that way as well.

You can find this photo on page 98 of my book, Driven to Espresso.

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