Seattle adventures, life, home, and coffee—in no particular order

Day 9: Z to the Oka

Thanks to the geniuses behind DayQuil (or, to be precise, the smart copycats responsible for its generic knock-off: Safeway’s finest Daytime Sinus Pain & Congestion Relief), Doodle and I managed to pull our snarfly selves together and get out of the house before noon. Sure, our pockets were stuffed with tissues and our noses were a little red, but that’s besides the point.

And yes, once we arrived at Zoka, we chose the table closest to the door, so we could greet all who entered with a choice cough or two. Greenlake, you’re welcome.

So, what’s the history behind Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Company? Funny you should ask, I was just getting to that…

Zoka, according to its website, was started in ’96 by UW alum Jeff Babcock. Zoka boasts small-batch roasting, homemade baked goods, and hand-sourced teas. What warms my little heart is Zoka’s focus on community: they’re all about creating a welcoming environment where community members feel inspired to grab a cup of artisan coffee, sit and chat with friends, connect with like-minded individuals, or have a productive work/study sesh. In short: Victor’s Coffee they are not. You can learn more about Zoka through their coffee blog.

Interesting Zoka fact: In addition to three Seattle-area locations (Greenlake, U-District, and a new cafe in Kirkland), Zoka has three locations in…Japan. Field trip, anyone?

The Greenlake Zoka is damn near perfect for the remote employee such as yours truly. It’s spacious and inviting and chock full of the requisite power outlets and tables that us squatters demand. Plus, it’s got a hip neighborhood vibe that’s hard to turn up your nose at. Oh, and it’s conveniently situated next to Mighty O Donuts. Zoka, we like you.

Today’s visit was–as expected–exceptional. The baristas were friendly, and the two eerily similar looking bearded men behind the espresso machine made us laugh. We even got to take advantage of my Groupon, so our coffee was basically free ninety nine. Score! Doodle’s vanilla latte/caramel macchiato drink was done to perfection, and her Greek veggie sandwich was tasty (minus the over-zealous spreading of some creamy substance).

Zoka is a great place to work or study. There are tons of tables and a huge variety of seating options–from cozy leather chairs to community tables to bar seating. Word to the wise, however, the WiFi does cap out after two hours.

Coffee score: a resounding 9.25 out of 10. The only thing that would make Zoka a staple in my life? A west or south Seattle location. Think about it, Backcock, that’s all I’m askin’.

Tomorrow: get pumped for a coffee/work/estrogen fest with the one and only Erica N. at Queen Anne’s El Diablo Coffee, purportedly Seattle’s only Latin Style Coffee House. Orale!

Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Co. on Urbanspoon


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This entry was posted on January 25, 2011 by in Coffee shop challenge.
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