Even from across the street, I knew I was going to like Stumptown Coffee. For one thing, I am a big coffee aficionado (okay, some say addict, I prefer aficionado). And yes, I did really enjoy their French Press coffee. But what truly made it a memorable experience was the context in which the coffee was served. This location—on 12th Street in Seattle’s Capitol Hill—is my fantasy of an ideal coffee shop. Located in a semi-grungy neighborhood filled with industrial chic cafes, restaurants and retailers, Stumptown draws you in with its film noir-esque neon sign. Inside, the store feels like a lounge, with hardwood floors, low tables, and modern looking seats. Not the type of lounge where you pay $18 for a drink, but rather a contemporary art studio. Downstairs is where the magic happens—where the beans are freshly roasted before they are made into the delicious drinks that fuel my coffee obsession (ok, fine, perhaps addiction is the appropriate word). You can tell that the owners put a lot of thought into creating a pleasurable coffee-tasting experience for their customers, yet did not go overboard and try too hard to be cool. Thank you Stumptown for this wonderful experience, and I hope to see you soon in San Francisco.