Seattle >Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Co
The smallest "large" latte in the history of the world. Friends who live a block from this store told me it was the best coffee in Seattle. Still on East Coast time, I arrived at 6 AM on Saturday and ordered a large latte. I was the only customer at the counter so service was prompt, however I received a cup that was the size of a Starbucks small that felt light. $4.22 for a cup with a small amount of espresso and steamed milk. The taste was good but I felt ripped off. Not a good value.
Did management change?. The first few times I went to the Zoka Roaster's by UVillage (uw campus), it was lovely, great lattes, best americanos tasted, great for sitting with small study group.... Then, for personal circumstances, I didn't go for a year, and visited again---- twice, perhaps three times. What happened to their coffees? And baristas were pretty rude, different from last time. Did management change? The ice-maker or fridge in the UVillage branch has been broken forever; coffees are dilute, lattes aren't the same; pricey as always... I would recommend going to Bauhaus Books&Cafe or Espresso Vivace instead for better taste, affordable price. I hope the Greenlake branch is better... haven't been there, and sadly unmotivated to.
2nd best Americano in town. Zoka defines the Seattle coffee scene. You can't really beat their beans, their shots are right on, and they have great foam. There is also no better office away from the office than a good Zoka simply humming with productivity. Shazam!
amazing cappucino!. Their traditional cappucino is just right! It's closer to what most baristas call a dry cappucino, so it's more foam than milk.
So long, Zoka. It was sweet while it lasted..
Today I made my official last ever visit to Zoka. They serve great coffee, but the service and the environment have finally become too much for me.
After waiting in a line that stretched almost to the door, I made it to the counter, where I was snippily informed I could not order espresso there, just coffee. Um, OK. So I ordered a pastry and kept waiting in line until I reached the register where they deigned to accept my coffee order.
The thing that always has driven me nuts about this place is the fact that the employees act like doing their jobs is doing you a huge favor. Pleasantries such as "good morning" and "thank you" are greeted with stony silence by the sullen kids working here. I ordered and paid for my coffee, regretting the tip I left as soon as I put it in the jar, and then waited for my coffee.
When my coffee was ready, it had pretty leaf design in the foam, but it was in a mug instead of to go as I had ordered it. When I told this to the barista, she stared at me blankly and said "Oh," until I said it was OK to pour it into a paper cup. No apology or anything. Why ask whether I want the coffee to go if you're not going to make it that way?
So, my coffee was slopped into a paper cup, and after spending 20 minutes getting coffee, I was on my way for good. The coffee here is amazing but I'm no longer willing to put up with the wait, snotty staff, and annoying fellow customers.
New Management Please (Go to Vivace instead). I hate Zoka. Okay, let me back up. They're at the top in terms of espresso/coffee quality and have probably the best cafe menu next to Essential Bakery (great paninis, pastries, grilled sandwiches and salads) but what the other reviewers have said is true: the service is tepid (it really makes you appreciate the Starbuck's cheeriness even is their coffee's sub par); although no one's been rude to me. And OMG - try to get a table this year! It'll never happen. They need to start taking reservations or have a time-limit per cup of coffee like Cafe Lladro does. For this reason whenever anyone says "let's go to Zoka" I say "NEVER!" Want free wireless, good coffee and a decent cafe menu? Try Vivace (Cap Hill or the new one by REI) and you know Tully's ain't so bad.
it always rains in seattle.
Are all the negative reviews for keeping the place to yourselves?
This is one of the best lattes in town. The vibe is comfortable and relaxing. The place is busy as to be expected given the quality of the coffee, but it isn't loud as most everyone are keeping to themselves. I appreciate the wifi connection as I go there for work sometimes. I also would like the place to clear out so I could have it to myself.
Poorly-run business. Zoka serves a niche market with their loose-leaf teas and nice food goodies, but after today's experience I will likely not return again. For the last year I have noticed that all aspects of service at Zoka are both slow and somewhat rude. I think I am supposed to feel lucky to be a patron. Today I was able to stand for 10 minutes waiting for a simple mocha while I listened to the "baristas" behind the machine talk about the next place they were planning to work. There is no appreciation of the customer in this place. Since the coffee service is so sluggish, there is plenty of time to observe the employees "working". There must be some part of this work ethic and attitude about customers that is passed down from the top -- otherwise the owners would never let this kind of business model to take place. Good-bye Zoka.
About as great as watching paint dry. My expectations were high. Why? I have no idea...maybe because this is Seattle people...coffee universe of the world. And no, I am NOT a coffee snob...although I think after so many let downs I am becoming that way. Upon walking in it was like sensory overload. Loud conversations, people everywhere, yet absolutely no atmosphere. Cold, boring, drab, uneventful. And for the record there were people there because some race/sports practice just got done...not because it was or is anything spectacular. And what happened to customer service? If you dont have a polite attitude, maybe you shouldnt be working with people. Go sit in a cube somewhere where your personality is about as fabulous as the three walls around you. Completely unfriendly...and the worst part was how long it took to get our drinks. I ordered a latte, my partner in crime, an Americano. There was 1 person in front of us. One person. Let me repeat one person. My latte came first over 5 minutes later and then the Americano...five minutes after that. Last time I checked these are probably 2 of the most common drinks ordered, besides drip itself. In any case the barista or whatever you want to call the slow as a snail person behind the espresso machine took his sweet (fill in the blank) time. At first your mad...who wouldnt, we live in a society of instant gratification. And then I just wanted to see for the pure fun of it how long it would take. Just so I could write this review and discourage anyone from wasting their sweet time at this pathetic coffeehouse. So if you are still confused as to how I feel - dont waste your time. Im all for local coffeehouses...just not this one!
A SAD PLACE COMPARED TO THE HONEYBEAR. Not recommended. Though the lattes are decent, the atmosphere is creepy. Students hunched over computers, unfriendly staff, no community feeling, no parking.
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