Equal Exchange Espresso: 1400 NW 56th St. (Ballard)


(Disclaimer: Why Not? Coffee has a blogger who works at this espresso bar. This review was NOT written by that blogger.)

I’m ashamed to say it, but my visit to Equal Exchange was my first visit since the installation of their Slayer espresso machine. Connected to the Ballard Market, the espresso bar is owned and operated by a co-operative and offers coffee, tea and chocolate direct from small-scale farmers.

I ordered a shot of their espresso– a three-bean blend of co-op sourced coffees from Ethiopia, Nicaraqua and Peru– and ogled their 2-group Slayer espresso machine. (For more info on the Slayer, check out Why Not? Coffee’s review of the machine or go to SlayerEspresso.com) Using the newest Anfim grinder, the Super Caimano 2.0, the barista pulled me a shot of espresso and quickly served it. I scampered outside to find a seat in the sun and tossed back the shot. I asked the barista about the brewing parameters and was told they were pulling shots at around 202.5 degrees utilizing a 4-bar pre-infusion and a typical 9-bar extraction.

Ballard is lucky to have such a great coffee bar. Equal Exchange’s Espresso Bar is another hidden gem in Seattle. Whether you’re stopping by the Ballard Market for organic fruits or passing through Ballard while on your way to Golden Gardens, this cafe has an extensive menu to cater to all of your beverage needs, except for the alcoholic ones. The cafe is low-key and has almost twice as much seating outside as it does inside, which encourages one to really take in the full experience of the cafe. The bar is surrounded by full glass windows and the vaulted ceilings are somewhat opaque letting in a soft natural glow that accents all the wood in the building.

Equal Exchange occasionally features Single Origin Espressos off the Slayer. Look to Equal Exchange’s twitter account, @EEEBalllard, for what coffees are coming in when. Rumor has it that a Colombian coffee is coming in the next couple of days. I’ll be back then to try it.

Equal Exchange is open from 6am to 5pm Monday through Friday, and 7am to 6pm on the weekends.

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Categories: Coffee, Seattle Disloyalty Card

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