What can a customer expect from a Union Coffee experience?
“It’s a shop where can get everything from a fantastic latte, to the option to explore and learn about new techniques in coffee and coffee products that produce unique and complex flavor profiles - if you choose to go that direction. But, there is definitely no pressure to do so. Come in for some escapism or a good time, and know we are having a blast getting you the absolute best we can deliver, whether you’re a coffee nerd and want to know the nitty gritty details of our process, or just want a great drink.”
Union is a place to explore new techniques and territories in coffee, and not just from the Pacific Northwest. “I love medium and light roast coffees – what people tend to call ‘Nordic roasts’ – that taste clean and where you can get what the farmers and processors are doing. More and more, roasting is augmenting those features rather than masking them with heavy roasting profiles. It’s like being a record producer and being mindful to strip away ‘big production’ so that the writers’ meticulousness in songcraft can come through. Seattle has always been a 'big production', or dark roasted city. I am arguing for stripping away the focus on the roaster's heavy-handed approach in order to get to the flavor notes that reveal a farmer and processor's expertise and very hard work. That is the exciting future of coffee.”
If you ask to taste the clean, defined flavors he’s talking about, Zack will most likely make you a pour-over from Union’s rotating menu of roasters (Olympia Coffee, Onyx Coffee Labs, ReAnimator, Brandywine - even Taipei's Cafe Sole or Denmark's La Cabra.), regions, and verietals. But he and his baristas take equal pride in pulling the perfect shot and precisely steaming milk in your latte. “We are constantly tweaking our process—I just serve what, to my mind, are the most interesting and exciting coffees I can get my hands on.