Around the world, people identify the city of Seattle with the drinking of coffee. Any visitor to Seattle will surely be found sipping the beverage at some point. They’re trying to see what all the buzz is about where Seattleites find their caffeine buzz. Seattle did not invent coffee, nor is coffee indigenous to the area. Instead, the love of coffee in Seattle is derived from a culture that began in the 1970s, driving businesses to earn clients by producing better and better coffee and coffee drinks. With the growth of the corporate coffee movement following the café culture, Seattleites are lucky to still have many local, independent coffee shops that are dedicated to great drinks. As a tourist, be sure to stop into any local shop and ask them to make you a drink. That said; it is also great to see the origins of the history making companies that started the coffee culture in the area—and eventually around the country.

Seattle’s Best Coffee was a forerunner to the movement, roasting and grinding their own beans on pier 70, at the north edge of the downtown area, starting in 1970. It was a year later, however, that the original Starbucks was opened in the Pike Place Market. The store is currently located a half block down from the original store and is a major tourist attraction. You will be able to find it easily by looking for the crowd of coffee loving tourists snapping photos, as well as by the original Starbucks mermaid design on the sign over the door.

To delve deeper into the café culture that Starbucks helped to foster, a great place to grab a cup of coffee is Café Allegro, located in the University District neighborhood. Café Allegro, in addition to being the first espresso bar in the city, was also the first wholesale bean buyer from Starbucks.

For visitors who are interested in learning more about Seattle’s special beverage and how it came to be so beloved, there are a number of coffee related tours that are offered around the city.