Crazy about coffee

Staff writer asks: Who makes the best cup of Joe?

Coffee is the gas that keeps college students going.

With many options for coffee near campus, students have many options when it comes to getting their daily coffee. From Starbucks to many local options it can be hard to settle on one coffee shop. In recent weeks, I have gone around to multiple coffee shops in the Edmonds area to review  some local coffee shops based on price, convenience and taste, and experience.


As a starting point, I used Starbucks. Since its roots in Seattle in the 1970s, Starbucks is well known by all coffee drinkers. From cappuccinos to frappuccinos to their wide selection of pastries and breakfast sandwiches, Starbucks offers patrons many options. There are also many ways to customize your drinks such as a variety of syrups and even different types of coffees. Starbucks offers a  blonde roast espresso which is a lighter sweeter roast compared to their standard darker and more bitter pike place roast. Although there is this wide selection, there are many basic items that they do not offer that many other smaller stands offer such as Italian sodas and smoothies. Starbucks is also known to be more expensive than most coffee shops, with drinks averaging around $4.75. This can be attributed to the brand name and convenience that they offer. There are many locations in the local area making Starbucks one of the most convenient cafes in the area. Starbucks also provides lots of space to study and work. The experience at Starbucks can vary depending on whether one is dining in or driving through. In the cafe itself, the environment is warm and welcome. In the drive-through, one can expect wait times to vary depending on how busy the store is. The convenience and variety offered by Starbucks make them a great place to start or even end your day.

Triton Espresso

The Triton Espresso stand is well known by students at Edmonds College and is perhaps the best shop in terms of convenience. Triton Espresso is relatively small, but they still offer a very wide selection of drinks. The shop has basic drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and drip coffee, but also many other options such as Italian sodas and tea lattes. The standard and only espresso option at Triton Espresso is a little lighter than the Starbucks blonde roast.  Due to their lack of size, customers should expect slightly longer wait times at the espresso stand. There is a lot of space around the cafe for students to study and enjoy their drinks. In terms of food, the Triton Espresso stand offers a few pastries as well as pre-packaged snacks and drinks. In terms of cost, the stand is cheaper than Starbucks, with drinks averaging at about $3.75. Students can enjoy their coffee without worrying about the impact on their wallets. The convenience offered by the stand is unparalleled. One can be from the stand to their class within five minutes. This is extremely useful when a quick boost is needed before the next class. The Triton Espresso is a great option for students when on campus.

Gourmet Latte

Gourmet Latte is a local espresso stand that is not too well known in the local area. With a handful of locations in the area. Gourmet Latte offers the standard espresso bar drinks, but with a twist. For example, they offer marble mochas as well as dark chocolate mochas as well in addition to other drinks that are not seen at espresso stands such as horchatas and orange creamsicle soda. Gourmet Latte is fairly reasonable in terms of pricing with the average coffee drink averaging about $3.75. In terms of convenience, the nearest shop is about a five-minute drive from campus and is fairly quick. One drawback is that they have a very limited food selection with only a handful of pastries and very few breakfast sandwiches. Another drawback is there is no sitting area as the stands are all drive-through only. In my opinion, Gourmet Latte is very similar to Starbucks with their coffee being on the more bitter side. Gourmet Latte is a great place when looking for a quick, but unique drink.

Kismet Cafe

Kismet Cafe is a Turkish coffee stand located inside the Alderwood Mall. Although this may not be an everyday stop, it is definitely worth the visit. The stand offers a variety of drinks that cannot be found at other places such as Turkish coffee and a Nutella mocha. There is also Turkish food for sales such as baklava and Turkish delight. The atmosphere at this place is very unique even though it is in the middle of the mall, it feels very quiet and welcoming. There is a wrap-around table with chairs so that you can watch them make your drink. In terms of taste, the stand is very unique. There is a sort of Turkish twist on the classic drinks, making them more spicy and flavorful. For example, I had the Nutella mocha which was very good and had hints of cardamom. Although I enjoyed this flavor, it is not what one would expect when ordering a mocha. The cost of drinks is a little steeper than the average espresso stand (about $4.70 for the mocha), but it is worth it as this stand offers a glimpse of coffee from the other side of the world.