Our Story

As told by Sebastian Simsch & Pipo Bui

Our Beginnings

After moving to Seattle in 2004, we were excited to explore all the delicious freshly roasted coffee that Seattle, the “capital of coffee” had to offer. However, a thorough scour of Pike Place Market and the downtown area failed to yield any great coffee. At the time, most quality coffee roasting operations had been pushed to the outskirts of Seattle and there was no outlet in downtown Seattle to taste excellent coffee.

One day in a hole in the wall cafe in Eastlake, Sebastian found a macchiato that re-ignited his faith in the Seattle coffee scene. He asked himself: Would it possible to create a place in downtown Seattle that would serve a really tasty macchiato using coffee from different Seattle area roasters? On that day, Seattle Coffee Works was conceived.

In the fall of 2006, the dream came true: we opened our first pop-up store in an old t-shirt shop on the corner of Pike Street in downtown Seattle. A customer could come in and order some of the best espresso and coffee from roasters all over the city, a concept which had yet to be explored in Seattle coffee culture.

After spending a year or so tasting the espresso offerings of others, we were ready to get in the game of roasting ourselves. In the spring of 2008, we started roasting our own coffee and the people of Seattle loved it.

This success allowed us to move about 15 feet down the street into the space we currently occupy. We became one of only two coffee roasting operations in downtown Seattle.

We installed a bright orange 12 kg Diedrich roaster named Anna in 2009, upgrading from the small but well-loved Molly, a 5 kg Ambex roaster. Year after year we are impressed by the capacity of our roasting facility, the ever improving quality of our coffee, which is by now almost exclusively directly bought from farmers around the globe, and the passion that our team brings to crafting specialty coffee for the city of Seattle.

Come experience for yourself the excitement and passion that makes us one of Seattle’s oldest specialty coffee roasters, meet our dedicated team of baristas, and taste some of the finest coffee in Seattle.

Our Goals in Cafe Spaces

Seattle Coffee Works is a place to experience and experiment with coffee in its richly diverse forms and varieties. Wine connoisseurs have tasting rooms; beer aficionados have brewery tap rooms; fine dining enthusiasts have five-star restaurants. Our goal is to create a dedicated tasting space for specialty coffee. All of our locations commit unrelentingly to making coffee better and providing resources to help our customers make and explore better coffee.

At our Espresso Bar, you can order espresso beverages made by our expert baristas from either our award winning Seattle Space blend or a rotating single-origin option. We also offer freshly brewed drip coffee, cold brew, and teas.

The Slow Bar is a place to explore our passion for manual brewed coffee and deepen your sense of discovery. We have set out to make coffee tasting an intriguing and dignified experience. You'll know you have arrived at the Slow Bar when you see a variety of manual brewing equipment and a quality selection of unique single-origin coffees from most coffee-growing regions around the world. Our Slow Bar is what makes us unique in the world of coffee. It's part ritual, part playground and part science lab.