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The Best Coffee Shops in Seattle, According to Marriott

Marriott Hotels has put together an infographic for its guests outlining its “Best Of” Seattle’s coffee shops. The hotel group managed to avoid listing any of the city’s 460-plus Starbucks locations in categories like “best shop for coffee connoisseurs” and “best shop for espresso fanatics,” sticking entirely to single independents and small chains.

With simple justifications like “their slow bar allows customers to try different blends and brewing techniques” or “rotates its menu selection based on its multiple roasters (unlike other shops which usually have one roaster),” we’re not sure how much field work the Marriott team actually did, but they did come up with a respectable list of some well-known Seattle horses, including Espresso Vivace (best for espresso fanatics), Zoka Coffee (best for workaholics), Seattle Coffee Works (best for tasting) and Victrola Coffee Roasters (best for artists).

(editors note: The infographic says Espresso Vivace was founded in 1998, when it was actually launched in 1988.)

Consumers may be better served by more comprehensive guides like this one from Sprudge or this 2013 Top 50 list from Seattle Coffee Scene, although the Marriott guide does shed some 3-star insight into the city’s unrivaled coffee scene.

best coffee shops in seattle





Besides the adage that “infographics are made for people who prefer to be entertained rather than informed… by people who prefer to be entertained rather than informed”, what bugs me about these types of surveys is that the definition of what makes a “best coffee shop in Seattle” isn’t so much the coffee at all.

Instead it’s a matchmaking game of personal lifestyles disguised as a quantification of the best coffee.

Good luck finding objective criteria why one coffee shop should top another one. Which sets up these types of surveys as magnets for personal convenience bias and payola fraud.

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