Sometimes I forget all the great experiences that are right in Seattle, we don’t have to travel far away to go on an adventure. I’m guilty of getting in seasons where I start to frequent the same spots and it’s not until sometimes gets me out that I get in exploration mode again. It’s truly the best way to connect with your friends or your loved ones, food and yummy drinks have that magic. You get to learn together and have some great conversation starters with what’s right in front of you. Show Me Seattle has brought together a Coffee, Chocolate, and Wine, and Tour with some of Seattle’s top shops. I was really impressed by how organized and wonderful the tour was.
HOW IT STARTED
At 9:30 am we met right next to Westlake Center with our tour guide that was pumped and ready to share all his Seattle knowledge with us. Our tour bus ride to the Starbucks Reserve was exciting because I really didn’t know what to expect. The ticket price is $99 which is SUPER reasonable for the 3 stops and discounts at Fran’s and the Estates Wine Room for any extras you may want to purchase.
FIRST STOP: STARBUCKS RESERVE
As we came in, our tour guide at Starbucks Reserve was such a great conversationalist and his love for what he does really did shine through. It must have been a mix of his passion for coffee and the caffeine rush too.
I’m not sure what you’ve heard about this spot but I didn’t expect it to be as grand as it was. We all know Starbucks started in Seattle and it’s on every corner so stopping at the Reserve wasn’t really on the top of my bucket list on what to try in Seattle.
The tour changed my perception completely and I can’t believe I waited 4 years to come by. I’m glad my first time was with a guide to share the history and the making of the layout because I love a good business story. Howard Shultz had a vision of creating a place where his love for art and coffee intertwined. Our French tour guide, Max put it in perfect terms when he said, we are the audience and all of them are the performers. We were all there to see the coffee show.
There’s everything from a coffee cocktail bar, space to rent for events, their own curated collection of curious finds, people at every corner to help you, and their custom designed pneumatic tubes that took 10 years to get right. I could tell you a whole lot more but you’ll have to stop by. I will add that artists from all over helped with the signage, the roaster, the tabletops and every element of that space. I’m simply astonished about all the precise details for a big corporate company and have a new appreciation for Starbucks coffee.
SECOND STOP: FRAN’S CHOCOLATES
Fran’s Chocolates is one of my favorite chocolates because they aren’t overly sweet, they’re always creamy, and just right. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to partner with them in the past and they are very humble and easy to work with. Traditions are very important to them and they stick to what works best.
It wasn’t until recently that they stopped hand dipping the chocolates themselves and got a machine to do it! The chocolatiers still make their custom swirls by hand and most of their team have worked with Fran’s for at least 10 years which shows their love and dedication for the company. Fran herself still makes Easter a huge event by writing names on the bunny orders herself and they make a whole event out of it.
To work there, you’ve got to REALLY love chocolate because you are surrounded by all the best. In the tasting I tried the orange dipped chocolate and I have to say I think that was one of my favorites. Not sure if it was because I never had that one before or because it was just the perfect amount of fruit to chocolate.
If you’ve never heard of the whole cocoa bean process and where chocolate is made, you get that too. I seriously am in awe of how someone saw this giant hard cocoa bean shell, peeled it open and thought, what would happen if I roast this, break it down and add sugar. Curious, curious people. Anyways, good chocolate is well worth the price and calories!
THIRD STOP: ESTATES WINE ROOM
First of all, you walk in this Pioneer Square spot and just know you are going to be in good hands. The atmosphere at Estates Wine Room is this open space, minimal décor, and people that love sharing wine. When we arrived, there was a table of coterie and plates waiting for us. At this time, we all sat on a table together and really got to getting to know each other. We got to try their first Chardonnay and then three red wines. I’m not the biggest red wine fan because as I’ve gotten older it does give me heartburn, but all their reds are smooth, very impressive!
It’s a huge plus that all their wines were a hit but what I also found really fascinating about the company is they are all about working with the community. They hold events to the public, find ways to bring in other businesses to partner with, and take part in the art walk the 1st Thursday of the month in Pioneer Square. Definitely getting on their mailing list, they are doing so much good in bringing people together, a huge win for me in any business I support.
Although I loved all the wines I tried, I just had to take home their Champagne. You know I love my bubbly. It’s straight from France and they were able to tie a partnership to get the rights to import it to their location in Seattle which is not an easy thing for a winery to do, they just can’t ship it for legal reasons. Now I have to find a special night to open it!
Good day in Seattle, now I’m wondering what other cool tours are in the area? My next big thing I am going to do in the next couple months is check out the new Space Needle remodel.
What are your favorite Seattle Tours? What have you been wanting to check out in Seattle?