Keeping Up With The Coffeehouses: Metropolitan Market's Espresso Bar

By Michael Swan on October 6, 2010


Neighborhood: Proctor District

Address/phone: 2420 N. Proctor St., Tacoma/253.761.3663

Website: Click here

Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday

Standard Cup o' Joe: $1.45-$1.85

Bean Source: They roast their own blend espresso in small batches from 100 percent Arabica beans. The espresso is a real treat - rich and a bit nutty, thick but not so roasted as to make you feel like the beans have been burned (like, ahem, the coffees served by a certain national chain we know).

Crowd: Undercaffeinated shoppers lured in by creative specials on the espresso bar's blackboards, jazz trumpeters, neighborhood walkers and those same two guys every morning on the patio.

Soundtrack: The sweet sound of top-shelf wine crossing the barcode scanner, kids scavenging the candy bins, expensive jewelry rattling in the artisan cheese section and the occasional "Why it's Grey Poupon."

WiFi: Nope

Noshing/Sipping: You may tip or sip traditional espresso drinks, Italian sodas, hot or cold chai, 16 teas and fruit smoothies, or nosh on Gelatiamo Gelato out of downtown Seattle, wrapped cookies by Alternative Baking Company, four different kinds of biscotti, and oh lord the pastries.

Bonus: Morgan, Jenny and the other barista's have listed their favorite espresso drinks for the fall on the espresso bar's blackboard, complete with cute ghost drawings. Pumpkin Cream white chocolate mochas with pumpkin syrup, Citrus Ghost white chocolate mocha with Orange and vanilla syrup, The Muffin Man's Gingerbread Latte and many more. They also serve drinking chocolate - a 2-ounce steamed milk with bittersweet chocolate - that's kickass.

Oh, they also have a special parking spot in front of the espresso bar's side entrance for expecting mothers.

The House:

It's freakin' minuscule. It's smaller than a Starbucks bathroom. Customers sitting at the two tiny rectangular high-top tables could easily get slapped upside the head by a loaf of French bread. It's an espresso bar in the strictest sense. But it's also much, much more. Factor in relatively ambitious drink specials, some congenial barista banter, 11 tables outside on the patio and a design so cheerful it could cure seasonal affective disorder, and you have the perfect spot to grab a quick cup of delicious coffee and a croissant.