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Best of Olympia 2018: South Sound Coffee Trail

Writer's pick: Best tour

Olympia Coffee Roasting Company owner Oliver Stormshak shares his love of coffee during a cupping class. Similar to a wine tasting, cupping allows you to learn the distinct tastes and smells of each variety of coffee. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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Living in the Pacific Northwest, you quickly learn that coffee is more than just a morning beverage -- it is that concoction that gets you through the long, rainy winter days. This area is known for its local coffee shops, but have you ever considered where your coffee comes from? Check out the South Sound Coffee Trail in Thurston County; it's your route to local roasters. You've heard of craft brewing or craft distilleries, now learn about craft coffee. Become educated about the unique flavors and smells of coffee during a cupping, which is similar to a wine tasting, and experience the different roasts and beans to determine your favorites.

The Batdorf and Bronson Tasting Room is located near the Olympia Farmers Market. The tasting room is located in the roaster and offers a variety of coffees from the major growing areas of Africa, Indonesia and Latin America. Stop by the second Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon for a tour and tasting experience. Tour the roasting and production facility and learn how coffee arrives in your cup, then experience a cupping and brewing class. The $40 cost includes the tour, a cupping class, a pound of coffee and Clever or Hario cone brewers and filters. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday, 200 Market St. NE, Olympia, 360.753.4057,

The Olympia Coffee Roasting Company is not your typical coffee company. In addition to having a passion for coffee, owners Sam Schroeder and Oliver Stormshak believe that everyone, from the farm laborers and coffee farmers to the baristas in their cafes, deserves a high quality of life. The two strive to pay fair wages to all in the chain. Stormshak can point to any bag of coffee beans sitting in his warehouse and tell you which farmer grew it and all about his family. Every Friday at 10 a.m., the downtown location offers a cupping experience free of charge. No reservation is required. The quality of coffee that Olympia Coffee Roasting Company serves is evident in its many awards won. They are repeat Best of Olympia winners for Best Coffee. 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 600 4th Ave. E., Olympia, 360.753.0066,

Olympic Crest Coffee Roasters is one of the oldest roasters in the area and has crafted premium roast coffee since 1998. The company uses a state-of-the-art Diedrich IR - 12 roaster with computerized controls. Watch the roasting process right from the free Internet café, which serves breakfast and lunch daily. This is the only roasting company in the area that makes K-cups. The Superior Single Serve K-cups are 100 percent recyclable and hold more coffee for a longer brewing cycle. The price is $14.99 for 25 cups, and it is available in two of their most popular flavors. 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 4211 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey, 360.459.5756,

For more about the South Sound Coffee Trail, visit

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