EVERETT — I can’t remember who said that Narrative Coffee is “very San Francisco.”
I like the description because the downtown shop is hip, upscale and cosmopolitan, just the way I see San Francisco.
However, it’s also very Everett — kinda spare but welcoming, directed at what’s important and community oriented.
The word is out. Narrative opened earlier this summer, and yet new customers become regulars each day. As a colleague said, Narrative is a coffee mecca.
It has a slower pace. It’s easy to have a conversation there. A single cup of filtered coffee takes a few minutes to brew. You won’t see any drive-up window baristas running around with headsets on. Instead, if you want to talk about the origin of the coffee beans, the staff has time.
Velton’s Coffee Roasting Co. of Everett provides some of those beans at Narrative, where you can buy Velton’s beans to take home. You also can buy bars of Utah-made Ritual chocolate, used in the shop’s mocha. And you can get housemade scones, buttery cardamom shortbread ($1.50) and other treats.
Last week my husband and I ate a breakfast of street waffles at Narrative. These street waffles are relatively small, but pleasantly thick. Pulled off the cast iron press and wrapped in paper, they are served on a small black platter.
We each had a savory waffle, followed by a sweet waffle.
The cheesy chive waffle ($6) was tasty and satisfying. The lightly sweet waffle ($5), with its bit of caramelized pearl sugar, went well with my Ritual mocha. The 12-ounce mocha ($5.50) was served in a glass. It was warm, not hot, and I appreciated that the coffee was not burned, as it can be at so many coffee shops. The melted chunk of dark chocolate did not mess with the fruity flavor of the coffee.
Jon’s cup of Velton’s Ethiopian Aricha, brewed through a filter, was herbal and equally fruity. Served in a stoneware mug, it cost $3.50.
I guess I don’t think of coffee as being fragrant and fruity, but now most other coffees just taste burnt.
The least expensive cuppa is the $2 brew from a self-serve carafe at the back of the shop. Yes, Narrative does have take-away cups for those on the run. The shop gets a lot of foot traffic from folks who work at the county courthouse, city hall and Funko down the street.
Narrative is worth every penny as a special treat. It would be a great meet-up place for coffee after supper.
Next time I go, I need to try the Bees Knees iced coffee, shaken with honey, lavender and bitters. And a co-worker says Narrative makes the best little cortado around. A dense coffee drink, a cortado is an espresso cut with warm milk.
Narrative is housed in a storefront built nearly 100 years ago. Skylights, exposed rafters and original brick walls make it feel very open. Elpis &Wood of Everett made the big salvaged-wood table toward the back of the room. The white chairs are mid-century modern-style Suzette side chairs. It’s all very hip and very comfortable.
It’s uptown San Francisco in downtown Everett.
Located: 2927 Wetmore Ave., Everett.
Contact: 425-322-4648; www.narrative.coffee.
Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.