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The best coffee in Spokane, Washington

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Who doesn't love a little latte art? Well done, Indaba Coffee.
Who doesn’t love a little latte art? Well done, Indaba Coffee.

You’d expect to find good coffee in Washington State, wouldn’t you? So it shouldn’t be hard to find the best coffee in Spokane, Washington’s second largest city. After all, it’s the birthplace of Starbucks (though we hardly consider Starbucks “good coffee”). Plus they’ve got all those sweet coffee stands where you just drive through to get your morning fix. Love it! Though that would never fly here in Austin; we local hipsters insist on being able to show up with our Macbooks and set up shop for four hours while we sip our locally roasted espresso-based beverage of choice. I swear, I sometimes wonder if anybody in ATX has a real job. We don’t, obviously.

In any case, though Seattle is doubtless home to the most shining examples of stellar caffeine dispensaries in the state, Spokane has its fair share of shimmering beacons. There’s local chain Thomas Hammer, which many locals enjoy; one of our favorite (and I’m not gonna lie: the literary theme alone would have been enough to pull me in), Atticus Coffee (complete with finch logo); and Brews Brothers. But the winner for the best coffee in Spokane, Washington goes to…

The cool interior of Indaba Coffee in Spokane, Washington.
The cool interior of Indaba Coffee in Spokane, Washington.

Indaba Coffee!

They were just opening a fourth location while we were in town, presumably because locals recognize that these guys know their way around a Modbar and are demanding competent baristas in additional neighborhoods. Oh, you say you’ve never heard of a Modbar espresso machine? Don’t worry about it; neither had we. But it looks like this:

The Modbar (and barista Eliot) at Indaba Coffee in Spokane, Washington.
The Modbar (and barista Eliot) at Indaba Coffee in Spokane, Washington.

As soon as we saw it we knew we were in for a treat. It. Is. Beautiful. It looks like an amazing piece of steampunk art that spits out perfect, molten espresso, which is, in fact, exactly what it does. It has a shot timer, 3-zone temperature control, pressure profiling, volumetric dosing, and brew temp control. It’s a machine. And there are only a few like it in operation in the entire country.

But don’t think that means you don’t still need a competent barista. According to Eliot, the skilled gentleman who pulled our shots, the machines are “Lovely and gentle and finicky–like a lover, really.” It takes a pro to handle one.

A lovely little macchiato from Indaba Coffee in Spokane.
A lovely little macchiato from Indaba Coffee in Spokane.

And if this feat of mechanics and artistry wasn’t enough, Indaba also makes many of their own syrups, uses single-origin coffee that they roast themselves, and freaking makes their own almond milk. They make their own almond milk! And that is the only time I’m willing to pay more than $.50 extra for non-dairy milk in my coffee (It’s $1.25 at Indaba), because props.

Granted, homemade almond milk is a little different if you’re not used to it, but it has the advantage of not having all those additives. But honestly, I want to support any place that goes out of their way to make something healthy and vegan, so there you have it.

Our opinion? Indaba has the best coffee in Spokane. Having tried rest (OK, so there were a lot of places we didn’t get to, but give us a break–we can only drink so much coffee before our hearts explode), we can recommend the best. Plus, the baristas and locals inside were all very friendly and informative and there’s local art on the walls, so stop in for five minutes or sit for the afternoon. Whatever you do, just don’t settle for sub-par coffee in Spokane, Okay? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Wander on!