The year 2019 was possible all because of our incredible team, both at the roastery and at the cafe. Each of our teammate’s dedication to quality coffee and service is what makes the Fulcrum family special.
Here’s a look back at our year with the new cafe, new collaborations, new partners, and new coffees. We’re marching into the new year with profound gratitude for our community, partners, customers, and farmers.
Fulcrum Flagship Cafe (“Mountaintops Cafe”)
On December 7th, 2018, we opened the doors to our first cafe on the corner of 6th and Bell. It was named after the wall mural, Aside the Mountaintops by Bryan Alfred for Maharam Digital Projects, and reflects the expansive beauty of the Pacific Northwest mountain ranges. The inviting mural is contrasted by the seated views of Seattle’s vibrant and dynamically growing Belltown and South Lake Union neighborhoods. The driving passion has been to create a unique, inviting, and captivating space to enjoy delicious coffee and food. Check out the write-ups in Thrillist, Seattle Met, and Seattle Eater.
We introduced several new menu items including mini sandwiches, beer & wine, as well as weekend brunch specials in partnership with Northwest Biscuit Co. In addition, we’ve continued our Seasonal Signature Beverages program with new fall- and winter-inspired ingredients like caramel, turmeric, and cinnamon. We strive to make our food and drink menus dynamic and elevated, yet accessible and consistent.
Grand Opening Party + Latte Art Throwdown
In June, we celebrated the belated grand opening of our cafe with all day food & drink specials. We also hosted a latte art competition for our local coffee community, where we gave away a cash prize and a tokyobike. It was a great opportunity for us to show appreciation to our customers, friends, and coffee family for welcoming us into the neighborhood and into the community.
Pop-Ups & Collaborations
Fulcrum Coffee x tokyobike
Our partnership with the Los Angeles-based company, tokyobike is a union of everything we value at Fulcrum Coffee: simple, beautiful, functional design; hard-working people, and creative collaborations. Together, we brought a unique bicycle to life, and gave a custom-made fulcrum x tokyobike bicycle to one lucky raffle winner. We also created a Seattle City Guide, featuring our favorite places to visit with a bicycle.
Memo x Fulcrum
Memo x Fulcrum introduced the “Living Café” concept, conceived to regularly present the new works of Seattle-based Memo Furniture and industry partners Maharam, Flos, and Stille. Through a curated ensemble of design-forward products, Memo x Fulcrum hopes to pioneer an approach to café interiors that offers an inspiring and dynamic environment to experience contemporary furnishings and premium coffees.
We’re excited to continue the Living Cafe series next year with new furniture installations by world-renowned designers from Helsinki, Amsterdam, and more. If you enjoy beautiful design experiences, the Living Cafe series is definitely something you don’t want to miss out.
Wink Doughnuts x Fulcrum
One of our most popular drinks, Snuggle Me Sesame, has caught the attention of Maretta, the owner of gluten free doughnut pop-up shop called Wink Doughnuts. Inspired by our unique sesame latte, Maretta created a gluten-free, sesame and black sugar flavored doughnut to serve at our cafe pop-up. Thanks to Wink Doughnut’s loyal following, it was a successful weekend where we made many customers happy with our delicious collaboration.
Crush the Rush
The partnership with La Marzocco USA is one that we take immense pride in. Not only are they known for their unprecedented espresso machine technologies, but La Marzocco USA is also one of the biggest industry leaders of specialty coffee. So when they asked to host their national event Crush the Rush at our roastery this summer, we were ecstatic. It was a full day competition of fastest barista teams to win the Seattle Champion title, as well as a custom-made tokyobike! The event also entailed extensive public learning sessions that covered topics ranging from cafe design and sustainability to barista ergonomics and the nuts of bolts of espresso equipment. But what set the Seattle event apart from all the other cities was our display of vintage espresso machines that we acquired from the company’s co-founder Ken Bakke’s personal collection.
Seattle’s Crush the Rush was a monumental moment for Fulcrum x La Marzocco’s relationship, and it propels us to dive deeper into infinite possibilities of future collaborations.
15 Best Coffees of 2019 from Costa Rica: Public Cupping
Our Partner and VP of Coffee Blas Alfaro led a public coffee tasting with Erin Wang (Senior Manager, Alliance for Coffee Excellence), featuring 15 award-winning coffees from Costa Rica. We shared the importance of Cup of Excellence, which involves a rigorous cupping process and multiple panels of industry experts who score and select the best coffees every year in coffee growing countries. The competition helps set and exceed the quality standards for premium coffee growers, and encourages fair auction prices for the international buyers. It’s a rare opportunity to come across coffees from Cup of Excellence in cafes, but the participants of our cupping were delighted to taste Costa Rica’s top-scoring coffees, including ones that are sold up to $300 per pound.
Spring & Fall Drink Workshops
Each year, we host seasonal drink workshops where our wholesale partners engage in a collaborative environment to share outstanding beverage ideas and access other products both new and old. We provide all the resources they need in our roastery kitchen and lab, with the support from our industry partner Torani. The workshops are a valuable opportunity for us to interact with our customers and baristas, where we can learn how better we can serve them and create deeper relationships.
It was a big year for our single origin coffees. We established new relationships in Peru, Guatemala, and Thailand while continuing our long-term ones with producers from Costa Rica, Rwanda, Myanmar, and more. The highlight of this year’s coffee releases was the launch of hybrid varieties including Catigua Ana Williams. We’re looking forward to sharing more hybrid varieties and their stories next year. We truly believe this is the future of specialty coffee, and sourcing the hybrid coffees is our way of “doing something more” for our planet in the face of climate change. Learn more about hybrid coffees in our blog, or on Perfect Daily Grind.