Espresso- no Starbucks swill
Planning a trip to Seattle-Vancouver in June, and being coffee geeks it seems a java quest is mandatory, particularly in Seattle. Looking for coffee joints that get it (and Seattle is the heartland, n'est-ce pas?) and PLEASE none of that Starbucks burnt coffee crap.
it's a bit out of the way but in Seattle, Lighthouse Espresso, in Fremont/Phinney Ridge, is exquisite. They roast their own beans on the premises.
Other than that, I haven't been to any Seattle coffeehouses recently enough to comment, but I have fond memories of Bauhaus, Victrola, Caffe Paradiso, and Avalon. (If any of those places are still open!)
You should add Portland to your tour, there are a lot of places that "get it" down here.
IMHO you should hit Vivace (Broadway & Denny in Capital Hill). They roast their own, so you can buy beans (I've got a fresh pound in my kitchen right now) and their coffee is fantastic--smooth, creamy, NOT burnt (I agree with you re: Starbucks). They have good cookies too. Enjoy your trip!
You must try Vivace. A trip to Seattle means you must; this is the real deal, and hard to top.
However, Victrola is good as well (on 15th ave, Capital Hill).
I second the poster who recommended Portland, whose extraordinary Stumptown coffee is not to be missed . . . among many other wonderful cafes.