A Hungry Hipster’s Guide to Pike Place Market

All of my tourist-ing was working up quite an appetite, but luckily, if there’s one thing Pike Place has a never ending supply of, it’s good food!

My first stop was Beechers Handmade Cheese. As an authentically artisanal cheese shop, Beechers’ cheeses are handcrafted using all-natural local ingredients. The milk is antibiotic-free (no hormones or additives) and is delivered to the shop within hours of milking. As all of the cheese is made directly on sight

...In plain sight, might I add

…In plain sight, might I add

To turn the milk into cheese, it’s first pasturized by being heated to 73C for 24 seconds in order to eliminate harmful bacteria. Then, it is cooled back down to 32C and placed in a Make Vat, where it forms into clumps (“curds”) that when cut and sized spit out gooey liquids (“whey”).

From here, the curds are stacked, squeezed and placed in hoops to get more and more whey out of the way as it ages.

Ending in a delicious result Little Miss Muffet would approve of!

Ending in a delicious result Little Miss Muffet would approve of!

I was now moving on to the birthplace of hipster-ism: the first ever Starbucks! This place got it’s start in 1971, so I’m actually quite impressed it took off so well, considering this was before wifi was a service it could offer its customers!

It might just have had something to do with the delicious drip coffee (I tried my best not to laugh at the employees using a watering can on my coffee)

It might just have had something to do with the delicious drip coffee (I tried my best not to laugh at the employees using a watering can on my coffee)

Personally though, I think the popularity came at least in part from the risk-y logo ;)

Personally though, I think the popularity came at least in part from the risk-y logo ;)

From there, it was time to hit the arcade!

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Because “arcades” are what the market areas are called

 

I literally cried tears of happiness sampling some spicy peppers

I literally cried tears of happiness sampling some spicy peppers

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With a Scoville Heat Unit of 1,001,304, I could feel the ghost pepper extract burning a hole through my tongue. It was AWESOME!!

 

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The guys at Pike Place Fish Co. were having way too much fun throwing their products around!

 

After what seemed like an endless deliberation of consulting every single person I passed that seemed like a Seattle local, I finally decided on lunch at the 3 Sisters.

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Just because there are very few things I love more in life than a restaurant with a funky design

 

…Other than a good sandwich, of course!!

…Other than a good sandwich, of course!!

Indonesian Kopi Luwak

Being the coffee-aholic I am (I’m drinking some right now, even), I have to admit that I’m a little embarrassed I haven’t had anything to say on the topic of kopi luwak before now. “Kopi” is basically the Malay term for coffee, but it’s used in Singlish as well. If you’re at a kopitiam (coffee shop), you can also add suffixes like –C, –xiu–dai, or –O–kosong–gau to order coffee with evaporated milk, coffee with less sugar or a strong coffee without milk or sugar respectively (Take THAT fancy Starbucks names).

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Anyways, kopitiams usually find their homes at Hawker centres and aren’t exactly known for brewing the best quality coffee in the world, but kopi luwak is a whole different story (I promise I’m done building this up now). It’s basically the same as any other type of coffee, except for the small fact that the coffee cherries *ahem* pass through the digestive system of a Paradoxurus (read: a little ferret-creature shits out the cherries before they’re collected). This process takes out most of the bitterness from the beans, producing a sweeter flavour, but also drives the price up to about $300 per pound (MAJOR novelty factor coming into play here).

"What do you mean, you don't think my poop is worth that much!?"

“What do you mean, you don’t think my poop is worth that much!?”

I’m not usually picky for quality with my coffee, but my one requirement is that the coffee is, in fact, coffee (not foam, not caramel, not steam, COFFEE). This has actually cut down quite a bit on the types of beverages I order, but has saved me from being a Starbucks snob, allowing me to re-focus my hipsterness into other outlets like hanging out in public areas for the free wi-fi. Also, especially by my native Canadian standards, kopi is definitely less mainstream than Starbucks, so I would probably have to rank it higher on the hipster scale anyways.

Aw, yeah! That's the stuff!

Aw, yeah! That’s the stuff!

Back to the main point of this post, one of the (many) reasons I was excited to come to Sumatra was to try out this famous (and sometimes infamous) coffee. So on a subsequent trip to the Berastagi markets – the colours were much too pretty and the bunnies were much too cute, I couldn’t stay away – when I got separated from my girls, instead of looking around the corner for them like a normal person, I decided to go off and take a coffee break (they had already had kopi luwak, and weren’t really looking to try it again).

Jittering with excitement (something usually reserved for AFTER I drink my coffee), I ordered my beverage and started happily snapping photos since I was too excited to actually start consuming the drink.

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Eventually, I settled down and finally took a sip. The drink was definitely sweeter than a regular brew, but that might have had something to do with the fact that the barista had put quite a bit of milk and sugar in the brew. Either way, it was certainly significantly less bitter and quite palatable. Not something I would drink on a regular basis, but definitely worth trying out.

After my taste buds finished their little adventure, I reunited with the girls and went back to crooning over bunnies.