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Brix = the amount of sweetness in a given solution measured in degrees expressing the porportion of sugar to each 100 gr. of total fluid; Used in winemaking by growers to measure the amount of sugar in the grapes.

Chicks = We're girls of a certain age with a sense of adventure, a passion for wine, a vibrant curiousity to learn more and a drive to exchange ideas, share tips and find out what you have to say about how wine flavors your experience.

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09 October, 2009

Something Wicked this way comes - Review of new Inspired by Starbucks locale

Wicked good! So, sometimes people do not so much love the Starbucks. For blogger ethical disclosure I have to admit that I am currently in a serious relationship with Starbucks; I would marry them if I could. Their consistency is as reliable as death and taxes and if you roam at all, you will find that someone's beloved local coffee hangout is some one else's bitter, reach for the prilosec moment or someone else's vibrant arts cafe is someone else's scary urban experience. Not Starbucks! On Hampstead Heath, Nolita, or lovely Modesto, I know what I am getting with my double tall nonfat no whip mocha. And I love that!

On a recent jaunt to Seattle, I was in desperate need of coffee and wifi, so you do the math. But a BrixChick never likes to do the expected, so I thought I would try the latest "Inspired by Starbucks" location, 15th Ave Coffee and Tea Initially they had me at "artisan pastries". To my delight, free wifi is just part of the service! So nice, too. They individually grind and prepare using several methods. My server recommended a Clover drip method which made the aromatics leap out of the cup. They discuss several other brewing methods on their website . The location is stunning! Decorated with repurposed items and materials, the feel is like Anthropologie for coffee. Everything was gorgeous and comfortable. The pastry did not disappoint--as tender and buttery as the best NorCal has to offer with a hint of lush pastry cream and perfect Washington apples. The Puerto Rico coffee I was helped to select was perfect as well. Inky and rich without being bitter. Yum! My only regret was that I did not get to sample the wine! Ha! Well a handy scheduling error on my part put me on a flight that DEPARTED at 8:40 pm ( I really thought it said ARRIVED), with the afternoon free and no shortage of my need for free wifi, I jaunted back to 15th Ave for wine and a cheese plate. Beecham's Cheese very nice and local no less. As well as a lovely Goose Ridge G3 Red Table wine. Great together! I spoke to someone who said that this is a pilot venture. Starbucks places a lot of emphasis on making the location blend into the local neighborhood like 2% of cofermented Viognier can soak into Syrah! So this location is also an
expression of the neighborhood at 15th Ave. A second location which will be called Roy's will open soon. While 15th Ave also brings art and blues to its space, Roy's will also take its name from its address, but a different location driven entertainment venue is planned. Now, my only regret is that they do not have a similar venture planned for Northern California. Starbucks, if you're listening, please consider "Rockridge" or "Temescal"
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