The aroma of freshly ground Ethiopian coffee wafted around me as I navigated I-5 back to Tacoma from a recent tour of Olympia, our state’s capitol. The smell reminded me of my introduction to the city that morning with the best latté I’ve ever tasted from Batdorf & Bronson’s Dancing Goats Espresso Bar. It was so delicious; I returned to their Tasting Room (http://batdorfcoffee.com) across the street and bought coffee to bring home. This Ethiopian blend has a blueberry finish, which might not sound like a good flavor for coffee, but take my word for it, this is the best.
Dancing Goats is located across the street from the Olympia Farmers Market, on Market Street. They have another location on Capitol Way in Olympia and a third in Decatur, Georgia.
Lattin’s Cider Mill & Farm
Have you ever tasted an apple fritter fresh out of the oven that actually melts in your mouth? I took a short drive to Lattin’s Country Cider Mill & Farm on Rich Road (http://www.lattinscider.com) on this particular Friday morning and experienced this cinnamon, buttery confection for myself. Not an experience I’ll soon forget or stop craving. They also bake them fresh on Saturday mornings and the locals flock there in droves.
But there’s more to do at this farm than just eat. You can buy a bucket of feed to give to the farm animals, enjoy concerts, festivals and in the fall hayrides and of course, choosing pumpkins, a haunted house and a corn maze.
Owner Carolyn Lattin believes kids should know where their food comes from and emphasizes that concept — from the farm animals to the bountiful gardens and fruit trees. In the front of the property you’ll find a pig that is given lots of food and attention. But come December, he’s auctioned off. The winner can do whatever he wants with Porky, but often that means a scrumptious pork roast for Christmas dinner.
Olympia Farmers Market
I never leave Olympia without a stop at their Farmers Market, which is one of the biggest and best in the state. Brightly colored vegetables, freshly picked fruit and luscious bouquets and plants delight the visual palate. I bought some tiny turnips, about the size of beads and the vendor suggested roasting them. They were full of flavor, with almost a cabbage-like taste. If you’re not sure what you want, you can always ask for a sample.
The market is open Thursday – Sunday from April through October and Saturday and Sunday in November and December.
It’s very easy to buy the makings for a complete dinner at the Farmers Market because meat, seafood, baked goods and whatever you fancy is available. Everything, but the fruit, is grown locally. We rely on fruit from Eastern Washington because that area has the best climate for growing it.
Now to measure out my Ethiopian coffee so I can savor a cup in the morning.