My relationship with Batdorf & Bronson is one some might call “rocky”. I know the coffee roaster is an Olympia favorite, but I just can’t get myself to love them… That’s not to say I hate them, or dislike them for that matter, but I’m not entirely seeing the allure of them, either. Maybe I’m just not supposed to get it?
Because they do a lot of things right, there’s no doubt about that. Their spaces are perfectly set up, and their marketing and branding are spot on. It’s obvious Batdorf & Bronson knows their thing.
The coffee, though, it’s just not my thing, for two particular reasons:
One is certainly more subjective than anything, but Batdorf’s roast is just too dark for me. Some might say the darker the better, and great for you! Me, I follow the school of lighter roasts resulting in purer flavors. Olympia Coffee is firmly in that camp, and while Batdorf has some roasts branded as light, I’ve yet to find one that blew me away.
That’s not to say I’d call any of their beans bad or anything. They just don’t roast the way many of us like it, and that, I guess, is what it is. I will maintain that the lighter trend we’ve been seeing for a while now is a better way of doing it, but hey, whatever.
Second: The baristas. While Olympia Coffee is staffed with a good army of coffee nerds, Batdorf seems to be a bit more… diverse. I’m not sure I’ve met anyone there who would bleed for their craft, which is all well and good and probably more healthy, but I miss seeing the passion. I’m sure it must exist somewhere, seeing the roaster seems to be serious about what it does, but I’ve yet to find it. In that sense, having beans that aren’t quite to my liking, brewed by baristas who aren’t living for the craft, the end result just isn’t entirely my thing.
It is, however, many other people’s thing, and that’s great. If you like their coffee, you cannot go wrong with Batdorf’s spaces. For those of us who like the lighter roasted coffee served by people who would give their life for the craft, however, I would have a hard time not recommending Olympia Coffee over Batdorf.