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Coffee City

Melissa Allison follows the world's biggest coffee-shop chain and other Seattle caffeine purveyors.

April 7, 2010 at 8:17 AM

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The Bravern finds coffee shop, which orders high-end Slayer espresso machines -- now at Zoka and Equal Exchange

Posted by Melissa Allison

SamLewontin.jpgWhen VoVito Caffe & Gelato opens at The Bravern in June, it will boast the area's third and fourth Slayer espresso machines. Like a lot of espresso machines, the Slayer is made in Seattle. Unlike a lot of them, it gives baristas more control over water pressure in pulling shots, which means the water can spend more time creating flavor with the coffee grounds.

There are Slayers in New York City and in Canada. But around here, the only Slayers are at Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Co. in Kirkland and -- as of last week -- Equal Exchange Espresso in Ballard Market.

Sam Lewontin (pictured pulling a shot at Equal Exchange) said the Slayer takes about 10 seconds longer per shot, but is great to operate and worth the money -- about $14,000 for two groups, according to its makers. Lewontin said it would be costly and complicated to outfit another machine with the same features, which include excellent temperature regulation and "naked" portafilters that allow baristas to see exactly how the shot is pouring.

He also talked about experimenting with Slayer-brewed BREWED coffee, which is very slow like a pour-over but with the finely ground coffee of an espresso shot. The folks at Slayer say that's something VoVito plans to offer.

VoVito, owned by Ariff and Shairose Gulamani, is the coffee shop The Bravern has sought since opening without one last year. "It'll be something very, very special for Bellevue, and very special for The Bravern," said Tom Woodworth, senior investment director for Bravern developer Schnitzer West.

It will occupy 2,444 square feet just off a 110th Avenue entrance near the outdoor fireplace and, as the name implies, sell gelato as well.

More about VoVito later. For now, here's where you can try espresso from the new (and second local) Slayer at Equal Exchange Espresso:

View Equal Exchange Espresso in a larger map

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