For those of you who know me, which is everyone now reading this, in all likelyhood, you know exactly what coffee house I'm talking about.
Sizizis coffee and tea house in downtown Olympia plays host to the weird, wild, and wacky patrons that the rest of the town's coffee houses seem not to be able to attract. At least, that's the way that it seems to me, and various friends of mine.
Among other things, it's the only 24-hour anything in town. This coffee house, with woodwork rescued from who knows where (one rumour says that the bar façade was rescued from the first legal bar in Seattle), antique tables and chairs, and doorknobs on the ceiling (no seriously), has saved more grades in Evergreen than just about any other restaurant I can think of. Just a month or so ago I found myself sitting in the table by the door from two in the afternoon until seven in the morning completely rewriting a research paper after a blackout corrupted the half-finished file.
It boils down to this, I think: The place is almost always invitingly warm, except in the summer, when it becomes enticingly cool. The atmosphere is easy on the eyes (it's only when you come here in the morning that you realize just how dim the lights in here actually are.), the décor is easily described as "Steamgoth" (dark wood, antique tables and chairs, doorknobs and mirrored portholes on the ceiling, interesting lamps, and, at the moment, lighted, decorated tree branches mounted to the ceiling.), the door, with "Door to remain unlocked during business hours" painted in an elegant hand above it, not only swings both ways, but does not, in fact, have a latch, and the menu is incredible. There are upwards of eighty varieties of teas and infusions, along with the usual assortment of coffee products and coffee substitutes. They also have an unmatched syrup list, using syrups without corn syrup, which is rather important. I cannot think of any other coffee house... well, anywhere... where I can walk in and order a latté with anise syrup in it. They have a variety of baked goodies, pot pie, and soup. Something that makes me very, very happy about the above is that a good portion of the baked goodies, and most of the soups thusfar, are wheat- and corn-free. Considering I'm wildly allergic to both of those...
On top of the visual elements, the music that the baristas play makes the ethnomusicologist in me go "Squee". Right now, for instance, there is... something middle-eastern... starting up in the speakers, making me wish that the syrup list included cardamom, and I could create a faux-Turkish coffee. Top this off with a rotating local art show, and this combines into an especially pleasing caffeination experience.
And for my next wandering ramble, new boots, and what they symbolize.