Gone Camping with Top Pot’s Camper Blend

Jenni shows us how to camp Top Pot-style.

This post was written by: Jenni Jobe

Summer is not complete in my mind without a camping trip or two–or twelve! One of the essentials of a good camping trip is a good cup of coffee in the morning, which has not always been an easy thing to come by.  But it is possible, especially with Top Pot Coffee Roasters (in house at our 5th Ave café) freshly roasted coffee. Amongst the mountains and trees of the Pacific Northwest, combine our Camper Blend coffee with a trusty brew method, and you can wake up at your morning campfire and enjoy!

Recently I went camping with a big group of friends, and I found the truth in the age-old adage of “if you brew it they will come”. Follow these steps and you too will be loved by your family and friends the whole camping trip. I was deemed the “camping coffee master,” and you can too. All it takes is bringing along a trusty brewer, picking up some Top Pot Coffee on the way outta town, and putting it all together when you reach your campsite. So pack up your gear, fill up a couple coolers, grab the coffee, and put up a “Gone Camping” sign. It’s time to get away from it all and refresh your soul in the great outdoors.

Reasons to bring Top Pot camping:

  • Increase your popularity amongst your friends. Doughnuts make everyone happy and having quality coffee while camping is hard to come by.
  • Keep your weekday morning routine and kick start your day of adventures in the wilderness.
  • Support Top Pot’s Camper Blend.
  • Invent a new type of s’mores with top pot doughnuts.
  • And remember: If you brew it, they will come.

Top Pot Camping Timeline

Friday 3p.m.
Take off from work a bit early, load up your gear and coolers and hit up your local Top Pot Café. Grab a dozen doughnuts, a cold brew coffee for the road and a bag or two of the Camper Blend for coffee provisions through the weekend in the mountains and trees. You can even have your coffee ground at the café.

Friday 6p.m.

Arrive and set up camp! Once the tents and sleeping bags are set for crawling into at a later hour, and dinner is in the works, find out where that box of doughnuts ended up. Ensure you get your favorite before the early bird catches the doughnuts in the morning before you roll out of the tent.

Saturday a.m.

Roll outta the tent and grab a doughnut to tide you over till the rest of breakfast is ready. Get your hot water started so you can get that coffee brewing. If you brew it, they will come.  And you will be loved. For full effect use Top Pot Coffee Roasters Camper Blend.

Sunday a.m.

Repeat steps from Saturday morning. Insider tip–if you train someone on Saturday you can sleep in on Sunday and roll outta your sleeping bag to coffee that’s already made!

Camping Brew Methods:

French Press

Top Pot French Press

The French press is a great way to brew multiple cups at a time and makes a nice full bodied cup of coffee. I recommend grabbing a stainless steel one as they’re more durable and you don’t have to worry about it breaking at the campsite.

  1. For every cup of coffee, put two tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee into the French press. Fill half way with water at about 200 degrees, or just before boiling. Make sure all the grounds are saturated with water.
  2. Brew for 1 minute and 30 seconds to allow the coffee to bloom. Stir and fill the press the rest of the way with hot water, leaving enough room to rest the plunger on top.
  3. Continue brewing for another 1 minute and 30 seconds to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Now you can plunge slowly. Sometimes you’ll feel a little resistance; that’s OK. Don’t force it, you can always pull the press up a little and then continue pressing down. Pour and enjoy!

ChemexTop Pot Chemex brewed coffee

The Chemex will impress your friends and up your hipster game. This hourglass shaped brewer uses a thick paper filter to produce a smooth cup of coffee. This is also a good method for brewing a few cups at a time when you are making coffee for the whole camp site. The Chemex is slightly more technical than the French Press, however it is one of my favorite methods for brewing coffee.

  1. Place a cone-shaped paper filter in the top of the Chemex. Make three folds on one side of the filter and one fold on the opposite side to create a cone shape. Arrange the three fold side toward the front spout and one fold toward the back.
  2. Dampen the filter with warm water to preheat the brewer and rinse out the filter, pour the water out of the spout to discard.
  3. Use two tablespoons of medium-course ground coffee per cup. Place coffee into the deepest part of the filter.
  4. Heat your water to about 200 degrees or just before boiling. Pour enough water to wet all of the grounds and let sit for 30 seconds to allow the coffee to bloom.
  5. Pour your hot water in an even circular motion leaving about ¼-inch of room at the top of the brewer. Once the water filters through the coffee, repeat this step with a second pour to complete the brew.
  6. Remove filter once all the water has brewed through and discard into compost. Pour and enjoy!


The Aeropress is perfect for brewing single cups of coffee relatively quickly, and it’s small so it is a convenient space saver, especially if you’re backpacking to a campsite. It is also great when people are rolling out of their tents at varying times.

  1. Place a filter in the cap and fit the cap onto the chamber. Set the chamber onto a steady mug and put one scoop of finely ground coffee into the chamber. Give it a little shake to level out the coffee.
  2. Pour 200 degree, or just before boiling, water into the chamber up to the number 2.
  3. Stir the coffee for 10 seconds. Insert plunger at an angle and pull up slightly to create a seal. Press down gently for 20 to 60 seconds until you hear the hiss of the escaping air.
  4. Remove the chamber from your cup and add 6 ounces of water for one cup of coffee.

You can adjust the amount of water based on your preference; the less you use the stronger the coffee will be. To clean, remove the cap and push over the grounds. The coffee puck will pop right off, ready for compost! Rinse with water.

The History of Cold Brew Coffee

The history of summer’s favorite drink.

With summer in full swing, many coffee drinkers turn to cold brew coffee to get their morning fix. Delicious, thirst-quenching, and packed with caffeine, cold brew coffee is more popular than ever. But how did this powerful drink come to be? The answer is more complex than you might expect.

Coffee–Kyoto Style

The Japanese have been cold-brewing their coffee since the 1600s. Some people believe that the practice was passed on to the Japanese by Dutch traders who cold brewed their coffee to store on their ships. It was an easy way to keep large quantities to reheat later.

Whatever way the Japanese first discovered the cold brew method, it became immensely popular. The Kyoto style of cold brew may have changed over the years, but the current method is beautiful to watch. Water is dispensed, one drop at a time, through the coffee grounds and into a lower collection chamber. This brewing style creates coffee that is very aromatic with a light body, which is especially nice on a hot day.

Toddy—It’s All in the Name

Have you ever wondered why some people called their cold brew “toddy?” I did too.

In 1964, Todd Simpson, a chemical engineering student from Cornell, was introduced to a Peruvian-style of coffee extraction. It wasn’t long before inspiration struck. Simpson created and patented The Toddy. The system was first created with the same goal as the Dutch, to cold-brew coffee which would then be heated up before consumption. This would reduce the coffee’s acidity. Sensitive stomachs around the world rejoiced!

It wasn’t long before Simpson’s discovery was being used to create both hot and cold brewed coffee. Thus the modern era of cold brew coffee was born.


The history of cold brew coffee is a circuitous journey filled with lots of re-discovery. As far as I can tell, different groups of people created this delicious beverage at different times, each thinking that they had been the first to discover it.

For example, a section in Scientific American reported the cold brew concept as early as 1847. They called it “essence of coffee” and deemed it “genuine stuff.” It seems that it was even bottled and available for purchase.

All of these stories of re-discovery have lead me to one conclusion: cold brew is a globally loved beverage. No matter what the reason, as a society, we will never be without our cold brewed coffee.

Cold Brew—What Top Pot Makes Today
Top Pot’s practice for making cold brewed coffee is called the immersion method. We combine coarse ground Guatemalan coffee and water, carefully monitoring the PH levels while steeping the mixture in a refrigerated environment at a consistent temperature for 24 hours.

It takes trial and error to find the perfect water-to-coffee ratio. Most experts say to start with 3/4 cup coffee beans for every 4 cups of water.

This process may seem time consuming, but it’s a small price to pay to create the delicious coffee you’ve come to consider your go-to summer drink.

When did you first discover cold brew coffee? What’s your favorite way to get your summer coffee fix? Let us know in the comments below.

We love making cold brew coffee, and we want to share that love with you. Make sure to check back in on the blog for details on an exciting cold brew happy hour coming soon to all cafes!

Customer Spotlights on the Top Pot Blog

Want to be featured on our blog and win an awesome prize?

At Top Pot, we love our customers. In fact, we like to think of every person who comes through our doors as not just a customer, but as part of our community. We love getting to know more about the people we serve. In that spirit, we’d like to extend that invitation to our blog.

Would you like to be featured in a customer spotlight? Submit your answers to these questions on our contact page for the chance to be featured on our blog and win an awesome prize. We will randomly draw three participants to win a $20 Top Pot gift card!

What’s your name?

How long have you been coming to Top Pot?

What is your drink of choice?

What is your favorite Top Pot treat?

If you could create the next Top Pot doughnut, what flavor would it be?

If I were a doughnut  I’d be . . .

What about the Top Pot experience has kept you as a customer?

We can’t wait to learn more about you. Thanks for being a part of the Top Pot community!

Top 5 Iced Drinks to Beat the Heat

Here are our picks for the top 5 iced drinks to keep you cool this summer.

The days are long, the sun is out, and everyone is looking for a way to beat the heat. It must be mid-summer. One sure-fire way to cool down on a hot day is with a delicious iced beverage. Here are our picks for the top 5 iced drinks to keep you cool this summer.

Italian Soda

Made with soda water, flavored syrup, and the optional cream and whipped cream, Italian sodas are more than just a good way to stay cool. These delicious handmade sodas are a work of art. The swirls of brightly colored flavor mixed with crystal clear soda water and fluffy white cream bring to mind something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Whether you’re in the mood for the sweet-but-tart zing of raspberry, or more of a creamy vanilla vibe, Italian sodas will always be a great choice.

Iced Ovaline Latte

The Ovaltine latte is a Top Pot specialty. We’ve been mixing up a combination of espresso and milk combined with Ovaltine’s delicious chocolate malt powder for years. Although it’s a regular drink for many of our customers, it’s sometimes over-looked as an iced drink.

Pro tip: Try it blended for an even cooler drink!


Ah, the sproda. This popular drink can raise a few eyebrows due to its interesting name. Part espresso, part soda, the sproda is a carbonated beverage with espresso. It follows the same basic principles as an Italian soda. Carbonated water and espresso are a must, but flavored syrup, cream, and whipped cream are definitely suggested. As one customer said to me after his first taste of the sproda, “that is weird and amazing.”


It goes without saying that smoothies are always a great choice for summer. With endless flavor combinations and a base of healthy fruits and vegetables, what’s not to love? Any flavors can work well for a tasty smoothie, but you can really add bang for your buck by adding ground flax seeds, avocado, or even coconut oil to your drink. These additional ingredients will keep you feeling full even longer.

Cold Brew

When it comes to the perfect iced drink, nothing hits the spot quite like cold brewed coffee. Brewed in cold water for 12 hours, this thirst-quenching drink is packed with caffeine and will get your day started off on the right foot.

Pro tip: If you have a sweet tooth, add a little condensed milk to your cold brew to liven things up!

What’s your favorite iced drink for a summer day? Is there something we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Spotlight: 5th Avenue Cafe

5th Avenue: our flagship cafe.

Top Pot’s second café is located on 5th Avenue in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. This densely populated urban area is filled with old-school charm. Brick buildings line the street, while the sleek, silver monorail, built for the 1962 World’s Fair, glides overhead. Just a few blocks from the Space Needle, the 5th Avenue café is a place where famous guests, excited tourists, and neighborhood regulars come to mingle.

Beautiful two-story greenhouse windows allow passersby to observe the old-school interior, complete with Top Pot’s signature bookshelves, a 1960s-style television, and a balcony seating area. It’s a beautiful, large café and it’s a staple of Seattle’s downtown.

The roastery for all 20 Top Pot locations is housed at this location. This is where all of our coffee beans and cold brew coffee is produced. It’s amazing how much hard work and dedication the men and women of the roastery have put into their work. Whether you’re sipping a latte on top of Queen Anne hill in one of our first locations, or grabbing a quick drip coffee at our newest café, Sky House in Dallas, you’re tasting the same great quality coffee.

Tourist Hot Spot

The 5th Avenue location is conveniently close to many of Seattle’s great tourist destinations. After enjoying our doughnuts and coffee, visitors can take the 10-minute walk to the Seattle Center. There they can take a trip to the top of the Space Needle, visit the International Fountain, or spend an afternoon in the EMP/SFM, otherwise known as the “Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum.”

This nonprofit museum features exhibits focused on pop culture and music both nationally and internationally. Their most recent exhibits have included a Star Trek retrospective, an in-depth Hello Kitty display, and, of course, several rooms devoted to our hometown hero, Jimi Hendrix.

If you choose to set your feet walking south, you’ll arrive at Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. Yup, that’s the place where they throw the fish. There is also fresh food from over 85 local farmers as well as various artistic wares from the 225 local artists that can be found along the market’s 9 acres.

Local Favorite/Famous Hang Out

But it’s not just tourists who love our Belltown store. It’s also a neighborhood place. With its extensive seating and retro vibe, it’s a great place to meet with a friend or five. Knitting clubs, tech workers check-ins, and senior meet-ups all take place on a weekly basis. Not to mention, it’s a great place to take the family on a Sunday morning.

Even the famous crowd gets in on the action. Over the years Top Pot 5th Avenue has been visited by many familiar faces: Conan O’Brien, Joel McHale, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and Philip Seymour Hoffman have all come to visit. But nothing quite beat then time when this guy showed up.

President Obama Top Pot Doughnuts
President Barack Obama at Top Pot 5th Avenue

That’s right, we were lucky enough to be visited by President Barack Obama. It was an incredible experience (yeah, that’s me hiding back there on the left). He greeted everyone, shook our hands and generally made us all smile. And yes, he tried a doughnut (it was the glazed pumpkin old-fashioned) and pronounced it “addictive.”

The Inside Scoop

It’s not only our customers who love the 5th Avenue location. We’re also big fans of it as well. Founder, Mark Klebeck was one of the main forces behind the build and design of the café.

When I asked him what was his favorite part of the creation and build of the 5th Avenue location, he had this to say:

“The downtown 5th avenue café is unique in that it was built slowly and carefully thought out in design. The entire space is covered in birch wood, terrazzo and was designed to match the late 1940’s structure. It is special for me because my wife and I got married inside on the stairs two weeks before it opened to the public.

“My favorite thing about the build out was working side-by-side with my brother Michael from start to finish. We took our time and carefully incorporated design as we went along.”

Our flagship store is a hustling, bustling place filled with excited customers, delicious doughnuts, and robust coffee. The line can get a little crazy from time to time, but there’s no denying it’s a lot of fun. In fact, this quote from Clara, a 5th Avenue staff member, pretty much sums it up:

“It’s a fast-paced environment that can go from zero to jam packed in seconds. Most days there are customers waiting before we even open the door. It can be hard work, but when you get into the rhythm it transforms into a doughnut-slinging dance party.”

Have you visited our flagship location? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Reasons to Bring Your Work to a Coffee Shop

“I usually bring what I’m working on to coffee shops because, with as many puns as you can imagine are intended, it helps the bundle of ideas in my head percolate and drip by drip their way to life.” –– Tom Robbins

This post was written by Josh Zinn.

J.K. Rowling does it. So did Gertrude Stein, Franz Kafka, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Heck, even unabashed tea-drinkers like Stephen King have, most certainly, done it from time to time. All across the world, in fact, people are doing it right now and, in all probability, you have too. Whether it’s the next Great American Novel being wrought out or a clever spin on tomorrow’s investment report, there’s no denying coffee shops have long served as a prime location for folks to get their creative juices flowing and hungers––not to mention caffeine fixes––satiated.

Why is this? What is it about the environment of our neighborhood coffee purveyors that directs our minds to a level of productivity which our offices and cubicles cannot? Is there something in the water? Perhaps in the doughnuts and assorted pastries we nibble on? Or is it simply a combination of comfort, familiarity, and delight that can only come from a place many consider to be their home away from home?

In addition to whichever reasons works for you, here are five more reasons coffee shops are fantastic places to bring work to and to get work done.

  1. Community: Coffee shops have become the modern-day town meeting hall. Where else can you count on seeing friends and neighbors on a daily basis, taking a break from their busy lives? Maybe you’re working on your thesis and need a little bit of friendly inspiration and encouragement to finish those last few pages? Maybe you’re in need of a babysitter so you can go out and celebrate having finally finished those last few pages? Chances are you’ll be able to find both––and a little friendly gossip––at the coffee shop.
  1. Caffeine: Yeah, it’s a need. Don’t deny it and don’t deny your overworked brain the pleasure (and relief) it provides too. When the day is looking dark, you need to wake up, and even your yawns are yawning, that triple-Americano you just ordered will work better than any buzzing alarm clock––just try not to hit its snooze button.
  1. Fewer Distractions: Sure, your neighbors are here, and you’re getting the 411 on what’s happening in the community garden, but chances are your boss or professor isn’t and that can often make a HUGE difference when you need to finish something without someone gawking over your shoulder. Bringing your work to the coffee shop still shows you’re getting out of bed and getting things done, but, gosh darn it, you’re doing it on your terms and with a coffee by your side.
  1. Ambiance: There’s something to be said for the sound of coffee grinding and the hiss of milk steaming. Take a hint from Goldilocks: When the din of TV or radio is too much to bear and the sound of silence is something best left to Simon and Garfunkel, the lulling, dulcimer tones of the coffee shop can provide just the right amount of background noise to get your mind a’movin’.
  1. Delicious Food: Let’s face it, sometimes we all need a treat––especially when we’re knee-deep in a project and have no clue where to go or what to say next. Though by no means a scientific study, I’d wager to say there’s a direct correlation between the smile that comes from that first bite of an old-fashioned doughnut and the congratulations you receive at the office for a job well done. Coffee shops stock themselves with all the tasty things we aren’t likely to find in the break room and you, me, and we are all the better for it.

Needless to say, there are a myriad of reasons why coffee shops have long been trusted with not only our bellies, but our brains too. Did you recognize some of your own here? If not, what are some of your favorite reasons for working on stuff in a coffee shop?

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I have an essay to write and a cappuccino to sip.

How to Host a Top Pot-Inspired 4th of July Party

It’s almost time for the big midsummer celebration. That’s right, can you believe it’s the 4th of July already? The 4th has always been one of my favorite holidays; the weather is warm, the days are long, and there is a feeling of celebration in the air.

Here are some Top Pot inspired ways to spice up your Independence Day. Almost all of these items are available at our cafes, but all can be replicated at home! Feel free to drop by the stores for the supplies you need, or try your hand at them in your own backyard.

Raspberry, White, and Blue

There’s nothing like a refreshing Italian soda on a warm summer day. These thirst-quenchers can easily be made into a perfect celebratory drink. Use raspberry, vanilla, and blackberry syrups in soda water to create a patriotic treat. Or, layer these flavors to create a flag in each cup. Start by pouring the raspberry syrup, then slowly pour blackberry syrup on top. Vanilla can be added after that, or can be substituted with a little splash of half and half.

As American As Apple Fritters

Top Pot Doughnuts Blueberry Fritter

Blueberry fritters are one of Top Pot’s featured summer doughnuts, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Serve a mix of our apple and blueberry fritters as a sweet appetizer or as a pairing with your after-dinner coffee.

Espresso Topped Ice Cream

There are lots of amazing recipes out there for espresso ice cream toppings (I have a whole list I want to try). The easiest way is to melt one tablespoon of espresso powder in four tablespoons of hot water. Once dissolved, pour over vanilla ice cream and serve.

If you really want to liven things up, add one tablespoon of Ovaltine powder to the espresso powder before melting. This will transform your plain old vanilla ice cream into a dessert version of Top Pot’s classic ovaltine latte.

Cold Brews for a Hot Day

Cold Brew Coffee Top Pot Doughnuts

Spending a day out in the sun can be exhausting. Serving a cold brewed coffee is a great way to jump start your second wind. Cold brew is made by steeping coarse-ground coffee beans in water for an extended period of time–usually 12 hours or more! Serve this super caffeinated drink as the sun sets and the fireworks begin.

Doughnut Dessert

patriotic sprinkled doughnuts

No 4th of July party would be complete without dessert. This year, why not mix up the traditional dessert offerings and create a doughnut cake by stacking Top Pot’s vanilla cake doughnuts on your serving tray. These doughnuts have a patriotic theme and require less clean up than sheet cakes or pies.

What are some of your favorite Independence Day foods? Let us know in the comments below.

Spotlight: Capitol Hill Cafe

A closer look at the location that started it all.

Located on Summit Avenue in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Top Pot’s inaugural cafe is still as popular as it was when it first opened its doors in 2002.

I remember my first visit to this location, which was years before I eventually joined the Top Pot team. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves covered the walls, good music floated through the sweet smelling air, while crisp fall sunlight shone in the store front windows. Although I had never been there before, I felt right at home.

Mark and Mike Klebeck had no idea what was in store when they decided to open a doughnut and coffee shop on Capitol Hill. In fact, even the name “Top Pot” was a happy accident.

From the Top Pot cookbook, Hand-Forged Doughnuts:

“In 1996, a few years after we’d opened a coffee shop called Zeitgeist in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, we found a giant neon sign from a defunct Chinese restaurant that read “TOPSPOT.” We bought it for $400 and stored it in our mother’s backyard in North Seattle for five years, where is slowly began succumbing to rust and raccoons.

“Then we hit upon the idea of opening a doughnut shop, making them by hand rather than depending on the machines the large, increasingly popular doughnut shops were using. Following the same design philosophy we captured at Zeitgeist, and before that at another coffee shop called Bauhaus, we decided to name our new place Top Spot and to front it with the rickety old neon sign. Before becoming coffee entrepreneurs, we had been general contractors, and between us, we had years of experience in remodeling, building cabinetry, and designing restaurant spaces. So we built out the cafe ourselves, pouring the terrazzo floors and building the bookcases–now a signature trimming at Top Pot’s cafes–one shelf at a time. But the day we drove the sign down Interstate 5 in Michael’s 1966 Ford F-100, there was a rattle and a loud clink as the “S” fell off the rusty old sign–and Top Pot Doughnuts was born.” — Mark Klebeck and Michael Klebeck with Jess Thomson, Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker (Chronicle Books, 2011)

From those first fateful days, Top Pot Summit took off and became a staple of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. I’ve had the opportunity to work at that location and there really is something indefinably special about it. Customers can spend hours in the lobby working on their computers and sipping lattes without being disturbed, thanks to the positive and laid back vibe.

And yet, there is a thriving community woven into the fabric of the store. Customers fall into easy conversation with each other and the staff. It truly is a place where “everybody knows your name.”

No cafe would be complete without a nod to the staff. They are the ones that not only keep the  cafe ticking, but they are also responsible for the tone of the store. Some of the Summit staff have been working for Top Pot (and working at the Summit location) for ten years. The store is like a second home for them and their investment shows.

I asked Julie, a long-time staff member at the store, why she loves her place of work. I think her answers sums it up nicely:

” It’s cozy, a little retro, and funky.  From an aesthetic standpoint,  its got an old-school coffee shop vibe, and newcomers always comment on it.  But the real reason its so great, is that the customers are neighborhood people who we have had the opportunity to get to know over many years.  We appreciate the familiarity and all the fun conversation we get to have every day.  And they seem to love us and genuinely appreciate the service we give them!”

Have you visited our first location? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.

Father’s Day Special at Top Pot

Father’s Day is coming up and we want to honor all you dads out there with a Father’s Day gift card special.

Starting Monday, June 13, a $10 gift card can be purchased for only $5. Take dad out for his favorite doughnut and coffee and still have enough to get something for yourself. It’s our way of saying thank you for making your family part of Top Pot’s family.

This offer will run through Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19, and is available at all locations.

In the spirit of the holiday, I asked some of our younger patrons to tell me what they thought was their father’s favorite doughnut. Here are some of the answers:

“…I’m not sure what would be my dad’s favorite doughnut. I’m probably pretty sure he likes them all.” – Daniel, age 6

“Umm…I don’t know. I only know the ones that I like.” – Olivia, age 10

“My dad doesn’t eat doughnuts, he just drinks the… [whispers to dad] …the expresso” – Matt, age 8

“I eat the top and my dad eats the rest.” – Jackson, age 5

“If I had to guess, I’d say my dad is a cinnamon sugar old fashioned.” Katelyn, age 16

“Glazed because he’s big like the glazed doughnut.” Madison, age 8

Happy Father’s Day from all of us at Top Pot Doughnuts!

Recipe: Lemon Old Fashioned Croutons

Delicious croutons made with Top Pot’s Lemon Glazed Old Fashioned Doughnuts.

There’s no doubt about it, Top Pot has creative customers. We love seeing our products transformed from their delicious beginnings into something new and amazing. Lorien, a Top Pot regular and incredible cook, has generously shared with us her crouton recipe, featuring Top Pot doughnuts.

Lorien’s Lemon Glazed Old Fashioned Croutons

Prep: 10 m  Cook: 15 m  Yield: 5 servings

2-3 Top Pot Lemon Glazed Old Fashioned doughnuts
1/2 teaspoon butter, melted
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon tarragon

  1. Cut the lemon glazed old fashioned doughnuts into small, crouton-sized pieces. Let sit overnight to allow the doughnuts to harden. Or, bake at 200 degrees for ten minutes.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat. Once the butter is melted, add chopped garlic and cook until soft, about two minutes.
  3. Add tarragon and doughnuts to the skillet. Stir frequently over low heat until the doughnuts are coated with garlic butter, about three minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Have you used our doughnuts to make new and exciting treats? We’d love to share your creations on our blog. Post your recipes in the comments below!

Show this blog post to your barista at any Top Pot location and receive a free doughnut of your choice! It’s just our way of saying “thanks for reading.” This offer is good through June 12, 2016.


Top Pot Doughnut Eating Contest!

How many doughnuts can you eat in 5 minutes? Our last doughnut eating contest was in 2008 so we’re bringing it back! 

Join us this Friday June 3rd at our downtown flagship cafe for this fun-filled event. Hosted by Nancy Guppy and music by @recess_monkey ! 

Win a dozen doughnuts a month for a year! To enter, sign up from 12 noon until 3:00 pm Friday June 3rd at the 5th ave cafe. Six participants will be selected to compete!

National Doughnut Day–An Unexpected History

National Doughnut Day? What will they think up next? But there is more to the story than you might expect.

On the first Friday in June, America celebrates National Doughnut Day. I know what you’re thinking: “National Doughnut Day? What will they think up next?” But there’s more to the story than just a quirky reason to indulge in a sweet treat.

The calendar is full of strange holidays commemorating everything from cheesecake to teddy bears. Each holiday has its own quirky history and devoted followers. Top Pot loves National Doughnut Day, but we love it for more than the obvious reasons. The story of the creation of NDD is more complicated than you might expect. It’s a story about caring for others and being brave in the face of danger. Didn’t expect that from a doughnut holiday, did you?

WWI and the “Doughnut Dollies”

In 1917, not too long after America entered WWI, The Salvation Army sent volunteers to France. The idea was to set up huts where the soldiers could receive baked goods, write letters back home, and have their clothes mended.

It wasn’t long before two of the volunteers had the idea to serve doughnuts. The life of a soldier was hard, and doughnuts were the perfect treat to brighten their spirits. The doughnuts were an instant hit, with one of the volunteers reporting that she made 300 doughnuts and 700 cups of coffee in one day!

Due to the doughnut’s instant success with the service men, the women became known as the “Doughnut Dollies.” Although the nickname was cute, no one forgot the immense service these men and women were contributing to the fight for freedom.

National Doughnut Day is Born

National Doughnut Day was born out of the struggles of the Great Depression. In 1938, the Salvation Army created the holiday as a way of fundraising for those in need. It also served the dual purpose of commemorating the men and women who had fought in WWI.

The tradition continued throughout the years. The Red Cross took over the Dollies’ work during WWII and the Vietnam War, raising spirits wherever they went.

Top Pot and Northwest Harvest

Top Pot is proud to contribute to the history of NDD. Each year, we partner with Northwest Harvest, a local nonprofit, to collect donations for those in need in our community. Each cafe will be collecting non-perishable food items to support Northwest Harvest’s mission to eliminate hunger.

“Northwest Harvest is Washington’s own statewide hunger relief agency. Our mission is to provide nutritious food to hungry people statewide in a manner that respects their dignity, while fighting to eliminate hunger. Our vision is that ample nutritious food is available to everyone in Washington.”

But that’s not all! In addition to food collections, we host a raffle with the chance to win some awesome prizes. A single ten dollar ticket gives you the chance to win one of ten prizes.

Come by any cafe to purchase your tickets. All raffle proceeds go to Northwest Harvest, so you can win big and do good.

We would love to see you at one of our locations on NDD. It’s a very busy day for us, so if you would like a large order it’s best to call ahead! Come support a great local nonprofit and celebrate the surprising history of National Doughnut Day.

Come into any Top Pot location this Monday through Thursday and show the barista this blog post to receive a free 12 ounce drip coffee.  This offer is good through June 2, 2016.