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

Ingredients
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!