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!

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.

5 Things to Know About Top Pot Coffee

When you think of Top Pot, you probably think about hand-forged maple bars and delicious old fashioned doughnuts. What you may not know is that we’re also coffee roasters. Our passion for quality extends beyond our doughnuts and is reflected in every aspect of the roasting process.

Here are the five things to know about Top Pot coffee.

100% Arabica

There are many different varieties of coffee bean, but Top Pot’s coffee is made from 100% specialty grade Arabica coffees.

Arabicas have a wide taste range, but tend to be sweet and fruity in flavor. In comparison to Robusta (another commonly used type of coffee), these beans have almost double the concentration of sugars. They grow slowly, taking several years to mature. One tree can produce anywhere from one to twelve pounds of coffee a year.

From Latin America to Africa, our coffee is sourced from the best co-ops and estates in the world.

Small Batch Roasting

Top Pot coffee is roasted in small batches, by hand, on our traditional cast iron coffee roaster.

Small batch roasting means that we can pay attention to every detail of the roasting process. With our concentration so tightly focused, we’re able to respond to each batch’s needs and make sure every bean is the highest quality.

Over Ten Years of Hand-Roasting

Top Pot has been hand-roasting since 2002. All of our coffee is made in downtown Seattle at our 5th Avenue location.

A Wide Selection of Coffee

Top Pot is proud to offer 5 proprietary blends:

  • Diplomat (Drip)
  • El Presidente (Espresso)
  • Decaf (Drip and Espresso)
  • Federale (Drip and Espresso)
  • French Roast (Drip)

We also have a variety of single origin coffees and seasonal blends. Come by any of our cafes to check out the selection.

Our Philosophy

At Top Pot we believe that coffee should be allowed to speak for itself! That’s why we roast on the lighter side of the roast spectrum to let the subtle nuances of our coffee really come through in the cup. Most of our blends are a full city roast, which leaves the coffee at its sweetest. This allows the coffee’s distinct flavors to come through.

Stop by any Top Pot cafe and get a free 12 ounce cup of drip. Simply show the barista this blog post and bam! You’ll be caffeinated in no time. It’s just our way of saying, “Thanks for reading!” This offer is good through Sunday, May 29, 2016.

Welcome to Our Blog!

We are Top Pot Doughnuts and Coffee, an independent company located in Western Washington and Dallas, Texas.

Welcome to the Top Pot blog! We’re super excited to join the blogosphere.

If you know us, then you’re already familiar with what we do. If you’re new to the table, let’s get introduced. We are Top Pot Doughnuts and Coffee, an independent company located in Western Washington and Dallas, Texas. Our passions are quality coffee and doughnuts, and we love sharing those passions with the world.

What To Expect

From new coffee tips and tricks, to fun interviews, we’re going to cover it all. Each week, we’ll be posting new content to the blog. If that’s not enough excitement for you, hold on to your hats, there’s more!

At the end of every blog post, we’ll be sharing an exclusive, free weekly item. Just come into any of our locations and show the barista the blog post on your electronic device of choice, and you’ll receive super awesome free stuff. It’s just our way of saying thanks for reading.

“But what exactly are we reading?” We hear you ask from inside your computer. Well, let’s take a look.

Did You Know?

We’ll be diving into some little know facts and fun tidbits–answering the hard questions like, “Why are coffee beans called ‘beans’ when they’re actually seeds?” or “Who named that delicious swirl-y doughnut the pershing?”

Armed with these facts you’ll be able to head out and impress all of your friends with your coffee and doughnut knowledge.

Turn On The Spotlight

We’ll be focusing on our different cafes, their staff, and their customers. We have always been firm believers in community. That’s why each of our stores is unique to the area in which it lives. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our incredible community. We can’t wait to share their stories.

How Do I Do It?

Have you ever wondered how your barista pours that perfect rosetta every time? Curious how to make a doughnut ice cream sandwich? Well, we’ve asked ourselves the same questions and have come up with some answers. Let us share our expertise with you, so that you can have a little bit of Top Pot magic with you all the time.

To The Future

We’re so excited to be exploring this new blogging path, and we’re happy that you’ve come along for the ride. We’ve got a lot we’re excited to share, but we want to make sure that it’s what you want to read. So let us know! Post a comment, send an email, or drop by a cafe and tell us what you’d like to see. So until next week, cheers! Continue reading “Welcome to Our Blog!”