Since the fall of my favorite places to hang out in the Seattle area, I have been on what seemed a never ending quest to find a good place for hanging out when I feel like it. Many places had the look and feel of small town coffee shops but still felt cold for some reason, it just didn't feel like a hang out spot. There have been a few in downtown Seattle but oddly the one I will return to the most isn't in downtown Seattle ...
The Gypsy Cafe & Pub
This is one really nice little shop, in spite of my aversion to places that serve alcohol I discovered this place while walking around aimlessly with a friend. Long disturbing story so I won't explain why we wound up here. But this shop has great coffee and feels nice sitting there drinking it. The music isn't too loud, the seating is very homely and comfortable, and they even have live entertainment some nights. My friend and I will likely be there again during the entertainment just because we like local color. Also someday I would like to get another gaming group together and this would be the perfect place to run an old school AD&D campaign.
Seems there are slow periods as well, so it's not over crowded which is great. The customers span the rainbow as well, from regulars to simple town folk. The barista working when we went was friendly and helpful.
Another down to Earth coffee shop with good coffee but this one is pretty busy, sometimes there's almost no place to sit and enjoy the coffee. Also sometimes the music is too loud to really talk to someone without almost yelling, which is another drawback. Those two flaws aside it's a great place for coffee. The setting is comfortable and the coffee is good.
The locals in this area are a bit snobbish though. The baristas are also a little cold.
Online Coffee Company
When I need to go online, this is the perfect place to sit and have a cup of coffee, but the seating isn't all that great in the downtown location, unless you want to use one of their computers. It's a little cramped. The music can be obnoxious sometimes but this is very rare. The servers are awesome though, and free wifi isn't all they offer for surfing the web. The coffee tastes unique, different from most coffee brands, which is a bonus when you are sick of the Starbuck's and their copy cats.
The biggest problem is the customers attracted to this shop in downtown Seattle, thy are often in contrast with the baristas, which I have mentioned are awesome. Typically it's the snobby upper class or the wannabe tech geeks that wind up frequenting this shop, though the occasional homeless person makes good company most of the customers are so stuck in themselves you feel like an outcast if you are at all unique.