Do the Brew: New Bellevue store teaches gourmet coffee making at home

A new store has opened in downtown Bellevue that allows customers to browse and learn about a variety of affordable to high-end coffee and espresso machines.

Seattle Coffee Gear employee Dori Lowman brews a shot of espresso inside the recently-opened downtown Bellevue store.

Seattle Coffee Gear is blending in downtown Bellevue nicely, says owner Victor Gehlen, with an array of machinery available to home brewers looking to perk up their morning ritual.

A Montana native, Gehlen moved to Lynwood 12 years ago where he opened his first Seattle Coffee Gear store in 2007.”We had really bad coffee in Montana,” he said. “I didn’t even realize there was better coffee out there until I visited Seattle.”

Gehlen said the idea of offering a place where people can see and learn about the types of coffee and espresso machines on the market came after he purchased one online, the website offering little he could glean about its quality.Seattle Coffee Gear, which opened its Bellevue store Sept. 14, allows customers to peruse a variety of models and takes some of the anxiety out of brewing through the assistance of its staff, who undergo several weeks of training. They will even demonstrate by brewing a shot of espresso for customers needing to stay alert.

Manager Chris Galbreath said Seattle Coffee Gear doesn’t look for baristas to staff its stores, and not all of the more than 50 employees across both locations even drink coffee.

“I think we have a lot of home brewers that would approach this the same way our customers would,” he said.

Seattle Coffee Gear also does a lot of business online, Gehlen said, adding his website offers detailed information about the products he sells. He said store employees will also help out those with machines at home who need assistance and will fix up damaged products.

“We also do a lot of free repairs,” Gehlen said, “whether you bought it from us or not.”

The opening of the Bellevue store is one of 28 Seattle Coffee Gears planned to be opened with a Seattle location expected to open in February. Gehlen said he named his stores because of the strong correlation between Seattle and Coffee.”

Lynwood Coffee Gear didn’t really fit well,” he said. “The word, Seattle, has really helped us grow elsewhere outside of Seattle. Everybody thinks of Seattle and coffee together.”

The Bellevue store is doing better than expected, Gehlen said of his niche business. He added employees don’t work on commission, so customers aren’t pressured into buying more than they need.”We want to sort of help customers on their journey for what they want,” he said.

Denise Nelson of Tenino and her husband, Jeff, were in Bellevue on Monday running several errands, and stopped in after seeing the store’s website.”They have a really cool website with video presentations,” she said. “Super people – absolutely super people. No pressure, just willing to help.”

Galbreath showed the Nelsons several models in their price range, rang them up in under 15 minutes and carried their purchase to their car.”

I’m excited to head home and start some coffee tonight,” Nelson said.

Seattle Coffee Gear is located at 10692 NE Eighth St., and open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday. The store can be reached at (425) 451-7292.

More in Business

Courtesy photo
                                Mercer Island financial adviser Bob Toomey recently summited Mount Shasta in California.
Financial success and mountaineering | Financial advice

The steps to achieving financial success mirror mountain climbing.

Senior city staff at Bellevue teach the Bellevue Essentials courses each year, passing on years of knowledge to up-and-coming community leaders. city of Bellevue/courtesy photo
Bellevue opened applications for seventh annual Essentials course

The course is a civic engagement program that takes place over nine weeks starting in September.

Eastside business booms with summer options

Locals can visit numerous new developments this summer, all within Eastside communities.

Molly Moon’s will soon open a walk-up shop in downtown Bellevue. Courtesy of Molly Moon’s
Molly Moon’s to offer walk-up shop in Bellevue

The homemade ice cream company is expanding on the Eastside to downtown Bellevue.

Rates and inventory bring opportunities for buyers

A real estate snapshot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

Bellevue Chamber of Commerce / courtesy photo
                                (From left) store lead David Heimann, Bellevue store manager Brody Rodgers and store lead Kirby Fralick. celebrate at the Bellevue Tempur-Pedic flagship retail store ribbon cutting on March 7.
Tempur-Pedic opens a flagship location in Bellevue

The store is the company’s 42nd location in the United States.

Bellevue Chamber launched environmental partnership

The partnership with Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust gives locals access to volunteer events.

‘Busy’ housing market enters pre-summer phase

A monthly real estate snapshot from John L. Scott Real Estate.

Samena Swim & Recreation Club now hosts two human-powered treadmills that will allow members to participate in a global Earth Day contest to see who can generate the most power in five minutes. Samena Swim & Recreation Club / courtesy photo
Local recreation club harnessed human power

Samena Swim & Recreation Club recently installed human-powered treadmills to celebrate Earth Day.

Amazon currently leases three buildings in Bellevue and plans to move its entire Seattle-based worldwide operations team to the city by 2023. Bellevue will also see transportation improvements in 2023 as Sound Transit constructs the East Link extension. Kailan Manandic / staff photo
Amazon confirms move to Bellevue

The company’s worldwide operations team will make the move by 2023.

(Left to right) Josh Marti, co-founder and chairman of Point Inside; Jimmy Ng, vice president and senior business banking relationship manager of KeyBank; Zara Huang, Global Public Relations manager for Dragonchain; managing partner, Doug Bixel with FSorb; Shiraz Cupala, vice president of UX and Incubation at OfferUp; Theresa Larsen, investor relations officer for Jubilee REACH; Lindsey Hoffman, director of Business and Finance at Jubilee REACH; city of Bellevue deputy mayor, Lynne Robinson; and Joe Fain, president and CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce pose for a picture after the award ceremony. Mike Nakamura / courtesy photo
Bellevue Chamber awards local businesses for excellence

The 30th annual Eastside Business Awards recognized small business, non-profits and innovation.

Nintex acquires EnableSoft in company acquisition

Bellevue-based company is a world leader in workflow automation industry.