Seattle’s “wild child” of coffee culture since 1995, Caffe Vita perfectly captures the spirit of the city: a blend of tradition, modernity, and edginess. Roasting on artsy Capitol Hill in a building decorated by a large colorful mural, Vita recently celebrated their 20th anniversary of serving up their brand of brew to Seattle and beyond: Vita operates a roastery/cafe in Los Angeles and one in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Talk about expanding the market!
But like all great members of the avant-garde, Vita is deeply rooted in Seattle’s coffee history. Owner Mike McConnell gives credit to Espresso Vivace’s David Schomer (famous for inventing and popularizing latte “art") for passing on his knowledge and pushing him to venture into the coffee business on his own. A true local, McConnell discovered Seattle coffee in the 80s, as a teenager, and remembers saving up his money to drink espresso as a rag-tag teen in the high-end Nordstrom coffee bar. Cool kid meets tradition-- the Vita theme— continues even up to the vintage roasters they use, carefully developing the flavor profile of their coffees. These coffees, bought direct trade whenever possible, represent Vita’s commitment to supporting local coffee agriculture and transparency of origin.
With an expansive array of roasts, Caffe Vita has something for everyone: chocolate-forward medium blends, darker espresso blends, and, every so often, sweet single origins with tasting notes like honey and orange guava. Their coffees rotate seasonally, adding lots of variety to their coffee menu: you’ll see up-and-coming growers from spots as diverse as Uganda, Peru, Mexico, Congo, alongside more traditional Brazil and Ethiopia. Let Vita’s logo, an Italian clown holding a coffee up, serve as a reminder: while Vita takes the business of coffee very seriously, you, the audience, should simply be enjoying yourself.