Monthly Archives: January 2011

Public Brewing School: New Dates in Feb, New Portland Class!

| January 31, 2011
Simple and elegant…Chemex with Kone.

Caffé Vita’s Public Brewing School returns in February at the usual location at our Capitol Hill roasterie on the 19th. Also, we are excited to announce that PBS will make its debut at our recently opened Portland location on NE Alberta Street on February 26th.

PBS is a free, 2-hour class focusing on home brewing techniques. We cover basic techniques like French Press, more advanced methods like brewing with a vacuum pot, and everything in between. Classes always begin at 10am and run approximately two hours. Space is limited, so please RSVP if you’d like to attend.

Seattle – Capitol Hill (1005 East Pike Street)
– February 19th, 10am.
– Please contact if you would like to attend.

Portland – NE Alberta (2909 NE Alberta Street)
– February 26th, 10am.
– Please contact if you would like to attend.

Free Coffee Fridays in PDX…

| January 28, 2011

No hoops and no strings. Just show up at our Portland location on Friday (now through 2/25) between 10am and 2pm and we’ll serve you up whatever your heart desires (espresso, latte, french press, etc). Then come back the next week and we’ll do it again. How’s that for keeping the dream alive?

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New Crop Arrival: Organic Sumatra Gayo River

| January 19, 2011

Ah, the smell of a just-opened container after its month long journey from Medan to Seattle;  the dense sweet hay-like aroma of green coffee escapes, vibrant and fresh.  It has been a difficult season for the farmers and producers of northern Sumatra, and we feel extremely fortunate to have received this shipment.

Excessive rains have caused a number of problems for the farmers, with their trees struggling to produce as they once did.  Cycles of flowering and fruit development have been disrupted, and yields are down.  To make matters worse, much of the coffee being harvested is falling prey to the mildew and bacteria which thrive in the moist conditions. 

Needless to say, there are many frustrated parties involved in this situation, from growers who are missing out on an opportunity to cash in at the high market, to buyers who are simply unable to find quality organic Sumatra to roast.  Fortunately, we work with an excellent, consistent producer, Irham, and a tireless and inspiring facilitator, Syafrudin, who have once again delivered a coffee of exceptional quality despite all the challenges.  Thank you gentlemen, we are grateful for your hard work.
In the cup, it is everything we love about Sumatra, opening with dark chocolate and blackberry jam, accentuated by tobacco and pine.  The mouth feel is syrupy and sweet, with a hint of grapefruit zest acidity. The finish hints at black pepper and clove; with lingering warmth and a touch of spice.  The perfect coffee for a dreary winter day !

New Addition in our Roasterie…

| January 18, 2011

Last week Caffé Vita fired up a new page in our long and storied history by firing up our new (to us) vintage 60-kilo Probat roaster. For the first time in 14 years, our trusty 45-kilo 1930s Probat roaster is sitting dormant, but not for long. The old girl will get a complete overhaul as we get used to the logistics of roasting on a larger volume machine. The 60 gives us the new option of roasting an entire bag of coffee beans, which wouldn’t quite fit into the 45 before.

Obviously, our vintage Probat roasters offer a nice aesthetic touch to our roasterie, but more so we seek them out for the level of precision they lend our talented roasting team in terms of controlling temperatures throughout the roasting cycle. Furthermore, the pretty vintage shell of a Probat roaster is nothing without the accompanying vintage cast iron drum it holds within. If you think of a cast iron pan getting better with time and use as it’s “seasoned,” then you can understand why we seek out older machines.

If you’re in the Capitol Hill area, please feel free to stop by our cafe and pop your head into the roasterie for a quick look.