Monthly Archives: May 2011

New Arrival: Tanzania Mshikamano

| May 27, 2011
Checking the fermentation.

Mshikamano is a farming collective in Bara Village, located in the mountainous Mbozi district near Tanzania’s border with Zambia. The term mshikamano is a Swahili word meaning “unity” or “cohesion.” The group was founded with the goal of uniting farmers in the community for the purposes of sharing resources, such as powered processing center. Improved processing and a reputation for quality has allowed these farmers to fetch a higher price for their coffee and establish a more direct link with the market.

The members of the Mshikamano community are responsible for selectively hand-picking cherries and delivering them to the washing station. The coffee is pulped and then fermented in tanks such as the one pictured above. Fermentation is followed by sun-drying on African raised beds. The dried parchment is then milled and prepared for export at the Mbozi Coffee Curing Company.

The cup is sweet and juicy with aromas of plum, nectarine, and cocoa. Tangerine acidity and a honeyed body harmonize while flavors of peach and vanilla lead to a buttery maple syrup finish.

Available online and at our retail locations.

Public Brewing School in Session on May 28 and June 18

| May 23, 2011

Public Brewing School is our complimentary class that delves into the world of understanding and brewing better coffee at home. Public Brewing School is focused on manual brewing methods, but is also an open forum to talk all things coffee. Set aside your automatic drip machine and learn about the joys and benefits of using superior brewing methods like French Press, Chemex, Vacuum Pot, Bialetti, Pour Over and more.

The next PBS sessions will be held at the Capitol Hill Caffe Vita on the following dates:

Saturday, May 28. 10am – 12pm. This class is filling up fast!

Saturday, June 18. 10am – 12pm.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to or call 206-709-4440 x177.

| May 23, 2011
into the world of understanding and brewing better coffee at home. Public Brewing School is class focused on manual brew methods, but is also an open forum to talk all things coffee. Set aside your automatic drip machine and learn about the joys and benefits of using superior brew methods like French Press, Chemex, Vacuum Pot, Bialetti, Pour Over and more.

Dates below are held on Saturdays from 10am – noon,
April 23

May 28

June 18

If you are interested in attending please RSVP to or call 206-709-4440 x177.

Posted by Andy Kent 0 comments


Source Report: Guatemala, February 2011

Last week, I was in Guatemala visiting our friends at Finca Nuevo Vinas and also exploring the diversity of coffee within this beautiful country.  My journey began with some intensive cupping as a starting point for the direction I would take.  Guatemala is blessed with a number of distinct microclimates, soils, and varietals, all which can result in a staggering breadth of coffees.  I cupped coffees from Antigua, Huehuetenango, Atitlan, Fraijanes, Santa Rosa, Sacatepequez, Jalapa, and Acatenango, just to name a few.  Alex, my gracious and knowledgeable host, explained certain trends to notice in the cup depending on soil composition and elevation, and that some years the distinct flavors of each region are clear and pronounced, and others they are muted. 

After cupping we took a short plane ride to his farm, and it was great to be back!  I visited him a few years ago and was eager to see how his efforts in increasing biodiversity, improving compost, and increasing shade had impacted his farm.  His harvest was near its end, so the trees were at their weakest, drained from the energy they required to produce fruit.  Still, the care and health of the farm was evident in their structure: sturdy trunks, branches, and healthy leaves.  Small buds were forming on the branches, all waiting for a nice rain to spur flowering. 

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Now Roasting : Papua New Guinea

We are pleased to have, for a limited time, an exceptional coffee from the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, Kainantu district. A majority of this coffee was grown on the Agoga Plantation, with additional cherries contributed by small holders from the Onaka Grower’s Association. Ripe cherries from bourbon, mundo novo, and arusha trees are harvested and sent to the wet processing facilities on the same day. They are washed, pulped, and fully submerged in spring water for a 36-hour fermentation, after which they are washed again, and then laid to dry on raised beds.

This meticulous processing results in a clean, sophisticated cup with sparkling citrus acidity, and layers of savory fruit flavors: plum, cherry tomato, and blackcurrant. The aroma has a soft floral quality, reminiscent of chamomile; the mouthfeel is vibrant yet anchored by the syrupy caramel body, and the finish lingers of candied orange zest.

Purchase at any of our cafe locations or online here

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Grand Opening of our Greenwood Location Tomorrow, Proceeds Donated to Neighborhood…

Caffe Vita Greenwood is open! Come celebrate and support the neighborhood at our grand opening on Friday, February 18, 2011. One-hundred percent of proceeds from all purchases made Friday will be donated to the Phinney Neighborhood Association and Center. Come have a Vita coffee, meet new neighbors, and help us support your local community. Caffe Vita in Greenwood is located at 7402 Greenwood Avenue North.

Since 1980, the Phinney Neighborhood Association has been dedicated to building community through a wide variety of programs, services, and activities that connect neighbors and foster civic involvement. Their programs include a child care, a senior center, two soup kitchens, a tool lending library, an art gallery, dance classes, a neighborhood-wide garage sale…the PNA has something for everyone in the Phinney/Greenwood neighborhood.

Grand Opening Day: Friday, February 18, 2011
Hours: M-F 6am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 7am to 8pm.

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Free Coffee Friday Featured in Portland Monthly

Anybody in proximity of Portland should remember our Free Coffee Fridays at our Alberta St. location are still happening through the end of the month. Portland Monthly did a nice little write-up here.

Free Coffee Fridays – 2909 NE Alberta St 
Come in between 10am – 2pm and get a free 8oz drink of your choice. No strings attached.

Posted by Caffé Vita 0 comments


Caffé Vita included in “The 9 Best Places to Have a Cup of Coffee Around the World”

Of course, Seattle made the list that appeared in the Huffington Post last week; and we were excited, although not surprised, to see that they felt the need to call out Caffé Vita specifically. Thanks to the Huffington Post, come on down and see what the rave is all about.

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Public Brewing School featured in local vlog…

Public Brewing School is featured in the second half of the episode. Thanks to Akaash for stopping by!

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Spring Sprung! Caffe Vita at the Henry Gala

| May 21, 2011

Spring has sprung. Caffe Vita enjoyed the beautiful Seattle evening of Wednesday, May 18, 2011, at Western Bridge for Spring Sprung, the 2011 Henry Art Gallery Gala. Our baristas served espresso drinks to the partygoers, while live music, cooking-fire smells, and bouncehouse squeals achieved a lively, festive balance in the outdoor party space. It is our pleasure to participate in this annual event, which raises funds for the Henry Art Gallery and is a most spectacular soiree. We’ve put together a slideshow that we hope you will enjoy.

Have you been to the Henry lately? Plan your next visit.