Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Harvest in Honduras

| January 20, 2012

Last week, Caffe Vita travelled through Honduras in the midst of what is set to be their largest harvest on record. Our time was focused in the western departments of Copan, Ocotepeque, and Lempira, and as we met with producers, cupped coffees, visited co-ops, and spoke with farmers, we gained a greater understanding and appreciation of how excellent Honduran coffee can be.
Historically, Honduran coffees have been sold as a cheap alternative to the more established coffees of its neighbors, Guatemala and El Salvador. In fact, coffees from Honduras were sometimes smuggled into Guatemala to be sold as such, or poorly handled and stored, leading to inferior cup quality and shelf life.  The truth is that Honduras possesses all of the ingredients necessary to produce some of the finest coffees in the world — lushly forested, ecologically diverse, high-altitude terrain with rich soils and tropical climate.  Some of the more progressive exporters are now taking the necessary actions to identify the best producers and handle their coffee with care every step of the way from branch to port.
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Most of the coffee in Honduras is grown on small farms, typically ranging in size from 2-15 acres, making the formation of cooperatives a necessary means to centralizing processing and providing the structure necessary to sell their coffee.  Some of these cooperatives purchase cherry from their members, while others accept both wet and dry parchment. 
We met with farmers such as Pancho Villeda of the Capucas cooperative, who is a shining example of the kind of progressive farmer that we aim to work with. In his backyard, he has built his own mini wet-mill, and he dries his coffee in a solar drier that he constructed as well.
In Mercedes, Ocotepeque, cooperative director Rosalio Ventura accepts only ripe cherry and processes the coffee entirely on the premises, which we believe will result in a very consistent and clean coffee. The harvest was just beginning during our visit, as the elevation was quite high (1400+ meters).
This trip also presented a fantastic opportunity to learn about how coffee lands can be suitable for migratory birds, as we were accompanied by Robert Rice, geographer from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.  We found the criteria necessary for their certification to be both excellent for habitat, and for quality as well.  In addition to organic practices, the farm must have diverse and varied native species for shade.  This kind of environment ensures a wealth of soil nutrition and the presence of helpful critters such as insects and birds.
Many of the coffees we cupped were impressive in their sweetness and tropical fruit flavors: mango, caramel, and lemongrass.  We are very excited to be working towards a shipment of beautiful coffees for late spring.  In the meantime you can check out some more photos from our trip here. 

Celebrate National Pie Day with Vita & Random Order

| January 17, 2012

Are you ready for National Pie Day? January 23rd is right around the corner and we’ve got plenty of events planned to prepare you for this very important pie holiday (no disrespect to Pi Day, that is). Caffe Vita PDX has teamed up with our friends at Random Order Coffee House & Bakery to bring you pie and coffee pairings leading up to the big day.

Savory samplings from Random Order.

Join us this Thursday, January 19th from 6:30PM to 8:30PM at Random Order (1800 NE Alberta) and Saturday, January 21st from 4PM to 6PM at Caffe Vita Alberta (2909 NE Alberta) to sample sweet and savory pairings and choose your favorites. All this leads up to the big day on Monday, January 23rd, when a cup of Vita Fair Trade Organic or Single Origin French press coffee and a slice of delectable Random Order pie is just six bucks at both locations.

Not to worry, you’ve got plenty of time until Pi Day rolls around. Pie to the people!

You’re Invited: A Birthday Bash For Scribes

| January 17, 2012

Join Caffe Vita, Neumos, Via Tribunali, and Seattle Boxing Studio on February 3rd to celebrate Scribes’ birthday! One of the northwest’s most notable hip hop artists, Scribes has collaborated with artists such as Stone Gossard & Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Macklemore, SOL and Zion I. His album “What Was Lost” was #23 on KEXP’s Varitety Charts in Feb 2011 and is currently #18 on the CMJ Hip Hop Charts.

Want to learn more? Watch the video below on Scribes’ music and his work with the Seattle Boxing Studio. 

For a free download of his latest album, visit www.scribesmusic.com. Come out on February 3rd and celebrate Scribes with us!

VITA RECORDS RELEASE: Fresh Espresso

| January 12, 2012

Rik Rude and P Smoov are Fresh Espresso, members of Seattle’s new rap guard who have firmly cemented their place in the local hip hop community. The two have been playing packed house after packed house since arriving on the scene in 2009. 

Here at Caffe Vita, we love Fresh Espresso, and not just in name only. That’s why Vita Records has paired with the Fresh Espresso to release their single “Show Me How You Do” as a limited-edition record postcard. The record is printed on an honest-to-goodness postcard, playable on any standard turntable.

We’ll be selling the cards in all of our Washington cafes as of tomorrow. Come listen up!

Want more Fresh Espresso? Follow them on Twitter & find them on Facebook.