Category Archives: caffe vita

10 Things You Need to Know On August 25

| August 25, 2014

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After a few Monday’s of traveling to different events, we’re finally back with our “10 Things You Need to Know” column.

And since there has been plenty going on, we’re sure you’ll find this useful as you try to get through yet another sunny, summer Monday.

From more events coming up to fantasy football glitches, here are the 10 things that you need to know today.

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10. A few of us had the chance to travel to Los Angeles last weekend for the A Walk on Water surf therapy, which helps special needs children use surfing as a therapeutic exercise.

The smiles on the kids’ faces were enormous and nonstop the entire event.

9. If you didn’t already hear the news or see the bags in our cafes, Vita released a new, single origin roast called Mexico Sierra Sur De Oaxaca a couple of weeks ago, with it available for purchase both online and in any of our cafes.

8. There wasn’t anything crazy that happened at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards—which is probably a positive thing—but Beyonce seemed to kill it with her full set of songs during her performance.

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7. Did you know Vita recently opened a pop-up shop in Bellevue at the new Rudy’s Barbershop? If not, you do now, as we just launched this past Friday, August 22, and will be serving FREE coffee from 9am-4pm each day until September 5.

6. If breakfast is what you crave, check out some of the best places in the country to fill your appetite at, courtesy of Thrillist.

5. For all the fantasy football gamers out there, last night turned out to be the worst time to have a live-draft—well, if your league is using Yahoo! as it’s platform.

That’s because the company servers crashed at the most inopportune time, causing an Internet freakout by fanatics who were choosing their teams at the time.

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4. Looking for the best records to buy before or after a flight from SEATAC airport? We stopped into the recently opened Sub Pop Records store and got some advice on which ones are the must-haves, so make these albums your next carry-on.

3. Thanks to the pop culture site Buzzfeed, anyone who goes to school in Seattle can definitely identify with some of the things that one of their writers compiled in this list.

2. During the aforementioned trip to L.A., we were fortunate enough to sit down and talk with Jeremy Adler, General Manger of Eveleigh on Sunset Boulevard.

With a menu that changes daily, Jeremy spoke to us about a number of different things that’s happening at the restaurant, including how it hopes to change the food culture in the city.

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1. After fully rebuilding our Probat GG45 Roaster a few weeks ago in Seattle, we’re in the process of building a brand new roasterie in New York’s Bushwick area, expected to be complete by the end of the year.

The Vita Escort – Cold Brew Tips From Chad Freilino

| August 22, 2014

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As the Director of Coffee for An OTG Experience—an award-winning travel restaurant company with more than 200 restaurant and retail locations in ten airports across North America—Chad Freilino knows a thing or two about what trends in the food industry.

With that wealth of knowledge comes the duty to share his craft with others, which is what Freilino is doing today, giving some tips on the wildly popular cold brew that coffee lovers are drinking all over the nation.

As a great alternative to the normal, hot cup that people drink each day, Chad talks about the differences in brew methods and the process it takes to make cold brew, and considering each Caffe Vita café has cold brew on tap, we appreciate his insight.

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Walk into any café this summer and, chances are, you will see cold brewed coffee on the menu. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of cold brew yet, it is a delectable and extremely efficient way to get your caffeine buzz on during the hot hot summer months. Cold brew isn’t a new concept, in fact Toddy (the OG company) has been around for over 50 years, so why hasn’t it caught on until now and why is it better than iced coffee?

Time. Time is the key (along with some other essentials you’ll find below) to making cold brew special. In a classic extraction, we steep our coffee in hot water (around 200 degrees F) for about 4 minutes. Heat is the catalyst that speeds up the melting of solubles, a.k.a the good stuff like caffeine that lives inside coffee beans. The longer we steep in hot water, the more we are going to get out of the coffee and at a certain point we reach the perfect steep time where flavor is optimal. The bad news is, we haven’t fully extracted the caffeine from the beans and if we go any further we will start to develop undesirable flavors (bitter, burnt, acidic). This is were cold brew coffee is unique.

With cold brew, we steep coffee in cold water. Take away the heat and we lose our catalyst in the reaction so the timeline gets much longer for brewing. About 16 hours to be precise. At the end of our overnight steep we get a sweet, syrupy coffee concentrate that has about 70% less acidity than any other brewing method out there. And the bonus, ALL of the caffeine is extracted from the beans. Yep, all of it. So, how is that sweet, delicious, super caffeinated, ready to go coffee better than traditional iced coffee? Because iced coffee is brewed hot then poured over ice. What that means is we have less caffeine (because of our short steep time), more acidity and less sweetness (because of heat) and once the ice melts we have watered down coffee to boot. If you don’t believe me, try it at one of our World Bean cafes. You won’t go back.

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Here are my recommendations for home cold brewers for all types of budgets:

For the Hipster: The Cold Bruer - $75.

Originally a kick starter project, this mod design is all about minimalism. Made of mostly glass and a little plastic (its blue!) your friends will certainly notice your passion for both design and coffee while you are hosting your next farm to table dinner at your apartment.

View the Hario Woodneck Dripper in our Online Shop.

For the caffeine-a-holic: The Toddy System – $39.50.

While this system may not be the prettiest, It sure is a workhorse. Made of durable BPA free plastic, you can count on this little 3-legged bucket to deliver over and over.

View the Filtron Cold Brewing System in our Online Shop.

For those who like countertop bling: The Yama Glass Cold Tower – $235.

Yama glass is a one of a kind hand blown glass company based in Thailand. They have recently created an entire line of analog coffee brewing devices sold exclusively through Espresso Parts. This cold brewer is made of hand blown glass and hand carved wood. Make sure to measure your cabinet height though, this beauty stands 30 inches tall. Everyone will be jealous.

A little note if you get into home brewing: follow the directions that come with your brewer and remember, you are making a concentrate so make sure you dilute with at least 40% water unless you are drinking the cold brew as a 2oz shot. Otherwise you may end up like Chef Billy in DC who lost the ability to speak for couple hours after drinking a glass of cold brew concentrate. Ask him about it if you see him.

View the Bonmac Syphon Brew System in our Online Store.

Vita’s Building a New Roaster in Bushwick

| August 22, 2014

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Looking to expand and offer the freshest coffee to our customers in different parts of the country, we’re excited to announce that Caffe Vita will be opening a new roaster in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City.

With the project expected to be compete by the end of the year, the new roasterie will continue to spread Vita’s influence in the Big Apple.

Installing a 30 kilo Gothot roaster, the shop will also include tech service, cupping and training, ensuring that our East Coast customers continue to get the education on best practices for brewing our coffee.

Constructed in a building that used to be a coffee shop, Vita’s will continue our rich history while adding to the past memories of the former shop.

Stay tuned to our social media and blog for continued updates on the entire process.

Vita Cohorts: Los Angeles’ Eveleigh

| August 21, 2014

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When learning that we would be visiting the restaurant Eveleigh on Los Angeles’ Sunset strip, my first instinct was to think of the word “trendy.”

Maybe it was just the first-timer in me that engrained the perception into my mind, but Sunset Boulevard is a staple of the city’s nightlife, and I figured Eveleigh would match that personality.

Walking up to the restaurant, it was clear that this wasn’t your average, run-of-the-mill chic spot, instead relying on family-like relationships and personal communication that appeals to its guests.

With both a shaded front porch and a massive back deck, Eveleigh has a stunning, open atmosphere.

Rustic metal accents, solid wood tables, creative art and a fully stocked bar fill the entire restaurant, making it as beautiful as the smell of the food cooking in the kitchen.

The staff is as friendly as can be, putting aside any notion of entitlement, a common theme among other L.A. restaurants, with a number of different employees introducing themselves and offering suggestions based on our likes and dislikes.

As we introduced ourselves to General Manger Jeremy Adler, it became clear where the backbone of the entire operation comes from, as Jeremy talked about how Eveleigh gets its fresh ingredients, changes its menu daily—which, alone, makes it unique—and what the future holds for the restaurant that is just shy of its fourth anniversary.

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First things first, how did you make the decision to go with Caffe Vita in your restaurants?

“I think we just tasted a bunch of different kinds of coffee, and we really just liked the flavor profile.”

Are you currently, or plan to use, Vita coffee in any dishes or drinks?

“We haven’t, but we’re not opposed to the idea. I feel like, coffee in dessert makes sense, sometimes coffee in meats makes sense, but it’s a little gimmicky at times, and we try to stay away from that and use our natural ingredients; that’s our approach.”

Prior to Eveleigh, you were in New York City at En Japanese Brasserie, what made you head out west?

“A headhunter actually found me. I know, very undramatic. A friend of mine’s a chef, and he worked with this particular headhunter and they contacted me. I was very reticent in moving from New York to L.A. because it’s a very different vibe in terms of restaurants and culture. In addition to that, preconceived notions of this area are divergent from who and what we are. Still, I met the guys in New York, we got along really well and I’ve been here for almost three years.”

You mentioned the location; do you guys get a lot of celebrities in the restaurant?

“You know, every restaurant in L.A. gets a lot of celebrities. Like Seattle is the nexus of coffee, Los Angeles is the nexus of entertainment, and with so many people living here and going out, that’s just part of it. You know what I get excited about? Regular guests.

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I was just going to ask you that. Do you have the regulars that come in all the time?

“Absolutely. That’s the foundation of any restaurant. We are trying to show such a good time, that people have no choice but to come back. We want to manufacture and cultivate regulars. We want to create an environment where people feel comfortable and enjoy themselves and they can have a relationship with the people who work here. The food, drinks and coffee that we serve create a sense of community.”

Building a community. How important is that, and does it come more from word of mouth or marketing?

“I really don’t believe in marketing. We do PR. We do social media. Word of mouth is so important. There’s a farmer’s market across the street, on Thursday’s, and we’re going to try and sell some of our bread and butter that we make in house—not because we need the money, but because it’s a nice way to remind people that we’re baking bread everyday and you can have fresh bread at three o’clock that was baked just a couple hours ago, which a lot of restaurants around here aren’t doing. We make our own butter from heavy cream each day, too.”

Can you talk about the farmer’s market a little bit, and how you work with them?

“For a long time, we were the only restaurant that was buying vegetables from them, so most of the farmers stopped coming. One of the farmers that we work with, Sabrina from Shear Rock Farms, has a seven-acre farm in Santa Rosa, and we buy about half of what she grows. That’s a pride inducing statement, and I’m really stoked about that. I’m really happy about that and is one thing that I’ll show-off about.”

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Do you have any stipulations on how far you will, or won’t, go for your ingredients?

“It’s really not too discrete. Food is not a black or white situation, there’s always a shade of gray and there’s some give and take. Our chef really likes to use grass-fed beef, which begs the question if it’s better to use corn-fed beef from California or do you go elsewhere because there’s a drought going on here, so obviously grass-fed beef is very limited, it has become expensive, and the quality isn’t all that good because there’s not that much grass. So, do you eat the beef from California with limited distance from your restaurant, or do you pursue other locations a little bit further away, but are more specific to what resembles your philosophy on food and how to raise cattle? We’ve chosen to go with the latter, so we do get some beef from a little bit further away, which we think is more delicious. If there’s product that’s 199 miles away and it’s good, but there’s something that’s 201 miles away and it’s f–ing delicious, we’ll go the extra couple miles to break any restriction.”

Can you talk about where chef Jared Levy gets the inspiration for his different menus?

“I think products speak to him, he doesn’t speak to the products. Jared goes to the farmer’s market and gets inspired and goes to the garden in our restaurant to get inspired, and we work with a couple different farmers who come and bring ingredients here, and he’s really been into edible weeds lately because it’s fun to use on dishes.”

OK, I’m sitting down for the first time at Eveleigh, what’s the recommended dish I order?

“Well because the menu changes everyday, it’s a difficult question to answer. The dish that’s on the menu that probably won’t go away is the lamb meatballs. We sell a lot of them. It’s house ground lamb, we make a breadcrumb salsa with some capers and lamb chopper Gouda cheese on top, so it’s a classic dish. On another level, last Thursday, we got a whole, baby lamb. They butchered it Friday morning and on Friday night we had nine different cuts that were sold in different ways. The roasted leg, the braised neck or shoulder, all the different chops, the ribs. You know, there were nine different cuts that you could buy from one animal on Friday. That animal was delivered on Thursday and by Friday night we were out of the whole animal, and we had guests who were clamoring to sit down (that night) because they knew we were going to run out of lamb. There aren’t a lot of restaurants in L.A. that do that and because we change the menu each day, you have to have the volume of people to come in each day to eat all that product, and then it’s also not an inexpensive dish, so people have to feel like it’s worth it. It’s awesome, man. I think doing something like that is just so special.”

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I’m a vegetarian, so can you talk about what you offer for those who don’t eat meat?

“I’d say about 30 percent of our menu is vegetarian. The menu is broken into three columns, garden, sea and land, and the garden stuff has meat in it, but we can normally remove those items. It seems that everyone in L.A. is vegan, or gluten free, they all have something, and we’re not going to change L.A., so we’re adapting, being flexible and dynamic. We’re true to the creativity of the chef, but we’ll never sell something if we don’t believe in it and it’s not delicious.”

If there’s one thing that you’re most proud of about Eveleigh, what would it be?

“If you looked at Sunset Boulevard four years ago, you would see the Sysco truck pull up to all of these other restaurants and have individual packets of chicken would come out of the truck in their box, and eventually go onto the grill and into the deep-fryer. Those restaurants are busy, full and successful. That’s great. There’s a lot of complexity involved in running a restaurant on a philosophical way that you think is correct. And while it’s a challenge and can be a pain in the ass, at times, I wouldn’t be working here if we used those individually wrapped packs of chicken breast. I think we’re most proud of being a leader in helping those other restaurants mimic some of our philosophies, because it’s a testament to our process. Another thing are the relationships that I’ve built with guests and other people in the industry because of what we do here.”

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Can you talk about the culture at Eveleigh a little bit?

“We’re trying to change the preconceived notions that people have of this place. When people think of Sunset Boulevard, they think of plastic, Ferrari’s, neon lights, that the food doesn’t matter. We try to have the valet’s park all the Prius’ and Honda’s out front, instead of all the Corvette’s, Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s. We’re not flashy. We just try to create a sense of hospitality and warmth.”

What does the future hold for the restaurant?

“(Laughing) I think that this place always feels like it’s just on the wheels and ready to tilt away, you know what I mean? Just printing a new menu every day is, in and of itself, a long process. You’re always worried that people won’t come back tomorrow, or that they don’t like you, or understand what you’re doing. That’s plenty to think about, so we’ll worry about today, and think about tomorrow when it comes. Good things will happen if you continue to take care of people.”