My First Time: The Adventuress and Sound Experience

| September 16, 2014


Unlike other three-hour tours that some of us may have heard about, the one Sound Experience offers aboard the schooner Adventuress doesn’t leave passengers on a deserted island.

That’s not to say it doesn’t lack intrigue, however, with the captain and crew providing a unique experience for groups through their public, private and event sails from March through October each year.

With the mission of the Sound Experience aimed at educating people to act as stewards of the Puget Sound, a few of us from Caffe Vita and Stewardship Partners—with whom we’ve teamed up with to help build 12,000 Rain Gardens in the Puget Sound—was invited to Port Townsend to board the Adventuress and talk with Captain Daniel Evans and crew about some of the history, goals and challenges they come across in trying to help preserve the Puget Sound.


It was important to have Bob Simmons of Olympic Water Regions and Stewardship Partners with us, as he works directly on projects that include technical water research and outreach to the public, with a major component of his work building rain gardens to help filter and reduce storm water run-off into the Puget Sound. As we made our way to the ship, I must say that everything was working in our favor for the day. Sunny, mid-70 skies were overhead and the water seemed to be sparkling with our reflections.

Boarding the 101-year-old schooner, we learned the Adventuress first launched all the way back in 1913, with the ship’s first voyage pushing back from Maine in hopes to secure a Bowhead Whale specimen for the Natural History Museum on a trip to the Arctic Circle.

While the journey was successful in reaching the Arctic Circle, there was just one little problem once they reached their final destination—the trip had taken so long that the whale expedition never occurred, as warmer temperatures pushed the species out.


One other fun, interesting fact about that first voyage, it included the Natural History Museum’s Naturalist, Roy Chapman Andrews, who is widely considered to have inspired the movie character Indiana Jones.

After a few other noteworthy journeys—including touching the tip of Patagonia and up the Western Coast of Africa and South America—the Adventuress eventually found a home in Washington thanks to Monty Morton, who used the ship to educate youth through sailing.

In 1989, the Adventuress was eventually handed over to Sound Experience, chosen because of their community involvement and mission to help continue youth education programs focused on environmental stewardship.

It was also in that year that the ship reached national prominence, as the National Park Service granted the Adventuress as a National Historic Landmark.


In the 25 years since, the Adventuress continues to house captain and crew through the summer months, with their task to inspire others to do the good deed of acting on creating a better environment, specifically in the Puget Sound.

One way of accomplishing that goal is an ongoing renovation of the schooner, with a new deck, and more reliable equipment, continuing the update over the past several years.

The boat’s most recent project includes a complete overhaul of the refrigeration system onboard, with the new appliance being one of the most efficient refrigerators in the world with zero emissions, using material that NASA uses in building its spaceships.

While the crew has accomplished a lot over the 25 years that the Adventuress has been sailing, it continues to search for ways to improve the ecosystem.


Following the three-hour tour of the Salish Sea, one of the more memorable moments of the trip was huddling below deck with the crew to enjoy a fresh, vegetarian meal prepared by the ship’s cook, Lennard, who also baked coffee cake with our 12,000 Rain Gardens coffee mixed in as an ingredient.

Every one of the crew’s meals, including ours, is made from locally donated goods that Lennard sources each day from the community, ensuring not only organic meals, but also the freshest.

The food was both terrific and the conversation was informational, with about 20 of us tossing ideas around in which ways we could all improve the promotion of the Adventuress’ objectives and their empowerment of the community through sailing trips.

While first-time guests are amazed at the wealth of knowledge, history and actions of the crew, they walk away unsure of how to truly put what they experienced into action.  Finding a way to connect what someone values with their actions in the community is a big task that Sound Experience has set out to accomplish for the sake of conservation.


Insipring others through the crews teamwork, working towards a common goal, can teach others how to unite and make a momentous impact, specifically on the environment.

As we spoke, I couldn’t help but notice the passion and knowledge each one of the members onboard had, really striking up ideas in one another by the way they spoke about the love of environmental care.

With a number of different sails left in the season before taking the winter off, I encourage you to pay them a visit, inform yourself and act upon the learning’s from the Adventuress, as preserving the Puget Sound and building rain gardens in the area is a key component in maintaining a healthy future.


The Vita Escort – On the World’s Top Coffee Cities

| September 15, 2014


It’s no secret that the city of Seattle is one of the top hubs in the entire country when it comes to coffee culture.

Known for its burgeoning empire on the business, Americans might respect what Caffe Vita has going on here, slowly transforming their own cities into the life of small shops and roasteries, but when it comes to other places around the world, Seattle is just one of many that has developed a deep passion for coffee.

So which international cities are just as immersed as we are here in Seattle? Keep reading to find out—as this is the Vita Escort on the world’s top coffee cities.


5. London, England

Our friends across the pond might best be known for their tea and crumpets, but thanks to a coffee revolution by transplants from Australia and New Zealand in the past decade or so, London has been introduced to a variety of different coffee types.

The most popular is either the flat white or a cappuccino, and although they are most popular in other European cities, have begun to be loved by the Brits, too.

The city might still be an adolescent in the culture, but it’s beginning to spread.

4. Taipei, Taiwan

With an abundance of unique cafes around the city, Taipei may not be as obvious with the placement of each coffee shop—making coffee drinkers walk through nooks and crannies to get there—but make no mistake, they know how to pull great shots.

Giving guests a great atmosphere with terrific coffee, this city has surprisingly thrust itself into the coffee society quite swiftly.


3. Melbourne, Australia

In addition to bringing their coffee knowledge to the United Kingdom and London in particular, the Aussies have also focused on building a coffee empire down under.

While people may first associate Melbourne as a beer-drinking city, the coffee culture is very much as prominent, with the city even hosting an annual coffee expo.

Piccolo lattes are generally the drink du jour—made with less milk—with residents enjoying the stronger espresso taste.

2. Rome, Italy

Of all the cities on this list, Rome fits perfectly as espresso and cappuccinos are most associated with Italian culture.

While the Italians remain focused on sticking to traditional brewing techniques, the drinks still standout.

The city is so populated with the nation’s best baristas, that it’s hard not to get a great cup of coffee no matter where you go.

Espressso is still the crème de la crème, as most residents and tourists enjoy the the strong shots each morning—as is custom in Italy.


1. The Netherlands and Scandinavia

The love for coffee in countries like the Netherlands, South Africa, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland is some of the most prominent in the world.

Over the past 25 years or so, each culture has gone from a focus on mainly food to a newfound love for coffee, and with that, a dedication to refine it.

With coffee shops on nearly every street corner, natives tend to drink a lot of lattes or cappuccinos each and every day, supporting the local business at the same time. In Sweden particularly, black coffee refills come free with each meal in most restaurants, acting as the perfect pick-me-up during the dark winter months.

What We’re Diggin’ on September 2nd

| September 2, 2014


After a three-day weekend and short work week coming up, what could possibly be going on that we’re all excited about?

Well, for one, the weather is starting to cool down, meaning we can all get snug with some pants and a sweatshirt.

Second, the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks kick-off the NFL season in just a couple of days, no doubt leaving all the 12th Fans anxious for the team’s title defense.

Finally, we’ve continued to see a great turnout to our new, pop-up shop in Bellevue at the Rudy’s Barbershop, where we’ll be serving free coffee until this Friday, September 5th from 9am-4pm.

But what else are we looking forward to and diggin’ on? Keep reading to find out.


Rick Friel, Grocery Store Representative: “I’m diggin’ that fall is in the air and gently showing its face, hiding behind old pal summer. I’m also diggin’ the new artwork in the Capitol Hill café by Ashley Nicholas. The skeleton couple—I love it!”

Nick Dimengo, Content Creator: “I’m diggin’ on my trip to Boston in a few days for a wedding. Sure, it’s an ex-girlfriend who I stupidly let get away, but I couldn’t be more excited to be part of her big day.”

Beth O’Brien, PR Coordinator: “I’m diggin’ Husky football every Saturday this Fall and can’t wait to watch the game this weekend. GO DAWGS!”

Seny Knyazev, Roaster, NYC: “I’m diggin’ on this freak, end-of-summer heat wave in New York City.”

Dana Ericsson, Customer Service: “I’m diggin’ having my brother in town for a gluttonous weekend of eating at Westward, Stoneburner, Barrio, Staple and Fancy and a few others. I will now fast the rest of the week for the sake of health and low funds. And by fast, I mean lower my bacon intake by half.”

Bob Prince, Sales Leader/Brand Champion: “I’m diggin’ that we are pulling Caffe Vita coffee at Grand Central Bakery in Pioneer Square tomorrow and Thursday as part of the NFL Village that kicks off the game between the Seahawks and Packers. I’m also diggin’ that, starting next week, when staying at the Hotel Triton in San Francisco—a Kimpton property—you’ll be drinking Vita.”

Gina Rivisto, Retail Operations Manager: “I know this is random, but I’m diggin’ on this cat diary video that I just recently discovered.”

Mark Edington, Driver, Portland: “I’m diggin’ the cooler temperatures, I love fall! I also just discovered Class Actress and it’s heavy play in the Vita Van, and I’m currently all about the Mexico Oaxaca at Goldrush Coffee Bar.”

Charlie Holloway, Sales Manager, Portland: “I’m diggin’ an Iced Americano made with Vita’s Organic Espresso and a kale/lime juice at the Grind Coffee. It’s a perfect combination to keep me focused after a long weekend. I’m also diggin’ homegrown Brandywine tomatoes and a little cooler weather in the future.”

Ian Beckwith, Production: “Like Rick, I’m diggin’ the new art by Ashley Nicholas that’s hanging in the Capitol Hill café. If you haven’t already checked it out yet, you should.”

Chrissy Nolan, Wholesale Rep: “I’m diggin’ socks, because its grey and rainy and all my socks and sweaters have been crying out for attention from the jail cell of my dresser. Fall in the Northwest is the best! I’m also digging on nesting, making brunch at home with the new Oaxaca in my French press and making bad art to stave away the fall blues.”

Something you need this week: 12,000 Rain Gardens Blend—because proceeds help support efforts to build rain gardens in the Puget Sound area. (Buy Here)


The Vita Escort: On Coffee and Alcohol Recipes

| August 29, 2014


As the warm, summer weather begins to turn to crisp, fall days, it’s no secret that one of the best things to enjoy throughout the day is a nice cup of coffee.

Whether it’s on a Saturday morning during a kid’s soccer game, tailgating before a football game or just sipping on while walking around the neighborhood, we’re always happy when we see others drinking from a Caffe Vita cup.

But one way of staying just a little bit warmer as the cooler days roll in is adding some of Grandpa’s cough syrup to a cup of coffee—otherwise known as some booze.

With a variety of liquors to choose from, the Vita Escort reminds you of a few recipes that are worth trying out—using Caffe Vita coffee, of course.


1. Vita Flatliner

Looking for something that will really give you a kick in the behind to start your morning? Why not go with a Vita Flatliner that, as one can tell by its name, is a drink that isn’t for the feint of heart.

One-half ounce of Frangelico

One-half ounce of Bailey’s Irish Cream

One-half ounce of 151

Two shots of Caffe Vita espresso

2. The Firlock

For those nursing a killer hangover from the night before, The Firlock might just be the hair of the dog you need to help get you through the next day.

Recommended to make as a cold beverage as opposed to a hot one, it’s still warm enough out to sip one of these without being judged for having ice in your cup.

One-in-a-half ounces Fernet Branca

One-half ounce simple syrup

Five ounces, Vita cold-brew coffee


Lemon twist as a garnish


3. Bushmill’s and Vita Irish Coffee

If there’s one thing that should always be at a fall party, it’s Irish coffees.

Providing the perfect balance of coffee to cover up the whiskey, there are a variety of versions out there to try, but this might be our favorite.

One-in-a-half ounces Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey

Four ounces, Vita brewed coffee, hot

Heavy cream, lightly whipped

4. Grand Coffee

Not quite light enough to be called a beer, but not heavy enough to be completely filling, a Grand Coffee is the perfect substitute for anyone who fancies a little bit of sweetness in their coffee each morning.

One ounce of warmed, Grand Marnier

Three ounces, Vita brewed coffee, hot

.75 ounces, brown sugar syrup or whipped cream (if desired)

5. Haute & Steamy

For those who like mochas each morning, the Haute & Steamy might become your new favorite drink this winter.

Much in the same mold as a standard mocha, see why adding a bit of booze can warm you up much quicker than the one you typically sip each morning.

One-in-a-half ounces Godiva Chocolate Infused Vodka

Four ounces, Vita brewed coffee, hot