The Vita Escort: On Coffee and Alcohol Recipes

| August 29, 2014

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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.

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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

Ice

Lemon twist as a garnish

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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

My First Time: Pilchuck Glass School

| August 28, 2014

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For those who didn’t already know, the Pacific Northwest is home to some of the finest and most talented creatives in the world.

Blending backgrounds and styles from different nations, artists seem to get inspiration from their roots, before sharing them with those of us who call this region home.

One of the most decorated artist hubs in the Northwest is the Pilchuck Glass School, which is located in Stanwood, Wa. about an hour north of Seattle.

Since it’s beginning in 1971, Pilchuck has housed students from as many as 32 different countries for their summer programs. From May through September each year, Pilchuk offers courses taught by some of the most renowned artists and instructors in the glass-blowing industry.

And with long hours spent conceptualizing and, eventually, completing their projects, students, professors and staff rely on Caffe Vita coffee to power their creativity after sleepless nights of working on their craft—so much so that one student even lasted three-straight days without sleep to create his masterpiece, living on cups of Vita coffee, with the staff having to put him to sleep because of the dangers of being up for so long.

We were fortunate enough to take a trip to meet Pilchuck’s Director of Development, Whitney Hazzard last week. During our tour of the incredible campus, Whitney shared the rich history of Pilchuk and a crash course in the art of glass-blowing, which we quickly learned is a time and labor intensive process.

Founded by Dale Chihuly, along with patrons Anne Gould Hauberg and John H. Hauberg, Chihuly’s philosophy of “artists teaching artists,” became the mantra for Pilchuck’s educational regime, with the some of the buildings built by the artists himself still standing on campus today. Using a $2,000 loan to build his dream school, he chose the venue on the foothills of the Cascade mountains for its view of the natural landscape and its somewhat hidden, rare mushroom plantation.

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As Whitney walked the grounds with us, she was quick to show-off the hot shop, where students stood amongst each other, working on glass as hot, fiery stoves were burning.

While the students heated their glass to begin molding it, we got the first-hand experience of what it takes to complete just one piece—and it sure is extensive.

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Along our walk, Whitney named some of the renowned alumni who have stayed, taught and worked at Pilchuk.

Artists like Ruben and Isabel Toledo—famous for designing First Lady Michelle Obama’s inauguration dress in 2008—have studied and gave lessons at the school, where they developed a wealth of professional knowledge and experience to share with students.

She also shared incredible stories of some of the men and women involved in the school’s adaptation.

The aforementioned Anne Hauberg’s father, Carl F. Gould, not only founded the University of Washington’s architecture program, but is also credited with constructing famous Seattle landmarks like the Seattle Art Museum and the campus plan at UW.

Another inspiring story involved glass artist William Morris, who began as the school’s shuttle driver before his career began to blossom under the guidance of Chilhuly. Morris is now considered one of the most influential artists in the world.

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Following a quick stop for lunch—which included a presentation from the dining staff for new students on why keeping squirrels away is always a good idea—our tour continued to some of the staples on campus like the famous Buster Simpson tree house residence and the Trojan Horse, a beautifully-designed structure made of concrete with glass accents that reflect the natural pizazz. In fact, we saw the leftovers from a wedding that took place in the Trojan Horse just a few days prior.

The Trojan Horse was a secret, rogue project that students built in the nearby woods. Seeing how beautiful it was upon completion, staff could only marvel at how it came to be—much like we all did.

The wedding was between two students who met at the school, coming back to where they fell in love to say their vows as their home state of Texas doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages.

Upon walking in and around the sculpture, it was easy to see the romanticism in it.

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Words and even pictures can’t describe just how amazing these installations are, so when visiting Pilchuck—which can only be arranged ahead of time for non-students—make sure to conquer the forest surrounding the main campus.

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Offering a unique experience in a camp-like setting on the hills above the Skagit River Valley, Pilchuck one can certainly see why this landscape and private retreat appeals to the artists.

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While the staff develops a new strategy to feature and sell their art planned for 2015, they host art collectors, events and auctions to promote Pilchuk’s rich history—which anyone can get involved in supporting, as the school’s 36th annual auction event will be held this October.

From incredible art, amazing scenery and delicious food prepared by specialty chefs and bakers, no detail goes unnoticed at Pilchuck.

Somewhat of a summer camp for adults, students are encouraged to be themselves by expressing their personalities through art and around the campus, finding inspiration where needed—which isn’t difficult when walking the grounds.

Pilchuck Glass School may enjoy being the best kept secret in the Pacific Northwest, but there’s a reason why it’s widely considered to be the mecca for glass in the entire world, and it’s because of their approach and expertise in the art.

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Caffe Vita Donates Coffee to Fortnight Camp

| August 27, 2014

As we have done in previous years, Caffe Vita donated 20 pounds of both hot coffee and our cold brew to Fortnight Summer Camp, where high school students envision and build the fort of their dreams in just two weeks, learning necessary team-building skills through creative collaboration.

Held at the 365-acre Smoke Farm just outside of Seattle, many campers come from low income backgrounds, with their families completely new to the Pacific Northwest, so participation runs on a “donate as you can” basis and support is critical in giving this diverse group of students the opportunity to attend each year.

And with that support comes key volunteers and partners to make sure that campers enjoy a first-class experience. As such, Vita is always happy to provide coffee to help keep the volunteer staff energized.

To find out more about Fortnight and how you can help support their efforts, please take a look at their website.

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What We’re Diggin’ on August 26th

| August 26, 2014

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School is finally back in session for many of the kids, ending a summer filled with swimming pools and late nights.

But unlike those who are forced to sit in a classroom and stare at their textbooks all day long, we here at Vita have a ton of other things that are going on.

From our recent pop-up shop at Rudy’s Barbershop in Bellevue—where we’re giving away free coffee from 9am-4pm through September 5th—to upcoming events and fundraisers we take part in, there’s a lot of things that we’re diggin’ on today.

Here are just a few of them.

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Shawn P. Jennings, Digital Media Manager: “I’m diggin’ Buster Simpson’s treehouse at the Pilchuck Glass School.

Erin Bednarz, Customer Service Rep: “I’m diggin’ John Lennon Sunglasses and vintage silk dresses from Portland thrifting. I also can’t wait to watch Queen Bey’s VMA performance! Flawless”

Pearl Nelson, Sales: “I’m diggin’ on giving out free coffee in Bellevue Rudy’s and Vita’s pop-up.”

David Hong, Vita’s Renaissance Man: “I’m diggin’ on building a café in 17 hours in Bellevue. We walked into a small white room, and left it as fully functioning Caffe Vita.I’m also diggin’ on Daniel Shewmaker’s lamb and pork taco creations over the weekend—second to none!”

Nick Dimengo, Content Creator: “I’m diggin’ on the new furniture that I finally bought for my apartment. On the contrary, this is really just a sad way of realizing that I’m almost 30.”

Allison Campbell, Manager, Alberta Café: “I’m diggin’ the morning rush, the single origins as a French press on cooler mornings, the new green iced tea that we’ve been brewing (as another option to the black iced tea), and diggin’ on The Rolling Stones in the afternoons!”

Charlie Holloway, Sales Manager, Portland: “I’m diggin’ a midday stop at Cacao on SW 13th for a shot of Del Sol and a superbly rich Thai peanut butter cup. Also that I planned ahead and picked up an extra peanut butter cup for a picnic tonight at Cathedral Park. Yeah summer!”

Rick Friel, Grocery Field Representative: “I’m diggin’ our friendly morning barisras that I see here five days a week at the Capitol Hill cafe. Sam, Jeremy, Derek, Reese, Whitney, Leah and all. You’re the best!”

Something you need this week: Filtron Cold Water Coffee Brewing System—In order to increase your home brewing skills. (Buy Here)

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