Vita and the Captain (and Crew) of the Victoria Clipper

| July 10, 2014


As I mentioned in the My First Time: The Victoria Clipper piece last week, I not only had the opportunity to head up to Victoria, Canada for a day drip with one of my colleagues, but captain David Mayden, co-captain Robert Reeder and Engine Controller Kurt Sutter also trusted us enough to spend some time hanging out in the cockpit of the Victoria Clipper IV on our journey back.

Talking with the men responsible for our lives on open water while they were working was a bit odd at first, but they reassured us that they knew what they were doing—thanks to being caffeinated by Caffe Vita coffee.

With our trip coinciding with the launch of Vita’s Caffe Luna drip on each Clipper vessel and in their Seattle café, it seemed as if every crewmember was ecstatic about the change.

And since Mayden, Reeder and Sutter were so welcoming; they let us ask them some questions while we got the best view on the boat. Here’s what they had to say.


Mayden: “I must say, I love Caffe Vita coffee. I actually go there quite often, usually heading up on the one in Capitol Hill.”

How long have you been working at the Clipper, how you got into it and what intrigues you doing it?

Mayden: “I was working on other boats, small passenger vessels and I didn’t want to go out to sea anymore, so I started looking for jobs where I could come home at night, and I found this job. After I was hired as an attendant downstairs, I just sort of worked my way up from that to mate to finally captain. And I’ve been here about 10 years.”

As someone who just visited Victoria for the first time, is there anything you recommend as a must-see?

Reeder: “The Royal BC Museum.”

Mayden: “It’s one of the best national history museums that you’ll find anywhere.”

Seeing how Victoria is so big on coffee itself, how do you compare it to Seattle’s coffee scene?

Mayden: “I’ve had varying experiences. There’s one coffee shop that I go near the Clipper Condo (where the crew stays overnight on trips), which is an independent place, and they have really good coffee. Overall, though, I’ve found that the coffee isn’t quite as good as Seattle.”

How much do you rely on coffee each morning?

Reeder: (laughing) “I don’t want to say that I rely on it, but I will say that I’m a connoisseur. And by that I mean that, yeah, I really am just an addict. I really like the Caffe Vita in Capitol Hill; it’s one of my favorite spots. My friends and I go and hang out upstairs and just relax. It’s great.”


What’s your favorite part about your job?

Mayden: (points to the open sea) “This is my office. (Laughing) But besides the obvious, I would have to say not having to work in a regular office. I could never do that. More than that, though, it’s the people. I love the people. We have a great crew.”

Are you excited about having Caffe Vita on-board?

Mayden: “Absolutely. Yes. The only reason I was drinking the coffee we had before was because I had to, it was what was available, and I had to stay awake.”

Sutter: “It’s a huge improvement. I think everyone is really excited about it because what we had before was just so terrible.”

Mayden: “One thing that I think is really important about having Vita specifically is, since we’re a tourist attraction, people expect to get good coffee when in Seattle, and they get that with a cup of Vita. We’re representing Seattle, and now they get that.”

What do you think about the Caffe Luna blend that we offer?

Sutter: “I really like it. It’s rich and smooth at the same time.

Mayden: “I like it, too, but, personally, it’s a little light for me (even though it’s the darkest roast Vita offers). I like my coffee really, really dark. It’s super smooth. Just before you came up here while on our North Side trip, I thought to myself, ‘Man, this coffee is good.’ It’s very drinkable. Super smooth.”

How critical is it to have good coffee available?

Mayden: “It’s just really good to have good coffee. Like, it’s a total morale thing. When you get to work at 4:45 in the morning and you have a shitty cup of coffee, that doesn’t help your day at all. But when you’re sitting there with a nice cup of coffee and you’re taking on fuel early in the morning; that definitely helps. I think it really has boosted the entire crew’s morale. Good coffee can go a long way.”

Sutter: “It’s important. The stuff we had before was so bad that I actually brought my own Insta Coffee. I would drink that because it was actually better than the stuff on-board. It was bad.”


Featured Product of the Week: Zojirushi 12oz and 16oz Travel Mug

| July 9, 2014


While we love having visitors to our cafe’s walk around town with our Caffe Vita cups to show-off how much they love our coffee, it can get a little tricky to try and drive with one of those and still sip your favorite brew.

That’s why we really recommend one of our Zojirushi 12oz or 16oz Travel Mug to always have on you so you don’t need to worry about spilling.

Built with vacuum insulation and a sealed lid, you can tip your head back to get every last drop of coffee without fearing it will end up all over your shirt.

As an added bonus, you’re also helping the environment by cutting down on the usage of paper products, so that’s always something to be happy about, too.

With two stylish options and a slick look accompanied by the Caffe Vita logo on the side of each, the Zojirushi 12oz and 16oz Travel Mugs are a perfect choice for anyone who enjoys to have their coffee in style.

Buy the Zojirushi 12oz and 16oz Travel Mugs in our Online Shop.

What We’re Diggin’ on July 8th

| July 8, 2014


We hope everyone had a great time enjoying the Fourth of July and, for all those in Seattle, are adjusting nicely to this summer heat wave.

With temperatures expected to be in the high-80s over the next week or so, you can bet that us here at Caffe Vita are really looking forward to doing our fair share of fun things outside—like getting a few Happy Hours at Via Tribunali.

And, like every week, we’re giving you a few other things that we’re diggin’, so hopefully you can be inspired by a few of them.


Rick Friel, Grocery Field Representative: “I’m diggin’ this handmade Vita bag that my friend Martha made for me. It was a nice surprise to get in the mail. I’m going to put it to use immediately. Pearl wants one now. I love it!”

Dana Ericsson, Customer Service: “I’m diggin’ on spiked rosemary lemonade and pasta salad at the park, with a mean game of wiffle ball.”

Nick Dimengo, Content Creator: “I’m diggin’ the very real possibility of LeBron James coming back to Cleveland to play for my Cavs. And, of course, all the fun events we’ve got planned over the next month or so.”

Mark Edington, Driver, Portland: “I’m diggin’ on my new neighborhood, Montavilla, and spots like Redwood, Vintage Cocktail Lounge and the Academy Theater. Also, I am really into the Congo Tsheya in the chemex at home. “

Nick Wilton, Sales: “I’m diggin’ Die Manschaft’s complete destruction of Brasil. Hoping this is the year for that fourth star!”

Erin Bednarz, Customer Service: “I’m diggin’ on these Snap Pea Crisps that Customer Service just can’t stop snacking on, and, I personally, have made DIY crop tops and rolled-up shorts my go-to uniform for this heat wave! Also, the new White Lung album is making my day and haunting my dreams.”


Max McLoughlin, Graphic Designer: “I’m diggin’ on all the art from Essy May.”

Chrissy Nolan, Wholesale Representative: ”I’m diggin’ vegan coconut and mint chocolate chip ice cream cones from Bluebird Ice Cream on Pike. Is there anything more delightful than walking through Volunteer Park with a tasty snack in the sun?”

Reese Umbaugh, Manager, Capitol Hill: “As a serious K-pop enthusiast (I curate a quarterly J/K-pop dance party at Capitol Hill club Barboza), I’m diggin’ on the new music video from South Korean girl group f(x)! Check it out here.”

Beth O’Brien, PR Coordinator: “I’m diggin’ the engineers who discovered how to make good espresso in space.”

Bob Prince, Brand Champion/Sales Leader: “I’m diggin’ eating the very first sandwich on opening day at Hitchcock Deli No. 2 in Georgetown. Thanks Brendan for the piled high, house smoked pastrami, swiss and house made kraut.”

Caffe Vita Went to the Eat Hope Run 5K and Tasting

| July 8, 2014


On Sunday, June 29th, Caffe Vita had the opportunity to take part in the Ethan Stowell Restaurants Eat Run Hope 5K, benefitting the Fetal Health Foundation.

With a handful of terrific restaurants serving food and Vita handing out both drip and cold brew, we had a great time eating and talking amongst the crowd at Magnuson Park.


Four members from a few restaurants participated in the Bacon Relay first thing, a head-to-head competition which included slamming a beer, handing off a baton wrapped in raw bacon and promptly sprinting around the building about 300 feet.

Proving to ourselves that we were good at these types of activities, Caffe Vita actually won the race, taking home bragging rights for the next year—and we look forward to defending the title in 2015.

Following the relay, a few hundred participants ran the 5K course along Lake Washington on a perfect, sunny day.


Vita showed that their luck hadn’t run out—no pun intended—as a few of the members who ran the Bacon Relay finished in the top-3 of their age groups, earning medals to wear proudly.

At the conclusion of the 5K, nearly 20 different restaurants served some of the most delicious dishes in Seattle.


With so many delicious options to choose from, it was hard to decide on what we wanted first, but with everything we got to sample being on point, there were definitely second and third helpings being taken advantage of.


The rest of the day included great music and a lot of dancing, so thanks to all those who came out to show their support for the Fetal Health Foundation, we can’t wait to do it again next summer.