Tag Archives: iska dhaaf

10 Things We Saw on Day One of CHBP

| July 31, 2014


As the Storyteller for Caffe Vita, I get a chance to do some things that most of my friends consider to be pretty rad.

Whether it’s traveling to surf events with a partner in Los Angeles—which I’ll be doing in a few weeks for A Walk On Water—jetting to New York for the Governor’s Ball—as I did last month—or any of the other hundreds of happenings that Vita participates in, I’m pretty darn lucky.

And my most recent (foggy) memory was this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party, which happened this past weekend.

A three-day music festival that was headlined by such names as Spoon, Chromeo and A$AP Rocky, the party was nonstop for everyone in attendance, with bands jamming on two different stages all weekend long.

And because there was something awesome happening every single second of the 72 hours, I’m giving you 10 things that I saw each day while there. Let’s start with what Friday was like.


10. Lots of Vita Baristas

With three different places to snag coffee and cold brew for the thousands at the festival, we had baristas from our many locations around Seattle pulling shots and making drinks.

Here’s a selfie of Allison and Chelsea, as well as a pic of Chrissy and Maggie while enjoying the amazing weather and great music.


9. The Constant Lovers

The rock band, Constant Lovers, may have played the Neumos stage in the afternoon, but Pearl was able to catch them hanging behind the Main Stage for a few hours, chatting them up and snapping a picture.

If you get a chance to see these guys in action, you won’t regret it, as they don’t hold back in any aspect while performing.


8. Q13 FOX News’ Bill Wixey

As a good friend of Vita’s Rick Friel, we were lucky enough to have Emmy-winning anchor Bill Wixey sporting his Vita snapback all day, hanging out and taking in the good vibes inside our Capitol Hill café and Bean Room.

Based off a few of his tweets, it sounds like he had a great time soaking it all in, too.



After writing a preview for the band ODESZA prior to the event—and listening to their music on repeat—I knew that this was one group I wanted to check out.

They didn’t disappoint.

Playing on the Main Stage in the early evening, the two-man group of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight brought their smooth sounds and hooks that was a perfect appetizer to the bands that followed them.

I dare you to listen to their music and not nod your head back and forth; you just can’t help but do it.



Typically, when I see someone wearing doctor scrubs, I just assume they can save my life.

But when I saw the three girls of CHILDBIRTH performing on the Vera Stage, the only thing they were saving me from was standing still, as they brought a heavy dosage—no pun intended—of their grungy rock that got the crowd jumping around.


5. Robert DeLong

As the first of three separate, VIP acts that took our Bean Room stage, Robert DeLong brought his electronic beats to set the mood for how the entire day—and festival—was going down.

Tabbed as a “2013 Artist to Watch” by places like MTV, Billboard and Vibe Magazine, DeLong’s sounds proved why, as there wasn’t a single person who was standing still while he performed.

He later closed out the Vera Stage, playing another 45 minute set in the evening.


4. Iska Dhaaf

Just returning to town after an intense tour around the country, Nathan Quiroga and Benjamin Verdoes of the band Iska Dhaaf hopped on our Bean Room stage prior to their set a few hours later on the Vera Stage.

Blending a few of their older songs with some new material, the crowd was feeling it from the very beginning, bobbing their heads and dancing around.


3. Matt and Kim

Of all the cool stuff I did during Block Party, meeting Matt and Kim backstage may have been one of the best experiences.

Not only were both down to earth and mega-rad, but they hit it hard with their set on the Main Stage just a few hours after I got to meet them.

Hell, Vita’s Shawn and Kim even joked about wearing the same type of underwear, so, yeah, they didn’t really have much of a filter when it came to chatting with any of us.


2. Macklemore

Seattle’s favorite son, Macklemore, was backstage to check out his buddy A$AP Ferg, who performed during the afternoon on the main stage.

Not only did I snap a selfie with him—as did most people who got the chance to meet him—but we even saw him fueling up by drinking our coffee before taking a pic with Pearl.


1. Spoon

With all of the different private Bean Room sessions that Caffe Vita had the opportunity to host, the band Spoon’s lead singer Britt Daniel and guitarist Alex Fischel performed a few of the group’s songs during their set.

As if that wasn’t rad enough for the fans who were able to get passes to the VIP show, the entire band headlined the first night of the festival on the main stage, playing a set that lasted just over an hour and sending festivalgoers home with a bang.

Caffe Vita (Somehow) Survived the 2014 Sasquatch Music Festival

| May 30, 2014

The Caffe Vita team. From L-R: (Shawn Jennings, Nick Dimengo, Ross Beamish, Erin Bednarz, Wendy, Max McLoughlin, Pearl Nelson).

We’d be lying if we said there weren’t some serious perks about working at Caffe Vita.

Sure, getting free coffee every morning, working at a prime location in the heart of Capitol Hill and having people ask us about the lifestyle that Vita has is great and all, but it’s even better when we get a chance to share that with thousands of strangers who quickly become our best friends for a few days.

And, for any of those who saw us or visited the Vita tent at Sasquatch! Music Festival last weekend, you know we did just that.

Since we like to be one with the people, seven Vita employees from different departments packed up two vans, bought over $800 worth of food, set up three pop-up tents and handed out hundreds of cups of cold brew and Georgetown Brewing Company’s beer for those in the general admission camping area.

What happened next? As you’d probably imagine, absolute madness—which is why we’re letting you relive it all right here.


The Vita tent and campsite prior to the madness.

After making the three-hour trip from Seattle to The Gorge Amphitheater, we did our best to claim as much space as possible in order to have the most bitchin’ spot for fans to visit.

Thankfully, event security didn’t notice us throwing some serious elbows to fight for the little extra feet to make sure we could accommodate those stopping by over the course of the weekend.

Setting things up, our Vita camp got right to the cold brew and Georgetown beer, playing various games of cornhole against other campers and blasting music to get the attention of those around us.


A classic photobomb from Vita’s Ross Beamish on some Caffe Vita fans.

Of course, it didn’t take long for people to notice where the party was going to be all weekend, as the crew instantly met our neighbors, handing out a few hats and stickers as a thank you for letting us do our thing—so major props to Tyler and Shaun for their kindness.

The first night consisted of a fairly low-key, hang session which included some tunes and team building amongst us Vita folks. Let’s face it, music festivals are marathons and not sprints, so we were just pacing ourselves for the main event.


From L-R: (Vita’s Erin Bednarz and Ross Beamish cooking breakfast, the finished product and Wendy chowing on the grub).

Waking up Friday morning, Vita training supervisor Ross Beamish made our team and visitors to the tent breakfast, blasting music to get their attention and instantly seeing one cold brew keg disappear in less than an hour.

Quickly realizing we had to pace ourselves with the generosity of cold brew, we decided that pulling a 9-12 schedule for coffee was the way to go, but still focused on hanging out and getting to know people as they stopped by the tent, handing out stickers and snapping a few stranger selfies with them in order to make them famous—all for a Vita hat.

When it came time to head into the festival, the Vita crew found themselves at the main, Sasquatch stage, rocking out to Crystal Fighters as they brought the energy to the crowd.

It was still early in the event—with some people not even arriving at that point—and the place was completely flooded with fans dancing and singing the lyrics. If we thought differently before that point, we all knew it was going to be a good weekend after that.


From L-R: (De La Soul’s Pos, Monk Wordsmith of The Physics and De La Soul’s tour manager showing their love for Caffe Vita).

As we split from one another, a few of us stayed to watch old school hip-hop clan, De La Soul, on the main stage, even getting the chance to sneak backstage to meet the band—who proudly showed-off how much they like us, too—while a few others went to see Night Beats on the smaller Narwahl stage.

Over the course of the day, Vita was well-represented at Cage the Elephant, Chance the Rapper, Phantogram, Raz Simone, Yelle and, of course, Outkast.

To say that the duo of Andre 3000 and Big Boi put on one of the most memorable performances of the festival would be an understatement.

Blending some of their classic songs together with a few of their own solo hits, the two showed everyone why they headlined the first night—because they know how to fucking perform.

The night concluded with 20-30 people marching back to the Vita tent for the first of many afterparties, where guests took photos with Vita, drank beer and rocked out with, well, you know.


A group of festivalgoers enjoy cold brew and shade in the Vita tent.

Running on just a few hours of sleep, Vita quickly found out that guests really wanted some coffee, with a few even stopping by the tent before the 9a start time for serving.

With all of us fighting some grogginess, we served up coffee and engaged with those who stopped by for the few hours before realizing we needed to, again, save some coffee for the remaining days.


Benjamin Verdoes of the band Iska Dhaaf performs a solo set in the Vita tent during Saturday afternoon.

Having some time to kill, Vita arranged a special, private performance by Benjamin Verdoes of the group Iska Dhaaf, who had played the day prior at the festival.

Bringing his personal sound to the tent, 10-15 fans laid back and let Verdoes serenade them with his lyrics and soft tunes.

With more than a few bands on the slate that Vita wanted to see, we marched into the festival to bands like The Growlers—who, yes, we tried to give a growler to—Violent Femmes, Band of Skulls, The Grizzled Mighty, Panda Bear and M.I.A.


From L-R: (De La Soul’s Maseo holding his Vita coffee, Vita’s Nick Dimengo with The Grizzled Mighty lead singer, Ryan Granger, Blake Anderson of the TV show “Workoholics” seems to like Vita’s sticker and Dimengo with singer Shelby Earl).

Each performance had extraordinary moments, with a few of them standing out more than others as the best of the weekend.

Finishing the night by seeing Tyler, the Creator, Vita—and other campers—were anxious to get back to the tent and blow it out with another afterparty.

No joke, the second we all got back to the tent, sweatshirts were changed into and sleeping bags were pulled over our heads, because we were all beat to shit from the previous two days and nights.

Miraculously, after a smoked salmon dinner by Ross, we thankfully all got a second wind, as more guests stopped by the tent to take part in the best party of the weekend.


A late-night party got a bit out of hand, as this photo of fans wearing Vita bean bags shows.

Cutting up coffee bean bags, Vita made it a priority for everyone who stopped by to slip one on for pictures, creating a pseudo photo booth for fans to pose for in front of our black and white sheet.

Looking around, it looked as if we were all at a Halloween party of people wearing the exact same outfit, drinking beer and talking about some of our favorite performances from the weekend to that point.

Vita’s own Pearl Nelson got on the mic and rapped for fans to dance to, with insanity ensuing until passed 4a—even after security came over and told us to keep it quiet once before.

As difficult as it was to wake up Saturday, the coffee gods were with us Sunday morning, as Vita pushed through the hangovers and lack of sleep to get some caffeine in them from cold brew to serve.


Caffe Vita’s Queen Anne barista, Sean serves the cold brew to a line of people at the Vita tent.

With a line forming as we were organizing things, guests happily talked about the night prior—which ended just a few hours earlier—as well as posing for pictures and hanging out with our crew for a few hours.

After some time to steady ourselves, we made our way to performances by Shelby Earl, Lucius, Cold War Kids, comedian Demetri Martin—which included a personal escort from backstage security after sneaking back—Banks, Rodriguez, Fly Moon Royalty, Kid Cudi, Parquet Courts, Portugal. The Man, Queens of the Stone Age and closing act, Major Lazer—who a few Vita folks were able to meet backstage and hand some coffee to.


The wild women of Lucius pose next to their favorite bag of Vita coffee.

Yes, you read that correctly, as hungover and completely low-functioning as all of us were, we found a way to make it to all of those shows.

With the word out that our fiestas from previous nights were better than a college house party, it went down till the wee hours the last night.

Going from 15 people to 25. Then from 25 to 40. And, finally, 40 to about 50, the Vita tent was overflowed with people who wanted to dance their asses off and send the festival out in good fashion.


A few visitors going wild in front of the Vita sign at the tent.

That all seemed to change when security came the first time…and then the second time…and, finally, the third time, while refusing to ever shut the party down except for a reminder to keep the music down.

With a few Vita fans feeling like family at this point in the weekend, a handful of friends stayed in the tent and hung out until 5:30a, with the sun providing the necessary light to see each other’s faces and keep us awake—which was probably a bad idea.


Caffe Vita—Last. Van. Standing.

A few hours after finally calling it a night, the Vita crew packed things up, gave out a few hugs and high-fives and, somehow, made the trek back to Seattle.

12 hours of sleep in four days, using the front seat of a van as a bed and then getting stuck in a three-hour traffic jam might not sound like a great weekend to some. But those are people who didn’t come to Sasquatch with Vita, because it was fucking killer as we definitely left our mark for all the festival to see and hear.

To see even more craziness from the #VitaSasquatch trip, check out our Tagboard which features TONS of content—and make sure to tag yourself and us if you have some to add.

2014 SCAA Conference and Caffe Vita Afterparty

| May 1, 2014


If  you happened to miss the this year’s Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) event in Seattle from April 24-27, you missed out on one of the baddest weekends for coffeeheads.

Naturally, we got our asses down there.

Bringing some of our local charm to the Convention Center downtown, we built a Caffe Vita booth for visitors to sip their favorite brew and chat with some of our baristas.

Not only did we meet some interesting people, but we invited them all to a blowout party at our bean room Saturday night to see what we’re all about at Vita. If you couldn’t make it, here are a few pics to help you vicariously live through those who did.

Special thanks to Batch 206, Georgetown Brewery and Via Tribunali for filling stomachs with booze and food at the party, bands The Young Evils, The Cave Singers, Pearl Dragon, Tilson XOXO and Iska Dhaaf  for rocking the stage all night and everyone who donated more than $5,000 for The Service Board with generous tips.


 One of our baristas serves up coffee.


 Almost the finished product.


Our DJ gets partygoers ready.


Vita’s own Pearl Dragon showed his MC skills.


 Via Tribunali chefs served up personalized pizzas.


There was no shortage of booze at our afterparty.


Guests fill the dance floor for the night.


Tilson XOXO rocks the mic early in the night.


 The Young Evils serenade the crowd with their tunes.


 Cave Singers made sure they brought the jams.


Iska Dhaaf belted out their music to get the crowd going.


Copping that front row spot next to the stage.

Images by Andy Bokanev