From The Roaster
More Than Just Coffee
We are pioneers of the Farm Direct movement, meticulously sourcing the best coffee available while developing long-term, mutually fruitful relationships with coffee growers in more than 11 countries. We work with and invest in farmers who are committed to sustainable practices. By creating an environment where the customer can see, touch, and taste the coffee they purchase, we provide a unique learning opportunity that allows our coffee to speak for itself. Caffe Vita is always fresh, imported directly from the farm and roasted on-site
THE FOUNDATION OF CAFFE VITA COFFEE ROASTING CO.
One afternoon in the late 1980's, hanging out in downtown Seattle with his skateboard, Caffe Vita founder, Mike McConnell ended up at the coffee cart outside the former Nordstrom at Fifth and Pike. He can’t remember which of his pack of friends first suggested they check out these fancy coffees, but he does remember selling weed, then funneling proceeds into espresso drinks made with half-and-half and almond syrup: “They were ridiculous coffees, and we’d be all jacked up.”
His coffee sensibilities quickly improved. After running a pair of freestanding espresso carts, he got a job selling espresso machines. He needed the money—his first son, Andrew, arrived when he was just 19; Christopher followed three years later in 1990. By the time McConnell was 25, he was married with two kids, popping in at Espresso Vivace on Capitol Hill a few times a day to marvel at founder David Schomer and his ability to pull the sort of shots you’d find in northern Italy, roasted dark enough that caramelized sugar and the bean’s natural flavors peak at the same time.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Mike and a coworker, Michael Prins, were both over their sales jobs and ready to be their own boss. They dug up a little money and signed a lease on Fifth Avenue North in Queen Anne and the first Caffe Vita coffee shop opened in 1995.