Showing posts with label Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Company. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Company. Show all posts

Sunday, March 03, 2013

CC: Croque Madame

Subject: Croque Madame
Location: JFK International Airport, Terminal 2, Gates 21/22
Free WiFi ? : no
Rating: 5+ [see key]

Airport coffee has been the bane of numerous travelers since the advent of airports. Especially for a person used to freshly ground, well-crafted coffee, it can be hard to stoop to old beans pumped out of a super automatic espresso gauntlet. Sadly, caffeine has its demands and many people would rather a charred mess of a coffee than do without.

But Praise the Lord, specialty coffee has come to the runway. More and more good coffee entities are finding their way inside airport terminals, though most are not on the east coast. One of the few right coast spots also happened to be my most recent encounter with good airport coffee. In JFK's Terminal 2 there's a trendy spot called Croque Madame, a small french-style bar and eatery churned out by the huge airport bistro creator OTG. Aside from the vast sprawl of tables and booths hooked up with iPads where seas of airport chairs used to reside, what caught my eye was the beautiful espresso machine (a La Marzocca I believe) and decent coffee offerings.

Currently it seems they carry Stumptown, but when I was there it was Caffe Vita. As I sat at the bar and shot the breeze with the barista, I ordered an espresso and a pour over both of the Caffe del Sol (it was the only coffee on hand at the time). The espresso, pulled short with a slightly thin crema, resonated notes of cocoa, toasted croissant, lime, blood orange, a little shredded wheat and a slight element of pepper; a fairly balanced and flavorful pull. The pourover had elements of steak, malt, nutmeg, a little smokiness, honey and fig, all in all pulling together a deep coffee with flecks of sweetness.

All in all, not the best Caffe Vita experience I've had but by all means, it was the best coffee I've ever had in JFK. And in like manner, hopefully the sight of great coffee venues in airports will continue to rise. If you happen to be in JFK Terminal 2, give Croque Madame a bit of your time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

CC: Fuel Coffee

What's does "CC" mean?

Fuel Coffee
Location visited: Seattle, WA
[Wallingford location]
Free WiFi ? : yes
5+ [
see key]

Most people truly thrive on the natural boost of coffee to get through the day, a fact that has helped marketers through the decades come up with clever slogans and gimmicks. Even though I'm not a big fan of caffeine (I see it more as God's way of limiting me from having too much of a good thing), I do enjoy the creative associations that it elicits.

One of the more visually-effective metaphors that has been created over the years is that of fuel. Personally, I know quite the number of people who depend on coffee much like a machine depends on gasoline, and while I don't endorse substance addiction, the parallel is practically limitless in its implications.

Naturally, Seattle's Fuel Coffee had me allured with its name alone, never mind their reputable name amidst the credible coffee entities around town. Of their three locations throughout the city, I was able to stop at their newest location off 45th St. Their brown and white space offered a spacious cafe with wood floors, good lighting and plenty of places to rest your laurels.

The coffee offered is that of Caffe Vita. I ordered an espresso (they use the Cafe Del Sol as their espresso blend) and a cup of Queen City via drip. The espresso, pulled short with nice crema, purveyed bitter chocolate, heavy lime, cloves, cinnamon sugar and a noticeable thickness. As espresso goes, it was pretty good though a little dark for me.

The Queen City gave notes of carrots, celery, tobacco and a bittersweet character that emphasized a darker roast then I would have liked. Finding out afterward that the Queen City is blended post-roast with medium and dark roasted coffees, I can't say I would venture the same coffee again (Caffe Vita has better to offer).

I did not note the tea.

Aside from the dark leanings of my coffee experience, Fuel filled up my tank nicely. Give Fuel Coffee a visit when you're in town.

Monday, May 04, 2009

CC: Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Co.

What's does "CC" mean?

Location visited: Seattle, WA
(Capitol Hill location)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

I never thought I'd be introduced to a great Seattle coffee company in Montana, but in my visits to Rockford Coffee of Bozeman, I became enamored with their roaster at the time, Caffe Vita (note: Rockford now seems to roast their own). Every time I got a drink at Rockford (especially their americanos), I really wanted to make a road trip to Seattle to taste the coffee direct at the source.

It took a while, but finally I was able to make a trip to the source. On a brisk weekday morning, I meandered over to Caffe Vita to meet a colleague for a cup of coffee. The shop is clearly visible from afar, as their mammoth sign broadcasts the location clearly. Upon moving closer, a few pieces of well-placed furniture underneath their ample awning drew me right through their front doors into the line. The inside itself has two floors, both with abundant furniture and rich woods, but the downstairs has a much more cozy and dim aura while the upstairs has a brighter and soothing feel.

Caffe Vita roasts their own coffee, having a nice selection of single origins and blends. Prior to this visit, most of my experience with their brewed coffee came from but one or two single origins, so I decided to try their Bistro Blend. It produced a zesty and buttery cup that had merit, but overall tasted a little too dark and a bit lackluster. The espresso came out better, as it was pulled short and demonstrated tinges of bittersweet chocolate and condensed milk, albeit small hints of bitterness on the back end. As for their teas, they have their own line of free leaf teas.

Given my past experiences, I would say this encounter with Caffe Vita really rounded out my perceptions of the operation. While I didn't end up falling as head over heels as I thought I might, I would say that I'm even more intrigued by the company than before. Definitely will warrant another try.

Thus, if you're in town, make a bee line for Caffe Vita to give them a shot yourselves.