From Victrola we headed off for lunch in a restaurant that can only be described fabulous, though not because of its food. Vita was next on the list, though oddly I took no pictures. I love the way this place is laid out, however the lack of natural light made me feel sleepy and irritable. (I like natural light in cafe) The espresso wasn’t bad but didn’t tickle any of our taste buds either. I absolutely love the way they’ve put a glass partition in the cafe allowing customer to see into the roaster in the back. I also liked the amount of space immeadietly in front of the bar. I like the idea of owning a small cafe but to do any sort of ‘to go’ service requires ample space for customer flow in and out of the cafe, preferably not winding through the seating area.
Vita was great for this as the seating area was in an adjoining room, allowing customers to relax in their own space. It did have a wireless feel but thats not such a bad thing in my view. I’m writing this right now in a cafe, sipping an Intelly Harrar, and looking around I see people chatting, reading books and papers, i poding, and theres even a small women sleeping in the couch in front of me. Shes been there quite a while now and she’s old too. I’m starting to suspect the worse…..
After Vita, we went to the new Vivace store. As touched on in my last post, this cafe was also in a location I didn’t expect. It’s located in a modern looking building, where most of the shopfronts are uniform in design. At least thats how I remember it, please correct me if I’m wrong.
I love the thought that clearly went in to desiging this cafe. If its not the beautifully functional, barista friendly bar, its the latte art mosaics on the floor, or the espresso timeline painted in coffee on the bar front. You may not like Schomer’s way of doing things, but you have to take your hat off for doing so many new things in this industry. I love the two synessos gleaming at you when you walk in. I like the seperate room for meetings and wireless. I hated the picture on the wall and I’m still not sure what the hell it was about. It wa sout of place and gaudy. I had my best seattle espresso though. It was red. It was bubbly. But it was sweet and it was different to everyone else. I’d prefer to have it with a lower dose but thats just my preference.
It was interetsing to see they sold a small selection of beer as well as a large number of small pastries. I liked that idea; moving towards small bites as opposed to heavy muffins or danish.
I was going to buy some coffee to bring home and play around with but they were awaiting a fresh delivery later that day and I just didn’t get time to go back.
Above you can see three taps rising up and over a drip tray. The middle poured sparkling water and the others poured regular. I presume it was filtered too, either way it was something new and looked great. I’d imagine its nice to work with too.
Unlike the first store we visited, it was a little harder to gape at the barista’s technique with being too obvious. That said, ordering an espresso and a mineral water usually gives your coffee enthusiast identity away.
This Vivace store is probably one of my favourite espresso bars in the world. There is very little I don’t like about it. Being more of a filter kid now I would miss that option, but I guess espresso requires a cafe’s full attention and so sticking to one type isn’t without logic.
We spent the rest of the day playig around on the machine in Cafe D’Arte courtesy of our guide Sarah Dooley. She closed the cafe early and let us all start pulling shots and pouring off her Nuovo Simonelli and 5 espresso grinders. We were all pretty tired and full of coffee, but being barista’s we couldn’t say no to a bit of ego flogging.
See my flickr for photos.