I've been enjoying watching the intersection of 43rd and Fremont for the past couple of hours. People do silly things at this intersection. And wear silly clothes. (I'm sorry, Ma'am. It's not that I'm judging you. I just think your hat is superfluous.) And have silly little dogs, prancing around on the ends of spindly little leashes. It's a good time. Fremont is one of my favorite Seattle districts, for its unique mix of people and eclectic blend of shops you can pass a hundred times before you realize that they're there. Among it all, Caffe Vita holds the distinct privilege of an obvious corner location, and a steady stream of patrons.
When I arrived this afternoon, they were brewing their Gayo River Sumatra, so I sipped on a sample of that while waiting for my americano. My opinion on Sumatra has now been put on hold. I would formerly, hands down, have said I didn't like Sumatran coffee. But I am forced to say that I like this one, and consequently, will now be forced to taste others and see how I feel about them as well. Bother. Typically, a Sumatra will have more "earth" and "herb" than I like in a coffee. This one has subtler, sweeter undertones while still maintaining, as they say, a "swaggering" body.
By contrast, the americano was ok, but I would say over-sweet. Their espresso is mild enough that pulling ristretto shots almost leaves it tasting undeveloped. Although, it might not be a bad thing that I didn't put any sugar in it. We can say this coffee is undoubtedly better for your teeth!
Overall, this location gets my vote. As long as you're only one person. I'm here studying with a friend, and we found two tables to put together, but for the most part it is strictly "two people meeting" or "one person studying" space. People on Urbanspoon wrote many nasty things about the baristas being mean, and the service being slow, but I contest both. The barista seems quite personable, and I haven't seen anyone have to wait long for their coffee.
It's worth stopping in. For the Coffee, for the Theo Chocolate (which Vita has a partnership with... look!), and for the very artistic informational postcards about the coffee.
Careful with the tables, though. You've been warned.