La Douche Vita

July 14, 2011

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I like to think that my visitors use this blog as a resource. Going out for coffee sounds simple enough, yet such an action is layered with deeper considerations. When choosing a destination for the procurement of caffeinated beverages, it is important to seek a venue that not only fulfills your needs, but resonates with your soul. Caffé Vita (“Caffé?” Really? What language do I not know, to not get that spelling?) has a definite vibe that could have been pleasant had I known what I was walking into. Of course, I was on Alberta St., so I should have put two and two together and assumed I’d be getting a healthy side serving of the self-important.

Entrance of Caffe Vita, from the inside.

That's a big freakin' door. Seriously.

I initially had a hard time assessing whether Caffé Vita was a slummy coffee shop with nice  furniture, or a an uppity shop slumming it. The extra-wide open door on a warm, dry day aggravated my allergies and invited in a swarm of flies to circle in the center of the room. This was either nauseating or beautiful, depending on how you focused your eyes. The peeling walls were speckled with holes due to what I assume was repeated damage from hanging pictures from stone walls. There’s plenty of floor space, but the hanging speakers which played no ambient music really only made the expansive space seem bleak. Seriously, guys. I’ve been to a coffee shop in Burma, and even a state under a military junta (at the time) with an underdeveloped economy and a laundry list of human rights violations had a clean, cozy coffee shop.

They’re a coffee shop to the core, with a standard menu (chalkboard…*yawn*) of your typical espresso and french press with a decent tea selection. If you want a pastry, however, you’re SOL. Having had their coffee before at Goldrush on MLK (it was aiight) and not in need of a caffeine kick, I opted to give the tea a try. I asked for Chamomile “sham-mo-meel” tea, which was corrected flatly by the barista as “kam-meh-meel.” Really, dude? Just broil the damned water. You know, stuff like that only makes me want to keep bringing up the half-dozen flies hovering in the middle of this faux-apocalyptic coffee purgatory.

In all honesty, Caffé Vita is a unique space with a hip, albeit nihilistic, vibe. It’s just too bad I wasn’t remotely in the mood for their pretentious hipster nonsense.