Michael McConell’s Caffe Vita and Via Tribunali – recently taking the Lower East Side by storm – are both innovations in and of themselves. While Caffe Vita is the very first coffee purveyor in Manhattan to offer on-site roasting, Via Tribunali is one of the city’s few truly authentic Neapolitan pizzerias. Both venues boast multiple locations from Seattle, Washington all the way to Portland, Oregon, and McConnell is the driving force behind both brands. Having a constant hand in the decor, as well as in the cuisine at all of his restaurants, McConnell is a New, New York proprietor we simply had to sit down with.
What’s different about the coffee at Caffe Vita?
Caffe Vita is always fresh, imported directly from the farm and roasted on-site, which helps set us apart from other coffee companies and cafes.
Caffe Vita is a pioneer in farm-direct coffee sourcing, offering incentives to our farmers for improving the quality of their coffee, nurturing relationships to bring each coffee to its fullest potential.
Why should we stop by?
To fully experience our fresh, high quality coffee first-hand in a warm and welcoming environment.
What’s special about the concept of Caffe Vita?
There’s a lot! By creating an environment where the customer can see, touch, taste the coffee they purchase, we provide a unique learning opportunity and allow the coffee to speak for itself.
Any other “kids on the block” you find yourself competing with?
What kind of equipment do you use in your shop? What’s special about it?
Caffe Vita roasts all of our coffee on vintage German made coffee roasters. We roast daily in our Ludlow St. cafe using an antique cast iron Gothot roaster from the early 1900s. We are the first and only wholesale coffee roaster to roast on-site in Manhattan.
We brew our espresso through a restored, vintage La Marzocco espresso machine from the late 1970s. The machine is believed to be one of four existing in the world.
What experience do you want customers to walk away with?
We are anxious for customers to walk away having a life changing coffee experience, sharing the same passion and enthusiasm for truly great coffee as we do!