Espresso Vivace Roasteria
David Schomer’s Blog | Cutting-edge espresso technique and equipment review

Artisan Business Roasteria Goodbye


In the artist’s rendition above we see Tricia Rhodes and Mary Michaud bringing their classy style to the front bar.  For us Mary and Tricia defined the warm, smooth service style of the Roasteria in their eight years of artistry.  In the upper left corner you see artist Kurt Wenner installing his mural “An Italian in Algiers” after the opera of the same name by Rossini.  To the left are the windows overlooking the park…(it was especially beautiful when it snowed).  In the center we see the the “elements” series of espresso education and innovations that occured there.  And in the center of the bar our Diedrich IR-12 roaster appears ina bit of digital wizardry.  (The producation roasting was actually moved years ago to 1512 11th Ave. across thge park from the shop.)    And on the right I appear at my sample roaster selecting coffees to use in the blends.  The Roasteria was where I did all my sample roasting and blending research until the day it closed.


Although I had years of advance warning that Sound Transit was going to build the Capitol Hill station there,  it did not seem real that it was going to be razed.  But finally, on Sunday July 13th 2008 it was finally time to say goodbye to our beloved Roasteria Vivace.

This leafy corner came to my attention in 1991 the year Geneva and I had our first son, Taylor. Although it was tucked away a bit, Iwas swayed by my desire to gaze out on the trees in the park for the rest of my life, making the beautiful coffee, and we opened on September 15th 1992. Locating in a leafy hideout was ana act of youthful hubris on my part and business was slow for the first few years.

With no advertising, it became popular because of you dear coffee lover.  You not only sought us out but told your friends and families.  Thank you very much.

The Roasteria was the place where caffe espresso was perfected (again with the hubris) ass a culinary art. Our delicious, swirly research was documented there in a book and two videos that have gone world wide as the standard course for preparing and pouring espresso coffee. In filming Caffe Latte Art in 1994 the store appears as half the original size with the Probat L-12 up front where we did all our roasting until 1995.

When I filmed “Techniques of the Barista” there in 1996 you see the full size shop with the Wenner mural over my shoulder. And, I was younger, I had brown hair.

They say that what ever does not kill you makes you stronger, and clouds have silver linings.  In our case this has been true.  Our new shop is on North Broadway at the Brix condominiums (532 Broadway Ave E.).   We opened on September 26th 2008, a Friday.  We had no signs, and of course no advertising.  The first day broke even and the second day was standing room only.  Our daily business volume exceeded the Roasteria within three weeks after opening and…we own it!   We have no lease.  The mural is there, we have our children’s corner, and finally I have my perfect yellow walls that I always secretely yearned for.