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Evolution of Coffee Cart Concept

When we first began considering a coffee cart we were going to do it for community garage sales, farmer’s markets, and other random gatherings of people. I wasn’t ever planning to serve very many cups of coffee. Therefore, I did not need much of a cart.

My original plan was for a mobile kitchen island. They are right around $120 at Big Lots. Table top would be 18inx24in. Just enough room to brew pour overs one cup at a time. I was going to carry along propane burners to boil water (Hazard? I don’t think giant open flames in a dry desert landscape would be dangerous). The cart would be doable. It would be a lot of little pieces, but I could do it. The main benefit to this set up is that I could cover the cost out of pocket.

Our plans have progressed dramatically due to one amazing break through. The location that we wanted is interested in what we have to offer and this location has substantially more traffic than a community garage sale. So the mobile kitchen island won’t cut it. It is a little too unstable and I can’t have an open flame.

The changes we need to make are pretty big. We will need quite a few gallons of water. We emailed Harbinger Coffee, who was nice enough to respond, and he said he averages between 15 to 75 cups a day. That is quite a spread, so we averaged it at 35 cups a day. That comes out to about 5.5 gallons. Though most of it will go into the coffee, I will still need a waste container. We are already over the storage limits of a mobile kitchen island.

We were going to grind everything from hand using the Hario Skerton, but then we got to thinking about how hard that would be. Now, I know people do it, but they have to have a gigantic Rafa Nadal arm from grinding that much. We decided we need an electric grinder. Right now we are leaning towards the Breville Smart Grinder. The problem with this is that now we have to find a way to reduce the noise for the location. We think we know how to handle, but there are a few other things we need lined up before we work through this detail.

As you can see, the cost of this cart has gone up quite a bit. We are just doing a test to try and confirm that the Phoenix market is open to the pour over/specialty coffee show and price point. The reality is that, we cannot go in with a cheap cart. We need something we can really work from and doesn’t pose risks to our customers. Right now, we are planning on doing a Kickstarter to raise the funds for this project. We are still working to keep the scope of the cart to a minimum incase our concept does not work, but you can’t cheat quality. Even though this is a test, it will be the first impression with a number of customers and we will never get 2nd first impression.

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