Blue House Coffee Goods Opens Coffee Bike Stand in Tempe
While we sit in rush-hour traffic to commute, Blue House Coffee Goods co-founder Sam Beger pedals his work -- a 300- to 500-pound bike -- to the corner of East University Drive and South College Avenue in Tempe. It takes about seven minutes.
Hayden Harrison Blue House Coffee Goods sells Ice Toddy on tap.
Beger and co-founder Nick DiPastena take turns biking to their spot across from Arizona State University's campus.
At the corner, a seemingly simple bike cart transforms into a full-fledged Iced Toddy and China Mist iced tea stand.
An Iced Toddy consists of coffee beans roasted until they are a Vienna or medium brown color and then ground finely. Then, five pounds of grinds are soaked in cheesecloth in filtered water.
When the Toddy is put into kegs for the cart, it is hooked up to nitrogen in order to keep it fresh.
Once one is ordered, a Toddy mixture flows out of tap made up of one-third concentrate and two-thirds water.
"It makes it a smoother drink, but it still has the coffee taste -- but, not bitter," DiPastena says. "We want to make it where you don't need any sugar. You really taste what the beans taste like with water."
DiPastena and his friend Harrison Bowers began roasting coffee in 2012 while attending Northern Arizona University.
"I had received a coffee roaster from my cousin, an old one that was basically a glorified oven," DiPastena said laughing. "It really wasn't a really good coffee roaster at all. It was a dinosaur."
They became enticed with roasting and Blue House Coffee Goods was born. The beans began to sell off the website and to close friends.
Once he realized NAU wasn't the place for him and the heat of Phoenix was more his speed, he decided to transfer to Arizona State University to study economics.
Part of Blue House Coffee Goods' goal is to promote local artists. Though this has been put on hold to start the cart, it is planned for the future.
"Fun artists," DiPastena said. "That's what we are all about. We are all about fun art that's not intimidating because our coffee is for all ages."
A local artist was featured every couple of months by including a sticker of their artwork with the bag of beans. One day, DiPastena came to Tempe to take pictures of Will Beger's artwork.
Will happened to be Sam Beger's brother, and Sam happened to want to start a coffee cart on ASU's campus.
At this point, DiPastena was ready to quit, but Beger refueled his fire. They began to plan, built their coffee cart, and got to work.
Hayden Harrison It took Sam Beger and Nick DiPastena about three months to build the coffee stand.
DiPastena knows how to roast the coffee. Beger is master of making the coffee fresh to serve due to his passion for brewing beer. Co-founder Zack Zeigler is the finance and tax guy.
Now the pair wants to start an iced coffee uprising.
"The next wave of coffee is cold brew," Beger said. "Arizona could be the Mecca for it."
For now the Toddy on tap switches day-to-day, but two more taps have been ordered to add to the cart. Then we will be able to choose between Sumatran, Guatemalan and Cameroonian blend.
Unless it gets pretty cold this winter, DiPastena said not to expect hot coffee to be served from this cart.
"If you walk on Arizona's campus, I don't see anyone with hot coffee," DiPastena said. "Even if they go to Starbucks, they get a cold coffee. But, the cold coffee at most coffee shops is just hot coffee just put in the refrigerator. We really take time to make a quality ice coffee because it is such an in demand drink."
The Blue House Coffee Goods coffee cart can be found on its corner Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Zeigler and DiPastena are still studying at ASU while Bowers is studying up at NAU. Although he's up North, he still promotes and sells the beans.