Making great coffee on the road: Building a mobile coffee bar with The Bergamot [Video]

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Mobile coffee bar from The Bergamot

When able, I play bass for the indie-pop/rock band, The Bergamot. They often perform as a husband and wife duo, traveling lightly all around the country, but when they want a bigger group they’ll get a hold of me.

Nathaniel, who writes, sings and plays nearly every instrument imaginable in the band, enjoys coffee almost as much as he does performing. While touring they love checking out new coffee shops along the way, but when they can’t find a decent cup-o-joe he opts to brew his own for himself and anyone around who wants some. The mobile coffee bar that he takes everywhere with him impressed me so I thought I’d ask him to share a bit of his process to pass along. Check out the video below for more.

Cafflano Klassic

The star of the show is the Cafflano Klassic – a portable all-in-one pour over maker. It packs down into one thermos sized container, but inside of it you get a 270ml kettle, burr grinder, stainless filter and a double walled tumbler. On top of that, when able, Nathaniel uses an electric gooseneck kettle, a small digital scale set to grams to measure out coffee and water and the Intelligentsia app for some calculations and brew time.

The Process

First off, you need some hot water. The Cafflano comes with a 270ml kettle, but to make the process easier, Nathaniel uses a Bonavida gooseneck electric kettle when possible. This makes the heating process easy and more accurate, and the gooseneck is better for pour over coffee. He sets it to 207 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mobile Coffee Bar: Video

Once the water is ready, he first rinses the paper filter to get some of the taste out. Even though the Cafflano has the built in filter he opts to use a paper filter as well. Then once rinsed, place the grinder on top of the filter and fill with fresh coffee beans.

This is where the scale comes in handy as you can get a more accurate reading of how much coffee is being ground. Usually Nathaniel aims for around 20g of coffee beans. And grind away.

In the Intelligentsia app, you can select your brew type and it will give you some water measurements based on how many grams of coffee beans you’re using. For pour over, select the V60 pour over, enter the amount of coffee you’ve ground, double tap the timer to begin and follow the directions.

Intelligentsia has two steps to pouring once everything is ready. First step in the pour over process is getting getting the grounds to bloom. The app gives a suggested amount of water based on weight to let the coffee bloom, which is usually double how many grounds are being used.

The next step is to fill to the directed final weight, which is given based on the grounds entered. You can do this in increments as the time ticks up, or slowly add water until the final weight is reached.

Then, enjoy a cup of coffee! The nice thing about this mobile coffee bar is that it’s pretty modular based on what you have available. If just the Cafflano, all you really need is water and a way to heat it. But if you’re able to add and electric kettle and scale, you can get a well dialed in cup of coffee almost anywhere.

For some other DIY coffee ideas, check out Trevor’s custom coffee and espresso bar.

Get your own Mobile Coffee Bar:

Cafflano Klassic

Bonavida gooseneck electric kettle

AWS digital scale

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