The Ultimate Coffee Road Trip Across the United States.
This week: Alabama and Tennessee
Editor’s note: We began publishing reports from Don Niemyer about the cafes he visited on his cross-country coffee tour back in the summer of 2013, and we’ve loved following his journey, learning about amazing coffeehouses out there in the United States, ever since. We’ll be publishing reports from Don about his recent journey around the Central and Northern states every Saturday until ”well, until Don makes it to a stopping point. To catch up on Don’s earlier posts about his explorations of coffee culture throughout the Western United States, click HERE. Following are links to Don’s posts from this current Saturday Series:
Part 1: Oregon to Amarillo, Texas
Part 2: Oklahoma to South Dakota
Part 3: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Part 4: Wisconsin to Michigan
Part 5: Chicago, Illinois
Part 6: Indiana to Washington, D.C.
Part 7: Virginia to Florida
Special Edition: The Big Central Coffee Competitions in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Part 8: Maryland to Pennsylvania
Part 9: Delaware to Rhode Island
Part 10: Massachusetts to Maine
Part 11: Vermont
Part 12: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Part 13: Ohio to Tennessee
Part 14: Atlanta
We hope you continue to enjoy Don’s reports as much as we do!
By Don Niemyer
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
I’ve got this cousin named Todd. About 20 years ago, Todd and his wife, Mandy, left Oklahoma pursuing a dream of country music, which of course landed them in Nashville, Tenn. Todd was the whole package: Country boy good looks; pretty good with a guitar; sharp as a tack; And siiing ”my Lord, could that boy sing! Ol’ Todd got pretty close a couple times. He accidentally moved in next door to the guy that wrote a bunch of number-one hits for George Strait, and that guy was dead-set on making Todd a star. But as it often goes, a couple balls didn’t bounce the right way, and it never happened.
Luckily, Todd wasn’t just a one-trick pony. He had other stuff going on while he was looking for that break, and he ended up building a successful business where he now employees about 100 people, and he’s part of a great group of friends and involved in his local community. So I guess things worked out pretty good for Todd and Mandy. They’ve taken the cards that life dealt ˜em and turned over a winning hand. But the very best thing that came out of their story? An excuse for me to visit Nashville, Tenn., on my epic coffee adventure ”a visit which produced some good times hanging out with my cousins, but also some of my favorite coffee experiences of the whole trip. So let’s roll, coffee lovers! We’ll head over to Birmingham, then up to Nashville for some toe-tappin’ good times, and as always, some exploration of the best shops we can find!
Yes sir, Nashville was good to us, but all good things must come to an end. Fortunately for us, when one good thing comes to an end, it usually means there’s another good thing right around the corner, and the good thing in this case is Springfield, Missouri. That’s where we’ll be reporting from next Saturday, so be sure to check back! Until then, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or at DonNiemyer.com. See you soon!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Don Niemyer used to own three coffee shops in Portland, Ore., where he and his wife Carissa spent 8 years immersed in the excellent coffee culture there, milking it like a dairy cow for every drop of expertise it would give them, making lots of friends, doing some USBC judging, and learning all they could. One day, they decided to move their kids closer to family, so they bought a tiny RV, moved into it, and have been œmoving to Colorado ever since, visiting coffee shops, practicing minimalism, and having lots of fun. That was over two years ago. One of these days, they might even end up living in Colorado.