The Ultimate Coffee Road Trip Across the United States.
This week: Delaware to Rhode Island
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 this fall. 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
We hope you continue to enjoy Don’s reports as much as we do!
By Don Niemyer
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
œI’m going to need you to be strong .
These were the words the young bride of 48 hours found herself hearing from her new husband. She was sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Costa Rica, crying. They were out of money and had lost both of their passports. They had no way to buy food, no way to secure shelter, and no way to get out of the country. Somehow œI’m going to need you to be strong wasn’t quite what she was hoping to hear.
And the next words she heard didn’t offer much more comfort: œThere are at least a dozen ways to solve this problem, the husband said, trying to sound confident. œI just haven’t thought of any of them yet.”
As you may have guessed, that’s an account from my own glorious honeymoon. My wife and I laugh about the story today, and of course we did come up with solutions and make it back home, safe and sound. And even though that was over 11 years ago, the lesson we learned about problem solving is with us to this day. When we face something tough, we remember that there are dozens of possible solutions, and all we need is one.
As we travel around visiting cafés, we’re always on the lookout for people who have that same mentality. The problems that come with running a coffee shop are limitless ”but so is the resolve to create great solutions. We’re always fascinated to see the variety of ways that hard-working baristas are coming up with to overcome obstacles, and turn those buckets of lemons into delicious lemonade. In this week’s travels, we ran into several examples of this, from space-saving innovations, to creating great customer experiences, to clever décor. It’s one of our favorite things to report on, and we can’t wait to share them with you, so let’s get to it on this week’s edition of the Rialta Coffee Tour!
We love finding innovations and people who get really creative with their spaces. Maybe next week we’ll even find some more as we keep moving up the East Coast. We’ll have that report for you right here next Saturday, so be sure to check back! Until then, follow us at our social media sites, 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.