Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Culture fit: coffee in a tiny house

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 1:44 PM

So you've got third wave coffee culture, and you've got the tiny home movement

Disparate topics altogether until you combine them into Story Coffee Company, a new Colorado Springs venture set to soft-launch Friday at Skate in the Park

click to enlarge SCC's service and back counter. - COURTESY DON NIEMYER
  • Courtesy Don Niemyer
  • SCC's service and back counter.
Later, SCC will land elsewhere in town — location yet to be determined — with a more permanent park spot, says co-owner Don Niemyer, who'll serve as the main barista at the shop.  

He's also a coffee competition judge, as is his wife and co-owner Carissa, who's officiated for the United States Barista Championship (and is currently working at The Principal's Office). The two formerly owned Portland, Oregon’s Speedboat Coffee for six years, having lived in Colorado Springs prior.

For SCC, they've partnered with Brandon and Kelly Noffsinger. He's a a tech guy and roaster who’ll eventually oversee that operation when SCC later handles its own beans (off-site), and his wife Kelly is an artist responsible for SCC’s design elements.

This Sprudge article tells part of the story of how they all met and formed the idea for this tiny house coffee shop. They recently believed they’d be opening the world’s first tiny house coffee shop, says Don, before learning of Tiny House Coffee, which just beat them to the punch in Poncha Springs.

Their respective, exhaustive journeys around the country in search of best coffee enterprises originally informed the tiny house inspiration, due to their minimalist road living. The benefit to Springs coffee connoisseurs will be selections from SCC's favorite roasters, such as: Burlington, Vermont’s Brio; Miami, Florida’s Panther; Corvallis, Oregon’s Bespoken; and Fayetteville, Arkansas’ Onyx. A prior relationship with Portland’s lauded Stumptown Coffee will also make SCC the first to serve it fresh in Colorado.

“Each one produces great coffee,” says Don, “but we’re drawn to them for their personal stories.” 

The first “story” in SCC’s name refers to those coffees and their roasters. The second is the Niemyer and Noffsinger’s joint story. The third will be the customers’ stories created here. “We want to make friends,” he says.

click to enlarge Coffee in motion. - COURTESY DON NIEMYER
  • Courtesy Don Niemyer
  • Coffee in motion.
Regarding the coffee, limited space means eschewing pourovers and such in favor of batch-brewed coffee, which Don calls “consistent and predictable” on the production side. Espresso drinks will come off a La Marzocco Linea. Cream and sugar will be added for you as “an expression of hospitality” and only a house-made vanilla syrup and chocolate will be available as additives.

“We’re not snobs,” Don assures. “But we’re not everything to everybody. If someone wants a 20-ounce white mocha, that's fine, beauty's in the eye of the beholder, but we're not gonna offer that."

And regarding the nerdy tidbits of the tiny design: From front door to counter, it’s 14 feet with standing tables, then 2 feet of bar, 2 feet of barista room, and 2 feet of back counter. SCC manages to fit an ice maker, dishwasher, hot water heater, mop sink, filtration system, two coffee grinders and the espresso machine.

After buying a 20-by-8-foot trailer, the owners did the construction themselves with reused materials and sustainably harvested woods, spending six months and $25,000, coffee equipment aside.

“Everyone steps in for the first time and says, ‘wow, it’s a lot bigger than I thought,’” says Don, noting a walk-up window for when max capacity’s reached.

Here's some more pics from the project:

click to enlarge The team pitched extra for sustainably harvested woods. - COURTESY DON NIEMYER
  • Courtesy Don Niemyer
  • The team pitched extra for sustainably harvested woods.
 
click to enlarge Don and Carissa Niemyer (left) and Brandon and Kelly Noffsinger. - COURTESY DON NIEMYER
  • Courtesy Don Niemyer
  • Don and Carissa Niemyer (left) and Brandon and Kelly Noffsinger.

click to enlarge The Niemyer kids help show off the trailer before the build began, back in Oregon. - COURTESY DON NIEMYER
  • Courtesy Don Niemyer
  • The Niemyer kids help show off the trailer before the build began, back in Oregon.

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