By 7:30 a.m., two ASU students have already tapped their first keg of the day. Keg of coffee, that is.
Economics junior Nicholas DiPastena and alumnus Sam Beger sell iced tea and coffee from a bicycle-turned-coffee-stand to students who flow through the busy intersection of College Avenue and University Drive near the Tempe campus.
Blue House Coffee Goods sells an iced toddy, made through a cold brew process, that really allows them to focus on the quality and flavor of the coffee, DiPastena said.
“It makes it a really smooth, buttery toddy,” he said. “You really taste the coffee in the way that it is meant to be tasted.”
The cold brew process requires coffee beans to soak in water that is slightly below room temperature for 16 hours, Beger said.
“You get a lot of caffeine, but it doesn’t withdraw the bitter tannins and acids of coffee,” he said.
After the toddy is made, it is then put into kegs and pressurized with nitrogen to keep it as fresh as possible, DiPastena said.
Beger said this creates a quick method for serving the coffee and tea that allows students to get in-and-out and on their way to class without long lines like those at Starbucks.
“I remember being a student trying to get through campus and get my coffee in the morning and wanting a place that didn’t have really long lines,” he said.
DiPastena said cold brew coffee is becoming very popular, especially in Arizona.
“We think it is something Arizona could really grab a hold on,” Beger said. “Arizona could be like the Seattle of cold brew.”
Business and legal studies freshman Travis Grimm said he buys coffee and tea from Beger and DiPastena every day, because he prefers to support local businesses and thinks the coffee is better than that of other shops.
“The purity of the tea and coffee is unlike anything I’ve ever had,” Grimm said. “It’s unbeatable.”
The duo began selling iced toddy and iced tea from the cart they built by hand in April.
Blue House Coffee Goods was originally DiPastena’s idea, which came from a love of coffee and a cousin who distributed coffee online, he said.
“Every time I went over there, he had his own roaster,” DiPastena said. “He got me super in to roasting coffee and trying different coffees.”
DiPastena transferred to NAU after his freshman year at ASU. It was at NAU that he and a friend, Harrison Bowers, began trying to start a coffee shop.
When DiPastena transferred back to ASU after a semester at Flagstaff, he met Beger and the two began expanding Blue House Coffee Goods.
After trying several avenues to making the business into a coffee shop, Beger and DiPastena decided to build a cart that they could sell coffee from.
They retrofitted an old bicycle and built a cart on top of it, making it portable and efficient.
Economics and supply chain management senior Zack Zeigler does finances for Blue House Coffee Goods. He said they are dedicated to what they do, and it shows in their company.
“We aren’t in it to make money,” Zeigler said. “We actually enjoy what we do. It’s a blast going out with my friends and roasting coffee.”
Blue House Coffee Goods is working to expand to sell bottles of concentrated toddy as part of their efforts to make it a staple for ASU students, DiPastena said.
Their expansion is just one of many signs that they are dedicated to the company, DiPastena said.
“We didn’t pay anybody do to anything,” DiPastena said. “We worked really hard on this.”
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