Coffee Pedalers in McCarren Park

Kickstand, a collapsible coffee stall that’s wheeled around on a pair of salvaged bikes, made its public debut last Saturday in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at the Market in McCarren, the outdoor arm of Artists and Fleas. The brainchild of Aaron Davis and Peter Castelein, both employees of Gimme! Coffee, and Neal Olson, formerly of Gimme! Coffee, Kickstand brings fresh, hand-crafted coffee to the grassy splendor of a public park. Weather permitting.

The trio offers cold brew iced coffee ($2.50), though the show-stopper is the pour over coffee bar, where drip coffee is made one cup at time ($2.50). The pour over bar is outfitted with glass cones sliced off from Chemex drippers—it’s as if coffee geeks and pedalheads made off with the keys to shop class. The distinctive hourglass form of the Chemex earned it a place in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and seeing one bottomless feels a little naughty.

The stand doesn’t have a power source, so water is heated on propane burners. More ingenious, beans are ground in hand-cranked Hario grinders. (The plan is to mount a Zassenhaus grinder on the counter by next Saturday.) The elbow grease might seem obsessive, or even unnecessary, but grinding beans to order is one of the basic principles of cutting-edge coffee.

And it turns making a cup into a show. “When people are seeing it happen it becomes a performance,” Mr. Davis said. “We’re expecting to be pretty buff by the end of the summer.”

Last week, Kickstand was brewing a sun-dried Amaro Gayo from Ethiopia, roasted by Gimme! Coffee, and a El Injertal from Guatemala roasted by Café Grumpy. Mr. Davis said they plan to change the coffees often, and try a variety of local roasters. The three of them detail their plans in this Q+A on Free Williamsburg.

As Shot Zombies points out, there are more elaborate bikable stands elsewhere in the country. But Kickstand takes advantage of a distinctly New York resource, and serves its coffee in cups that are as much a local icon as the Brooklyn Bridge.

From NY Times