|Courtesy of La Colombe
co-founder Todd Carmichael
and his crew dont make coffee. "We cook coffee," he clarifies. "Were cooks." This culinary roasting approach has made L.C. a fave of big guns like Daniel Boulud
and Jean-Georges Vongerichten
, and you better recognize. If youve fallen out of touch with our acclaimed house blend, get reacquainted this Sunday at their Rittenhouse cafe (130 S. 19th St.). From 1 p.m., Carmichael (whos been penning a coffee column
for Esquire.coms Eat like a Man
blog, by the way) will be roasting, grinding and brewing out of his sweet new ride, a vermilion 1967 French panel van equipped with a circa-1930s Vittoria roaster he and business partner JP Iberti
unearthed during an espresso machine expedition in Bologna.
Carmichael "refurbished it down to the bearings," and the ride is now a totally mobile coffee shop, capable of going from green bean-to-brew in less than 15 minutes. "Its all about getting closer to the roaster" is the notion fueling Cranked, Carmichael and Ibertis caffeinated Philly-to-Chicago road trip. If all goes according to plan, the new ride will hit the road in mid-fall, after Carmichael, an avid (and record-setting
) trekker, traverses Death Valley on foot. "Ive got a rickshaw with a bag of food, a tarp and 500 pounds of water," he says of his preparation for the challenge. "Im gonna heave that bitch all the way across." What about caffeine? I make the worlds best survival coffee," says Carmichael. "I burn butane-infused wax to heat a six-ounce Turkish coffee pot. Nizza, sugar, stirred with a knife, all on my haunches."