As baristas at Uncommon Grounds in Burlington, Jim Osborn and Sam Clifton have gotten on very close terms with coffee. So close that, they say, they became bothered by the “anonymity” of the supply chain, and began dreaming up ways to put drinkers more in touch with their brews.
Three weeks ago, Osborn and Clifton launched the first traveling coffee cart in Burlington, Cursive Coffee. Since then, they’ve brewed cups of Santa Isabel, Gutemala, and Ahuachapan, El Salvador, among others, at a handful of catering events. “Vermonters are really excited about where their food comes from, and we wanted to show people what’s worth getting excited about [with coffee],” says Osborn, who was chosen as “Best Barista” by Seven Days readers in this year’s Daysies competition.
Osborn and Clifton use terms such as “transparency,” “respect” and “enthusiasm” to gush about the coffee they buy from New York’s Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, which works to build relationships with coffee farmers around the world.
At Cursive Coffee’s traveling brew bar — which makes espresso, too — the pair prepares its single-origin coffees using techniques that range from flat-bottom pour-overs to AeroPress. “We try to take the pretension out of it,” Clifton says.
Cursive Coffee will be at the South Burlington Farmers Market on October 6 and 13. “We may pop up other places soon,” Osborn says, including the Burlington Winter Farmers Market.