A cart with a heart, a truck we wish good luck—meet Eureka Coffee of Oakland, California, a spunky little mobile coffee outfit selling tasty coffee from a classic setup. Goals include: pulling down the walls of exclusivity, making delicious coffee accessible to the masses, and serving tasty pop-tarts. What's not to like? Nothing. There's nothing not to like about it.
As told to Sprudge by Jessica Caisse. All photos by Jessica Caisse and Robyn Brems.
For those who aren't familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Eureka Coffee, in a nutshell, is a specialty coffee and espresso bar—in a truck! It's driven and operated by me, Jessica. I have been working in coffee for 11 years, and have done everything from roasting to serving as a barista to now, building my own crazy coffee truck! Eureka Coffee is my opportunity to deliver a coffee experience in a way which I think most people can appreciate.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
About 4 years ago, my buddies and I bought an old PG&E truck—a 1992 GMC Stepvan. Pulling out all the welding was… well… pretty gruesome. But finally, after countless hands and minds have worked on it, she's finally done. My favorite feature is the beautiful maple wall and ceiling panels, which gives the truck a warm elegant feeling, not unlike some of the beautiful Japanese tea houses I've seen.
What's your approach to coffee?
I am drawn to specialty coffee because it attempts to reconnect us and bring understanding to one of the most ubiquitous and widely under-considered products in our culture. One my least favorite things about any specialty industry, however, is the air of exclusivity which can often surround it. What's problematic about that is, that attitude can shut out and alienate people who might have otherwise developed a relationship and interest in something that can enrich their lives—like coffee! I want Eureka to help bridge that gap and to bring people together to partake in the ritual of coffee together, and hopefully encourage more folks to consider it more consciously.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
I have to admit—not really. I believe in a good piece of equipment without too many bells or whistles, so my lineup is perhaps rather nostalgic for some of the more seasoned coffee professionals. I'm using a classic La Marzocco Linea 2-group, a Mazzer Super Jolly grinder (…WITH a paddle doser! Don't tell me you don't miss that cute little ‘clack-clack-clack'!), and a FETCO brewer. I suppose the real star of the show is a beautiful custom-made copper V60 drip bar, which I inherited from one of my first and most favorite specialty coffee jobs (RIP Remedy Coffee). I love that thing so much!
For the foreseeable future I am serving coffee from those amazing titans of delicious brews, Verve Coffee out of Santa Cruz, CA. In the future, I'd love to expand my menu to feature smaller roasters with less visibility as well.
I'm also featuring unbelievable seasonal homemade pop-tarts from the amazing Rolling Sloanes!
What's your hopeful target opening date/month?
As of Sunday, July 19th, I am open for business!
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you'd like to mention?
More wonderful people than I can list helped in one way or another with the build-out of this truck, but the big round of applause goes to Shawn Hibma-Cronin, Neill McCumber, Adam Hatch, David Wiley, and my awesome dad, Art Caisse. I also need to give props to Derek and Tina over at Golden West Sign Arts for the amazing hand-painted logos on the outside!
What's the address?
Most awesome thing about a food truck—I'm everywhere! At the moment, I am only doing special events and catering gigs, but I hope to have a secured place at least a couple days a week somewhere in North Oakland soon! In the meantime, the best way to find me is to follow my Instagram.