A former rock and roll roadie settles down in Honolulu with his family, but in the coffee world, “settling down” is relative—and Justin Schiada’s spinning of a lifetime of coffee passion into a new traveling mobile unit serving coffee across the island of Oahu. He’s serving Hawaiian coffees, of course, from some of the island’s top roasters and growers, and doing it all on a state of the art Modbar & Mazzer combo tricked out like a rock and roll traveling roadshow. This is Roadcase Coffee in Honolulu.
As told to Sprudge by Justin Schiada.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
In summer 2012 I was a drum tech on a US/European tour with an artist who let me bring my espresso machine on the bus. The production manager suggested I build it into my work box and serve the bands and crews from the side of the stage, and it was all downhill from there. I sourced beans local to whatever city we were in and spent most of my off days on cafe crawls looking for inspiration for what kind of hospitality I would offer in the future. I’ve since quit the roadie life and settled down in Honolulu with my family.
Coffee was always relationship-driven for me, my dad taught me how to barista at 10 and I loved to serve my parents’ friends at our house. I’ve been bouncing between coffee and music over the last 20 years or so, dreaming about my own shop, and finally took the plunge last year and got a business entity.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
Well, I’m a mobile unit, so if I want to pop-up at the beach, I can do that! I eventually want a brick and mortar, but for now I’ll be doing pop-ups around Oahu in venues, retail shops, and hopefully a few surf competitions.
What’s your approach to coffee?
I want to provide the experience I had on all my crawls while on tour and showcase the diversity of roasters from all over the world. I also have the privilege of living at origin, arguably the only one the US has to offer, and will have a rotating selection from the local Hawaiian roasters.
I have an affinity for espresso, there’s something glamorous about the narrow margin of consistently pulling a balanced shot, like good marksmanship, and I want that to be the focus of my shop. I have love for pour overs-too and will be brewing Hawaiian coffees on . There is also unlimited potential in the culinarily arts and pairing coffee, I hope to explore outside the box of milk and coffee and take my audience as far as they will follow.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Late July/early August.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
My mother is a graphic designer and my wife is an artist and they have given me a lot of insight and feedback throughout the brainstorming process.
Thank you for considering my project, I appreciate all you do in shedding light upon the passions of our obscure coffee community.