Out & About Coffee
It’s been two years since we first saw Out & About Coffee’s mobile coffee bar on the Sarasota scene. With owner Justin Banister at the helm, O&A’s momentum to creatively curate coffee is constant.
“I got into this business to help my farms and to help educate people on coffee,” he says. While traveling through Central and South America, visiting plantations for mission work, coffee farming piqued Justin’s interest. “Farms first,” he says. “It’s always been my driving point.” Spending time overseas and discovering different farms, Justin says he has aligned himself with the highest-quality beans and world-renowned roasters to serve up true caffeinated character to the Sarasota masses.
Keen to release people from the mind-set that coffee can only be served one way, O&A is making big efforts to be more involved in the Sarasota community. “I create individual recipes for every single coffee that comes in.” Nothing is standard when it comes to what Out & About serves. “I work with my roasters specifically to develop things. I want to know that what I am doing is what they want as a representation of themselves as well.”
Out & About works through direct trade. “It’s not Fair Trade, it’s direct trade, which is a big difference. Direct trade essentially cuts out the middleman.” This method creates optimal profit for the farm. “This creates a livable wage for our farmers,” says Justin. “We make sure that everything is ethically sourced.”
“I just want to make coffee and tell people about it.” While sourcing from the most exclusive roasters around the world can get expensive, Justin says, “I want to teach people about the best-quality coffee, therefore I need to be willing to buy the best-quality coffee and I am not going to change my prices for it. I believe coffee is a humble beverage and should be served as such.”
“All events are the right events for coffee,” laughs Justin. A local collaboration coming this June is Art and Coffee hosted by Out & About Coffee and Spring Hill Suites Marriott. Featured concoctions will include artisanal coffee drinks like Justin’s version of a coffee bramble (muddled blackberries, tonic, simple syrup, espresso on top, and atomized lime).
When O&A met up with 3 Keys Brewing and Eatery, a new stout was born. “I brought four different types of coffees … we tasted everything.” They worked closely to counter the amount of bitterness from the original brew recipe with coffee bitters. The collaboration crafted the perfect amount of bitterness needed to create a well-balanced stout. O&A’s cold-brew is even on draft at JDub’s Dub Shack, or try an Up Top Bomb (IPA and with two ounces of coldbrew coffee).
Clearly not your average coffee bar, these coffee connoisseurs have even been known to light things on fire to make the perfect smoked cold-brew. “I’m a really big nerd, but this takes me to all new nerd levels.”