Barista Magazine

FEB-MAR 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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23 www.baristamagazine.com rarily, he hopes—slightly decreased profi ts. He's endlessly positive and hopeful that this will change, however—and besides, he says, it's worth it. Roasting his own coffee, Mojtaba says, is "not that lucrative, because it's higher quality and therefore more expensive, but it just makes sense to me." It's hot during the midday, and we start by trying the café's iced coffee, expecting ice cubes in one of the blue cups with the café logo stacked on top of the espresso machine. Instead, the barista pulls out a 16-ounce plastic hip fl ask from the freezer, which is half-fi lled with ice. The transparent fl ask is completely frozen. The barista aims the opening of the fl ask under the steamwand and blasts it. Now up to temperature, the coffee inside the fl ask fl oats on top of a chunk of ice, creating a solid half-ice, half-coffee drink. The barista hands it over and makes a motion to shake the fl ask. We do, but it still takes several minutes before the brown liquid fl ows around the icy bottom, combin- ing the drink into one. The next drink we try is espresso-based—a caramel macchiato— which is not easily found in Iran. The barista packs the portafi lter and uses the edge of the trunk as a tamping surface. As he presses down, the whole van bounces. The fi nal result is a slightly over-sweetened macchiato, as is preferred in Iran, topped with some pretty impres- sive latte art. The last drink we order is one unique not only to Iran, but to Kashan, which is known as the city of rose water. The chalkboard menu reads "traditional coffee," which we discover consists of a shot of espresso, milk, and rose water, and can be served hot or cold. We try it hot. The drink has a beautiful fragrance and fl avor—comparable to a lavender latte, but more rose-like. Mostly, these vans are found around Tehran, Iran's modern capi- tol city, which is crowded with universities and parks. Mojtaba tells us that Shazdeh café also has a truck there, as well as fi ve others circulating the country. He says his business works kind of like a franchise, where he controls the prices and quality of the coffee and leaves the rest to the day-to-day operators. On Instagram, one of the only social media sites legal in Iran, Shazdeh has an account for each van, though they all share the same bio: "Shazdeh coffee— Somewhere around you." ÑFreja Sonnichsen IRAN'S COFFEE MICROBUSES Where: Mostly concentrated around the capitol city of Teh- ran, as well as Isfahan, Kashan, Rasht, and other cities. What: Specialties include traditional coffees and iced coffee from a hip fl ask, ranging from USD $3–$5 per drink. FOLLOW IRAN'S COFFEE MICROBUSES ON INSTAGRAM @Pin.Cafe @Way.Cafe @Biroon.Cafe @Shazdeh.vw @wagon_coffee

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