Running your own mobile espresso business has its perks. Like enjoying Affogoto – a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with two shots of espresso – at 10 a.m.
“We just had one for breakfast,” said Warren Tandoc, who owns Espresso To Go Go with his wife, Ann.
“It’s delicious,” Ann adds, probably unnecessarily.
Of course, most of the time the Tandocs hope to be preparing orders for others. They opened for business two weeks ago in a 1973 Airstream trailer they outfitted with what Warren describes as top-of-the-line coffee-making equipment, including a La Marzoco espresso machine from Italy and a Mahlkonig grinder from Germany.
“A lot of people think that (grinder) is more important than your espresso machine,” Warren said.
The Tandocs would have preferred a smaller Airstream, but those models turned out to be more expensive than the larger variety, which Warren said is a challenge to maneuver. Nevertheless, the iconic silver trailer serves as a good advertisement for the business, he said.
They plan to park it in different locations around the city each day until they find a circuit of regular stops that works for them, in the same way food trucks have as they have cropped up in Wichita over the past year.
The Tandocs grew up in Newton. Warren is the brother of restaurateur Tanya Tandoc, and the couple worked at Tanya’s Soup Kitchen before deciding to start their own business. They don’t plan to sell much food.
“Coffee is clean – it’s fun,” Warren said. “It essentially sells itself.”
Espresso To Go Go offers several specialty coffee drinks, including lattes, Vietnamese-style coffee and cold-brewed coffee, which they describe as a mellower version of the usual cup of joe. The business has a Facebook page that lists their location each day.
Warren, who also worked as a barista in Lawrence, said making coffee correctly “is an art” – one for which he has certain standards.
“We don’t do decaf and we don’t do sugar-free sauces,” he said. “It doesn’t taste good.”