ACWORTH — A new place to get coffee can be found at multiple locations in southwest Cherokee County near Acworth: Steampunk Barista, a coffee house on wheels.
The mobile barista concept is the product of husband-wife team Michael and Mica Jabłonowski of Woodstock.
The trailer was parked at Rudi Fine Jewelry on Saturday, but the couple plans to keep it at Woodstock Furniture and Mattress Outlet most weekends, rotating to other places in the area. The barista will also be available for special public and private events.
“To be able to talk with me and watch me make your product, it has a visual impact,” Michael Jablonowski said. “You know you really are getting a handcrafted cup of coffee.”
The barista carries coffee drinks from lattes to frappes, with a house espresso and a wide variety of other beans that can be used for many beverage combinations. The hand-selected beans, include specials Highland Grog, infused with rum, butterscotch, vanilla and caramel, Velvet Moon, described as a “unflavored bold stout Italian espresso,” and Chocolate Caramel Brownie. Other flavors include Jamaican, Kenyan and even cinnamon beans.
Michael Jablonowski, who has lived in Woodstock since he was a child, said his interest in coffee started with serving it to friends.
“I grew up in an Italian family, the whole house smelled like espresso. But I didn’t have my first cup of coffee until I was 40 years old,” he said. “I throw a lot of parties at my house. I’ve always made coffee for people, and they raved about it. I thought, this is kind of fun, people love coffee. It’s rewarding. If you give people a good product at a good price, you get to see a smile on their faces.”
In addition to coffee, the barista serves milkshakes, with classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, and of course, espresso, and coffee desserts with ice cream. The trailer is not equipped with a full kitchen but carries sausage biscuits, croissants and pastries.
“This is our contribution back to the mom-and-pop way America used to be run,” Michael Jablonowski said.
When he retired from his job as a commercial project manager four years ago, Jablonowski wanted to stay busy, he said.
“To me, retirement has never really meant stop working. It just means stop working on the stuff I was working on and do something you love.”
He bought a flatbed trailer in October 2017. It took him a little over a year to finish construction, and the couple opened in February.
The name of the coffee house is inspired by Michael Jablonowski’s love for steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction. He is also a drummer in a band, Steampunk Butterfly. In addition to the color scheme and gears painted onto the trailer, the Jablonowskis bring a themed hat with goggles on their touring barista.
“I love the way it looks, all the gears and machinery,” he said.
In the process of building their mobile coffee house, the couple got to use their artistic skills. Mica Jablonowski specializes in stained glass, and her husband does painting and sculpting as well as glass art and furniture.
For more information about Steampunk Barista, visit www.facebook.com/coffeebyjabo.