Coffeebar: A Passion Brewed in History - by Nick CisikIt is widely known today that Italian culture was forged in the passions. Italy has produced some of the world's most renowned artists, including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Sandro Botticelli. Italian classical music, composed by the likes of Giuseppe Verdi, Antonio Vivaldi, and Giacomo Puccini, has been reproduced and performed countless times, while Italian cuisine is recognized across the globe as being second to none. It should come as no surprise then, that coffee, a beverage consumed passionately by many, is known to have originated, at least in some forms, in Italy.
Coffee was first introduced to the Italians by 17th century Arabian traders, who brought this libation to the Venetian markets of the day. It quickly became a cultural mainstay and today you can scarcely walk a city block in Italy without happening upon a cafè or coffee bar. The English expression of the Italian word "espresso" is "made on the spot" and so it was that in 1948, the Italian, Agille Gaggia, completed work on his high-pressure extraction system–the first of its kind–which not only sped up the process of coffee preparation, but rendered it in a more potent and condensed form: and the world was introduced to espresso.
Greg Buchheister, founder of Coffeebar, has gone to great lengths in his bringing of Italian coffee bar culture to the States. He was raised in the mountains of Colorado where he cut his teeth as a champion ski racer, learning many lessons that would serve him later in life. It was his time spent in Italy, however, that profoundly impacted his adult life and inspired him to embark on the path he continues to walk down today. While working abroad in Italy (during which time he obviously found time to ski), Greg formed relationships that would aid him in the foundational stages of his enterprise. Upon returning home he began to import coffee beans from Italy and after successfully running his own wholesale operation, he started opening cafès. Over the course of the following two decades, Greg opened twenty coffee concepts, but it was not until 2010, when he broke ground on Jibboom Street that Greg, as he puts it, cut his "hit record" and opened Coffeebar in downtown Truckee.
Since its inception, Coffeebar has branded itself as the community hub of North Lake Tahoe, where local art is displayed, Italian soccer league matches are televised, and top-quality coffee is poured at a consistently high level, but without even a hint of pretense (refreshing, I know). The food prepared in the kitchen at Coffeebar is done so with care and is made using locally sourced produce. Now there is Coffebar Bakery located on the west end of Truckee, where fine pastries and other baked items are offered. With three additional locations, one in Reno, another in Squaw Valley, and now most recently, in Menlo Park, the Coffeebar brand continues to expand as Buchhesiter seeks to sustain the same passion instilled in him during his European travels so many years ago.
And speaking of passion, make sure to visit Coffeebar at their new Squaw Valley location! Each Saturday through February 17th, as part of Squaw Valley's Après Ski Music Series, there will be the finest of local DJs spinning a lush blend of funk, soul, disco, hip-hop, house, drum and bass, and break-beats. It is the perfect après pick-me-up, sipping smooth joe while listening to sweetly spun sounds. I can't think of a better way to connect with the local community after spending time in the environment we so humbly admire. Now, PRENDIAMO UN CAFFÈ!...“Let’s get a coffee!”