For coffee connoisseur and Sarasota native Devin Borgwardt, it's been a real journey to find the perfect cup of black coffee that's smooth, rich and tolerable without the help of cream and sugar. Black is his favorite way to drink it—but after working in the Sarasota coffee industry for over eight years, he was yet to find the right one.
That is, until now.
In January 2022, Borgwardt decided to branch out on his own and opened Brewed Monday, a mobile coffee cart that he parks on the corner of Gulfstream Avenue and Main Street in downtown Sarasota from Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to noon.
He offers light-roast, single-origin coffees grown on organic farms in Costa Rica and Colombia—farms that he's visited himself to ensure the quality of the beans.
"We are traveling as often as possible and are super mindful of the quality of our coffee and where it came from," Borgwardt says. "We've tasted coffee from 15 different farms and narrowed it down to two so far."
So what makes Brewed Monday coffee so unique? The beans undergo something called natural and honey processes. A majority of coffee on the market undergoes a washed process, where the bean is stripped from its cherry fruit and then washed and roasted, which leaves beans with coffee's signature bitter taste.
When beans are natural-processed, they're fermented inside the entire coffee cherry for a few days. All of the fruit's sugars, enzymes and chemical compositions enhance the bean and make for a sweet, floral and mildly fruity flavor. Honey process is similar to natural, but only uses a percentage of the coffee cherry when fermenting and creates citrusy notes. Borgwardt says it's delicious to drink black.
"These processing methods allow for a larger spectrum of flavor profiles. Ours is some of the only black coffee myself and many of my customers enjoy," Borgwardt explains. "It may taste a little lighter than the black, bold coffee you might be used to, but it is so smooth."
Those who are encouraged to try Brewed Monday's coffee straight black are pleasantly surprised. It's not bitter, not over-roasted and contains more caffeine than the average cup. Even the roasting method is carefully considered: the beans are roasted in the countries from which they came, from second- and third-generation growers.
Asking Borgwardt questions about coffee origins is every coffee lover's dream. He loves sharing his knowledge with customers and has gained a following throughout his time on the local coffee scene.
That's why a mobile cart seemed like the best option.
"There is more accessibility with a mobile cart and I can take it anywhere," says Borgwardt. "And since I'm not a traditional-looking person, I've found there is a learning curve to getting welcomed in the local small business industry. So going wherever I want helps."
So if you are walking downtown, on your way to work or to the marina, what should you order when you see Brewed Monday's stand?
Obviously, black coffee is a must. But Borgwardt is also making an espresso lemonade out of his honey-processed beans and fresh lemonade. It's light, refreshing and full of bright citrusy flavor—basically the perfect summer drink. You can also get an iced or hot latte along with a bunch of other variations.
While Borgwardt hopes to open a physical location sometime in the future, he is happy with keeping the mobile cart for the time being. He's been a vendor at local markets and recently sold his coffee at a soccer tournament at IMG Academy in Bradenton. He has one employee and intends to keep things small since he's picky about what goes into every cup.
"We weigh every gram of coffee, every shot of espresso and every gram of water out of the espresso machine," says Borgwardt. "The same goes for drip coffee. We consider ourselves third-wave coffee [a movement that emphasizes high quality], and every cup reflects the amount of work and care we put into it."
A Sarasota native, Borgwardt says it's also nice to see how much Sarasota has become a walkable city. He hopes that it will only continue to open doors for young business owners that are looking for alternative options like mobile shops.