Dynamite Joe and the Caffeine Kids, Black Mountain

Dynamite Joe and the Caffeine Kids, Black Mountain
When you travel and camp with kids coffee is more important than gasoline.  I would rather be stranded on the side of the road with the tank on empty and a fresh cup of Joe in my hands than be woken up in our camper by my twin boys at 6:15 a.m. only to discover that we’re fresh out.  Our kids are naturally caffeinated but we are not.  So luckily for Stephanie and me, when I noticed that our supply of coffee had dwindled down to the last bean I discovered one of those Great Good Places that make life worth living.  The Dynamite Roasting Company, in Black Mountain, is only 2.4 miles up the road from the Asheville East–a match made in heaven if you ask me.

You see, I’ve become an amateur coffee snob in training over the last year.  I used to look for the independent book stores when we travelled to a new town–but now I look for coffee shops.  More specifically, I look for coffee shops with one of these in them…

The first word out of Stephanie’s mouth in the morning is often “coffee?” but she will drink any decent brew from the grocery store.  But I want my coffee fresh roasted, and I want to know when it was roasted and what region it is from.  The baristas at Dynamite are knowledgeable, accessible, and fun to chat with.  They know their stuff without being snobby.  The overall vibe of the shop is mountain cool without any air of pretension.  Notice in the picture above that even the cops in the greater Asheville area like to drink the good stuff.  No Dunkin’ Donuts for them!  Even though they do look like they are hiding behind the roaster…..

The shop itself is cozy and comfortable, and thank goodness, they had a nice variety of whole bean poundage to choose from.  The packaging of the beans was even aesthetically pleasing…

The barista helped me select two pounds to get us through the next stage of our journey.  I brought home the Honduras Los Pinos and the Suplican Clemencia.  Both were excellent.  Stephanie preferred the darker Suplican which had the qualities of a good French Roast, and I preferred the Honduras, which was brighter and fruitier.  Before we leave town I am going to grab a pound of their Summer Blend which is pictured above, on the right side.

Dynamite Roasting Company may just be the perfect little coffee shop.  I’ve tasted coffee from other roasters back in New Jersey that is equally as good, and my hometown shop, Turnstile Coffee Roasters in Belmar has an equally charming space–but I have never been in a coffee shop that has had such an excellent record collection.

If I lived in Swannanoa or Black Mountain I would spend a dangerous amount of time and money at the Dynamite Roasting Company.  As a fan of the coffee and chocolate houses of 18th century England I would probably even try to have my mail delivered to the shop.

But for now I was just happy to have replenished our supply of whole bean and to have discovered a great new place.  I wish I could have lingered for a while on their front porch and contemplated the view….

But Stephanie was back at the campground and I wanted to go home and brew her a fresh cup.  A great KOA and a great coffee roaster less than three miles apart?  I didn’t think our road trip could get any better, but thanks to the Dynamite Joe, it clearly did.   The Caffeine Kids are forever grateful.


  1. Magnus

    More than ample compensation for the road sick on the way, wouldn’t you say? Stellar blog, Jeremy. You are quite a talent for humorous tales of parenting.

  2. Abram Pafford

    Tell us more about these chocolate houses in 18th century England. This sounds intriguing.

  3. Joe

    Jeremy and his coffee…. Warning to all, Jeremy’s coffee if not for the faint of heart.
    Life as a cop has me on a strict regiment of 40 to 100 ounces of coffee a day. I can hang with best cup of Joe, or so I thought. One morning in Cape Hateras Jer handed me a “small” cup of coffee before paddling out for some waves. Well I met my match. That cup of rocket fuel shot me over the rising sun and splashed me down in the ocean, and I only drank half the cup. An hour later my wife asked if was going to finish the half drank cup sitting on the camper table…. Humbly I lowered my brow embracing defeat and confessed ” No , I cant handle it”
    Still every morning on the road I secretly peek out the window of our camper hoping to see the artist and his coffee pot at work. I hear the faint whine of the grinder, and await that magical text message “coffees ready”.

    • livelylittlecampers

      I don’t get out of bed until I smell the coffee:-) –Stephanie


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