New Custom Build: Airstream Pop-Up by Ström Coffee


Jun 06, 2014

In Eastern Washington State, a new cafe serves espresso and pour-over from a vintage Airstream trailer. Step inside and you’ll see the most uncommon equipment, a machine that matches the rig. Now look at the barista: she’s hardly 8 years old.

You’re at Ström Coffee. That’s Miette. And this is her Slayer.

Strom Coffee trailer exterior

Miette was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer in 2012, when she was just 5 years old. Spending the next 9 months battling the disease with chemo and surgery, she was (incredibly) cured later the same year. Her family’s blog details their struggle and success.

In the wake of her sickness, Miette had the opportunity to think big with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Happily remembering trips on which she, with her parents and siblings, would camp in a friend’s trailer, Miette took this chance to get the family its own roadtrip rig. With help from Make-A-Wish, the Nelsons bought and restored a vintage Airstream International Sovereign Land Yacht.

The trailer – which Miette dubbed “The Silver Eagle” – saw its fair share of miles, but this Airstream was destined to drive the family toward another dream: their own coffeeshop. Now it was our turn.

Strom Slayer espresso machine

Enthralled with the style of his daughter’s Airstream, Miette’s father, Kelly, shared his ideas about that which would become the centerpiece of the family cafe: their Slayer. Polished aluminum, highly reflective like the trailer, would deck out the back and sides. And, being among Airstreams’ most distinctive features, rivets would be essential – just a bit tricky.

Custom Slayer espresso machine for Strom Coffee

With a trailer like this, so unique in its story and its contents, the Nelsons were eager to show it off. Miette had already joined the international Airstream club (a real thing), so tours and rallies were on the agenda. But Kelly wasn’t about to give trailer enthusiasts any room or reason to gripe about the custom Slayer inside.

Genuine Airstream rivets, manufactured exclusively by the manufacturer, are characterized by a distinct dome shape and polish. An alternative is found in replacement pop rivets, but these are too easily identifiable as fakes. Determined, we designed a custom fastener that would mimic the original parts and fit neatly on Slayer’s panels. The result is tremendously flattering.

Slayer espresso machine with rivets

Strom Slayer group heads

Ström’s 2-group is stocked with a smattering of other upgrades, including hot water and pre-brew timers, as well as our classic Peruvian walnut handles and actuators. The Xs were also sandblasted and powder coated to match the brand’s vibrant orange. While visiting the Slayer studio in Seattle, Kelly mused about further customizations with lighter wood tones… but we’ll let them focus on the grand open for now.

So when and where can you visit Ström Coffee? Miette and the family Nelson are now brewing at John Dam Plaza in Richland, WA. Here’s a further look at their finished rig, of which Slayer is immensely honored to be a part.

Strom coffee trailer entrance

Inside Strom Coffee Richland Washington

Strom Coffee bar

Strom Slayer Espresso machine

Strom Nelson familyMiette (right) with her brothers, sister, and parents, Kelly and Lisa.

Photos at Ström Coffee courtesy of Paradox Visual. Photos at Slayer Espresso property of Slayer Espresso.

Has Ström’s machine sparked your imagination? We want to hear your ideas for a custom Slayer. Tell us in the comments below, or write sales@slayerespresso if you’re ready to get serious.


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