Michael Mai, Arabica Soda
It’s summer, I get it. So why are you doing a coffee show right now Steph, you may ask? Because it’s not just coffee, it’s cool, refreshing Arabica Soda, made from Cascara fruit and coffee and meant to be a welcome lift anytime but especially welcome as we enter these dog days of summer. Michael Mai, master barista and now bartender, is the man behind this delicious beverage. You might remember him from Episode 33 when we talked all things coffee. His enthusiasm for self-education, wit, and flat out creativity makes him an inspiration to be around, so I knew he’d have some good insights a year into launching his business. It’s no secret that I’m a Michael fan: he was on my Charleston Zagat 30 Under 30 list, I’ve interviewed him for The Post and Courier, and we did a little recipe together for Saveur magazine. But Michael represents a growing class of bright, innovative humans in Charleston who are finding inspiration in and adding to the dinner table, so to speak, and so we raise a glass of cascara to that.