How Asio Highsmith became the Berkshires favorite ‘Mr. Coffee.’

By Jane Larkworthy

Anyone who grew up in the ’60s or ’70s suburbs likely remembers the thrill that the distant clanging of Good Humor truck bells elicited. Whenever I spot the bright red Best Damn Espresso coffee truck, I can feel the smile forming across my face. BDE is the brainchild of Asio Highsmith, whose masterful blends have earned him respect in the Berkshires and beyond. A trained mixologist, Highsmith owned a sneaker shop in Brooklyn in the late Aughts. During daily visits to a neighborhood coffee shop, he noticed its owner’s inconsistencies in creating his Americano. When challenged about it, the owner offered to sell. Highsmith bit.

“The attention to detail that goes into building a cocktail translated fluidly (for me) to the process of producing a tasty coffee beverage.” Meanwhile, Highsmith, his wife Angela and their two kids had begun spending summers in Columbia County thanks to the Harlem Valley Waldorf School program and their interest in the area quickly started to—pardon the pun—brew. “We didn’t know that we liked a slower paced lifestyle until we started to come to the Berkshires,” he tells me. “It really calmed our nerves and served to our better well-being.”

In 2021 they made the region their home. A year later, he purchased the truck online (“It only had 7,000 miles on it”) and opened for business this past July. One sip will prove the name isn’t hyperbole, and Highsmith says he chose the name to constantly challenge himself. “Cycling through an espresso beverage menu with a barista that you trust can be extremely satisfying, interesting and informative.” To find where he’ll be next, text BDE to 844.659.1203.

I Hope it Fits…

A selection of gifts for a variety of recipients, all with a warm comfort theme.

Mountains Lover Byredo Susanne Kaufmann Bregenzerwald Fragrance Oil is Austrian Alps, bottled. Earthy, green and with a mild hint of pine, its small roll-on size means they can take the mountains anywhere. $125

Always Cold Bleusalt’s Classic Sweatpant means never having to shiver again. Made of 95 percent TENCEL (sustainable, made from wood pulp), their softness is unmatchable, so best to buy yourself a pair as well. $142

Body Skin Aficionado Protéger Dermal Sérum is formulated with as many skin care ingredients as a face moisturizer. A pure joy to apply. If you really like your giftee, throw in one of their skin-issue-specific boosters, too. $115

Dinner Party Host Crafted Candle’s 30” tapers will add a sleek elegance to every table. And, at this height, they kind of last forever (burn time is 24 hours). $36

Shower Lover 79 Luxe Polish is a blend of Himalayan salt, sugar and essential oils which, together, polish up the driest of skin, then impart a lingering that will likely encourage limb or clavicle exposure (maybe once the heater’s on). $58

Cashmere Lover Can’t afford cashmere? Uniqlo’s 3D Knit Seamless Souffle Yarn Mock Neck Jumper is a darn near close second for a fraction of the price. $50

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