Last Updated on 19 August 2008

Below is a picture of me, back in my Starbucks days, donning the “Mercury Man” out-of-store sampling tank (Version 2.0) The backpack contraption contains a pressurized, thermal container used to sample fresh brewed coffee in crowds and at special events.

Version 1.0 of this backpack was more uncomfortable (lacking proper padding) and the silver tank was clearly visible. Version 2.0 is designed with better padding and a sleeve around the tank that holds branding elements or other artwork.

It is called “Mercury Man” because it is shiny silver like the Mercury-Atlas rocket.

While exploring the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul I came across this gentleman selling ice-cold cherry juice (a delight among the Turkish) from his own backpack dispenser.

He’s simply taken an oversized pitcher and strapped it to his back. (Actually I think his is technically an oversized Ottoman Turkish ewer). Very resourceful.

I couldn’t help feeling a kinship with this guy… although, as you can see, he samples with quite of bit of flair!

The cherry juice was ice cold, sweet, and delicious.