Humans of New Haven: Lifelong friends serving up cappuccinos, mochas out of a bus￼
Owned by two seasoned coffee experts, the Jitter Bus celebrates the simplicity of classic beverages while embracing the dynamics of current culture.
Yale Daily News
Serving coffee to New Haveners for over six years, the Jitter Bus has become a popular staple in the local coffee scene.
Funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, co-owners Dan Barletta and Paul Crosby bought the bus in February of 2015. After spending a year transforming it into a functional mobile café, Barletta and Crosby opened the Jitter Bus in February 2016. Now, parked at the corner of Grove Street and Hillhouse Avenue, the popular coffee shop serves countless New Haveneners, including many Yale students and staff.
Inside the bus, Barletta and Crosby happily power up their commercial espresso machine, stir cappuccinos, pour frothed milk and take orders from eager customers as country music plays in the background.
Barletta and Crosby are no strangers to the world of coffee. For years, they both worked at various cafés in New Haven before deciding that they wanted to open their own business. “The easiest way to do that was to build a food truck,” Barletta said, explaining that a café spot would have been much more expensive.
Barletta and Crosby are both from West Haven and met in high school. Since then, the two have been close friends, coworkers and, now, business partners.
“We really love New Haven and we love doing coffee and we always said that we would be better off doing it on our own, and I think that our quality really shows in the amount of care and work that we put into it,” Barletta said.
The Jitter Bus menu — carefully printed on a decorated chalkboard along the side of the bus — includes many classics: espressos, lattes, americanos, mochas, cappuccinos. Listed beneath a row of hand-drawn coffee cups, the organic flavor shots include caramel, maple, coconut and raspberry. The bus also serves tea, hot drinks including chai and hot cocoa and iced drinks including dirty chai.
Barletta and Crosby are excited by their business, claiming that ever since students started coming back to campus this past fall, the Jitter Bus has been busier than ever before.
“They manage to serve so many people so quickly, and there’s only two of them! I don’t know how they do it,” said Angeliki Vogiatzoglou ’25, a regular customer at the Jitter Bus.
Beyond providing quick and quality service to New Haveners, Barletta and Crosby support various cultural and environmental movements. They encourage customers to bring their own cups, offering a discount for those who do, in an effort to address plastic waste. They also carefully consider where their coffee beans come from, ensuring that the farmers receive proper compensation for their work.
The Jitter Bus is open on Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.