With over 250 custom parts, the Velopresso contains the world’s first pedal-powered precision coffee grinder. The result is a beautiful hybrid of bicycle and coffee machinery sure to impress any caffeine addicted cyclist.
Text: Peter Dawson
There’s no better example of the mysterious affinity between coffee and cycling than Velopresso. This pedal-powered coffee trike is hand built in London with the same meticulous precision that an expert barista pours into an espresso or a pro-mechanic lavishes on a bike. For founders Amos Reid and Lasse Oiva, Velopresso is a testament to their lifelong passion for sustainability, cycling and great coffee.
When you first see the Velopresso in action, you’re immediately mesmerised by its ingenious design and the fun bit of urban theatre it provides. With the pull of a lever, the rider becomes a barista and after just 60 seconds, their pedal-power has ground the beans, extracted the espresso and steamed the milk. Completely off-grid, the Velopresso does not require any electricity or batteries and is operated entirely from the saddle.
Amos says, “People often react with surprise, laughter and delight when they realise that the barista’s pedalling is running the show, and then they taste the quality of the coffee and realise it has nothing to do with novelty.”
Velopresso contains over 250 custom parts, including a Reynolds 631 rearsteer frameset, a spring lever espresso machine and the world’s first pedalpowered precision coffee grinder. This complex hybrid of bicycle and coffee machinery not only produces great coffee; it is also incredibly efficient and probably has the lowest carbon footprint of any mobile coffee operation.
Having previously worked as a bike messenger in London, Amos says he is familiar with “the simple pleasure of using your own energy to perform useful work”. In designing Velopresso, he drew inspiration from a time when all sorts of businesses relied on pedal-power, from the early long johns of Denmark, the freight trikes of Holland and the triporteur scene in Paris.
“Velopresso harks back to our pre-electric past in a more efficient and metropolitan format and tips a hat to roving bicycle tradesmen who bring their machine and skill to you with great efficiency and panache.”
There are now 20 Velopresso coffee trikes spread across 12 different countries. From Café Cycliste in Zurich, Coffeehub Café in Miami, Café Pista in Montreal and The Milk and Coffee in Barcelona. They each demonstrate the incredible power of cycling and coffee to enrich our communities and promote a more sustainable future for our cities.