BikeCaffe Raves

Imagine sharing the bike lane with a mobile coffee shop, its driver pedaling along and drumming up business from the Monday morning rush. The idea will soon be reality for many U.S. cities. Bike Caffe, a British business providing Joe on the go, has made its way stateside. The mobile cafes are already popular in Denver’s pedestrian mall and cities like Phoenix, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh will soon see the four-wheeled, geared bikes pushing old-world-style espresso machines while other franchises are eagerly awaiting the construction of their bike businesses.The name pays homage to the Italian spelling for the lever-operated, Italian-style coffees the carts provide. The four-wheeled, geared bikes are full-service cafes that can roll from location to location to bring the java to the people, unconstrained by operating hours or rent. Each station has all the stuff your favorite sit-down cafe offers (think Chai, lattes, smoothies, the works) and can serve up to 500 cups per day with a fun, eco-friendly twist. According to the Village Coffee Cafe, similar businesses have been springing up around Europe for a while now. The blog mentions fresh espresso on the streets of Copenhagen, with barista Ole Skram bringing the steaming fresh beverages straight to the people who crave them as they leave the train station or office building. The business model seems ideal for an American audience that loves fancy coffee — and the more convenient, the better.The Bike Caffe franchise, whose motto is „High in flavor, low in guilt,“ puts workers who crave the outdoors and exercise behind the wheel of a cart filled with free trade coffee beans, biscotti, and a dedication to recycling 100 percent of waste. The website says the company aims for „a footprint that leaves no trace except satisfied customers.“The bikes themselves are a bike geek’s dream come true. They come with internally geared hubs, GPS, an alarm (to notify police of any potential trouble), a propane tank, fenders, awnings, and everything needed to blend and prepare custom drinks.

Where other businesses may view the bike as a means to deliver their products from a permanent home base, Bike Caffe creates a model of endless freedom. The business offers baristas a great opportunity for adventure, since the work day can begin conveniently across the street from the long lines at Starbucks, progress to lunchtime hotspots, or pack it in and head for home if business isn’t booming.

It’s awfully convenient when our favorite form of planet-friendly transportation doubles as a source of tasty beverage. Joining the world of pedal-powered blenders and bike bars (just don’t drink and drive, folks), U.K.-based BikeCaffe has crossed the pond to deliver organic, fair-trade coffee by bike. While BikeCaffe’s pedals don’t seem to power its espresso makers (the brewing machines are reportedly gas-powered), each barista reduces dependence on fossil fuels by biking to work. So far, the mobile coffee outlets are in Denver, Philadelphia, and Phoenix. We’ll be curious to see if more bike-oriented beverage stands start popping up in other U.S. cities.

–Della Watson / image: BikeCaffe

The trend in gourmet food trucks may still be going strong, with mobile units serving everything from tapas to dim sum. But wait! What do we spy? Is it the next generation in the mobilization of food?Get ready for BikeCaffe. That’s right; as Monther Nature Netweork reports, the company is looking to unleash an army of its pedaling baristas on U.S. shores, with at least one BikeCaffe operating in Denver already and others planned for Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and (of all places) Phoenix. (Not sure we’d want to commit to trying to hawk hot coffee in the desert from the seat of a bike, but okay.)The fancy, four-wheeled contraptions are outfitted with a full-service coffee bar in front, which serves 100-percent fair-trade coffee, Italian-style espresso, and most other coffeehouse staples. And as the fact that the story was picked up by MNN suggests, the company is billing itself as ultra-eco-friendly. (After all, this is a bike we’re talking about — no worries about global-warming emissions here.)

There would seem to be another side benefit of operating a BikeCaffe: after a few months of pedaling that thing uphill, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be able to eat all the biscotti you can manage and never pack on a pound.

Read more:

Although running an artisanal food business may seem like a dream job, small-batch producers spend plenty of time between a rock and a hard place. Take distribution: Often what’s best for growing a business is anathema to local ideals (sustainability, community interaction).

But our favorite outfits are nothing if not crafty: The latest experiment in dovetailing these two oppositional interests has been the bike.

Coffee Baristas were some of the first to take up pedaling. New York’s Kickstand Coffee brews a rotating selection of high-end coffee beans on its Chemex-equipped bike-carts, on which they use hand grinders to grind their beans and heat water over propane stoves. BikeCaffe, a recent London import that also brews directly from a cart attached to a bike, doesn’t boast the same cult coffee touches, but it has a fleet spread out across Denver, Phoenix and Philadelphia.

…The newest version of the mobile coffee bar is not powered at all – it is the Bikecaffe, a pedal-powered espresso bar based on a Dutch delivery trike, which is converted in Stratford on Avon.

When offered as a franchise operation, the Bikecaffe is presented as ‘a whole new concept in environmentally-sound business‘. The bikes now use vintage-style lever-operated espresso machines from Astoria and are very low on energy use – mobile coffee carts often use gas for the heating of their water.

Bikecaffe uses a Fairtrade coffee, the Integrity blend from Metropolitan Coffee, and all used coffee grounds are donated to local allotments as a fertiliser aid. Teas are brewed from compostable tea-bags, and there will soon be a ‘bring your cup back to be recycled‘ incentive., March 31, 2009

I can’t think of a better business idea then putting a new spin on people’s insane need for coffee and making in convenient. That’s what the Bikecaffe is all about. The business was launched in the UK in March, and proved so successful that Bikecaffe’s founders, Will and Steve expanded into the rest of Europe.

The company’s Trikes use gas-powered machines to brew the coffee and can produce up to 500 cups a day. For some reason, they serve the drinks in recyclable containers, despite the fact that they’re using gas to brew it. Brilliant idea. Instead of making the people come to you, you bring the coffee to the people. Let’s face it, people are everywhere., June 22, 2008

When innovating, it’s wise to build off a product with hot demand, like coffee. Bikecaffe combined the love of freshly brewed joe with convenience and a hot societal trend: being eco-friendly. What resulted was a pedal-powered coffee retailer.

After the business was launched in the UK in March, the mobile kiosks began to gain popularity, giving Bikecaffe’s founders, Will and Steve, the confidence to expand to the rest of Europe.

„Using heavy-duty cargo tricycles, Bikecaffe travels emission-free as it serves up a range of coffee blends from roasters Segafredo Zanetti and Integrity Fair Trade,“ SpringWise explains. „The company’s trikes use a gas-powered machine for brewing and can produce up to 500 cups per day-served in recyclable containers-along with chai, biscotti and other edibles.“

It’s an ingenious idea. Instead of setting up a brick and mortar shop that does well on particular days of the week (M-F, 9-5) or at certain times of the day, the Bikecaffe can be taken to the people, wherever they may be. It’s a beautiful, sunny day? Take it to the park. It’s a Monday morning and the line for lattes is out the door at Starbucks? Park on the curb nearby.

If you’re planning an event, a Bikecaffe can be booked, ideal for concerts, conferences, parties, graduations and even weddings.

TrendHunter Magazine, August 6, 2008