The Velopresso is a pedal-powered all-in-one espresso machine, trike and coffee bean grinder. It was produced as graduation project by Amos Field Reid and Lasse Oiva, design students from the Royal College of Art in London.
The prototype trike was built by ad-bike maker Kingsmead Associates of Canterbury; the espresso machine was produced by Fracino of Birmingham; and there were bike parts from Brooks, Ison Distribution and Bikefix of London. Like the trike, the coffee bean grinder is powered by a carbon belt from Gates of America.
"No off-the-shelf trikes were up to the job due to the combination of front wheel drive, rear steer and the peculiar ergonomics required to combine a riding position with a barista’s position as it all happens from the same seat/position," said Reid in 2012.
"We designed the grinder in its entirety from the ground up, around a commercial conical burr set and hopper. We then commissioned a UK precision engineering firm to produce the stainless steel and aluminium components that make up the machine including a bespoke mount for the Gates pulley, whilst we produced the clear acrylic elements."
Three prototype Velopresso trikes were made: one is used by London bike shop cafe Look Mum No Hands. (Cycling and coffee have long been a marriage made in heaven.)
“We immediately recognised the potential of the Velopresso as a practical mobile coffee solution for all sorts of events, cycling related or otherwise,” said Matt Harper, a director at Look Mum No Hands.
“Not only does it look beautiful, it’s well constructed. And its human-powered operation means that you can turn up anywhere and be self-sufficient.”
The production trike is being made in Velopresso’s factory in east London.
Oiva said: “We don’t believe in built-in obsolescence, and – aside from being designed to perform beautifully with minimal maintenance – Velopresso is robust, reliable, engineered to last and simple to repair. Every Velopresso is built to order, by us, from the TIG-welding of the steel frames to the final assembly and testing.”
Wrap-around branding panels are included in the price of the standard Velopresso, which cost £9,995 excluding VAT. The machines will be made in batches of 20.
“We are now taking orders for the first and second batches,” said Reid. “The first batch is scheduled to be completed December/January, the second in February/March.