Even if it involves a 1500km road trip it sometimes still makes most sense to deliver a trike in person, this delivery to Rennes in Brittany was a good example: Matthieu Penet’s young company Ludik Énergie use bicycle technology to educate, entertain and promote the transition to a low-carbon economy in Brittany and around France. Since first seeing the Velopresso on our website, then visiting our factory last year, Matthieu had set his heart on buying a Velopresso for his company. With no background in coffee we proposed that he seek out a local roastery to supply beans, training and general guidance on the coffee side. We delivered the new Velopresso (trike VP014) to Rennes and spent a day training the Ludik Énergie team on operation and maintenance. The session was also attended by local roaster Felix from Les Cafés Felix and we all enjoyed his very delicious coffee made by first-time barista Vincent Marchand. The transition from dynamic animateurs to artisan baristas involves a steep learning curve, but with their passion for cycling and excellent beans and guidance from Felix, and our one-to-one introduction to the Velopresso, the Ludik Énergie team had already made a great start on that journey by the time we were heading back across the sea on ours.
Clerkenwell is ‘home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world’, and Clerkenwell Design Week has grown year on year to become one of London’s premier celebrations of architecture and design. Swedish architecture practice White Arkitekter created a beautiful pavilion – The Museum of Making – for the occasion, that presented the history and social side of craft and design in the area to the visitors of the festival.
Working with Claire Curtice PR and regular collaborators Look Mum No Hands! Velopresso provided delicious Square Mile coffee for White Arkitecter’s guests on a brilliantly sunny morning. As industrial designers with furniture and product design backgrounds it was a pleasure to be immersed in the heart of London’s design community again.
Waltham Forest is one of the three London Boroughs so far to have been awarded the £27million funding from Transport for London to implement a borough-wide ‘Mini-Holland’ infrastructure regeneration scheme, which aims to encourage people to take up cycling and walking and reduce car use in the borough. Velopresso were selected by the Waltham Forest’s Mini-Holland team as the perfect promotional partner for a series of events over the year from the opening of new cycle ways and hubs, to mass rides and festivals planned in the borough. Our first event was the opening of one of their many new cycle hubs (providing secure bicycle storage for commuters) at the just opened new Lea Bridge overground train station (right on our doorstep!), where we served pedal-powered coffee to the Mini-Holland team, council leaders, London Cycling Campaign members, and local residents. Our Velopresso trike has been rebranded in a smart ‘Cycle Waltham Forest’ livery for the season, and we’re looking forward to supporting this pro-cycling agenda again later this summer.
Today The Break Lever trike we just built was collected by its new owner, Matthew Tucker, a school-teacher from the Isle of Wight who is about to embark on a new adventure with coffee and bicycles: Matthew was looking for a change of career, and Velopresso offered him the chance to combine his two big passions for coffee and cycling in his own new startup business, while also helping to spread the fledgling artisan coffee scene emerging on the island. The Break Lever will start trading later in the Spring, in its smart two-tone livery, a very cool design directly inspired by Matthews’s VW campervan that carries right through to their website.
We always wanted to do make a time-lapse film of the process of building a Velopresso and finally we’ve made some time to do it. The process of welding the frames is done in a more production line manner so not so easy to condense, but the final assembly of the finished powder-coated frames and all the components that go into a Velopresso can be done in one continuous assembly, and it is this process that we have now captured in an entertaining time-lapse video. Click here to watch the film that distils an 8hour build into just under 3minutes. We’re looking forward to building many more Velopressos in 2016 and beyond, now that we’ve got it down to a fine art! Happy New Year!
We are honoured to be chosen by a judging panel made up of 16 leading UK manufacturing professionals for inclusion in The Manufacturer magazine’s TM Top 100 report 2015:
‘The Manufacturer Top 100 provides a platform for the recognition of exceptional individuals in UK manufacturing’. We were placed in the ‘Young Pioneer’ category, as individuals who have ‘…made an impact disproportionate to their years, providing inspiration for the future of manufacturing in the UK.’
Big thanks must go out to all our great customers, suppliers and supporters who have helped to make the launch of production this year possible.
We’ve just delivered Café Cycliste’s new Velopresso to our shipping agents’ holding depot and secured the trike in its bespoke wooden crate ready for delivery by road to Zurich, Switzerland. Last week we crated The Milk and Coffee and The Coffee Bike Company’s Velopressos for shipping to Barcelona and Queensland, Australia respectively. Next week it will be the turn of new lifestyle and coffee brand Tokyo Smoke and Café Movil going to Toronto and Puerto Rico respectively. Velopresso really is going *global! We will shortly be represented in ten different countries across 3 continents.
*see the interactive map on our Community page for more info
Velopresso is delighted to be part of David Byrne’s 22nd Meltdown at the South Bank Centre, partnering bicycle café pioneers look mum no hands! and Infinite Crema barista Jamie Strachan, bringing pedal-powered coffee to the riverside for the summer (serving Tuesday – Sunday through till end of September).
We think Velopresso is a perfect expression of the humanist cultural ideals that underpin the festival, and being invited is a tip of the cap towards curator David Byrne’s love of cycling, urbanism and innovation.* As long-term Talking Heads and David Byrne fans, it’s cool to be associated with this maestro. Just hope we get to make him a coffee! Photo courtesy of and © Victor Frankowski.
* see David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries for more on this
A few weeks ago, Velopresso trike 004 was crated up ready for its long journey to Adelaide, Australia, while trike 006 took to the Atlantic heading for Fort Lauderdale, USA, where their respective owners – The Bean Peddler and Coffee Hub Cafe – eagerly await their arrival. Trike 005 was delivered by road to Luxembourg city, where new startup Coffee Rocket will operate. Meanwhile back at our London factory, work continues on the next mini-batch, with trikes 008, 009, 010 and 011 being prepared for shipping in early September to Spain, Switzerland, Australia and Canada – just as soon as the new batch of grinders arrives from our Kent-based precision engineers. When those trikes are put into service there will be 15 Velopressos in action in 8 different countries around the globe, and more on the way. For a small startup in the middle of its first year of production, this feels like great progress!
For the second year running Velopresso made it to the Tour de France, this time the ‘grand depart’ in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Premium micro-roastery and leading Dutch coffee company Brandmeesters, who have an HQ and roastery outside Amsterdam, and cafes in Amsterdam, Haarlem and Utrecht, bought a Velopresso to expand awareness of their brand, beginning with the biggest event of them all – the Tour de France. We made the trip to Holland, delivered the trike in person, meeting the team and ensuring a smooth handover and training. Brandmeesters’ baristas loved the mechanics of the Velopresso and were quickly making delicious coffees with a lovely rich crema. Since we were there, it seemed rude not to stay and watch a bit of the cycling…
Velopresso was proud to be asked to represent the Made in Britain campaign organisation at the Best of Britannia show in Shoreditch, London. Trike 001, decked out with illustrations by Daisy Hirst, ‘was a great talking point and got lots of interest’ from visitors and exhibitors alike. When we say Velopresso is conceived, designed and made in Britain, that doesn’t mean every single part is made here, but around 90% of them are. Local manufacture hits several buttons for us: we’re using and supporting the incredible skills of the UK engineering industry; we’re making the most of the quality, price, and control this gives us; we’re paying back – in small part – the generous support and expertise these same engineering companies gave us while we were prototyping; and we’re reducing the carbon footprint of our production process. For us, the Made in Britain marque testifies not only to the provenance of Velopresso, but also to the strong relationships we’ve built with all those involved in its design and manufacture.
Trike 003 – the first MK2 production trike to be sold* – was collected by Bradley Nicholls on June 19th. Brad will operate it as part of his startup The GoGoCoffeeCo in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, UK, combining a regular pitch at the train station with events. Bradley’s made a complete career change from responsible job in industry to entrepreneur, based around the Velopresso, and confessed himself slightly nervous about the mechanical and barista-related challenges of pursuing his dream. He collected the trike from our factory on 19 June, and the next day sent us this update: ‘Thank you both today for your patience and support. I’m pleased to announce that the coffees were being knocked out left right and centre by the end of the day and getting better with taste and quality. Even managed a quick spin on the drive.’ His first event was a wedding three days later, and he says: ‘The reaction to your trike was absolutely incredible. Everyone was asking how it worked, taking pictures etc., wanted to know how it was made and who by. In fact it was quite difficult to answer all the questions and serve coffees to the queue of people that had formed! I even had some of the neighbours, the bell-ringers, the photographer and the Vicar queuing up! The bride and groom were thrilled and had lots of pictures taken with the trike.’
Reports on Trikes 004 through to 010 will follow.
* MK2 trikes 001 and 002 are owned by Velopresso Ltd
We launched our first MK2 production trikes at Bespoked − the leading UK show celebrating handmade bicycles and those who make them.
Trike 001 was exhibited at the Arnolfini gallery, as part of the Bespoked Constructors’ Challenge, and we were delighted to be announced as ‘Winners’ on Friday, and to have our engineering and design work recognised by the bicycle constructor community. To mark the occasion, we also kicked off our ‘guest artist’ project, with trike 001 featuring a commissioned artwork by illustrator Daisy Hirst, celebrating the socially inclusive and joyful side of cycling.
Meanwhile Trike 002 was in operation at the main show in Brunel’s Old Station, where Lasse and the look mum no hands! team were serving up mighty fine pedal-ground coffees.
Exhibiting these production trikes – the first two of a batch of 20 now being built − at Bespoked was a major milestone for us, and a good moment to thank all those behind the scenes – in particular our main machinist Russell Bower and TIG welder Max Belcourt.
We were delighted to be invited to serve coffee to the great and the good who congregated in Trafalgar Square for the latest Fourth Plinth sculpture unveiling, by Mayor of London Boris Johnson. We had a grand day out, and met lots of friendly art-worlders, journalists and London’s movers and shakers who’d turned out to see Hans Haacke’s highly political sculpture ‘Gift Horse’. We got a good buzz on Twitter, and there are videos and pics on our Instagram feed.
It was a great opportunity to ride one of our three existing MK1 trikes kindly loaned by We Walk The Line, the 16 miles from our factory in Leyton to the heart of London and back. With Lasse at the pedals, the mostly uphill journey took about an hour, which is about right for the precious cargo of coffee machinery on board. Cycling a Velopresso through central London is always fun – heads turn, people double-take (‘I’ve never seen anything like that before’), and phones are whipped out for photo-calls. All in a day’s work.
Months have flown by! We’ve been very busy setting up production and making Velopressos in our factory in Leyton. We’re now a month away from completing the first batch. We spent the autumn setting up the workshop space, and designing and making the bespoke welding table and jigs that we need for fabrication, as well as putting the finishing touches to the hundreds of components that make up every Velopresso machine. These first trikes will be heading off to baristas and cafés in the UK, Luxembourg, Australia and the USA. There are a few spaces in the first batch, and once they’re gone it’ll take us 6 to 12 weeks to build you a Velopresso, so if you’re in Europe or North America and planning to getting set up to make pedal-powered coffee in the summer months, get your order in quick!
To see more images of our production, visit us on Instagram.
We are now open for orders! After 3 solid years of development we are ready to take your order and build you a beautiful pedal-powered coffee trike, here in our east London factory. We make the trikes to order for each customer in batches of 20, in three-month build-cycles. Place your order NOW for delivery in January 2015 (the next batch after that will ship in late spring). Everything you need to know about ordering a Velopresso is available here and across our site.
We send a big ‘thank you’ to all our supporters and everyone who has written to us. Your appreciation of Velopresso has been an inspiration – equalled by our desire to make it the ultimate, truly mobile, low-carbon coffee trike – and sustained us on the long journey from prototype to production.
Velopresso have teamed up with bicycle café pioneers look mum no hands! to operate our original prototype Velopresso trike at Covent Garden piazza over the summer. We are thrilled to be working with the mighty ‘look mum’ team and Capco at Covent Garden to bring Velopresso to the heart of London, and our machine has beautiful new branding in ‘look mum’s’ trademark graphic style. Please visit us in Covent Garden piazza, and treat yourself to a delicious pedal-ground espresso, long black flat white or indulgent brownie. Look out for iced-coffee and affogato options if the heat-wave holds.
We have had some requests for T-shirts over the last year or two and recently got some hand printed in time for the Tour de France (see below). The T’s are available in yellow and green in honour of the Tour’s main jerseys (polka dot being a bit too fancy for us), and also red and black, because we like them. All colours available in women’s cut too. Click here to purchase online. Limited numbers left, but if your size is sold out drop us an email, and we will let you know when we print more.
Never before has the UK expressed such passion for bicycle racing as was just witnessed at the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France. There’s speculation that across those opening 3 stages these were the biggest crowds in living memory for the Tour – outdoing those in its native France. Fantastic! Velopresso managed to make a last-minute appearance before the tour left for France, serving coffee in the VIP area of the official Fan Park in London’s Green Park, as Kittel racked up another stage win. Big thanks to Velo-GoGo for making that possible, and for their impressive contribution to the Tour’s impact here in the UK.
Great to be hearing regular updates from Maxime at Le Pista Café Mobile in Montreal – our first bona fide Velopresso user. We shipped his machine out to him in April, just as the snow melted, and he made friends with it fast:
‘…everything is working perfectly. I very much enjoyed using the espresso machine and the grinder, and I just get awesome comments about it.’
The trike has been out and about in Montreal since May. Le Pista Café Mobile’s out on the streets and at special events, and is getting attention on Twitter, TV, radio and in the local press. Good going, Maxime! See more about Le Pista Café Mobile here.
It is time to say something about our friends at Fracino. Fracino are an exceptional company, and one we are very proud to be associated with. Founded in 1963 by Frank Maxwell, and now helmed by his son Adrian – second and third generation engineers respectively – Fracino are the only espresso coffee machine manufacturer in the UK. They have won multiple awards for manufacturing excellence and export achievement, and sell their machines around the world. Our story with Fracino is more fundamental. Without their support from the first prototype espresso machine onwards, we would have struggled to get Velopresso off the ground, and we are indebted to Frank, Adrian and their team in Birmingham. Fracino celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2013, and we made a special livery with 50 logos to mark this achievement.
Last week we had the pleasure of delivering the Rustines Velopresso to Louis Rustin at his family’s historic factory – Ets L. Rustin – in La Chartre sur Le Loire, France. Louis’ grandfather founded the company in 1903, and is accredited with the invention of the puncture repair kit (1922), making him some kind of patron saint to cyclists the world over. The Rustines puncture repair kit is still available to purchase today looking much the same as it always has. Rustines has an incredible history and strong associations with the Tour de France and bicycle racing in general, but also with the cultural side of cycling with their support of festivals like the Anjou Vélo Vintage. There’s a bit of Ets L. Rustin expertise in every Velopresso as our custom rubber drip tray is manufactured there.
Over the winter, we made a special trial batch of just three production machines – the first Mk 1 production Velopresso machines – to test our production process before launching full batch production to order. These machines have entirely new specification to the prototype including larger wheels, a new modular frame and wrap around panel design. They were shipped in Feb/March to Le Pista Café Mobile in Montreal, Rustines in France, and a new social enterprise startup We Walk The Line* in London. We look forward to hearing back from those first Velopresso owners during the months ahead as these first trikes begin their working lives.
* the We Walk The Line trike is temporarily branded in Fracino livery in this photo
As 2014 gets underway, and after a total of 18 months’ intensive design and production development of the original prototype, we are about to send our first three production machines out into the world (to Canada, France and UK). We are passionate about Velopresso and have worked hard to make our machine the best it can be, and we would like to thank all those who have contacted us from around the globe and have waited so patiently for news during this development period which took much longer than we expected! We now plan to begin batch-manufacturing Velopresso machines to order*, here in England from February onwards.
* for more information please look out for further announcements on this site, Facebook and Twitter, or use the CONTACT form to be added to our mailing list.
It is a great honour to have been asked by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to participate in ‘Richard Rogers RA Inside Out’, a major retrospective of one of the greats of modern architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts. Velopresso is proud to fit with Rogers’ future vision of urban life in a compact and sustainable city:
‘The City is for the meeting of people and the exchange of ideas and goods.
When it is inclusive, sustainable and transparently governed, it is the embodiment of a fair society.“I shall leave this City not less but more beautiful than I found it” was the ancient Athenian citizen’s oath and is the driving ambition behind my work.’
– Richard Rogers
Velopresso will operate Thursday to Sunday, from 18 July – 13 October at the RA, Burlington Gardens, London W1.