Velopresso selected for 100% Futures showcase at London Design Festival

We’re really excited to announce that Velopresso has been selected for 100% Futures, Olympia (19-22 September), a new exhibition showcasing ideas around the future of city living and the best of design for improving urban environments across the world.

Spearheaded by Max Fraser, 100% Futures is a new feature at this year’s 100% Design – the UK’s largest design trade show that takes place at Olympia, London during the London Design Festival. Encompassing travel, technology, well-being, public spaces and sustainability, the exhibition shines a light on the most cutting-edge designs and innovations under the theme ‘designing for cities’.

We will exhibit a brand new Velopresso with very cool new urban art panels wrapping the trike, which we’ve specially commissioned from pop illustrator Toby Triumph.

We will be present each day to answer any questions and there will be a panel discussion – 100% Futures: ideas to improve urban life – on Sunday 22 September, at 2pm. For further information and to book tickets for 100% Design please click here.

Hemingway Design’s Classic Car Boot Sale at Kings X Granary Square

This was certainly not your typical ‘car boot sale’, in fact it was a lot more like a festival! The combination of a talented event team, great location and fine weather, made for a really fun weekend of busy trading with a party atmosphere. We send our thanks to all the great customers who visited our pop-up coffee bar (aka Velopresso) and tip our hats to the key players behind this event. Hemingway Design is a multi-disciplinary design consultancy that works across an unusually broad range of sectors including exceptional public place-making events like this. The Classic Car Boot Sale had a carefully curated combination of street food, music and all forms of vintage ephemera including vinyl, clothes, homewares and design collectibles … oh and some really stunning classic pre-80s cars! Granary Square was buzzing with vintage aficionados often in very sharp period outfits, mixing it up with regular visitors and passing tourists. The Square itself is one of the great new public spaces in London and well worth a visit, particularly in the summer where the fountains come into their own. Our Velopresso coffee trike was nestled alongside a lovely Citroen H-van with a wood-fired oven knocking out excellent pizzas and Lasse’s pedal-ground Perky Blenders coffees were the usual hit despite the ready availability of fine craft beer and other tasty delights. At the weekends close we fuelled up on fabulous handmade ice cream at Ruby Violet’s before riding the Velopresso the 7miles home. We’re already looking forward to next year!

La Bécane à Café gets rolling in Quebec

Kathleen Roy made the journey from Quebec City to London last November to meet with us and try out a Velopresso. She explained how she had been trading organic vegan cuisine cooked on the spot from her beautiful La Bécane à Bouffe custom food trike for a few years and had noticed a gap in the market for mobile coffee unit. She was a delight to talk to and unusual client for us in two respects – she already had a lot of experience with running a business from a cargo trike which is a great starting point; and her height: At 1.52m (5’ 0”) she’s two inches smaller than the smallest customer we’ve fitted on our standard trike frame. When Kathleen later placed her order with us it was the first time we’ve fitted our special order ‘small’ rear frame option that would improve the fit, but as the framesets are modular it’s a simple switch. We also worked closely with Kathleen to help translate her existing brand identity over to her new coffee-based business for the trike panels. While we built Kathleen her dream coffee trike, she and her partner Nick embarked on intensive barista training to take their existing skills up to pro level. Once the trike was shipped to Canada and Kathleen began practicing it became clear that her size really was on the edge of what’s possible with a Velopresso, but by studying her riding position during video support calls we were able to advise her on how best to adjust the fit, and we are thrilled to report that Kathleen and Nick are both now happily pedal-grinding perfect coffees in and around Quebec City.

Nutpods x Velopresso arrives in Seattle

‘Start with a great product. You just can’t fake that.’ Says Nutpods founder and CEO Madeline Haydon, and we couldn’t agree more! Based in Bellevue – adjacent to the North West coffee mecca that is Seattle – the Nutpods company produce great-tasting and environmentally-friendly nut-based dairy-free alternatives for milk and related products. The team at Nutpods first encountered the Velopresso when they began hiring Florida-based Edilson Cremonese and his Coffeehub Velopresso to help promote their plant-based creamers for use in coffee at various events in 2017. Impressed with the impact they were having with the trike, but struggling with the logistical challenge of being on the opposite side of the country to Coffeehub, the inevitable next step was to invest in their own coffee trike. We were thrilled to build them a real beauty and ship it out to them in record time. There is a strong correspondence between Velopresso’s goals and those of Nutpods and it’s a pleasure to see the distinctive Nutpods branding so seamlessly presented on their Velopresso.

Velopresso is a hit in the Lone Star state

This very cool new Velopresso has just been delivered to its owner Stuart Reed of Fort Worth, Texas. For Stuart the Velopresso embodies so much of what he stands for: ‘This is the only thing in the world that combines my three biggest passions: making coffee, riding my bike and sustainability. And here we are!’ These are not words said lightly as Stuart has 10 years of pro-barista work behind him and a college degree in environmental studies. Stuart, although an independent operator, got the backing of artisan cafe and micro-batch coffee roasters Buon Giorno to become their defacto mobile coffee operation. This made a lot of sense in that Stuart had not only trained and worked for years at Buon Giorno so the bond was strong, but he would also be using their beans. Buon Giorno Coffee are Italian style coffee purists, using Londinium’s excellent commercial lever machines in their café, which use the same lever groups as on the Velopresso. This meant even greater continuity would be possible between the coffee extracted at the cafe and out on location with the trike. Having spent many years as the Buon Giorno head barista, Stuart was exceptionally well-versed with the use and capabilities of a lever coffee machine, but even he has been impressed with the output of his Velopresso, reporting back ‘… delicious espresso with the craziest amount of crema I’ve ever seen!’ His business has made a terrific start, including a very popular hook up with the Forth Worth branch of Mellow Johnny’s bike shop for their group rides and events, serving coffee to the cities’ pro-cycling mayor, and appearing in the local news.

Plant-power meets pedal-power Alpro partners with Velopresso at LCF

The London Coffee Festival is the ‘biggest coffee celebration on planet earth’, with hundreds of industry professionals taking part in an event that attracts over 30,000 visitors. We were approached by leading non-dairy specialists Alpro to create an interactive feature linking Velopresso’s pedal-powered sustainability credentials with Alpro’s plant-powered environmentally friendly product and the festival’s chosen charity, Project Waterfall. During the 4-day event, Lasse and the Alpro team invited visitors to the festival to try their hand at pedal-grinding while sampling Alpro’s great professional range of non-dairy milks for coffee. It’s fair to say our interactive feature was a hit with the public and the coffee trade alike, and all were only too happy for their donations to be supporting the coffee growing communities at source by improving their access to clean potable water. To find out more about the activities of Project Waterfall and how you can help their important work, please click here.

Ceramics, coffee, beer and horticulture at the Barbican Open Fest

We’ve worked at some pretty iconic London locations over the years but this was our first time at the Barbican, one of the real gems of cutting-edge arts programming in the UK and a personal favourite. The Barbican OpenFest was a packed weekend of everything the Barbican does best, from art exhibitions, music and dance, to free tours, open rehearsals, showcases and workshops in and around the Barbican Centre. Velopresso was selected as the coffee supplier for Turning Earth’s ceramics fair taking place in the tropical oasis that is the Barbican Conservatory – made to feel all the more so by the wintery conditions outside. On a very chilly Sunday Lasse rode the Velopresso 7 miles each way from our base in Walthamstow to the Barbican and back, and was very happy to be working indoors under the Conservatory’s tropical heat lamps and verdant fronds! The event was hugely popular with people queuing in the snow to get in for much of the afternoon, resulting in Lasse having a full-on day with non-stop pedal-grinding Perky Blenders coffees for all the visitors, staff and exhibitors.

Velopresso on location filming in historic Oxford

Is this the first Velopresso to appear in a film drama series? Wales-based film production giant BADwolf hired Lasse and our Velopresso to feature in a scene for a forthcoming star-studded supernatural drama. The shoot involved filming in the stunning historic centre of Oxford and both making and miming making pedal-ground coffees in front of a large crowd of cast, crew and tourist onlookers. It turns out it wasn’t Lasse’s first turn in front of a movie camera as he later confessed to some childhood acting stints back in Finland. We’re now waiting impatiently to see how his performance translates on to the screen as he delivers the classic barista line to the female lead ‘…and what can I get you?’ The day’s work went very well and BADwolf art director, Jeanine Borland, was very appreciative of our service writing to say: ‘Thank you again, so very much. Your service has been absolutely superb, and you will be my number one coffee cart for the future!’

** update 14th September 2018: look out for Lasse and our Velopresso in Season 1, Episode 1 of Sky One’s  ‘A Discovery of Witches‘ starring Downton Abbey’s Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer  – a  Sky original production of Deborah Harkness’s tale of daemons, vampires, witches and forbidden love.

West Elm – Kingston store opening

Velopresso have been hired to provide coffee services for several store openings for upmarket homewares company West Elm. The first was the launch of their elegant new Kingston store, where we provided free coffee to all visitors on the opening day. Corporate hire is something a Velopresso coffee trike excels at. Our coffee trikes can get into all kinds of spaces, and have been used around the world in all kinds of situations including galleries, department stores, hotel foyers, conference halls, trade shows, harbour-side and even up on rooftops. Our corporate clients appreciate the high quality of the coffee service, the distinctive engineered design and the quiet and unobtrusive presence. But more than anything it is the strong sustainability message that our trikes radiate with their use of pedal-power and their ultra low carbon-footprint that makes them stand out. Needless to say this west London event went down very well with the public and the West Elm team and we are looking forward to working with them again in the near future.

Hup! Hup! Hup! Rollapaluza’s Urban Hill Climb

London-based cycling events team Rollapaluza have carved out a cult following with their hugely popular roller-racing rigs, bringing bike racing into pubs, clubs, schools and just about any indoor space you can think of. With the Urban Hill Climb they’ve brought their party atmosphere and highly inclusive approach – that perfectly reflects  cycling’s growing popularity across age and gender – to the grand old tradition of the British Hill climb time trials, which go right back to 1887(!)* and are the season closers for the road bike racing calendar. The location for the Urban Hill Climb was one of London’s steepest hills, Swain’s Lane in Highgate, and there was a packed schedule with racers in all categories from veteran (over 40) right down to 9 years of age, and even a special one for cargo bikes who had a payload of 2 beer casks to cope with on top of the gradient! Velopresso were stationed at the top of the hill in Highgate Village, providing pedal-ground Perky Blenders coffee to the hundreds of spectators over the afternoon’s racing and plenty of loud encouragement to the racers during their lung-busting efforts. It was also the first event that our newest team member – Hester the rescue dog – has attended. Shy as she is, she was as big a hit with the public as the great coffee Lasse was making on the trike.

*Fact: the Catford Cycling Club’s hill climb up York Hill in Kent is the oldest continuing bicycle race in the world

Perky Blenders x Velopresso: a mobile collaboration

Following our relocation to Walthamstow we have quickly forged new links with other young businesses in this dynamic part of East London. Chief among them is Perky Blenders, the small-batch speciality roaster and café team making waves on the London scene and right on our new doorstep in E17. Perky Blenders already have a couple of cafes and have done various pop-ups alongside their core roasting business, but were intrigued by the exposure and reach a Velopresso could offer them. As we are near neighbours we decided to begin a collaboration, kicking off by teaming up for the Birchbox x Oliver Bonas pop-up in a central London gallery. We followed this up with coffee services for more local events including the Healthy Streets Conference (pictured) hosted by Waltham Forest Council  where their ZED (Zero Emissions Delivery) bicycle courier service for local businesses was launched. Next up is Rollapaluza’s fantastic Urban Hill Climb bike race in Highgate. Keep an eye on Instagram to see where we go next with our Velopresso pedal-powered coffee trike ‘powered by’ Perky Blenders Forest Blend.

Velopresso Ltd has moved

We made the decision to relocate earlier this year and have now completed our move, making a strategic split between our day-to-day office and our production base in the process. Over a three year period the Leyton factory unit had enabled us to develop and launch production and create the tools to do it, including our frame-jigs built in-house; get 30 Mk2 / Mk3 Velopresso frame-sets manufactured and 21 trikes out the door to customers in 12 different countries worldwide. It also doubled up as the design office and showroom, and we received visitors from all over the world in that space. It’s part of our history and will be missed. Space-hungry production has now moved out of London to Kent, where it’s business as usual. Meanwhile the new office is in a creative business centre in Walthamstow Central, London E17, which puts us much more centrally located in terms of dynamic local businesses, and with the London Underground just a few metres away we are much easier to find too! We have one or two Velopressos with us for demonstrations and hires, and a great café / bakery – Today Bread – on our doorstep. Come visit!

Rob’s Roast Coffees

London-based Rob Popper is a triathlete, trainer, masseur and die-hard bicycle and coffee nut. He’s been experimenting with home roasting for some time now, has a real passion for traditional dark roasts prevalent in Italy – ‘black is the new black’ – and has been testing his blends on the public with a small mobile pour over rig until now. Rob felt it was time to take a step up to a mobile espresso rig and after a couple of meetings and a test ride at our factory took the plunge and placed his Velopresso order. Rob’s long-term plan is to return to his native USA (NY state) with his Velopresso, but for the time being he will be operating in East London and will be our nearest Velopresso operator. Welcome to the family Rob!

Production of MK3 trikes

For several months now we’ve been busily manufacturing the next batch of Velopresso tricycle frames and stainless steel components (bumpers, steering units, jack stands etc.) As you will know all our welding is done in-house, here in East London, by our TIG welder Max – who has been working on the Velopresso frames since the three MK1 machines back in 2013. This batch takes us from VP021 through to VP030 and is technically the MK3 version of the frame: the changes are significant in detail but are being made mostly to assist us with production and assembly rather than any functional change for the operator, and there is full compatibility between models. It’s been a very industrious period, with various prototyping (new projects) happening in the background too, and also the settling of our newest team member, Hester the dog: a shy but beautiful rescue pup from Serbia – adopted by Amos and comes to work each day with him. You can see lots of images of our factory activity including Hester on our Instagram page.

Velopresso reaches new heights (9000ft !)

Purely by chance we got two orders from two different businesses in Colorado at the same time! Full Turn Coffee is a Velopresso-based startup set up by James Swafford in Colorado Springs, while Red Buffalo Café run by Erin Young is an established community café a few hours up the road in Silverthorne who were looking to expand their reach by going mobile. When we say ‘up’ we mean up! … as Silverthorne has an altitude of 2750m (9000ft) meaning water boils below 90 degrees celcius which requires very particular brewing techniques. We put James and Erin in touch, and not only did they have an instant Velopresso community in the state, but they were able to save some money by coordinating the shipping. These two trikes were a real pleasure to build, great colours and really distinctive branding designs. We look forward to seeing them in action in some mountainous locations.

Kafekolo brings pedal-power to Prague

Back in February we had a visit from coffee entrepreneur Jakub of Kafekolo in Prague, Czech Republic. He and his partner Marek had started their business with a ‘traditional coffee trike’ imported from China, but soon realised it really wasn’t up to the job and set their hearts on a Velopresso. One flying visit to London and a factory demonstration later and any doubts were dispelled. Kafekolo placed the order, we completed their Velopresso in around 6 weeks, and it was crated and shipped off by road to Prague at the end of April. We’re looking forward to seeing this beauty in action and watching their ambitious pedal-powered business grow.

Bikevibe – Volume 5, Spring 2017: Velopresso featured in leading bicycle-centric cultural journal

Bikevibe is a well researched, beautifully crafted, and stunningly produced semi-annual city journal (or book!) that aims to portray a city’s culture from cyclist’s point of view. We are thrilled to have made the cut for the London edition – Volume 5 – released this Spring. The photography, essays and interviews are all of a very high calibre and we’re in great company nestled alongside the likes of Brompton, Condor Cycles, Emily Chappell, look mum no hands!, Rapha, and Rouleur, to name a few, as well as articles on cycling infrastructure and other cultural players. Bikevibe London paints a rich and varied picture of London’s cycling scene and is highly recommended. Here’s a teaser quote we particularly like until you get your hands on a copy:

‘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.’
— Peter Dawson, journalist, Bikevibe

Amsterdam Coffee Festival with Brandmeester’s

Amsterdam Coffee Festival was made extra special this year by the presence of the Brandmeester’s owned Velopresso. We built this trike for them in 2015 – just in time for the Utrecht start to the Tour de France – and earlier this year their FCL1-Velo espresso machine was converted to a dual-fuel machine running on electric or gas (see January story below). The ACF was the first public testing of the electric machine and it performed fantastically well as expected (operating on electric the start up time is cut by 2/3 to just 15 minutes and the return to pressure during coffee operation is lightning quick). Lasse made the trip to the Netherlands and shared operator duties with the team throughout the festival, and got loads of great feedback from the public.To Lasse’s delight Brandmeester’s had another ‘ace up their sleeves’ in the form of their truly excellent Sumatra IPA: a delicious fruity and floral pale ale with a distinct coffee flavour in the mix. Great tastes aside the beer also makes the link to the trading routes of old where ships laden with IPA went east and returned with cargo of coffee beans – two rather fine commodities!

Velopresso goes electric

Velopresso was conceived as a go anywhere machine with the most compact, simplest and robust machinery, and our bespoke espresso machine, the FCL1-Velo – manufactured for us to our design by Fracino of Birmingham – has until now been run on gas only, in line with that approach. But over the years we have discovered that there are some locations that will not permit the use of gas, and we had been frustrated by this at times. Brandmeester’s wanted to showcase their Velopresso at the Amsterdam Coffee Festival in March and the venue wouldn’t permit a gas machine, so this gave us a deadline. As the machine is a sister machine of the Fracino FCL1 which is ‘dual fuel’ anyway (running on electric or gas) it was a simple procedure for Fracino to re-introduce the electric element to the FCL1-Velo. Our own machines and the Brandmeester’s Velopresso will soon be operating on either gas or electric. The electric option will soon be available as an option on new trikes and as a retrofit option for existing Velopresso owners.* Please email us for more details.

*the electric heating kit to give dual fuel (gas/electric) option is available in UK, EU, AUS, NZ and additional countries world-wide. Please enquire.

Velopresso arrives in Germany: ‘#Great coffee on the road’

We were delighted when Munich’s Mahlefitz roastery ordered their Velopresso, as their brand values match perfectly to ours. With a deep knowledge and passion for coffee, from the fruit to the cup, the Mahlefitz team have a perfectionist approach to every step. They aim to deliver the best of the best, the most flavourful premium coffee experience to their customers in their café, at home via a bean subscription and now on the road! We shipped the handsome Velopresso trike to Peter and his colleagues in late November, and followed up with a visit to Munich to settle everything in. The Mahlefitz roastery is located inside their elegant and spacious café on Nymphenburger Strasse in the city centre, and the whole set up is very impressive and certainly lives up to the hype. If you’re in Munich you know where to head for an exceptional coffee!

Velpresso Tamper

A long time ago we received a fine gift from our friends at Londinium Espresso of one of their low and heavy tampers, in brass and wenge wood. Ergonomically it seemed very well suited to the straight-on, from-the-saddle barista operation of a Velopresso. We used it happily for a couple of years before it went AWOL. By then we had the sense that even more weight in the base and a quite different profile for the handle was the way to go. It was time to design the VP tamper:

As ever, we went through a range of design iterations, testing the prototypes ourselves, before honing in on the important elements that make it a pleasure to use: the VP tampers are CNC-machined for us here in the UK, have a stainless steel base and aluminium handle, and are 58.45mm in diameter (fitting standard VP baskets and VST). The low centre of gravity and high weight (510g) takes the effort out of tamping and the fluting on the handle gives great grip, so it won’t slip in your hand and makes for a great polishing twist at the end of the tamping routine, (plus it has echoes of the aesthetics of our grinder and espresso machine). There’s a lot of action in the world of tampers right now, but this simple but effective design is perfect for use on a Velopresso.

The VP tampers will be available with black, red or gold handles and can be customised with laser-engraved branding – our logo, your logo or (for the purists among you) no logo. Whether you love your Velopresso and want the complete experience, or you just like the tamper, drop us an email at

Volcano Coffee Works x Velopresso

We recently discovered the south London roastery Volcano Coffee Works by tasting some very fine coffees at a local café. A bit more research led to the discovery that Volcano already had a strong association with cycling, supporting various racing events at Herne Hill velodrome and elsewhere, so we set up a meeting with their team at the VP factory and begun trialling some of their delicious offerings. We were won over by their Full Steam Espresso blend, which consists of three varietals of pure Arabica beans, all organically grown at high altitude in the mountains of Chanchanmayo, Peru, and directly traded with the farmers. The roastery tasting notes suggest ‘almonds, stone fruit and a liquorice finish’ – what’s not to like! It’s a consistently delicious blend and we are looking forward to using it regularly for our coffee services and in the factory to keep us rocking along.

Tokyo Smoke, Barista Brian and the Nomad Barista: making movies in Toronto

One of the most rewarding aspects of making Velopressos is the many talented and creative people it brings us into contact with around the world, and seeing what they get up to with our machine. Toronto-based Brian Leonard (aka Barista Brian) has been taking Tokyo Smoke’s stunning Velopresso trike out for spins around their metropolitan city, delivering his inimitable hand-drawn coffee art to a delighted audience. Over the summer he teamed up with roving photographer/filmmaker and fellow coffee lover Brodie Vissers (aka the Nomad Barista) to make this super-cool film in the Toronto sunshine, with Brian providing the soundtrack too. It really captures the ethos of Velopresso and the freedom it brings our pedalista-baristas around the world, and also shows how well the Velopresso fits into and stands out in a contemporary urban landscape like Toronto. We love it!

photo © Brodie Vissers

Velopresso coffee service hire

Over the years we’ve had a lot of requests to provide coffee services for events – something a Velopresso excels at wherever they are in the world, bringing great coffee, entertainment, and design and sustainability kudos to the occasion. Previously we’ve just said yes to the ones that we could fit in around our busy design and manufacturing work but managed to do some pretty special gigs in that period including Eurobike (for Brooks England), Tour de France Fan Park, 4th Plinth opening (Mayor of London), Richard Rogers exhibition (Royal Academy of Arts) to name a few. Now that production is established and running smoothly we can devote more time and energy to building up the hire side, starting with our new HIRE page including a detailed Coffee Service Hire guide pdf. We’re also looking to team up with a London coffee roaster too, so watch this space for news on that. Of course whenever an event is outside of our area we direct the enquiry to the nearest Velopresso operator via our COMMUNITY page.

Café Cycliste at the Tour de France

Once again Velopresso was represented at the worlds biggest bike race, the Tour de France. As is long customary the race visits other countries along its route, and this year’s edition saw stage 16 finish in a bunch sprint in the beautiful city of Bern, Switzerland. Charles Mayor of Zurich-based Café Cycliste was there to serve pedal-powered coffee to all the cycling fans, as the racers flew by (it was World Champion Peter Sagan who took the win ahead of Kristoff and local hero Cancellara in 6th). Café Cycliste’s presence at the Tour made it three years in a row for Velopresso following on from us – Velopresso Ltd – in 2014, (stage 4, London) and roaster and café team Brandmeesters in 2015 (prologue time trial, Utrecht). We’ve been lucky with the route so far, but hopefully as we expand the opportunities to take part in ‘le grande boucle’ will continue… We wonder whose turn will it be to ‘fly the pedal-power flag’ in 2017?