Put the pedal to the...grinder. The Velopresso, an espresso cart-bicycle (well, tricycle, really) hybrid, takes the concept of generating power through manual labor and removes the practical joke punchline typically associated with it. In early summer 2013, electricity- and motor-free fine coffee may be coming to a bike lane near you.
The Velopresso coffee vending trike sports a pedal-driven grinder and gas-fired lever espresso machine. Its nearly silent, low carbon operation and its entirely original design--from the ergonomic tricycle frame to the conical burr grinder to the fuel-burning coffee machine itself--further the curious contraption's unique imprint on the world of wakeup juice.
Trike frames have been molded to ensure baristas are able to ride and operate the espresso equipment efficiently and comfortably from the saddle. Pedaling will grind beans on demand--fresh for every drink--with dosing adjustment components making possible double shot grinds in the range of 14 to 21 grams. Pedaling at 80 to 100 rpms will run the grinding burrs at 200 to 250 rpms; the average 14 g double shot, dosed directly to the Velopresso's portafilter, will take 5 seconds of easy pedaling to produce.
Once grounds are in place, the trike's compact, single-group espresso machine takes over the remainder of drink production. Its single boiler receives heat from a compact multi-fuel burner, the prototype of which runs on camping gas. From cold it takes approximately 15 minutes for the espresso machine to reach operational temperature. From bean dosing to grinding to double tall Americano with room for cream, the Velopresso needs only 60 to 90 seconds. Depending, its designer notes, on the barista's skills. Zing!