Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Barista winner re-sparks interest in mobile coffee

31 March 2009 by
Barista winner re-sparks interest in mobile coffee

The surprise of the UK barista championship being won by an operator of a coffee-cart rather than a traditional bricks-and-mortar café has sparked renewed interest in the already-growing sector of mobile coffee services.

The powered-mobile sector has been showing increased interest for several years now, with newcomers to the coffee business taking this relatively-inexpensive entry route, and finding business in venues as disparate as shopping centres and business parks.

One of the popular wagons for a coffee business is the three-wheeled Piaggio Ape, a kind of cross between a motor-scooter and a small van, and these are now available under the Lavazza brand through a deal with Big Coffee of Yorkshire, the company which converts the vans into mobile espresso bars.

"The mobile coffee-to-go industry is one of the few faring well," says Big Coffee founder Rob Dixon. "The rewards can be great and working for yourself is a great achievement alone, but it is always hard work. With the Lavazza brand comes strict standards all operators must continuously achieve, so working a mobile is not an easy option."

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.

By Ian Boughton

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


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