Dish of the Day: Speciality coffee and cycling – a perfect pairing
This month a Christmas shopping event that caters for both coffee and cycling enthusiasts is coming to town. Cycling and coffee have been a dynamic duo since the 1960s when Faema, an Italian espresso machine manufacturer, took the decision to sponsor a professional cycling team, thus promoting its new cutting edge model. From then on, the partnership between coffee and cycling has grown. Since caffeine is not a banned substance in cycling, it’s the perfect pairing and a way for professionals and amateurs alike to refuel and enjoy an energy boost.
An important link between cycling and coffee happens at producing countries. We work directly with coffee farmers around the world and benefit first-hand from the results of the Coffee Bike programme created in Rwanda.
In this project, 1,000 bicycles specially designed to carry heavy weight cargo were distributed to selected small scale coffee farmers in four cooperatives. The cooperatives created a micro credit system to give the farmers the credit terms they needed to buy the coffee bike.
Having a coffee bike ultimately helps the farmer transport their freshly picked coffee in quicker to the wet mill than the traditional method of carrying the coffee cherries on their backs. It was discovered that timing is everything, because this “bike coffee” is delivered in a much better condition and so gains a higher price because the flavours are sweeter. All in all, the bicycle can be one of the farm’s most important tools.
Here in the UK, commuters are increasingly turning to two wheels to simultaneously avoid high public transport costs and do their bit for reducing environmental pollution. These ’socially conscious’ consumers certainly care that their coffee tastes fantastic, and are likely to be more aware about the social and environmental ethics essential for sustainable coffee production.
So baristas looking for ways to differentiate their café have addressed this surge in popularity of urban cycling. In addition to offering a tasty speciality espresso and filter brew, they gratify the gadget cravings of cyclists by selling bikes and specials cycling gear alongside
If cyclists are taking a well-earned rest from an arduous ride, they are going to make the effort to seek out a delicious, expertly prepared coffee to savour during their pit-stop, and not be satisfied with an average brew. Now, this is where the marriage between speciality coffee and cycling cafes really takes off.
Jeremy Torz is Co-Founder of Union Hand-Roasted Coffee and a self confessed Coffee Addict
Follow Jeremy at @unionroastedTagged in: coffee
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