In the past few months, a small mobile coffee shop called Cabinet Brew Bar began to flicker at city festivals, and sometimes just on the streets. Not the caravan from which the cappuccino is served from the coffee machine, but the unusual construction of a bicycle and a wooden box, where Kemex, a French press, Vietnamese filters, a pauver and everything that is needed for alternative brewing of coffee are transported. Life around found owners of bicycle cafes - a married couple of Victoria Kovaleva and Roman Inozemtsev - and talked with them about the project.
We are not new: on Nevsky we have the so-called CabinetLab store - a place where they brew coffee and learn this, as well as make coffee stations. The novel is just engaged in the manufacture of the latter. And once we just got the idea: why not make a cart with a coffee station and carry it along the streets of the city? The “Restaurant Day” on May 18 was very opportune, where we tested our idea. The action was non-profit, coffee was just handed out. I wanted to see how this works. We liked it, and people too - everyone smiled, passing by our design.
Construction and brewing
Unlike similar projects abroad, we decided that our bicycle shop should not stand still. An ordinary espresso machine weighs 50-60 kilograms, plus equipment and water. Equipment for alternative brewing weighs almost nothing, so we can safely drive around the city.
The design itself is not at all complicated - it is a wooden box with mounts, to which the wheels from the garden cart are attached. It was very easy to assemble it. With us we carry hot water in thermoses, good coffee and tools. A kettle and a gas burner are also always with you, in case we find ourselves somewhere in the forest without electricity.
Any cup costs 100 rubles, regardless of whether it is coffee from a Vietnamese filter with condensed milk or some kind of Arabica from Kemex. It is not expensive and not cheap, but it is simple and convenient for calculation. We also make coffee by cold extraction - it cannot be prepared on the spot, only in advance. Technologically, this is a more complex process that takes a lot of time. About four liters can be made per night. We always take ice with us, mix it with Kemex coffee and this cold coffee extract. It turns out not an ordinary cooled coffee, but an independent drink.
Now we only have one bike, so we decided to focus on field events - fairs, festivals. The last, for example, was a tattoo festival. We often just cycle around the city just like that - we show that we are, we are all photographed.
By the way, getting to the event is not at all difficult: you must first call the organizers and arrange that you will arrive. There is usually no problem with this. For two large trips, we made about 600-700 cups, that is, about 100 cups per day. By this indicator, we are already competing with some coffee houses.
Regular trips with the sale of coffee can be arranged, but coordination needs to be obtained from many authorities. We will apply for formalization. It is not at all a fact that we will be allowed to do this: for many, projects end at the coordination stage. But we will definitely occupy our urban niche.
In July, another bike will appear. While we are short of hands, since we are doing everything together, and at the same time we are engaged in our family production.
About coffee in Petersburg
Now the situation with coffee in the city is as follows: a lot of Russian roasters have appeared. Previously, Italians occupied a monopoly in this market. And everyone is doing their job very well. So healthy competition is now under development. Accordingly, people begin to understand more about coffee, pay attention to unusual manufacturers. For example, Vietnamese coffee is no worse than Italian blends.
All network coffee houses use and will use commercial coffee, the lowest class of the drink, which is made from cheap raw materials - they earn on this. A lot of grain is produced in the world, so nothing needs to be stored. But the future is still for small coffee houses that can afford specialty coffee (consisting of selected beans) - this is a higher class of drink with a good and bright taste. Also, I think, specialized stores with bar counters and their own roasters will be developed, where they will roast coffee and sell it immediately, or deliver it to other coffee houses.