A traveling coffee emporium

A traveling emporium of espressos and cappuccinos is offering a new way for coffee lovers to enjoy their caffeine fix.

The stuff of coffee lovers’ dreams, the Vélo Café is powered by bicycle and fueled by illy coffee. Launched earlier this year by Martin Richter of Wine & Glass Ltd., the mobile coffee operation brings freshly brewed illy coffee to offices, private parties and other events.

So far, Martin has taken his Vélo Café to a number of venues, where clients are treated to the full monty of coffee presentation. The setup allows for all manner of fancy coffees to be served, including myriad hot options, smoothies and iced illy, and even coffee martinis if the venue provides the liquor. The design of the mobile café can also accommodate a platter of desserts, offering the perfect accompaniment to your chosen brew.

Wine & Glass Ltd. has been the exclusive representative for illy in the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos since 1998, offering the full range of illy beans, ground coffee, and coffee pods, as well as cups, saucers, and even the recommended sugar packets for that perfect coffee experience. Indeed, Martin says that once customers sample illy for the first time, they tend to eschew all others.

“You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to know what you like, and the same can be said of coffee,” Martin says.

Illy coffee was founded by Hungarian born Francesco Illy, in Italy, 1933. His passion for all things coffee saw Francesco create the first espresso machine, the Illetta, making balanced (not bitter or burnt) espresso the expectation, not the exception. Continuing to lead the way, in 1974 Illy created pre-portioned coffee pods, which have become a worldwide standard adopted by other coffee companies across the globe.

“I have always been inspired by Francesco Illy who started Illy,” Martin says. “Illy is a very innovative brand. It is a small player in the market, but it has exceptional quality control. It is like the Rolex of coffees.”