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Hasi

(sort of) Mobile Coffee Bar/Stand - a Quick Build Project

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Hello world,
not too long ago I was offered a corner of a trade fair stand to represent my little roastery. An important local wholesale customer of ours suggested a deal, where they could serve our coffee to their trade fair guests and promote their regional thinking by featuring us in their exhibition.

With a roaring finish of the 2019 Christmas sales, I didn't have much freedom to even think of January activities, not to mention building stuff...!
Well, here we are - only 11 days away from exhibition opening.

 

What does a coffee bar need, I asked myself.
Here comes my list:

- a coffee machine (we will use my Izzo Alex Valexia Leva)
- a grinder (Macap MXD in our case)
- a worktop
- a water supply
- a drain
- electricity
- everything connected
- milk and beans
- cups
- a knock box or drawer
- tamper, jugs, cleaning stuff

What do I want to include in addition, I thought next...
- a work light
- a milk jug rinser
- visible roastery references
- brand communication
- a stable, affordable, doable and quick solution that can be disassembled and stored away to be re-used some other time.

 

Enough brains for now, away with that. Every project needs to start at some point. And somehow. For me, it usually takes shape with a stupid sketch on a post-it note.

IMG_20200113_223451.thumb.jpg.2a0d746a015c0987c8eff4cf05cb625f.jpg

If I were to give a name to the size of my company, we're Smally McSmallpants.
So, a small coffee bar is more than appropriate!

 

On with 3Ding to get an idea of proportions, actual size and material usage.

1637684169_KaffeebarV01006.thumb.jpg.ac5e8bd871bf5df1b6fcb806d0a67912.jpg

1611691117_KaffeebarV01005.thumb.jpg.1a070d0658d278c4cc99ccc4dff94872.jpg

108794519_KaffeebarV01004.thumb.jpg.6b1e89a56b1dde93faec57613a34d629.jpg

1966437399_KaffeebarV01007.thumb.jpg.1f473f4d2f9bf6a594733fe75615f00f.jpg

 

Now that I've made it official, there's no turning back I'm afraid... haha!
I've got water tanks, a flowjet pump, this rinser thingy and a few bits and bobs on order right now. Will do a complete shopping list once everything is in.

Next up, buying 4x6 beams and looking in workshop if suitable screws are anywhere to be found. The idea of quick assembly/disassembly, as illustrated in last image, requires few flat parts that are being held together by big enough screws that are made to be removed and reinsterted... supposedly going for 7x70 (or similar) Confirmat connecting screws with allen/hex socket.

However, I'll call it a day and see what I can achieve throughout the week... wish me luck!!

Edited by Hasi
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Good luck

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AKA Toffee chips

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A cool box for the milk plus a separate hot water urn as, depending on demand, using the espresso machine  for hot water will compromise your steaming. The cad drawing looks good but if you want to avoid assembly / disassembly a collapsible / folding wooden table with cut outs for the pitcher rinser and knock box would be quicker. Your coffee bags / company logo could then be attached to the sides and front. Make sure you get the height right as  if it’s too low your back won’t thank you after the third hour! Assuming your not offering a decaf but if you are the Niche is perfect for this task. Business cards to hand out also a good idea.

 

Edited by Stevebee
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Espresso : Vesuvius Steel Pipework, Londinium L1, Ponte Vecchio Lusso  Grinders : EK43 & Titus alignment tool, Compak E10, Mazzer Royal, Niche Zero Black, Macap MC7 Deli, OE Pharos, Hausgrind, Feldgrind, Feld 47

https://www.kaffeeculture.co.uk

 

 

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Great work Hasi. ?

Seems you have the bases covered. ?

I wish you all the best in this venture. ?

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A cool box for the milk plus a separate hot water urn as, depending on demand, using the espresso machine  for hot water will compromise your steaming. The cad drawing looks good but if you want to avoid assembly / disassembly a collapsible / folding wooden table with cut outs for the pitcher rinser and knock box would be quicker. Your coffee bags / company logo could then be attached to the sides and front. Make sure you get the height right as  if it’s too low your back won’t thank you after the third hour! Assuming your not offering a decaf but if you are the Niche is perfect for this task. Business cards to hand out also a good idea.
 
Aww thanks mate!

Re collapsible I've been working towards that but found it either wouldn't fit in our Sharan or would need too many hinges and beams, making construction somewhat heavy and wiggly. Plus I've got the worktop lying around so kinda need to use that up for once

Separate hot water makes absolute sense! ...will get an extra outlet mounted under the counter. Just need to see whether max. power draw will work with 230V mains (machine, grinder, light and kettle ) or if I need to up to three phase 380V...

All installations shall be part of worktop piece as far as possible to speed up assembly.

True, forgot to mention the milk cooler - will go under counter equipped with cooling elements. Could connect to mains but it's a bit loud...
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Looks great!

Not sure how it all goes together, but from the sketches it seems to lack lateral rigidity. I would also extend the 2 middle struts all the way to the ground.

Finally, consider what you will do for casters/rollers and how these can provide leveling of the whole assembly, as the ground might not actually be level.

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In the end and as I imagine it it's going to be more about presenting the company and networking than banging out hundreds of shots each day.
Problem is, if enough people (also staff from around the fair grounds) find out about free coffee might be a busy three days

Won't offer lids for them paper cups to make folk rather stick around... and maybe try to remember faces of ever returning sweaters.


In light of the above, I'm totally stumped as to how many coffees might go over the counter per day.

25l waste water tank will be good for 100 shots and rinsing pf or milk jug.
Potentially mains water will be accessible, if not, 36l of fresh water will return roughly the same amount until refill.

Preparing paper cups in stacks of 25 lets me keep an eye on estimated fill level, in theory

At my pace, I could possibly achieve around 200 in a day. Gives me the jitters already...


Oh and I forgot to mention a waste bin!

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Looks great! Not sure how it all goes together, but from the sketches it seems to lack lateral rigidity. I would also extend the 2 middle struts all the way to the ground.

Finally, consider what you will do for casters/rollers and how these can provide leveling of the whole assembly, as the ground might not actually be level.

 

Cheers mate!

Lateral rigidity comes with back wall of full-length front element and horizontal beam inserts. Also, coffee bags will be tacked onto fibre board and mounted into their three frames. If that's not proving to be sufficient, I'll use diagonal tension rope internally. We'll see

 

Decided to cut middle struts and let them continue further in (U-shaped element) to avoid getting caught up in them with my toes

 

Finally, yes, will need to get some height adjustable feet (cardboard underlays might not be the best idea )

 

 

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Good Luck!

My advice would be this. If you get really busy and have a queue, remember you are only serving one person - the one in front of you. Give them a good experience, don’t rush. They will wait. If the queue is too long they will go away and come back when it is less busy. The person you are serving is the one that matters, it is that customer you want to make happy so they remember you ? 

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2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / 1998 La Pavoni with NickNak single hole steam wand tip  / Monolith Titan Conical & MAX  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer /  gold B Plus stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / coffee bar towel logo embroiderer to the hoi polloi  / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely and understanding husband 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MildredsBarTowels

 

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Good Luck!
My advice would be this. If you get really busy and have a queue, remember you are only serving one person - the one in front of you. Give them a good experience, don’t rush. They will wait. If the queue is too long they will go away and come back when it is less busy. The person you are serving is the one that matters, it is that customer you want to make happy so they remember you  
Cheers gal!
Might actually write this somewhere I (and nobody else) can see it

Or make a little stand-up display saying "you want free coffee... and I want to meet you. could take a while..."
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It could be well worth having a spare waste tank. If you are busy, will you have time to walk away and empty the overfilled tank with a line of customers waiting ? How far away is nearest waste point ?

What type of power outlet will you be connecting to ?  If you move to different positions you may need differing connections.   Single socket / multiple sockets = POWER ?

Contact @jeebsy he started with a "popup" stall.

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Probably far too late, and likely not on spec, but Decent Espresso has documented its own use of a mobile coffee table, and it involves a BROR table from Ikea as its base. 

Good luck with this - it all sounds amazing!

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1973 La Pavoni ++ Niche Zero ++ Aeropress ++ V60

Coffee by the Casuals

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It could be well worth having a spare waste tank. If you are busy, will you have time to walk away and empty the overfilled tank with a line of customers waiting ? How far away is nearest waste point ?
What type of power outlet will you be connecting to ?  If you move to different positions you may need differing connections.   Single socket / multiple sockets = POWER ?
Contact @jeebsy he started with a "popup" stall.


Absolutely, going check my options on site soon, hopefully before end of the week!

In general, looking fwd to learn a lot about running such a stall as a business model. Maybe going down the jeebsy way in the future?!

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Probably far too late, and likely not on spec, but Decent Espresso has documented its own use of a mobile coffee table, and it involves a BROR table from Ikea as its base. 
Good luck with this - it all sounds amazing!
ah yea, remember that!
Thanks for bringing it up

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One of the pubs I used to work at had a couple of portable bars with the sides attached to the front with piano hinges. The shelf & top held everything securely when open. You may find the curtains just get in the way too. It's not as if anybody but staff should see the back end.

 

 

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Laissez les bons temps rouler

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12 hours ago, Hasi said:

Hello world,
not too long ago I was offered a corner of a trade fair stand to represent my little roastery. An important local wholesale customer of ours suggested a deal, where they could serve our coffee to their trade fair guests and promote their regional thinking by featuring us in their exhibition.

With a roaring finish of the 2019 Christmas sales, I didn't have much freedom to even think of January activities, not to mention building stuff...!
Well, here we are - only 11 days away from exhibition opening.

 

What does a coffee bar need, I asked myself.
Here comes my list:

- a coffee machine (we will use my Izzo Alex Valexia Leva)
- a grinder (Macap MXD in our case)
- a worktop
- a water supply
- a drain
- electricity
- everything connected
- milk and beans
- cups
- a knock box or drawer
- tamper, jugs, cleaning stuff

What do I want to include in addition, I thought next...
- a work light
- a milk jug rinser
- visible roastery references
- brand communication
- a stable, affordable, doable and quick solution that can be disassembled and stored away to be re-used some other time.

 

Enough brains for now, away with that. Every project needs to start at some point. And somehow. For me, it usually takes shape with a stupid sketch on a post-it note.

IMG_20200113_223451.thumb.jpg.2a0d746a015c0987c8eff4cf05cb625f.jpg

If I were to give a name to the size of my company, we're Smally McSmallpants.
So, a small coffee bar is more than appropriate!

 

On with 3Ding to get an idea of proportions, actual size and material usage.

1637684169_KaffeebarV01006.thumb.jpg.ac5e8bd871bf5df1b6fcb806d0a67912.jpg

1611691117_KaffeebarV01005.thumb.jpg.1a070d0658d278c4cc99ccc4dff94872.jpg

108794519_KaffeebarV01004.thumb.jpg.6b1e89a56b1dde93faec57613a34d629.jpg

1966437399_KaffeebarV01007.thumb.jpg.1f473f4d2f9bf6a594733fe75615f00f.jpg

 

Now that I've made it official, there's no turning back I'm afraid... haha!
I've got water tanks, a flowjet pump, this rinser thingy and a few bits and bobs on order right now. Will do a complete shopping list once everything is in.

Next up, buying 4x6 beams and looking in workshop if suitable screws are anywhere to be found. The idea of quick assembly/disassembly, as illustrated in last image, requires few flat parts that are being held together by big enough screws that are made to be removed and reinsterted... supposedly going for 7x70 (or similar) Confirmat connecting screws with allen/hex socket.

However, I'll call it a day and see what I can achieve throughout the week... wish me luck!!

This is amazing!!! (Is there anything you can’t do?!?????‍♀️?☺️

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One of the pubs I used to work at had a couple of portable bars with the sides attached to the front with piano hinges. The shelf & top held everything securely when open. You may find the curtains just get in the way too. It's not as if anybody but staff should see the back end.
 
 
Ha! I know exactly what you mean, have seen one or two of these already. unfold sides from front panel, put in worktop, bar element and bottom end, done. Only, with above layout the folded piece would become too long to still fit in the van...

As for the curtains, very true. I hope to have enough space on worktop for stuff that's needed instantly. Down there I just want to keep spare stuff, mostly going to hide tanks, pump and pipework.
I have no idea if the bar can be placed in a way that it won't be visible from all sides. Not in this case or anywhere else I might cart it to in the future let's call them a just-in-case thing but hey ho, they're lightweight and don't need alignment. at least!
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This is amazing!!! (Is there anything you can’t do?!
Haha, well... staying healthy is among the things I can't do. Will lay down now to sleep off a man-flu...

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Postie was fit enough to deliver...

first parts!!

cc3a5bfbaa0390f3e3a96880feb355fe.jpg

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Hey Mate - this sounds really exciting! Super pleased for you. Hope it helps build your business.

Just a few extra thoughts based on my experience with doing somehthing similar

Power supply

  • you need to know how close you will be to mains outlet so that you have a cable of sufficient length. Any cables running on the floor will need to comply with whatever health and safety standards are applicable.
  • use an RCD to isolate your power line from the rest of the supply 
  • Make sure their cuircuit can cope with your power load. Your urn plus coffee machine will pull a truck load of wattage in the initial heating up phase.

 

Waste

  • waste bin for disposable cups, stirrers etc
  • something to empty your knock box into, it could fill up rather quickly!

Other barista supplies

  • chocolate powder/shaker for cappucino topping
  • spoons/stirrers
  • shot glass for your espresso extraction if your cups are too tall to fit under the portafilter
  • cloths for cleaning steam wand, work surface, other spills (dont underestimate how much mess you could potentially make!
  • milk temp thermometer - I found my hand got very sore very quickly using it as a temp guage!
  • keep cup sleeves close at hand, if you get busy there wont be time to faff around with opening the sleeves and separating the cups
  • supply of cold water
  • non-diary alternative
  • sugar/sweetner (not everyone appreciates the good stuff)
  • make an estimate of how many beans (kg) you think you might - then add 50%! Better to have too many than to run out!

 

Other random thoughts

  • check your current business insurance covers you for this type of event
  • business cards, flyers, general promotional material
  • familiarise yourself with any health and safety requirements eg do you need a food handling certificate?
  • vehicle access - how far do you need to cart all your gear (maybe get a small trolley/dolley)
  • An extra pair of hands might be useful. 

if I think of anything else I will let you know!

Following your cart project with interest as I really need to do something similar!

 

 

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Espresso:Rocket Cellini Evo, La Pavoni Europiccola , Grinder: Eureka Mignon,Ceado e37s Roaster: Dalian Amazon

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12 hours ago, Hasi said:

In the end and as I imagine it it's going to be more about presenting the company and networking than banging out hundreds of shots each day.
Problem is, if enough people (also staff from around the fair grounds) find out about free coffee emoji848.png might be a busy three days emoji23.pngemoji85.png

Won't offer lids for them paper cups to make folk rather stick around... and maybe try to remember faces of ever returning sweaters.


In light of the above, I'm totally stumped as to how many coffees might go over the counter per day.

25l waste water tank will be good for 100 shots and rinsing pf or milk jug.
Potentially mains water will be accessible, if not, 36l of fresh water will return roughly the same amount until refill.

Preparing paper cups in stacks of 25 lets me keep an eye on estimated fill level, in theory emoji23.png

At my pace, I could possibly achieve around 200 in a day. Gives me the jitters already... emoji51.png


Oh and I forgot to mention a waste bin!

I'm useless at these things (planning) but one word of advice. There's nothing stronger than the bond between two paper cups when you are at your peak capacity. Hence, I'd suggest rolling those things when you get them so as to not face the issue.

Also, are you just going to be offering milk based drinks or pour over/filter/espressos, the pour over and filter would need more equipment and espressos maybe a smaller cup?

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9 minutes ago, Cooffe said:

I'm useless at these things (planning) but one word of advice. There's nothing stronger than the bond between two paper cups when you are at your peak capacity. Hence, I'd suggest rolling those things when you get them so as to not face the issue.

Also, are you just going to be offering milk based drinks or pour over/filter/espressos, the pour over and filter would need more equipment and espressos maybe a smaller cup?

upvote to this - I find that the strength of this bond is directly proportional to amount of haste in which cup separation  is required!

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Espresso:Rocket Cellini Evo, La Pavoni Europiccola , Grinder: Eureka Mignon,Ceado e37s Roaster: Dalian Amazon

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18 minutes ago, RDC8 said:

Hey Mate - this sounds really exciting! Super pleased for you. Hope it helps build your business.

Just a few extra thoughts based on my experience with doing somehthing similar

Power supply

  • you need to know how close you will be to mains outlet so that you have a cable of sufficient length. Any cables running on the floor will need to comply with whatever health and safety standards are applicable.
  • use an RCD to isolate your power line from the rest of the supply 
  • Make sure their cuircuit can cope with your power load. Your urn plus coffee machine will pull a truck load of wattage in the initial heating up phase.

 

Waste

  • waste bin for disposable cups, stirrers etc
  • something to empty your knock box into, it could fill up rather quickly!

Other barista supplies

  • chocolate powder/shaker for cappucino topping
  • spoons/stirrers
  • shot glass for your espresso extraction if your cups are too tall to fit under the portafilter
  • cloths for cleaning steam wand, work surface, other spills (dont underestimate how much mess you could potentially make!
  • milk temp thermometer - I found my hand got very sore very quickly using it as a temp guage!
  • keep cup sleeves close at hand, if you get busy there wont be time to faff around with opening the sleeves and separating the cups
  • supply of cold water
  • non-diary alternative
  • sugar/sweetner (not everyone appreciates the good stuff)
  • make an estimate of how many beans (kg) you think you might - then add 50%! Better to have too many than to run out!

 

Other random thoughts

  • check your current business insurance covers you for this type of event
  • business cards, flyers, general promotional material
  • familiarise yourself with any health and safety requirements eg do you need a food handling certificate?
  • vehicle access - how far do you need to cart all your gear (maybe get a small trolley/dolley)
  • An extra pair of hands might be useful. 

if I think of anything else I will let you know!

Following your cart project with interest as I really need to do something similar!

 

 

Awww cheers Rodney!
Comprehensive summary there, will dig into details tomorrow when there's folk awake that I can talk to ?

 

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12 minutes ago, Cooffe said:

I'm useless at these things (planning) but one word of advice. There's nothing stronger than the bond between two paper cups when you are at your peak capacity. Hence, I'd suggest rolling those things when you get them so as to not face the issue.

Also, are you just going to be offering milk based drinks or pour over/filter/espressos, the pour over and filter would need more equipment and espressos maybe a smaller cup?

 

Just now, RDC8 said:

upvote to this - I find that the strength of this bond is directly proportional to amount of haste in which cup separation  is required!

 

Haha, alright - that sounds like a great piece of advice!
Will have to separate all cups to apply our signature stamp ? btw, we're using food grade ink on all our packaging - so no worries about stacking them afterwards. Might change the bonding part, however, rolling will be part of the routine!

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