Cycling and coffee go way back. Not only is coffee the cyclist’s pre ride fuel of choice for grueling hours in the saddle but major coffee companies have a long history of sponsoring pro cycling teams and riders. Think Faema and Eddy Merkcx, Saeco and Mario Cipollini and now riders such as Mads Pedersen of Trek Segafredo. At Breakaway Digital we are passionate about speciality coffee and have for a long time wanted to set up a subscription service providing high quality coffee beans that are delivered right to your doorstep.
Whilst our lives may have taken an unexpected turn in the road over the last few weeks thanks to Covid-19 we think that drinking high quality coffee shouldn’t fall to the wayside like so many of our other daily habits. In comes our plan to combine cycling and coffee like never before, bringing you speciality coffee beans delivered contact free by bike to get you through these tough times. Read on to see how a dream we have had for a long time might just become a reality.
On average two billion cups of coffee are consumed across the world every day. That’s a lot of coffee not to mention caffeine. In fact by our calculations approximately 200 billion micrograms of caffeine each day. The UK alone drinks a quite staggering 95 million cups per day of which 80% is instant coffee. Some people drink coffee for its energising kick, others enjoy the more social side of going to a cafe. But for those of us who grind fresh and brew at home there is a world of hidden flavours and tastes that go way beyond the confines of a supermarket strength rating system.
I am of course talking about speciality coffee. Speciality coffee is essentially coffee where every step of the process prioritises quality over efficiency. Think small scale and local as opposed to large scale and global. The care and attention put into the production of speciality coffee leads to a cup of coffee that can be broken down into unique tasting notes thanks to various factors such as the region and microclimate the beans were grown, the altitude of the farm and even the particular process used to wash and dry the beans.
The team at Breakaway have, for a long time, been coffee connoisseurs. No day can begin without a fresh grind and some heavenly pour-over action. At our HQ we have a La Marzocco Linea Mini, in our team car we have a hand grinder and portable V60 and our backpacks always have space for a Jetboil and an Aeropress.
Once you have tasted speciality coffee it can be very hard to go back to the mass produced blended coffee you get from those giant chain cafes we all know and loathe. You swap the sticky chairs of your nearest chain for the sofa of your local independant cafe, seek solace under a plant dangling from the ceiling whilst nestling between some rickerty bookshelves. You visit weekly, maybe even daily, to listen and appreciate the coffee shop’s well rehearsed symphony of tamping, steaming and slurping. To top it off you are soothed by the sweet tones of a soul record spinning away in the corner.
Now all of a sudden, thanks to Covid-19, your routine is over. Gone is the hanging plant above you, replaced instead with a weary pot of basil on the window sill. The bookshelves are bare or full of books you’ve already read. No tamping or steaming, just the dry sound of out of date instant coffee and the harsh metallic lurch as the spoon scrapes away at the base of your mug. Your work from home soundtrack is either one of total silence or increasingly irritating family members asking for a cuppa.
The world dictated by Covid 19 is like nothing we’ve ever experienced and brings with it a great deal of change. Change to our daily ritual as we work from home, change to our family life as loved ones become distanced but also change to our social life as places that once played host to fond memories are boarded up and left silent. Cafe’s that usually provide our morning caffeine fix on the way to the office or our afternoon lift before the school run are now playing substitutes in our hard-fought game of isolation and prevention.
For us at Breakaway things have gone quiet. We have only just realised how sociable our work is. Whether that be shooting races or holding meetings to plan upcoming adventures and projects. Of course some of this can be done over the phone but planning coverage of an adventure race that might happen later in the year isn’t really bringing home the bacon.
Perhaps the most positive impact of Covid-19 on our daily lives is that of forcing us to finally fulfill ideas we have had but never made a reality. Phrases are muttered along the lines of ‘When this is all over i’m going to do this’ or ‘When this has passed I can’t wait to do that’. But before we get back to normality we had better make use of this hiatus for all the projects we’ve always wanted to start but kept putting off. The same can be said for us as we try to fill our time effectively and keep mentally strong.
Our particular long term dream involves our passion for coffee and cycling as we want to provide households in the UK with speciality coffee beans at an affordable price that are delivered with minimal environmental impact and with zero packaging. It may sound like a crazy thing to start now but we firmly believe there is a future in this for us.
Our current idea hinges on two key principles. High quality single origin beans coupled with eco friendly and non contaminating delivery. To tackle the first we are teaming up with coffee roasters from all over the country for our beans. Each roaster has years of experience and by choosing who we work with we can get some really unique flavours for you to try. Who knows in the future we might even look to roast beans ourselves.
The second principle is just as important to us. Eco friendly delivery will combine our passion for cycling whilst at the same reduce our carbon footprint. With a sack of beans attached to a delivery bike we will then use a measured scoop at each house to fill with beans, your recycled pots, tupperware or even an old cycling water bottle. By leaving a suitable container on your doorstep our fully sanitised rider can simply place your beans in the container before moving on to the next drop therefore avoiding any social contact. For now we will only be delivering locally on our bicycle to follow the Government’s guidelines and help stop the spread of Coronavirus but when this has passed we would like to open this up to a much wider area and even go national.
If you like what you’ve read and want to help us get our idea off the ground please register your interest and we’ll be in touch when we are ready to deliver! Lastly, stay tuned for future blogs going into more detail as our journey continues and our idea grows.