Brewing on a bike

With two crochet-covered seats and only one wheel, the bicycle looks a little funky.

Between its citrus orange handlebars, real oranges whirl inside a blender. At this juice bar, you make your own juice. You’ll be even thirstier for your hand (foot) made natural fruit juice by the time it’s ready.

Meet Dora la Bicilicuadora, the bicycle-powered blender.

Dora la Bicilicuadora at Espíritu Libre
Dora la Bicilicuadora at Espíritu Libre

She’s parked outside Espíritu Libre, a vegetarian restaurant run by José Alejandro and Paula on a leafy avenue of the Belén Nogal (Carrera 76 #32E-32) neighborhood in MedellÍn, Colombia.

Dora la Bicilicuadora is modeled after Maya Pedal, a Guatemalan NGO that builds “bicimaquinas” (pedal-powered machines) from refurbished donated bicycles.

Hippies had petal power, let’s make pedal power

Bicimaquina benefits

  • free electricity where not available or expensive
  • feet power is easier than hand power
  • generates zero pollution
  • healthy exercise without the gym membership fee
  • hippie funkiness with modern sustainability

Juice got one step closer to java

My husband Daniel Cifuentes helps train coffee growers to make their farms more sustainable. He invited José and Dora la Bicilicuadora to a training session on food security and they stole the show.

Sustainability on wheels…where else can it take us?

Mountain biking, mountain schmiking

Colombian coffee farms hug the steep flanks of the Andes mountains. Coffee pickers sometimes get strapped into harnesses to reach trees that defy gravity.

Colombian cyclists are a force to contend with, often taking the fore in Tour de France. Go up a mountain? Heck, that’s how I get to work every day.

So it comes as no surprise that bicycles have been integrated into coffee growing and processing in Colombia.

From bicilicuadora we go to bicidespulpadora: a bike hooked up to the pulping machine to strip away the fleshy pulp that encases the bean.

The Pedaling Peddler

For the next step of roasting the beans, Alex Roth hooks up an old Schwinn to a roasting drum.

He pedals them to roasted perfection, then peddles them to clients around the Sacramento area.

Alex is just one cool guy in California.

Could we massify this? Especially where massive waistlines are an issue?

Feel the burn! Feel the burn!

Spinning classes could be set next to a roastery. Instructors would yell “feel the burn! feel the burn!” as every thigh burning push upped the temperature for that morning’s batch of beans.

We’ve used a blender to grind our beans. How great would it be to kick start your day with an early morning workout to spin and grind your coffee?

A calorie is the measurement of how much energy (heat) is required to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree centigrade. What if our exercise routine could make water boil and thus brew our cup of coffee?

It’d be a double boost: you get your exercise high and then the caffeine buzz.

Calling all cyclists, caffeine addicts, and engineers

Coffee production

  • bike to the fields
  • bike coffee pulper

Coffee consumption

  • bike blender/grinder
  • bike roaster

bike brewer???

Stay tuned for less sweaty tips on how to get the warm feeling of helping the planet while cozying up with your next sustainable cup of coffee.

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