Coffee Carts?

the business of coffee houses

Coffee Carts?

Postby onocoffee on Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:45 pm

Okay, I just received an RFP for an espresso cart at the local library and I'm interested in exploring the possibilities. However, when it comes to espresso carts, I'm a bit inexperienced.

Does anyone have any espresso cart manufacturer recommendations?

I'm looking for a max six foot cart that is completely self-contained with water supply, waste water tank, hand wash, water pump and electrical system. It needs to have a built-in refrigerator and enough space to handle a La Marzocco 2/3 group, two grinders and maybe even a Clover.

Also, if you have cart experience, I would appreciate any design and layout tips you might offer.

Thanks!
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Postby homelessroaster on Fri Apr 14, 2006 6:10 am

build your own...

Seriously if you have any tech knowledge whatsoever build your own. One thing I would definately keep in mind is that if you are in someone elses space, cleanliness is very important. Espresso grinds that might not even be on the radar in your shop might drive people nuts in their place. As far as electrical stuff goes...you are going to need to deal with the people at the library on that one. You could certainly setup a box on the cart, but it'd be much easier to have some lines wired near where you would be setup. Basically, either way, you are going to need to have the same stuff pulled in from their main and putting stuff on the cart is just going to be an extra hassle. Plumbing is also pretty easy, again thats if you've got a little handyman in you. You'll have to check with your local health department but You can definately setup a completely self-contained water system with both fresh and waste water. The local health department will have requirements for fittings and sizing and traps and the like, but you'll have to deal with them to know how much room you've got to play with. You can use a flojet pump and an undercounter on demand water heater to do just about everything.

Other than that I guess I'd just say to go for more of an enclosed kiosk setup than just a little cart or something (something 3 sided backing to the wall). People will respect your space more that way. And avoid paying rediculous prices for prebuilt stuff. Its overpriced and its really just so easy to buy some heavyduty prep tables and cut what you need into them.

glad to answer any other questions you might have

robert
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Postby Roastmaster General on Fri Apr 14, 2006 4:53 pm

Jay, PM me your mailing address, I have some plans for carts that Jim Duke out of San Diego did for me a few years ago. Being in the "cart" business since 94, a lot has changed. Now most health departments want MDS and burn rate sheets on the cart materials. Start looking on EBAY for used carts, you can save 75%.... Libraries scare me though.....not a lot of foot traffic, I wont place a unit in a building that has less than 1000 employees on-site.
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Postby Kevin Cuddeback on Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:29 am

I like this one (sans the "la barista" espresso machine):

http://www.mvu.com.au/default.asp?ID=2

About $17k delivered, iirc.
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Postby onocoffee on Mon May 08, 2006 5:39 pm

Looking into the possibility of designing a custom espresso cart if we end up successfully bidding on a contract locally. Total area is 20' long by about 8' deep. Thinking about a refrigerated cabinet to hold beverages, along with two to four carts for: Espresso machine & Grinders, pastry display and register, washing station, and condiment cart.

Of all these, the espresso cart height is something I want to factor in early. Thinking about using 3/4" plywood for the base and side panels with 5" casters, but instead of building custom interior cabinetry, I was thinking about using the melamine base cabinets from IKEA. They're affordable and they have some sharp-looking door panels. The base cabinets are 30 3/8" high. Pair that with a laminated countertop at 1 1/2" and that gives a total counter height of 37 1/4" on which to place the espresso machine.

How problematic is that height? Is there a better or preferred height?


Also, any suggestions on features or anything related to cart operations will also be appreciated.

Thanks!
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