G’day mates! Tell us a little bit about this amazing project.
We came up with the idea in 2013. We decided to mix two things you wouldn’t normally put together: work and fun. Early risers, we wanted to be able to work hard in the mornings and have our afternoons off to do whatever we wanted to do, like surfing. But we didn’t want to open a classic café. We spent a while looking for the perfect van and when we found our Mercedes-Benz N 1300 we knew we had something special. We finally hit the road with our Combi Coffee truck in October 2015 and have been serving great tasting coffee ever since.
How did you come up with the name Combi Coffee?
Combi Coffee originally started with the idea of freedom of travel. With “Combi” (Kombi van) representing travelling and freedom and all those amazing things, and “Coffee” being something smooth and yummy. We put them together and it just worked.
What’s the story behind the famous Combi Coffee truck?
We actually found the van in a small town in central Portugal. It was love at first sight. One of a few, it’s from the year 1975. It’s unique and that’s one of the reasons why we chose it. Its owner at the time, a surfer, told us that the van had been transporting surfboards and other equipment from one beach to the next for years. It couldn’t have been a better fit for us.
When we got the van, the exterior was in pretty good shape, but the engine, clutch and brakes hadn’t been replaced since the 70s. We did most of the work ourselves. We replaced the motor and basically restored the entire interior. It wasn’t easy to find the right parts since it’s such a rare model and, well let’s face it, it wasn’t meant to be converted into a mobile café. But we made it work and we’re stocked with the final result!
You have to love this van. It’s a beaut. It’s never let us down and, well look and it, it attracts a crowd and that’s always good for us. We love our Mercedes-Benz N 1300!
What makes the Combi Coffee experience so special?
Combi Coffee has style, laid back tunes and amazing coffee. Our unique product combined with our wonderful vehicle is what makes us so special.
Plus, we’re part of the “Specialty Coffee Association” and exclusively offer the best quality coffee. We only choose the finest, green beans that we find, from the best harvests and sources. We prefer Arabica beans or beans from Southern or Central America, but we also like Ethiopian types. We don’t rely on a single specific bean. We’re open to anything, as long as they have the right quality and flavor.
What are you most thankful for with this project?
Through Combi Coffee, we’ve developed such a beautiful community. We’ve met some really great people. It has also given us the time and space to enjoy our hobbies and passions. And that’s the Combi way. Living a dream, living a passion. Doing what makes you froth out!
Photos: MYVAN / Combi Coffee - Gonçalo Cardoso