LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4)– It’s said that Colorado sees 300 days of sunshine a year, so a couple of friends decided to use that abundance of sun to fuel their business. Enter SOL Coffee.
“We really wanted to use a solar system to make it so we didn’t have to run a generator,” Andrew Michler explained.
Michler is the co-founder of SOL Coffee – a solar-powered coffee bar built in the back of a 1979 Toyota Dolphin that Michler bought for $300.
“I design buildings and write a lot about architecture, so it was a great opportunity to try something that is so novel,” he told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
Michler came up with the idea with this friend and coffee connoisseur Darren Warzburg. The two stripped, gutted and added solar panels to the old truck, and together designed a unique coffee bar on wheels that goes beyond a typical food truck experience.
“I’m actually standing inside the truck right now,” Michler said, showing how the truck floor was low to the ground, “but usually, if you look at a food truck, you’d be standing two feet or more above the person. You don’t really have that relationship between the patron and the maker of the food or drinks.”
Not only is the coffee-on-the-go concept energy efficient, Michler said the solar powered equipment – combined with the locally roasted coffee – makes a better cup of joe.
“It saves us energy, but it also allows us to make a more refined espresso and gives us more control of the quality of the drink itself,” he explained.
And the mobile coffee bar is gaining national attention.
“We won an award from an architect’s newspaper for Best Small Spaces,” Michler said.
With hundreds of sunny days in Colorado every year, SOL Coffee has no shortage of power.
“We can serve maybe 50 to 60 people an hour,” Michler said.
And Michler expects to keep brewing the solar powered java for years to come.
“If it’s sunny like this, we’ll do great,” he said.
SOL Coffee is based in Longmont, but they’re happy to serve up fresh coffee all along the Front Range.
LINK: SOL Coffee