Brew it on your commute

By David Linklater

Great. Super-fresh. But won't the steam fog up the windscreen?

Once your front seat espresso maker is installed in your Fiat 500L all you'll need for that early morning commute is an on-board toaster. Photo / Supplied
Once your front seat espresso maker is installed in your Fiat 500L all you'll need for that early morning commute is an on-board toaster. Photo / Supplied

Only in Italy: the new Fiat 500L (the supersize five-door version of the maker's retro small car) comes with a world-first on-board coffee maker.

Available as an accessory in Europe, the Lavazza A Modo Mio system is a compact unit that plugs into a special cupholder and produces high-quality coffee using pre-packaged "pods".

The Lavazza package comes with a cup, a storage unit for the coffee pods, a sugar dispenser and spoon holder. No, really.

Perhaps Fiat took inspiration from American carmaker Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep, which it now owns a controlling interest in.

In several models, the Chrysler Group has taken a strong interest in strong coffee by offering heated cup holders in top-line models.

Actually, coffee-making-in-cars is not only occurring in Italy. The 500L's automotive cafe culture is mirrored in another product from France called the Handpresso Auto.

The Handpresso Auto is the latest in a line of portable coffee machines from the company. It's light at just 880g and plugs into a standard car cigarette lighter. All you have to do is add 50ml of water and an ESE coffee pod, and 232psi of stream is generated to give you a cup of genuine espresso coffee.

Apparently, the Handpresso is particularly popular in online sales with American customers, who no doubt revel in the opportunity to brew hot, fresh coffee while they're cruising down the freeway at an even 88km/h.

The makers of these machines say that they're designed to be used during breaks from long-distance driving. But that's not going to happen, is it?

Forget about texting while driving: in the future, the new risk on the roads may be drivers accidentally spilling boiling hot coffee on their crotches.

A further danger in America: motorists raised on the local product may not be prepared for coffee that's actually good and go into shock.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 22 Aug 2014 19:59:55 Processing Time: 1053ms