Coffee and Bicycles

On a recent trip to Milan I happened across the Bianchi café.


It’s in a bit of an odd location, tucked away on a side street the wrong side of Piazza San Babila from the Duomo (the wrong side for customer traffic that is)

Now, Italy is really good at a lot of things, but two things they do better than anyone else are coffee, and bicycles. So surely combining the two must be the stuff of legends!

It probably is, but I wonder why anyone would bother to do so…

In Italy you go to a bar (café) for a coffee, and a chat, not to patronise a brand you like. In fact, the place was basically empty except for one chap who I’m guessing wasn’t a cyclist.

A friend (also a keen cyclist) also travelled to London recently and posted pictures from the Rapha café, so this is clearly a growing trend in cross-sector business development, but it does seem a bit odd.

I wouldn’t buy a television made by Volkswagen, or Nike toothpaste or a lawnmower made by Levi’s.

But I would buy a Bianchi bike, and I would buy Italian coffee.

In the same place? Sure, if I happened there by chance, but would I make a pilgrimage?

Doubt it. Would you? More than that one time, just for the novelty factor?


4 thoughts on “Coffee and Bicycles

  1. I’ve been to the Rapha café in Manchester and it made me cringe a little bit. I’ve nothing whatsoever against Rapha or those who wear it, but it just felt a bit…self-conscious?!

    Having said that, they are a city centre café with an area downstairs to stash your bike and a member of staff who keeps your eye on it – so they’re definitely getting it right in some ways.


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