New student-run bicycle coffee company to open next semester

Emily Hernandez

Students can be on the lookout for a mobile coffee shop mounted on a bicycle selling cold brew coffee next semester.

BrewBike is a student-run coffee company founded in 2015 at Northwestern University in Illinois by Lucas Philips. Randy Paris and Eli Goldstein later joined Philips to help him run it. Business freshman Sarah Lee is overseeing the company’s expansion to UT.

“My goal for BrewBike is (for it) to be the go-to coffee option for UT students and staff. Not only is it coffee, (but) I want it to be like a community, where we’re not only helping us, we’re there for the students,” UT campus CEO Lee said. “It’s an outlet for UT students to gain business skills and develop that entrepreneurial spirit.”

The mobile shop is an industrial bike “retrofitted” to serve cold brew coffee from kegs to provide affordable, delicious coffee and reduce the time students wait in line for coffee, BrewBike launch director Goldstein said. 

Lee said students should spend about 40 seconds from the time they approach the bike to the time they get coffee.

“It’s … specifically crafted for college students who are hustling through their day every day, who need to get stuff done and don’t have time to wait 25 minutes in line at Starbucks for coffee,” Goldstein said. 

Lee said she hopes to officially open the mobile shop in the spring semester, likely along Speedway. The company only takes credit card, and the price of the coffee will be less than $5, Lee said.

Goldstein said Austin is an ideal location for a growing business because of the mobile food culture, moderate weather and large campus.

Lee said she is excited to learn about different areas of business and create opportunities for BrewBike in Austin.

“Our investors told us, “If you make this work at UT, let’s take this nationwide,’” Lee said. “Knowing I’m going to be the validation for investors and the step from the Chicago-area to all across the nation (is exciting.)”

Psychology freshman Anjali Raghavan said she drinks about three iced coffees daily and buys at least one from Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, so buying cold brew for potentially less than $5 seems appealing. 

“I’m personally a fan of cold brew, but it’s usually more expensive, so I don’t get it,” Raghavan said. “It tastes a lot better, and it has more of a coffee flavor, so $3–4 for a cold brew sounds … really fair.”