Spring has finally sprung and we can enjoy riding outdoors again! And as we pound out the kilometres on and off the road, what better way to reward ourselves after a hard ride than to brew ourselves some great coffee. One small Dutch company, Il Magistrale, makes ‘the best cycling coffee in the world’ according to the company’s chief roasting officer (CRO), Bas van den Heuvel.

“Cycling and coffee go so well together, and cycling coffee gets to the heart of the social side of our sport,” says Van den Heuvel, who roasts all the Il Magistrale coffee himself in a village south of the city of Eindhoven. “All our coffees are named after either cyclists or epic cycling moments.”

Cycling coffee must be earned

Il Magistrale cycling coffees are brews that you have to earn, so they say. It’s very chic, rather expensive, and supremely stylish. The names of the blends are tailored to hardcore bike racing fans; and they refer to in-jokes and nicknames in the international peloton. For example Gravel Grinder blend was developed in partnership with Dutch cycling legend Laurens ten Dam, and the signature blend is printed with his motto and personal slogan: “Live slow, Ride fast.”

Il Magistrale

It began as a crazy idea, and became a small company. “We have six people including myself working for Il Magistral,” says Bas. “I am a coffee roaster by trade, but used to race mountain bikes when I was in my twenties. I know how cycling and coffee are a great combination! Our sales are roughly split 50/50 between retail and online sales. We are quite well-known in Holland and Belgium, but we want to expand into the UK and Germany.”

Der Panzerwagen!

Other Il Magistrale blends make fun references for cycling fans—Der Panzerwagen is a case in point. The name is the famous nickname of German time trial legend Tony Martin.

We have to admit that we haven’t tasted it yet, but it certainly makes us smile. The beans appear to have been chosen to reflect the hardness of its namesake. “Aimed at giving you such a powerful caffeine shot that your body and mind will switch automatically into ‘kill mode’. Drinking ‘Der Panzerwagen’ gives you the feeling you are a vicious tank that will split air and anything else that might block your way.

cycling coffee

Leeuw van Vlaanderen: this blend hit the market just before the 2019 edition of the race, won by Italian outsider Alberto Bettiol. The coffee blend is ‘a surprising taste of candied caramel and a the soft mouth feel of Belgian chocolate mousse’.

At roughly €27 for a kilo of beans, excluding postage, we have to admit that Il Magistrale’s blends certainly punch a hole in your wallet. But they also make the ideal gift for the cycling fan who already has everything, and the perfect compliment to a Rocket Espresso machine—every cyclists’ dream brewing machine.

PS: we made up that job title for Bas…

See also: