Great Iced Coffee Ideas For The Summer

When it’s cold outside and people need to warm up, the thing they want the most is a hot cup of tea or coffee. However, it can be harder to appeal to the public when the temperature is heating up and everyone simply wants something to cool them down. 

Instead of looking mournfully at the long queues for the ice-cream van next door, why not reinvent some of your most popular coffees to keep attracting customers over the summer months?



Affogato is often seen on dessert menus, but when you’re not sure if you want a soft scoop or a caffeinated drink, it is the ideal option. 

Translated as “drowned in coffee”, affogatos are a scoop of vanilla ice-cream in a shot of espresso. If you want to make yours stand out, offer sprinkles of nuts or chocolate on top. 

This is the ideal option on those scorching hot days, particularly for parents who are jealous of their kids’ ice-creams but want something a little more grown-up. 


Espresso tonic

Coffee and tonic might sound like a strange combination but it is fast becoming one of the most popular. 

Serve tonic water over some cool ice and pour a shot of espresso on top. The coffee sinks into the fizz, pairing the sharp tangy flavour of the tonic with the strong rich taste of coffee. 

It is a great afternoon drink, giving customers a refreshing option in the midday sunshine. 

For extra sweetness, you could add a shot of syrup, or garnish it with lemon slices to bring out the sharpness of the tonic. 


Dalgona coffee

Another cool beverage you should put on your menu is dalgona coffee, which is light, fluffy and has just enough kick to start the day right. 

To make the drink, simply whip coffee, sugar and water together until it has a foam-like consistency. Pour this over a glass of milk for a creamy morning brew. 

This coffee is going to be popular among Gen Z, as it has become huge on TikTok, as well as Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. 

There are many ways to make your version unique as well, whether you serve it over chocolate milk like a mocha dalgona, add some vanilla extract or lift the flavour with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. 


Maple iced coffee

All the cafes are doing their own version of iced coffee, but it can be hard to replicate some of them in a mobile coffee van

However, maple iced coffee is a simple, yet delicious, drink that customers will love just as much as anything crushed, blended or whisked. 

It is simply black coffee that has cooled down with some maple syrup and cinnamon powder. The syrup means patrons don’t miss their usual milk, and the spice breaks through the sweetness. 

You could even serve this by the pitcher, allowing friends to share a jug between them, so they can keep cool and refreshed on a sunny day. 

Why Is Coffee Such A Popular Beverage Around The World?

Coffee lovers come from every corner of the globe; i. It is one of the most popular drinks in the world. From iced lattes to rich espressos we simply can’t get enough of that delicious caffeine hit.. Coffee has even made its way outside of the world of beverages, from cakes to confectionery and even into our skincare and body care products!

But why is coffee so popular? It’s delicious but is it seriously that good? The answer, of course, is yes. There are many reasons why coffee is such a popular and loved beverage and therefore why starting your own coffee van franchise venture is a fantastic idea. 

One of the main reasons coffee is so popular is, of course, it is delicious and tasty. Coffee has a unique, distinct flavour that is loved by many. Rich and full, it has a delightful smooth taste and heavenly smell that invigorates and comforts many people.

A lot of people can’t start their day without a hearty cup of joe and it isn’t just because the caffeine wakes them up, there is something special in sitting and enjoying a moment of peace and deliciousness when starting your day.

Of course, the caffeine does help to boost its popularity too. People are busy and busy people are tired! Having a much-needed pick-me up can be hard to find, but coffee does the trick and can help you to feel invigorated and refreshed.

This makes it a popular choice for many as it gives them the energy to continue their day without feeling tired, sleepy and sluggish. Coffee helps you to seize the day!

Another reason coffee is so loved is because of the universal enjoyability of the beverage. Coffee comes in all shapes and sizes, from mild milky lattes to intense cortados. P, people everywhere enjoy the drink regardless of their personal tastes.

Coffee shops even cater to those who don’t like coffee. Frappes, blended iced drinks and hot chocolate are all on most menus in cafes around the world, meaning people can get together over a drink and catch up with friends, no matter if they like coffee or not.

This social aspect also helps to drive popularity. For many people, finding the time to spend quality time with their loved ones can be difficult and not everyone wants to go out for a meal or head to their local bar.

Meeting up for a coffee is the perfect intersection. It’s casual yet intimate, cosy yet fun and you can spend as little or as long as you want sipping a cup of coffee and catching up with your nearest and dearest.

From delicious blends to iced concoctions, quick catch ups with friends and long, emotional conversations with loved ones, a cup to go or a mug to sit in with.

Coffee is loved for many reasons by many people and this is why it may be the most popular drink in the world, no matter if you have it with milk and sugar or no added extras at all.

Summer Festivals Reveal Mobile Coffee Van Benefits

Having a coffee van instead of a fixed café means you have a very different approach to custom. In the latter case, you will be relying on steady trade, often from regulars who you get to know, or from a high volume of passing trade, such as people working nearby in the business district of a city or visiting the vicinity for leisure and tourism reasons.

While the latter may be largely lucrative, one snag is that it can be inconsistent. A café in an area dominated by offices will be quiet at weekends. Some tourist hotspots will be seasonal. A location near a football ground can do a roaring trade on match days but not at other times, especially in the summer.

A coffee van, however, can offer more flexibility as you can move around to where people are gathering. This is never truer than during the summer music festival season, when there will be many events across the country.

Leading the list are some of the biggest and most prestigious music events. Glastonbury is the most famous and thousands of people gathered this year to see a star-studded line-up, featuring big names like Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Arctic Monkeys and Blondie.

Anyone with a coffee van at the Worthy Farm site will no doubt do a roaring trade, but the great news for anyone in the South West is that the summer will bring many more events across the region. There is Barn on the Farm in Gloucestershire, NASS in Somerset, Womad in Wiltshire, and Boardmasters in Cornwall.

This is just the situation in one region of England. Those in the North- West, for instance, have already had Parklife in Manchester, with Blue Dot at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire and Kendal Calling at Lowther Park in the Lake District still to come.

Other big festivals include Reading / Leeds, Green Man and others that have already taken place, such as Download and the Isle of Wight Festival.

All this will provide loads of opportunities for coffee van owners during the summer. But there will also be a vast number of much smaller festivals. Events that may not attract vast tent cities, world-famous names, or stampedes for tickets, but which nonetheless will be well attended and enjoyed by many, often because, rather than despite, their smaller size.

Many people love such festivals. Indeed, Quirky Campers has its own web page dedicated to them, featuring lesser-known events such as Elderflower Fields, the Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, Glastonbudget, Bearded Theory and Tropical Pressure.

Of course, these are just the music festivals. There are so many more wonderful events that make up the great British summer that you can get along to. There are flower shows, summer sporting events, local carnivals and fairs, all adding to the opportunities.

Some of these may be close enough to cafes for the owners to cash in on them. But with a coffee van – and a bit of forward planning – you can make sure you are in the right place every single time, providing great coffee to make these events even more fun than they already are.

Why Your Coffee Van Can Be A Fair Trade Opportunity

There are many great motivations for owning a mobile coffee van. The sense of independence, the challenge of making a success of your own business and the opportunity to work where you like are three of many.

Of course, this comes with working plenty of hours, so it requires dedication to what you are doing. For that reason, you may be particularly motivated if you are not just making a living, but acting ethically too.

An obvious way to do this is to make your van one that specialises in selling ethical coffee. We offer a Fairtrade decaf and also the option of a Rainforest Alliance Certified blend for franchisees.

Fairtrade Coffee has been available since the struggles of Mexican farmers following a collapse in world coffee prices in 1988 brought the issue to global attention. The first Fairtrade coffee product in the UK appeared in 1991 and now over 800,000 farmers in 32 countries benefit from minimum pricing.

The Rainforest Alliance aims not just to pay producers fairly, but also to enable sustainable economic development, which raises incomes while protecting the rainforest from destruction and with it saves animals from habitat loss.

A factor you may note with many of these products is that you will have to pay more for your stock, so beware of the higher upfront cost and the consequent need to sell products to consumers at higher prices.

Against that, however, this does enable you to pitch yourself as an ethical provider, which may act as a unique selling point if you are competing with other vans in the same area.

Not only can you sell coffee knowing your suppliers are getting a fair price; ethically-minded consumers will be delighted to know this is what happens with the coffee they buy. They may become your most loyal and regular customers.

You can also apply ethical principles to other products your van offers, such as using Fair Trade Cocoa in your hot chocolate, in your chocolate bars, Selling Fair Trade products ensures that your van is not just there to make a living, but plays a role in

What Should You Know About Mobile Coffee Before Starting?

Running a mobile coffee franchise involves weaving your business life around other people’s work breaks, and for people with the right mindset and work ethic, can be incredibly rewarding.

Free from the confines of spiralling property prices and expensive overheads, mobile coffee vans are a great way to get great coffee straight to the people who need it, sparking conversations and connections in the process.

After all, not every office is based in a major metropolitan area, and there are always people who need a pick-me-up on their morning break, at lunchtime and in the afternoon.

Generally, the people who would be best served serving fresh coffee to a motley crew of customers will already know if it is the right life for them

If essentially running a coffee club with an engine is appealing, if they are great with people, if they have a passion for coffee beans, and they are willing to put in the hard work, a career in mobile coffee might just be perfect for them.

But before anyone commits to buying a van, starting a franchise or investing in one of those really sleek cafetierés, here are some important aspects you need to know.


It Pays To Explore Your Options

Before you make any commitments, buy a van or buy any equipment, take a walk or drive around your local area and take notes (mental ones if you are driving, of course) on where you notice groups of people travelling around and where a supply of fresh coffee is nowhere to be seen.

You may find a spot that flares up your imagination; plenty of industrial estates are miles from decent coffee.

Once you have confirmed that this is the future you want, it’s time to consider the most suitable options for establishing your business. You could buy a van yourself and convert it, buy a ready-to-go coffee van and run it independently, or become part of a franchise. Each has its pros and cons but we believe that becoming a franchise partner outweighs the rest. 

Besides anything else, the franchise you are buying into will often do the research on potential coffee stops for you, essentially finding your customers before you have even begun.


You Get Out What You Put In

This is an essential fact to know in two important respects.

The first is in terms of your budget; whilst initial startup costs are relatively low compared to some other businesses, it is essential to have enough money to get your business off the ground and contingency plans to prepare for any eventualities and setbacks.

Practically all new businesses will have a first year or two that will feel like a blur as a new mobile coffee shop owner juggles their owner, accountant, marketer and barista hats, all whilst getting used to their new routes, breaking the ice with new customers, networking and making amazing coffee.

As you build yourself up and establish your mobile coffee shop, you need to make sure you have the financial runway to ensure you can weather those first few months if they do not go as well as you hope.

The best way to do this is to set up a business plan of your expected initial starting costs, budget, expected monthly costs and how much it would cost you to run the business for that first year or two. At Really Awesome Coffee, we have a dedicated team of development managers who will do the heavy lifting for you.

Not only is this useful information to have to hand, but it can also be the difference maker when enquiring about business loans with banks, as they are more likely to lend to you if it seems like you have a sensible idea of where their money is going.


The Legal Stuff Is Important But Easier Than You Think

One of the big worries new small business owners have is the complexities of registering their new business, but in practice, it is not as complex as you may think.

Basically, if you are going it alone with your mobile coffee business, you have the choice of setting up a limited company, which would make your franchise a separate company to you personally, and you pay corporation tax, or setting up as a sole trader.

A sole trader is the easier way to set up a small business up to a certain size if you do not plan to employ anyone else, and you can switch to establishing a company if your circumstances change.

However, in practice, a limited company provides better security and more options for the future, especially if you plan to expand, so registering as a company early helps you adjust to the change quicker.

After this, you need to make sure you have a driving licence for your mobile coffee van and a food business licence with your local authority. Again, going down the franchise route will often mean a lot of this stuff is taken care of for you.


Your Brand Has Just Three Ingredients

When running a mobile coffee van, marketing is a hugely important part of success, especially since you do not have a rigidly defined space and will regularly move around.

A mix of word of mouth, social media and carefully curated advertising will go a long way, but a lot of people new to mobile coffee have a tendency to overthink their marketing efforts.

Ultimately, only three parts of your coffee business matter to your customers and therefore should be the three aspects you prioritise most.

Your van is the most prevailing icon of your coffee vending, and whether you opt for a vintage campervan look, a sturdy and dependable land rover defender or something more exotic and stylish, it will make an immediate impact when you arrive on the forecourt or street corner.

Your coffee is the most important part in the long term, as marketing matters right up until that first sip. If you serve fantastic coffee at a good price with a winning smile, you have a customer that will not only come back but tell their colleagues and friends.

The final ingredient is yourself. You are the face that will welcome customers, enquire about their day and make small talk as you fire up the barista equipment. If people like you and how you treat them, they will respond in kind.

Really Awesome Coffee has been serving up coffee from our eye-catching coffee vans since 2010. With over 100 vans on the road, we are an unmistakable force in the mobile coffee market, and the perfect partner to help you realise your dreams.

Essential Tips And Tricks For Setting Up A Successful Coffee Van Business

Owning a coffee van can be an exciting and fun venture that can give you the freedom to travel and earn money and attend many different events while sharing your passion for coffee and your barista skills.

In this article, we cover the common aspects that you will need to have in place in order to successfully run an independent coffee van business. 

If you would like a fast track to success consider a coffee van franchise from Really Awesome Coffee, the UK’s leading mobile coffee network.

The first step to starting any business is to create a solid and realistic business plan. This will outline your goals, a timeframe for achieving these goals, a marketing plan and projections for finances and engagement in the future.

By creating this plan you have a basis to build a business and have clear steps outlined to hold yourself accountable. This gives you a framework to work from should you encounter any issues or find yourself unsure of the next steps.

Once you have a solid plan and you have the finances to begin the journey, you will need to think about purchasing a coffee van. If you have no experience in converting vehicles, you may wish to source your van from a company that specialises in coffee van conversions.

This will ensure the van is in full working order and ready to go and will help to make sure you do not miss anything important or encounter any issues straight away.

Make sure you research the equipment you will need and invest in quality pieces that will last you for a long time. This can be costly and you will want to ensure you have equipment that will not need to be replaced too soon.

Once you’re all set up, you can begin your marketing campaign. There are many ways you can boost interest in your coffee van business and encourage people to buy from you over competitors.

Creating an online presence that is engaging, interesting and fun is a great way to get your business noticed.

Sourcing local ingredients, offering unique drinks and giving a friendly, personable experience to each of your customers is a great way to entice people to buy from you and also encourages customers to return.

Make sure you communicate with customers and create targeted and informative content that is easy to digest and looks good. This will catch the eye of customers and make them more likely to visit your van.

Don’t forget to attend a range of events and functions, market yourself as the best coffee van in the country and build up a great reputation. The more you get out there, the more you will be noticed and your business will blossom.

It may take time, but with hard work and dedication, you can build your single coffee van company into a fleet of well-respected, well-loved coffee vans and take your business on the road to success.

At Really Awesome Coffee, we have been helping people start their own coffee van business for over 12 years. From providing a state-of-the-art, fully kitted-out Mercedes coffee van to finding your customers to arranging the finance, we have you covered!

Tracking the Cost of a Good Cup of Coffee

One of the first things you normally do when setting up a coffee van business is work out a projected income, which means you need to decide what you’re going to charge people for their morning brews. 

Thankfully, at Really Awesome Coffee we do the heavy lifting for our franchise partners and provide a price list for them. However, it’s still worth having a look at the changes in coffee prices in recent years to understand how we price our americanos, lattes, and macchiatos and how we stack up against the competition.

Takeaway coffee prices have soared lately, having increased by 22 per cent between August 2021 and July 2022 alone at some venues. 

The Guardian reported that a small espresso at Starbucks had shot up to £2.20 over the course of 11 months, while a Pet a Manger medium cappuccino rose to £3.05 . 

Although this seems a lot for small coffees, increasing prices have meant Brits expect to pay more and more for their favourite drinks. 

In fact, a Sunday Express investigation recently found certain coffees at Costa can now be as much as £6.65 when choosing extra shots, different milks, and luxury toppings. 

Even the basic drinks, however, are typically between £3 and £4. 

The coffee chain is not on its own, as Starbucks charges £6.15 for a large latte with an extra shot of coffee, whipped cream, caramel drizzle and cinnamon dolce syrup. 

Caffe Nero, another huge coffee retailer, sells a grande cappuccino with two shots of espresso, coconut milk and vanilla syrup for just slightly less at £5.95. 

While these seem steep for a caffeine kick, some people even pay up to £28 for their coffee in London. Despite the sky-high price, there still seems to be a target market for pricey coffees such as these. 

In fact, according to Nescafe, us Brits cannot do without our coffee, even if it does cost us a small fortune. 

Although we are famous for our love of tea, we still collectively drink 95 million cups of coffee a day, with this having increased from 70 million in 2008. 

Lots of people do make their own instant cups at home, but many, including commuters, office workers, and travellers, pick up a latte or flat white regularly. 

Statistics even showed that 80 per cent of coffee shop consumers drink coffee out at least once a week, while 16 per cent visit their favourite cafe or coffee van every day. 

According to the figures, Brits spent £4 billion in high street coffee shops in 2020. However, this is likely to be substantially higher these days, thanks to surging prices. 

Despite this, demand does not seem to have abated, and it remains one of the luxuries many people are clinging on to, as they just can’t recreate their favourite blend at home. 

Although prices will vary depending on location, size of drink and extras, coffee sellers can be confident they can price their goods competitively and still see return custom. 

The Golden Rule Of Running A Successful Coffee Franchise

When a lot of people are looking for small-scale businesses to run, setting aside industries, market sectors and organisational structures, typically they can fall into one of three categories.

The first is to take part in a business that they do not have any passion for but know is a worthwhile endeavour and can ultimately pay the bills. These sorts of businesses can work as a side hustle or self-employment opportunity but ultimately the grind can take its toll.

The second is a passion project and a labour of love that brings a lot of satisfaction and a person can pour their heart and soul into, but also one that can take a lot of time to get off the ground, often far more time than an ordinary person with a life and family can afford to risk.

However, there is a potential third option, one that is less of a shot in the dark compared to starting a business based on a passion project but also one that fulfils that same role of being the perfect business for the right type of person, and that is joining up a franchise.

Being part of a network of successful businesses such as coffee franchises can through these numbers provide a more secure platform and set of resources to start and successfully run a small business.

However, whilst a franchise is a solid investment that creates a platform that can help you succeed and give you advice on planning, sourcing, preparation and ultimately serving fantastic coffee wherever you are needed, ultimately there is one golden rule that separates success from failure.

You have to have passion for what you do.

Whilst the unnamed “old timer” that Professor Arthur Szathmary was quoting when he mentioned the idea that you never work a day if you find something you love to do was not entirely right, it is true that passion will make every single working day worth it.

Ironically, you will likely start your franchise working harder than you may have ever done before, but passion will give you that boost to get off of the blocks with an extra spring in your step, will uplift you when times are tough and will make the best of times feel a little bit sweeter.

Passion also helps when it comes to business resilience. After all, people fight hard for their dreams, are often reluctant to give up at the first sign of choppy waters and are rewarded when their dreams ultimately fight for them.

Passion is what makes you source the best beans, find the best mixes, and ensure that you do the utmost to add an extra spark of joy to each customer’s day and get an extra spark from them in return.

It is essential to have passion, but it is also at the same time important to recognise that passion alone is a very intense emotion, and it needs to be balanced by hard work and being cognisant of the facts surrounding your endeavours to ensure you do what is right for your business in the long term.

What Are The Bonuses Of A Coffee Shop On The Go?

Nobody goes into the coffee business unless they love their daily caffeine hit, but as well as the aroma, taste and kick of their morning brew, there is lots more to love from a mobile coffee franchise – perhaps even more than running a traditional coffee shop.

Lower costs

One of the biggest pros has to be the lower costs involved in mobile coffee vans, in comparison with a cafe that requires rental fees, energy bills and indoor seating. 

With a mobile business, there are no overheads, such as rents, so franchisees can keep more of their profit. 

Unsurprisingly, there is a lower cost of entry too, so you can expect to pay thousands of pounds less to run a franchise of a mobile coffee van as opposed to a store from a big chain. 

During the cost-of-living crisis, entrepreneurs are less likely to want to completely empty their bank account investing in a franchise, so being able to sign up to a business while still keeping some cash at hand is a much preferred option. 

Location, location, location

The risk of having a bricks and mortar cafe is that business owners are totally reliant on the location and its passing traffic. Therefore, having a premise you can’t move around poses a bigger risk. 

However, a mobile van means you can follow the customers wherever they may be. 

Moving to different sites throughout the day adds an element of variety to work and, as the adage goes, ‘variety is the spice of life’. By being able to move around, see different people and be in varying locations, you will never get bored. 


Another benefit of having a coffee van franchise is that coffee fans can hire you for their functions. This gives you the chance to be part of special events, including weddings, corporate do’s, or family gatherings, which is always a nice feeling, as well as benefiting from the income generated by large crowds at sporting events, festivals and trade shows.

Having the opportunity to target different people and events in one day is certainly not something you’d be able to do if you ran a cafe, which can often be quiet at various points during the day.