The VW Beetle Could Come With an Ancient In-Car Coffee Maker

Why go to a drive-thru coffee shop when you could just make a brew in the front of your old VW Beetle instead?

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A photo of a pale blue VW Beetle with a wooden roof rack.
We can neither confirm nor deny if this Beetle is hiding a coffee maker inside.
Photo: Volkswagen

Is there anything more festive than driving down the highway with a gingerbread latte stowed in the cupholder, filling your car with comforting, festive smells? I don’t think so. And while unbearable hipsters like me might make a similar brew at home with our locally-roasted beans and manual espresso makers, this isn’t for everyone.

And that means that most of your road trip brews are probably sourced from drive-thru coffee stops or, even worse: Burger King. But what if I told you there was a solution for all your coffee troubles lying in the heart of this aging VW?

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Well, there is. It’s called the Hertella Auto Kaffeemaschine and, in 1959, it was the height of in-car luxury.

According to Drive in Australia, the coffee maker could be ordered to fit inside a 1950s Volkswagen Beetle, where it would clip right onto the dash. Once there, it would run off the car’s electronics to deliver fresh, piping hot coffee whenever you wanted.

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But how does it do this? Well, The Drive managed to track down someone that owned one of these rare coffee makers a few years back, and it’s a fascinating machine.

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Basically, it plugs into the VW’s cigarette lighter and then pretty much acts like a kettle. You put coffee grounds and water into the pot and then it runs on either 6v or 12v power to heat the water. Once it’s hot and brewed, there’s a little tap to decant the coffee into your favorite cup.

This immersion method of coffee brewing is a bit like making cowboy coffee in a pot over a fire, but a bit less rustic. Would you like to give it a go?

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There are, of course, loads of newer in-car coffee makers that you can try out today, but they don’t quite have the same charm. And anyway, if you can find some boiling water, the Aeropress will always be the best way to make coffee on the go. Or the Bripe.