David Trevena – Founder of Classic Coffee


Classic Coffee is a mobile coffee van cruising up and down the East Coast of Australia. The founder and surfer, David Trevena, worked as a barista for many years before he started the Classic Coffee venture and the van has been a rollin’ since then!


When and where did you first start surfing?

 Avalon Beach. I actually started as a bodyboarder when I was about 4 and I didn't take up stand-up surfing till I was 17. 


What is it that you love about surfing and the ocean?

The excitement and the adrenalin of having a good surf. I like surfing by myself, I guess I find it pretty freeing, all the daily things you have to think about just disappear while you're out there.


Photo: Classic Coffee

Do you have a session that stands out as your most memorable?

The first time I got a stand-up barrel. I was at Whale Beach on an old hand-me-down single fin. It was around 4-5 ft - pumping! I jumped straight off the rocks into a perfect wedge. All I had to do was stand up and I got a perfect barrel all the way into the beach.


What was your first ever job?

Bit of a strange one - helping out my buddy build coffins on the Central Coast. He was an older bodyboarding guy. We travelled up there to a place just off the highway and varnished about 20-30 coffins a day.


Can you tell us a little bit about Classic Coffee and how the idea came about?

 It started from my love of both coffee and Kombis. I was a barista working in Manly and was keen to start my own thing up. I realised there were no coffee vans out there that had style and served good coffee. 


Photo: Classic Coffee


How did you go about finding and converting the van into a suitable environment for a barista?

 A lot of trial and error. I did it all myself with some help from buddies. I searched for ages online to find the perfect Kombi, which I eventually found in QLD. The exterior was done but the inside was a shell. I did a lot of research about what was needed and worked on it every day that I had off for ages.


What kind of products / services do you guys offer?

We do Monday-Friday on the Northern Beaches, starting at South Avalon Headland for a few hours, then heading to some factory areas where there are no coffee shops around. We do a range of events on weekends - quite a few weddings, plus big events/festivals in the city and smaller community things as well. I do coffee, obviously, and other hot drinks plus mini burritos, muffins & other snacks. 


What has the response been like to Classic Coffee?

It's been really good. We've been stoked that people have loved the concept. 


How do you cope when the surf is pumping and your stuck in the van?

At the start it was so hard. It really used to get to me as the surf isn't always good on the Northern Beaches. I just try and get out there as quickly as I can after my run, before the onshore hits.


Photo: Classic Coffee


Can you give us a rundown of an average day for you?

Up at 4 am. Put the muffins in the oven. Pack the van and get ready to head up to Avalon. My run goes from 6 am till about 12.30 pm. After I pack up, I've got a tiny window to go surfing, then it's home to prep food for the next day. There's also always ordering to do - coffee, milk, cups etc. and sometimes tinkering on the van to do.


What is it that you love about your job?

 I love seeing lots of mates everyday and all the other people I've met that have become friends. I like the freedom that comes from being my own boss.

I also get to drive around in a beautiful old-school car, making coffee and looking at the surf - it's pretty great.

You can find Classic Coffee online at these locations:

Web:  classiccoffee.net.au
Facebook: facebook.com/classic.coffee
Twitter: twitter.com/classiccoffeeau
Instagram: @classiccoffee


Posted by: Christina Niemi, on October 29, 2015
Categories: Interviews