About Us


Half Lever is a mobile espresso coffee van business based in Brisbane’s West End.  We go to places where no cafe exists permanently.  The van is available for markets, festivals, functions, pop-up shops and sporting events etc. We keep it simple. Great coffee & no food.


The making and growing of this business is a continuing collaborative work with paid professionals and, very importantly, valued friends who’ve offered technical advice, suggestions, their labour, support and encouragement. Thanks, gang. You’re all very much appreciated.


It’s widely known that Half Lever only employs the most ridiculously, devilishly good looking, chirpy and charming staff to make the finest of brews. Thanks for your awesomeness. A business is nothing without happy and appreciated staff.


Coffee should be about people first.  Sharing, conversations, those brief but human interactions with those in your community…  and of course getting well buzzed and making life happen a little faster than otherwise possible.  Having a coffee with your mates was never improved by being complicated or pretentious.
This is a small independent business making bloody good coffee without the fuss and snobbery. This is Espresso Roots Revival.
Half Lever harks back to a time before reliable electric power supply. A time when a gas-fired boiler wasn’t just a quiet and environmentally prudent move but a practical necessity.  The Half Lever espresso van is surprisingly quiet because the rig isn’t reliant on a petrol or diesel generator.  Batteries run the plumbing, refrigeration and grinder while the main boiler is heated by a simple gas bottle.  This way the pesky hum of the diesel generator needed by so many other coffee vans is eliminated and wasted energy is minimised.
Over the years espresso machines have become increasingly automated and dependant upon electronics to control dosage volumes and timings.  Some very expensive, modern machines even emulate what lever machines do by varying the water pressure as the espresso shot is pulled.  These kind of ‘advances’ are great in some regards but they’re not actually necessary and rob some of the personal touch from the whole process. The lever-operated, fully manual machine is espresso at its root, pared back to the absolute essential.  It’s completely engaging for the barista to work with.  Pulling a great shot requires more than the push of a button but the results are well worth the effort.
A Half Lever Espresso is created, bespoke style, with care and attention.  It’s infinitely more satisfying to care deeply about your work and what you produce.  We love it.

Twitter Feed

Thanks to the gals at Kurilpa Childcare for a great day of sizzling snags, happy kids and assorted smiling West Enders.

About 3 years ago from Tim Phillips's Twitter via Twitter for iPhone


If you’re part of an amateur sports team or some sort of knock-about group of rascals who get out and about and do something super fun together, then spend just as much time drinking coffee and talking about it, you’re probably just be the sort of folk Half Lever would want to support.  There’s no big budget for sending your bike polo/futsal/roller derby team internationally but you might land a sweet t-shirt each, some stickers and plenty of free coffee.

Send us an inquiry telling us about your team or club and when your next big meet up or competition is to be considered for sponsorship. Sponsored athletes will have their photos proudly displayed on this blog. Chances are they won’t be looking like models. Chances are they’ll be looking like they’re having a bloody good time.

Half Lever Espresso – Not Base Jumping or Getting Paid to Train since Pretty Much Forever.

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The van and coffee machine are gas certified and the business carries public liability insurance as you’d expect. Feel free to ask if you have any further questions.