In January 2022, an image circulated on social networks showing a small coffee maker hanging on the dashboard of a Volkswagen Beetle. Here is an example of the image shared on Twitter:
The Hertella Auto Kaffeemachine was the first and only known dash-mounted coffee maker. Manufactured in 1959 specifically for the Volkswagen Beetle, it came with porcelain cups that could magnetically stick to the machine [read more: https://t.co/tFAauB841Q] pic.twitter.com/U4NGIlPxDi
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) September 7, 2021
Automotive news site TheDrive.com reported in September 2020 that small coffee makers, called Hertella Auto Kaffeemachine and built for small cars often dubbed Bugs in the United States, are now rare:
So rare, in fact, that little information survives on the Hertella Auto Kaffeemachine. There’s at least one brochure online in German – in fact, it’s one of the few potty images floating around the web – and not much else. The only way to get more information would be to track down someone who actually had one. So we did.
Peter Holderith from the Drive managed to find someone who could buy one. There is no on/off switch on the machine. It starts to heat up once plugged into the cigarette lighter, Holderith wrote. It basically brews coffee by heating it, the same way you brew tea.
But while the coffee quality isn’t great, the machine does have some smart features. The porcelain cups that came with it apparently had a metal disc at the bottom that allowed them to magnetically stick to the machine. It also mounts to the dash with a simple bracket, allowing the pot to be quickly removed and cleaned if needed.
If you want one, despite the likelihood of the machine not producing the best coffee, it would be hard to find because information on the machines is hard to come by. The collector contacted by Holderith only came across six of them while searching for three years for one to buy.
Holderith, Pierre. “This dash-mounted coffee maker is probably the rarest Volkswagen accessory ever.” The Drive, September 10, 2020, https://www.thedrive.com/news/36295/this-dash-mounted-coffee-maker-is-likely-the-rarest-volkswagen-accessory-ever.