Industrial designer Paolo Mastrogiuseppe is an artist when it comes to bold design and precise engineering. The South African entrepreneur founded Super Veloce in Johannesburg as a medium to express his passion for supercars and love for coffee brewing. He created something that other designers would never have thought to be feasible in practical usage – a supercar engine that brews espresso coffee in style!
We got in touch with the creative beast Paolo to learn more about his journey with Super Veloce, passion for motoring, and thoughts on the future of his hand-crafted coffee machines that mimic the form factor of F1 engines and use the finest building materials such as magnesium, titanium, aerospace aluminum, and carbon fiber.
Homecrux (HC): Coffee drives the creative world while combustion engine powers the modern supercars. Could you elaborate more on this thought? How did your journey as Super Veloce kick start?
Paolo Mastrogiuseppe (PM): My journey started in 2011 when I bought a watch called a ‘meccanicheveloc’ fashioned in the design of a piston. While I was drinking a coffee, the thought of building my own supercar coffee machine emerged.
HC: Mauro Forghieri’s F1 V12 engine is the core inspiration behind Super Veloce. Why only supercars in the first place?
PM: Why only supercars in the first place, because supercars and jet engines have always been a part of my passion and my love. It’s not just a Mauro Forghieri’s F1 V12 that I have been inspired by; I have been inspired by many many things engine-related because I believe that the engine is the heart of every powered machine known to man.
HC: Aviation engine-inspired coffee machines are truly unique. How challenging was it for you and team to put the idea into reality?
PM: The Aviation-inspired coffee machine was challenging but not over the top challenging. I believe that everything is possible with today’s technology and everything can be done. I had no team to put the idea into reality, this was totally done by myself from tip to tail. I designed the tooling to create the spinnings of the turbine, I designed all the componentry in order to assemble all the other componentry around the main tank on the aviation-inspired machine. This particular machine is basically a reverse-engineered Rolls Royce Jet engine.
HC: How’s coffee brewed in your machines different from others?
PM: The brewing technique principle applies to all coffee machines and it is all the same. There is nothing unique about our brewing technique on our machines. We are very much design focused and design orientated. It is a case of repackaging what everybody else has done. It is like automotive technology; the car has not changed in the last 100 years, you still have four wheels, a steering wheel, and an engine, they just go faster.
HC: How are your coffee machines “Super Veloce” in every sense?
PM: Our coffee machines are super veloce in every sense; super veloce meaning ‘super speed’ and all engine inspired. The ethos of what I create is all super veloce, super-fast, revolving around products that propel vehicles at high speed.
HC: Our favorite is the latest RS Black Edition, which one is yours for brewing coffee every day?
PM: My personal favorite coffee machine is the original Mauro Forghieri V12 Lamborghini. I still own prototype number 1.
HC: Super Veloce is all about high-end coffee machines. Any plans to expand that sphere to the common masses?
PM: We currently have designs to look at expanding into the mass market with automakers such as the Audi group, such as Ducati for the newly designed V twin Ducati engine which is also an espresso maker that will be released in 2021. And obviously trying to align with other automakers who intend putting these machines in their showrooms and offering coffee machines together with automobiles.
HC: All your designs are limited edition?
PM: All our designs are limited edition, making these very upmarket, very special units, objects of desire created for the man that has everything, and they come for a very expensive price.
HC: Modern tech combined with design capabilities is a common feature of all Super Veloce machines. How do you incorporate new technologies with traditional brewing techniques in your coffee machine?
PM: Our machines are very much cutting edge on design, but when it comes to brewing technology the brewing technology is very much traditional because in Italian we always say “how do you make something better when it’s already very good”. “Don’t change the formula of what is working” and that is our motto.
HC: Is the present situation (Corona Virus outbreak) affecting your life and business? What are your future plans?
PM: The current situation with the Corona Virus is a very sad reality of what could happen. No business is immune to what potentially could go wrong. I believe that everybody’s business has been affected directly and indirectly and our future plans are to keep chipping away. We have been like ants who have saved up for the winter days and we are able to carry ourselves through these tormented times without any difficulty.
HC: How will the present situation shape the future of the hot beverage industry? Any (new) project born out of this particular situation?
PM: Our current situation is temporary. I don’t believe that it’s going to affect anybody in the future, long-term. I believe that people need to do what is in their heart and what is on their mind. we create a luxury product, it is not necessarily a product that you drink coffee from, it can also be a sculpture that you can admire. Whatever problems that we have in our society is only temporary. Everything is temporary in life. What is important is that you plan for the future and make sure that you have all the necessary ambition and dreams to pass on to the next generation.
HC: Do you see your brand expanding into other dimensions in the future?
PM: Super Veloce has always been a very avant-garde brand, forward-thinking and thinking out of the box. We have been involved with many projects. Our main focus is design, functional design, functional art, and luxury goods.
HC: The most challenging project you and your team have worked on?
PM: Truth be told, all projects are challenging. With determination and tenacity, we have overcome all challenges trouble-free.
HC: Who would you like to design something for?
PM: I would like to have designed something for Leonardo Da Vinci, unfortunately, he is not with us anymore.
HC: Supercars you love the most? Why?
For me, the supercar with the most emotion has always been the Lamborghini, the supercar with the most power, and attention to detail has always been the Pagani and the supercar which I look forward to is the new Aston Martin Valkyrie. My all-time favorite is a Pagani.