Author: Inge Fuchs
Pictures: Hanno Meier

A bright spark with madcap ideas

Fresh coffee straight from the motorcycle? Sound like a crackpot idea. And, in a way, it is. Sebastian Tenius drew the first design on a beer mat many years ago. He is always up for crazy ideas, especially when it comes to crafts. The title „Mister Handicraft 2021“ therefore suits the man with the broad smile perfectly.  

The striking aroma emerges from the workshop – a mixture of tires, engine oil and chain grease. Sebastian Tenius is never happier than when he is working with KTM, Honda and Husqvarna motor bikes. 35-year-old Sebastian holds a master craftsman qualification in motorcycle and bicycle mechanics. From Monday to Friday, he spends his working week tinkering with treasured vintage vehicles and souped-up two-wheelers at the “Enduro Bunker” in Ingolstadt. Saturdays are devoted to his Honda Transalp and to the coffee machine which will soon be installed on it. “The idea came to me one night. I was still working as a doorman at the time and was standing around chatting to some friends outside.” After sketching out a concept on a beer mat and a sheet torn from a waiter’s notepad, Sebastian consigned the idea to the back burner for the next seven years. Last year, however, he became seized by ambition and decided to embark upon the project.

He commissioned a specialist milling firm to shape a copper spiral. The intention is for this to be wrapped around the manifold so that the water passing through can be heated up. The hot water is then squeezed through a coffee pad, and the finished beverage can be collected in a conventional espresso pot. At least this is the theory. “I already have all the individual parts,” says Sebastian. “I now need to harmonize all these components and test out what happens in practice.”

The sudden award of a “Mister Handicraft” title

Munich-born Sebastian is no stranger to projects which start out as a bit of fun before becoming rather more serious. A similar thing occurred when he entered the “Mister Handicraft” competition. “I only applied for a joke. But I made it onto the final short list, and all that was left to me was to take the bull by the horns. When I begin something, I also want to bring it to a successful conclusion.”

The Calendar by Germany‘s Power People, in which Sebastian is the face of June, has been on display in the workshop at the Enduro Bunker ever since. Philipp Mirkovic, a 22-year-old trainee at the firm, describes the sensation of seeing his trainer as a calendar model each day. “You do tend to feel that he is watching over us a bit. He didn’t say anything at all about it to start with. We only found out by chance.” But there would have been no need for Sebastian to conceal his competition entry from his colleagues. “I find it great that he is so committed to promoting the craft trades sector,” says Philipp. Following his shortlisting and subsequent victory, Sebastian has received only positive comments and congratulations from within his work environment.

Raising awareness for the importance of repairs

Sebastian is seeking to use his Mister Handicraft status to encourage young people to enter a skilled manual occupation and to promote the topic of sustainability. He feels that too many things are immediately thrown away instead of being maintained and repaired. “Replacing parts is not the only job of a mechanic. You should also try to find out why something is broken and how it can be saved,” he explains. “We are able to resurrect nine out of every ten motorcycles which have been declared dead.”

Nevertheless, Sebastian’s bike-mounted “coffee machine” remains the only way of waking up tired riders. A new culinary highlight is now uppermost in his mind. The idea this time is an integrated grill. Sebastian grins broadly: “The coffee can be prepared up front whilst a sausage sizzles away at the back.” He is truly a bright spark and an ingenious “Mister Handicraft” from whom many an offbeat brainwave can be expected in future.

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