Today was an exciting day. We had heard rumours of various top-notch US roasters' beans floating around the general Durban area via the always surprisingly useful tweets of some of coffee's most passionate people. We followed the twitter trail to The Factory Cafe to try Intelligentsia's Black Cat Classic Espresso blend made by our very own how-to guy, Craig Charity, on a conical grinder he is in the process of refurbishing (hence the very interesting O-tees dosing technique).
The guys and this girl then preceded to have a full-on coffee nerd chat about the intention of the roaster, the integrity of the blend, the taste profile and what it all means to the person buying this coffee to drink it at home. It was fascinating for me and it sparked a memory of a quote I had heard describing The Age of Enlightenment and the role that Coffee Houses in the 1600's in Europe, particularly the birth of the coffee house in Oxford, England, played in spreading knowledge.
It was a time where the gentry were making a transition from pubs to coffeehouses; from booze to coffee; from depressant to stimulant. The quote itself I have yet been able to source( any help is more than welcome) but it goes something along the lines of 'The Enlightenment' period became key to understanding how ideas worked in the “architecture of space" , cafes being one of those places "where ideas could have sex”.
Today I believe this holds fast. Cafes and the coffee being served at them , allow for the perfect platform to share, contribute to and execute ideas. The ideas may start off seperate, like the beginning of the naked espresso extraction:
But they end up pooling together at the sweet spot, finding new strength and purpose:
Caffeine and creatives in every genre (whether it be art, music, politics, mathematics etc) are a powerful combination. If your are in a creative bind or in a state of mental block, go to your local cafe. Order a sensational coffee. Sit a while. Engage with people there. Let thoughts meet across the cup. Sex will happen. Idea sex. Watch your ideas grow. It's a beautiful thing. Thank you coffee.
Feel inspired in the cafe space? Are you a creative writer? Do you doodle in notebooks? It could be your time to shine, watch this space for our new feature, and a chance to be published in the next magazine.