Cafe of the Week: City Roast

Thursday, 20 April, 2017

We first noticed the small sign in the door saying coffee would be brewing soon, then a paint job, then the outside counters were installed, so eventually when we saw the door to City Roast open we took the first chance to pop in!

We bumped in to Wesley van Eeden(Resoborg), the illustrator behind our Issue 16 cover, working on an 'Ode to Durban' mural on one of the walls. We ordered two cortados from Brian and settled in to watch him work. He seems to have become the unofficial coffee artist to Durban cafes with his works in Lineage and Boiler Room and we love seeing his awesome work!
As we were sipping on our the smooth Bean Green coffees, Wayne one of the owners arrived. He has a background in hospitality and certainly knows what he's doing (just look at the picture of that scrumptious toastie below!!!). He has kept the food menu simple yet effective and they are going to take their time to decide on which coffee their customers enjoy having sampled Science of Coffee to their patrons as well, welcoming feedback and making quality the priority whichever roastery they decide to use.

A welcome addition to the Durban coffee scene! Good luck gentlemen!

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The TriBeCa Community Project

Thursday, 20 April, 2017

We love to see Coffee Companies making a difference to their communities and TriBeCa Coffee are doing just that with their Community Project which offers an entry level barista training course free of charge to willing applicants who need a leg up in the industry.

We chatted to Shannon Venter from the Coffee Quality Department of TriBeCa who is spearheading this initiative

What motivated TriBeCa to start this project?
We are approached constantly by people leaving their CV’s with us and I just thought that maybe there was something we can do as in our industry there are always positions popping up! And with this small amount of training a job is so much more accessible. I approached Martin, the CFO, and he gave us the go ahead to run a Free Training Course for up to 6 people once a month. We just had our 2nd event today (20 April) and it went so well! I come from a teaching background so I just love teaching people the skills of making coffee!

What do the trainees leave with at the end of the day?
We run a half day beginners training course from 9am-1pm. This includes Crop to Cup theory and question time, so they learn all about where coffee comes from.Then getting behind the machine, pulling the perfect espresso and practicing until they are proficient in milk steaming enough so they can pour some sort of latte art! We also brief them in hygiene and service. They leave with a certificate and a t-shirt and I keep all their details on file so I can contact them should an opportunity arise.

How can people qualify for this course?

They have to be unemployed, preferably under 40 and have a good attitude. Everybody knows someone who is unemployed and we hope that the word will spread to individuals who can really benefit from this beginners training. If you know of someone who can get to the TriBeCa Factory who would make the most of this opportunity please email me at

How important is training to the TrIBeCa team?
We have a team of 4 professionals dedicated to coffee quality; John Evans, Matt Carter, Harry Mole and myself. Our jobs are to ensure that our coffee is consistently good wherever it is made! We aim to train people to make coffee well enough to do justice to the quality of the beans!

Tumi and Maxwell attended the TriBeCa Community Project training! Shannon is in the middle. Photo from TriBeCa

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Week 8 Almond Breeze LAVC: George v Graaf Reinet!

Thursday, 20 April, 2017

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Build Up to SCASA Nationals: Barista Competitor Angeline McLagan

Wednesday, 19 April, 2017

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Week 7 Almond Breeze LAVC: A Ballerina!!!

Wednesday, 19 April, 2017

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REVIEW: The Java Maestro Coffee Dripper

Tuesday, 11 April, 2017
The coffee landscape has grown so much in the last 10 years that there are more coffee brewing methods available than you would ever imagine. So what sets them apart from each other? Well they all extract flavour from the coffee in slightly different ways through the materials used, but the other biggest differences are largely aesthetic and price point.

We were sent a Java Maestro to test out and were able to get a pretty great cup of coffee. Always a lot of fun to play with new equipment and this makes a fine addition to our brewing collection!

So why would you choose a Java Maestro Coffee Dripper?

There is no need for additional filters. It's an all in one piece of equipment, the stainless steel cone sits directly on top of your cup. This makes it re-usable, which we like.

The metal filtration gives you an extremely clean cup. The very fine mesh means no sediment or fines get through into your cup. As it was a hot day, we also tried the filter with room temperature water for a quick cold brew and found that the metal filter doesn't really clog up like a paper filter which is pretty useful.

 It is affordable. At R400, you are not breaking the bank for an efficient and durable brewing mechanism.

TIPS: Rinse that bad boy a couple times before using, our first attempt resulted in a rather metallic outcome. As the filter is so microfine, we would recommend you do a detergent soak after every couple of uses to avoid oil build up!

If you'd like to win one of these to make your Easter Holidays that much sweeter, all you need to do is like and share this story with someone you'll be brewing with this weekend!

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Build Up to SCASA Nationals: Barista Competitor Kuda Gezi

Tuesday, 11 April, 2017

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Cafe of the Week: The Upper Millstone

Wednesday, 22 February, 2017

Meet the Upper Millstone

Hilton is getting busier these days - from a quiet country village to a lively and vibrant one, and places like The Upper Millstone - an Artisan Bakery and espresso bar - are right on the cutting edge of that shift. The village keeps its relaxed character, and yet is home to Upper Millstone, the first place in the neighbourhood where I've seen a Hario pour-over on a menu. Right next to a chocolate croissant (big indulgent yum) and a seed loaf (big healthy yum). And they have just started a new range of gourmet sandwiches, so guess where I'm going for lunch on Friday.

I'll tell you one thing - the bakery is humming. They open at 6.30 a.m. and get busy very quickly. All kinds of folk swish through the doors, some to sit for a while, some to grab a morning croissant and coffee to go, all drawn by 2 fundamentals - Really good bread (in a wide and intriguing range of forms), and Really good coffee.

Josh and Hannelie, & Carla and Dreyer, jointly own and work in the shop, crafting and serving the products themselves. For me, this is the essence of the word artisan, and what sets this place apart from other 'coffee shops'.

Dreyer is the barista, and he is a coffee craftsman. An enduring image is his strong arms and hands giving complete and focused attention to an espresso, brought to me at the comfy corner sofa. It's like he is giving birth to this little cup through sheer force of craftsmanship and care. I know he has thrown away and remade at least one espresso on my behalf, because he wasn't happy with the extraction. This guy cares about making each shot as good as he can. I can taste that.

I asked him what he thought people should know about The Upper Millstone, and he said "We try to go out of our way to build relationships with our customers, we do not just want to know what coffee they like, but also how their kids and family are doing."

I sit in the corner and watch the people come and go, a set of morning waves breaking gently into the shop. There is usually someone I know in the mix of customers, and I never quite know who it's going to be.

Everybody wants the bread. I've sampled several kinds since October 2016 when they opened, and every loaf and pastry is well made. Josh is often up at 3.00 a.m., and he puts tremendous time and effort into being the best baker he can be.

I love the friendliness - I feel welcome and relaxed. I love the music that keeps me awake, yet doesn't overload the experience of being here. I love the uncluttered and tasteful furniture - all the unique shop fittings and original furnishings were done by the owners themselves, emphasising the hands-on approach that they take to their craft.

There's a lekker aftertaste of espresso in the background as I leave the shop with a loaf of multigrain bread and a croissant or two for the kids. I came in with anticipation, I leave feeling cheerful and ready to face the world, a little closer to the sun.

The Upper Millstone is an Artisan Bakery and Espresso Bar in Hilton Village in the Kwa-Zulu-Natal Midlands. Facebook gets you a virtual visit, (but you can't smell freshly baked bread through a screen), so for the real thing - they're on Hilton road, Jacaranda centre unit 7, Hilton. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, 6.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. in the week, 6.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. on Saturday. I'll probably see you there. Look for the guy in the corner chilling on the couch with an espresso, a croissant and a big fat smile.

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