Ahead of the Curve: Espresso Lab Microroasters

Thursday, 26 October, 2017

Ahead of the Curve: Espresso Lab Microroasters
A South African microroastery with one foot in Scandinavian tradition, makes for a truly unique coffee experience.

Words and interview by Melanie Winter
Photography by Craig Kolesky

The first time I ventured down the steps to see the pristine white walls and minimalist laboratory style décor of Espresso Lab Microroasters, I might’ve used the word clinical, but for the huge smiles and cries of “Iain! Welcome back, man!” from the cheerful Vuyo and Jeremy greeting Iain, a Durbanite who visited every couple of months, by name. In 2012 when this publication began, Iain was flabbergasted that I had not been to Espresso Lab Microroasters and on our first business trip to Cape Town, that was rectified and I was properly educated. I was playfully berated by Lydia for ordering a cortado (they're so good though!) and promptly treated to a trio of alternative brews, strictly no milk. Three different coffees, three different methods. We were extremely grateful and our taste buds were delighted.

There is no doubt in any South African coffee professional's mind that Espresso Lab is at the top of the coffee quality pile in this country. Located in the trendy Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, this is a coffee destination to highlight, underline, put big NB stars next to on your things-to-do-in-Cape-Town list. As one of the long-standing roasteries in the city, they may not have the style of Truth or the soul of Deluxe or the barista champs of Origin, but they sure do have the coffee. They have very strong opinions on this coffee and those opinions have garnered them both praise and criticism over the years. They remain steadfast in their resolve to do it the way they do it and invite you to join them in this very particular coffee experience

Renato Correia, co-owner with his dynamic other half Helene Vaerlien, is a student of coffee and a master of roasting. Each batch roasted is art. Renato has been influenced by the Scandinavian led trend to roast coffee to a very light degree to highlight certain attributes of the beans. Their standards are extremely high and each barista takes pride in providing its patrons with the best possible coffee experience. One of the important qualities of the team is that they are always working on improving. There is no end to the learning. And their attention to detail is OCD to the extreme, in the best possible way. Before they had their Mahlkonig EK, their vacuum was always kept close to the grinder to get rid of coffee particles between brewing the various single origins. I kid you not. So when you visit Espresso Lab, don't order what you normally have at a café, let them rather take you on a journey and be blown away by something you've never tasted before.

We asked Renato and Helene to give us a bit of insight into their operation.

How did Espresso Lab Microroasters find it’s beginning?

Well, not sure how many pages in your publication you have, as this is a rather long story, but the short version is that we moved to Cape Town to find a city with great potential in the coffee sector.

When we opened there were only a hand full of coffee roasters, with only one serving specialty coffee, and nobody showcasing a flavor profile that we had been exposed to in Scandinavia, and we knew we did not want to emulate an Italian taste profile, as we had lived in Italy for sometime and been exposed to that industry at great lengths.

So we set out in 2009 to showcase light roasted coffee with a sweet high fruit acid taste profile, always chartering our own way, hopefully contributing to a diverse coffee community.

You were, and remain, ahead of the coffee curve in the South African industry and have never wavered from your quality standards. Was it challenging to introduce South African coffee drinkers to a forward thinking way of consumption?

It has been challenging at times, but it has never deterred us from doing what we believe in.

Too often in coffee, business owners say, “my customer won’t like that”, but if you do not introduce your customer to anything new, things will never progress. You have to always be a step ahead of the consumer.

Ferran Adria, award-winning chef, said that once your customer completely understands what you are doing, you are already behind the curve. It’s our professional duty as coffee specialists to expose consumers to new and exciting coffee flavors, even if at the risk of not everyone liking what you are trying to showcase.

As one of the few roastery’s in the country that can truthfully say you serve all specialty coffees, what is Espresso Lab’s criteria for choosing a new coffee to showcase?

Quality. We have never compromised on that, even when it’s sometimes to the detriment of our bank balance.

We also trying to go further, offering not only Single Estate coffees, which we have done since day one, but also offering single varietal Estate coffees. This basically means farmers are not blending varieties at farm level and offering us roasters the opportunity to showcase the unique flavors of terrior and varietal from a Single Estate.

We also try to purchase from the same estates year after year. This gives the farmers financial assurance, supporting them year after year, even if some years the coffee may not be as good as the previous year.

Buying coffee at times can be described as a roller coaster, you have to ride the highs and the lows, not only in quality, but also in price.

Why do you believe that it is important for the consumer to know the stories behind the beans you source?

In today’s commercial consumer society, people have no idea where most things come from, which is quite frightening. We are disconnected from what we eat and drink.

We believe the more you know about a coffee, where it has been grown, when it was harvested, which process it has been through, etc the more you will be able to enjoy it and converse about it, hence enhancing the image of specialty coffee.

The more we can teach our customer, the better they can make an educated decision when they buy coffee, weather it is from us or anywhere else. Knowledge is power afforded to the consumer, forcing those cloak and dagger coffee roasters to be more open with their offerings.

Espresso Lab must have one the lowest turnover of staff I’ve ever seen in a café, which I deeply respect and as a customer, really appreciate. We only get to visit once every six months but still receive a warm welcome by name and an exceptional coffee no matter who makes it. What do you look for when you take on new team members?

Having worked in hospitality for all our professional lives, the formula is easy, happy staff = happy customer. We ask a lot of our staff but we also give a lot back, so it is a relationship based on mutual respect and appreciation for each other.

We have a lot of respect for our staff and see them as one of our most valuable assets. Often in the coffee industry we are dazzled by the bling of a coffee machine, but to us, what impresses us is a blinging smile.

Our staff are the faces most customers’ meet when they come to the shop, so they are vital to our survival as a business, and we treat them as such. We often ask them for their input on decisions, which affect the day to day running of the shop.

We also try to always laugh and have fun at work. We take what we do very serious, but not ourselves. We make sure we laugh together every day.

When we first opened and in many cases still today, a barista was seen as a minimum wage job, “just” a guy or girl behind the espresso machine, which could not be further from the truth. Salaries in the coffee sector are far too suppressed, and we are trying our best to change this.

In any first world country it is a high skilled profession which people take pride in, and which many people choose as a career. We have tried to instill a pride with all our staff in their work, and treat them with the respect they deserve

Tell us about the SP9 competition experience and why you think this piece of equipment will compliment your brewing philosophy and make a difference in your establishment?

Wow, winning the Marco Beverages SP9 coffee brewer was one of the toughest challenges we ever undertook in our short history as a company. It was hard work, involving many a late night and early morning campaigning.

Actually, we had come across the Marco SP9 earlier this year when our friends Charles and Anne from Koppi in Sweden had one installed in their cafe. When we looked into the machine, and its performance, we knew it would be a great addition to our shop.

We feel that filter brewed coffee is one the best ways in tasting coffee, as it is the purest way. It is something we have served here for a long time, but as it is a time consuming process, and challenging one at that, it is something we were not able to offer our customers on Saturdays.

When Marco announced the competition to win an SP9, we knew it was a chance of a lifetime for our business. We submitted our essay on why we thought we should win it. When we were chosen as one of only five finalists worldwide we were ecstatic.

It was then that the hard work started. We connected with every single customer that came through our doors, as well as trying to come up with fun and inventive ideas to get people voting online. Together as a team, Vuyo, Tshebase, Lydia and Eva worked tirelessly to get people voting in the shop and to tell their friends and families.

From the start, we wanted our campaign to reflect both the amazing equipment we wanted to win as well as our personality.

The outpouring of support has really been overwhelming, not just from our customers, but many of our old friends from abroad who gave us a huge online support.

It’s been an amazing experience, and we are so grateful to Marco Beverage Systems for this opportunity in bringing this world-class coffee brewer to Africa for the first time.

The following are our suggested formulas when brewing coffee at home.

There is no exact science to brewing a good cup of coffee, but using filtered water, freshly ground coffee, weighing your coffee, using the correct amount of water and controlling the brew process almost guarantees a perfect cup.

More importantly, brewing coffee is a process which takes time, patience and a sense of purpose. Enjoy it.


+ Filtered water
+ Freshly ground coffee
+ 24 grams of coffee - medium grind
+ Filter paper, preferably Hario
+ V60 brewer
+ Spouted pitcher
+ Digital scale
+ Burr grinder

1. Insert the filter into the ceramic cone and pre wet the filter paper.
2. Bring approx. 400ml of water to the boil, preferably 90-95C.
3. Weigh the coffee, 24g - for approx. 2 cups. Pour into the filter.
4. Sit the ceramic cone over appropriate cup.
5. Pour approx. 50ml of water over the coffee grounds with the spouted pitcher and allow to bloom for 30-45 secs.
6. Pour the remaining water in a slow circular motion until a total of 400ml has been reached. The total brew time should be 2-3 minutes.
7. The coffee is now ready to serve - enjoy.

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Coffee Changes Lives: Sihle's Brew

Tuesday, 17 October, 2017
We have had the pleasure of meeting Sihle Magubane along the course of his coffee journey and he is every bit as wonderful and driven as the video below paints him to be. He is a humble leader and has a true passion for people.
Credit to Beautiful News for this video and highlighting an up and coming coffee legend.


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Is Drinking Coffee good for you?

Friday, 20 October, 2017
This debate will rage as long as we drink coffee (Read: FOREVER). We still maintain that, like everything we put into our bodies, moderation is key. But this infographic and accompanying research is very informative no matter which side of the debate you're on - we assume that if you're on our website, you're likely focused on the positives, of which there are many!

Infographic by We Dream of Coffee

Overall Benefits of Coffee

Boost Your Energy

Ever wondered why athletes love to carry coffee mugs during a race? Well, this is a no brainer. Caffeine is a great energy boost. It works well on your muscles giving you instant stamina. Research published in NCBI shows that caffeine also moderates your muscle contractions as well as keeping the enzyme activities in check. This ensures you get a significant energy boost while preventing chances of muscle pulls.

Excellent for Stress Management
Are you wondering why you always reach for your cup of coffee in a stressful situation? Well, the answer is simple; the protective properties of caffeine against stress. In a scientific research, caffeine was added to pure drinking water and given to participants to drink. They were then put under immense pressure. However, nobody showed signs and symptoms of stress. Amazing, isn’t it?

Potential Weight Loss Strategy
Caffeine has been found to aid metabolism. The fact is, coffee causes an increase in the metabolism rate by up to 11% while other metabolism rate stimulants only go up to a high of 10%. So next time you feel a bit heavy, give that mug of coffee a shot. Don’t forget to keep the sugar levels in check. For a successful weight loss journey, artificial sweeteners are a no-go zone.

Depression and Suicide Management
Depression might lead to an extreme reaction such as suicide. Coffee is an essential substance that boosts your mood. The simulative effect of 2-3 cups of coffee will ensure you are up and going. Caffeine not only helps in reversing the effects of depression, but also enhances the medication to perform better. In addition, a person who takes coffee and is not already depressed is at 45% less risk of considering suicide as a solution to everyday life’s challenges.

Memory Boost
Who wants to age? I am certain none of us want to, myself included. However, aging is inevitable, and because of that, it is much better to age gracefully. A study found that older women who consumed more than 3 cups of coffee in a day had a substantially higher maintenance of speech and memory function as compared to women who drank a cup of coffee a day or none at all.

Better Metabolism Realization and Optimization

It’s important to understand how our body converts foods into energy. This energy is paramount in enabling healthy functions of the body. The rate at which your body burns calories is also significant in weight management. Caffeine, Theobromine, Theophylline, and other biologically active substances in coffee stimulate the CNS (central nervous system) and improve your metabolic rate.

The Protective Properties of Coffee on Illnesses

Coffee is beneficial to people with diabetes since it increases the level of both insulin and blood glucose. The only caution is that you should take your coffee in a limited amount. Although research is still ongoing, it has been scientifically proven that coffee consumption reduces the likelihood of getting type 2 diabetes.

Next time you want to drink coffee, replace the artificial sweetener with natural ones like honey, and you’ll have significantly reduced the chances of getting diabetes.

Blood Pressure
Contrary to people’s opinion, coffee has been proven to stabilize your blood pressure. The only secret is to take in minimal amounts. This is because too much coffee can increase your blood pressure. So for someone who loves the taste of coffee and the kick that comes with it, it is advisable that you take your coffee in minimal amounts, if you have high blood pressure.

Inflammation Recovery
There are many antioxidants found in coffee. Polyphenols are one kind which has been proven to boost immunity and also reduce chronic inflammation in the human body. The inflammatory reducing factor doesn’t stop at that. It also goes further to reduce the risks associated with chronic diseases. If you get an inflammation that does not go away, the solution might just be hidden in that cup of coffee.

Liver Cirrhosis
Prolonged consumption of alcohol, hepatitis infection, and low immunity may all lead to liver damage. Coffee drinking, however, might help reduce the risk of getting liver cirrhosis, which is one of the worst liver conditions. It is believed that this is attributed to the fact that coffee contains so many compounds, especially antioxidants.

Alzheimer’s Condition
Studies show that coffee is beneficial for memory improvement and it also stimulates the brain hence suppressing the likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s condition. This is attributed to the fact that coffee produces anti-inflammatory factors. This is good news, right?

Parkinson’s Disease
Consumption of coffee highly reduces the chances of getting Parkinson’s disease. When the nerve cells surrounding the brain start wearing out, coffee has been found to have neuroprotective properties. These, therefore, counter the effects of Parkinson’s disease from showcasing in the human brain. It is also interesting to note that the effect of Parkinson’s disease is very low in women.

Asthma is a condition that affects the lungs causing extreme difficulties in breathing. Most drugs on the market contain theophylline which works in such a way that when taken it opens up the bronchioles, and the airways open and aid in breathing. Studies have shown that caffeine which is naturally occurring in coffee has similar properties to theophylline. It goes to show that coffee can be used to manage asthma.

Research shows that the daily consumption of coffee reduces chances of getting stroke by 20%. Stroke is a life-threatening condition which paralysis some parts of your body. Coffee is rich in antioxidant compounds that have been proven to reduce chances of getting a stroke.


In recent times, cancer has become an alarming threat to humanity. Research shows that coffee can reduce your chances of mouth and upper throat cancer. Coffee activates UGT1A which inhibits the production of BaP-induced oxidative stress. In addition, coffee consumption reduces the risk of liver cancer and the cancer of the endometrium.

The Positive Effects of Drinking Coffee on Our Body Organs


According to various studies carried out, coffee has a lot of positive impact on the heart. Scientifically speaking, the caffeine contained in coffee infiltrates the receptors lining of the blood vessel wall by constricting the arteries hence increasing the blood pressure. This keeps your heartbeat in check. So, nourish your heart with a cup of coffee every day.

Coffee is essential in detoxifying and cleansing the liver. You also suppress the synthesis of growth factor connective tissue when you consume at least two cups of coffee a day. Therefore, you reduce the risks of liver cancer, liver fibrosis, and alcoholic cirrhosis. Their progression will be slowed down with frequent consumption of coffee.

This organ is essential in removing waste from our body. Therefore, without a doubt, you have to take proper care of your kidneys. When you consume coffee, it tends to boost the function of your kidneys. Since coffee is a stimulant, it increases pressure on the kidneys by stimulating blood flow.

The brain is an essential part of the body. Therefore you have to ensure it meets its expected needs, so your body can properly function. When you consume coffee, the cells in the brain are kept running by the caffeine. Caffeine ensures your Adenosine will not bind- always keeping you alert.

Coffee is of great importance to the eyes. Antioxidant in the coffee contains Chlorogenic acid which helps in the prevention of retinal degeneration as well as age-related eyes diseases. With this in mind, be loyal to your cup of coffee if you want to age gracefully without the worry of being guided around.

Most athletes will attest that coffee plays a better role each day before they engage in their daily routine. This is because caffeine can be able to reduce fatigue sensations as well as to trigger the muscles to start using fats as a source of energy. Therefore, before you hit the gym ensure you take one or two cups of coffee especially when you seriously need that stamina.

Ear Tinnitus
The ringing sound in the ear is so irritating and can even make you lose concentration. But with coffee around, you don’t have to persevere much. This is because coffee stimulates the CNS involved thereby creating a direct link with your inner ear. Consequently, tinnitus becomes a thing of the past.

However, according to Mayo clinic, excessive consumption of coffee combined with other medical conditions, could make it worse. Also, the sudden withdrawal of coffee could worsen tinnitus.

Tyler Buckley, a London based actor and musician, believes that hair is the greatest crown a person should possess and most especially women. According to International journal of dermatology, caffeine can be able to increase the growth of your hair follicle and mostly when topically applied. Frequent consumption of coffee which contains caffeine is essential for massive growth and manageability of your hair.

It’s important that your nails are presentable at all times. They give a long lasting impression to strangers when you first shake hands. Caffeine has been proven to harden the cuticles. Therefore, your nails will not break easily. Caffeine also makes your nails shiny and lustrous.

When you have a glowing skin, there is an increase in your self-esteem. Everybody wishes for this, and that’s why most people use makeup to enhance the glow or to hide blemishes. Coffee contains caffeine which has anti-inflammatory properties. Consequently, it’s able to reduce any inflammation on the skin.

In addition, beauty therapists currently use coffee as a face and body scrub. The result with continuous use is a silky smooth skin. According to the Huffington post, coffee also prevents the premature aging of your skin and reduces the risk of skin cancer.

Blood Platelets

In addition to the reduction of platelet aggregation, coffee has the effect of increasing phenolic acid which is a good antioxidant in the human body. Phenolic acid helps in the addition of platelets concentration. This means the clotting factor in our bodies will be kept in check.

The Negative Effects of Drinking Coffee

Every good thing comes with its disadvantages. For coffee, experts warn that consuming more than four cups daily could put you at a risk of the following complications;

Risk of Premature Death
Shocking as it sounds; research claims that drinking more than four cups of coffee daily puts human beings at a risk of premature death. According to Mayo Clinic, the risk is double in women when compared to men

But, hey, when death knocks, your time is up. It doesn’t matter whether you were enjoying your cappuccino or ran over by a truck. Nevertheless, you should try to moderate the amount of coffee you take in a day. This way, you get to enjoy the benefits and worry less about the risks.

Heart Attack
In case you are not a regular consumer of coffee and have a history of other cardiovascular conditions, you need to be careful when invited for that occasional cup of coffee. Substances found in coffee have the ability to induce a sharp and short-lived rise in blood pressure. These could result in sudden and fatal heart attacks. If your conditions place you at risk of a heart attack, you may consider abstinence to avoid this risk associated with consuming coffee.

High Blood Pressure
A report from the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Hypertension in New York City, says that caffeine has a negative effect on arteries. Your body’s artery function and blood pressure are directly related. Therefore, the rapid increased stiffening of arteries caused by coffee intake, results in a sudden yet short-lived increase in blood pressure.

Breast Tissue Cysts

Every lady at the stage of menstruation gets changes in their breast tenderness. This will mostly occur during ovulation or during your menses. During these times, it is advisable that you avoid drinks with stimulants such as coffee. Drinks that do not have stimulants will make your breasts cysts size consistent. Ideally, you will notice an improvement in the breast symptoms if you are off coffee during your fertile days.

Weight Gain
This is not new. If you are used to taking your coffee with artificial sweeteners and full cream milk, then you are poisoning your drink. The hidden extra calories and saturated fat in flavored syrups, sugar, whipped cream, or milk may be the primary culprits in the increased weight gain. The solution is to replace them with natural sweeteners like honey and cream with minimal fat such as plant-based creams.

Lack of Sleep/Insomnia
Caffeine not only affects your nervous system, but also stimulates the chemical reactions in your brain. Coffee is a rich source of caffeine. Drinking too much coffee gives you a characteristic sober effect that alters your sleep patterns. Of importance to note is that your body needs at least 6 hours of sleep. For that reason, the continual lack of enough sleep may be detrimental to your health.

Ever wondered why your stress levels seems to double after drinking your cup of coffee? According to the calm clinic, consumption of coffee makes you all jittery and increases your heart rate causing anxiety. Anxiety not only poses risks to life-threatening diseases, but also steals the joy of living from an individual.

Complications in Pregnancy

While pregnant, what you eat trickles down to the growing fetus. Research documented in PubMed shows that drinking coffee while pregnant can put your child at a risk of developing childhood leukemia.

However, research is still ongoing. Most recent data also proves that a significant amount of caffeine is one of the leading causes of miscarriages. There are conflicting recommended amounts of consumption that would not pose any risk factors. Therefore, staying clear of coffee during pregnancy would be the most advisable.

Gout Attacks
If you are a daily coffee drinker, then you don’t need to worry about gout attacks. However, according to research published in the >Arthritis Foundation, people who consume coffee inconsistently are at risk of getting gout attacks.

The medical doctor explains that when people suffering from gout attacks start taking medication, there are increased attacks of the disease. Since caffeine is similar in structure to this drug, the effects of taking coffee every now and again are often the same.

You know that general feeling of fullness after having a cup or more of coffee? That’s indigestion. Coffee increases the amount of acid your stomach produces.> This increase in acidity may be the cause of that bloated feeling. You may need to change the variety of coffee you consume. Mexican or Sumatran coffees are known to be low in acid.

If you are a coffee lover and you’ve been trying hard to conceive with no success, you may need to cut down on that coffee altogether. Studies done on mice and monkeys have shown that caffeine hinders the maturation of the oocyte. The immature cell is consequently unable to get fertilized, therefore no pregnancy. It is largely believed that caffeine alters the quality of the reproductive cells which consequently decreases the possibility of conception.

Menopause is a trying time for a majority of women. This is because of the symptoms that come with it and the decrease in the essential hormones of estrogen and progesterone. For these reasons, the longer it tarries, the better. It is important for you to note that large consumption of coffee can bring that date sooner than you anticipated.


Coffee is largely accepted and widely consumed. For that reason, the fact that it is a drug is often downplayed. Like any other drug, large intakes have side effects. Persons with high levels of caffeine intake from whichever source have been known to hear voices and see things that were nonexistent. Now that’s scary.

Most pain relieving drugs contain a good percentage of caffeine. Ironically, a lack of the drink has been known to cause migraines to some coffee lovers. >>The headaches are often seen as the withdrawal symptom. Other times, headaches are a result of not taking your daily dose of coffee.

Bones and joints
That cup of coffee you so badly love may be increasing your chances of getting rheumatoid arthritis. Drinking coffee may increase your chances of acquiring arthritis. People who consumes an average of 4 cups of coffee are more prone to develop the disease.

Complications With Stomach Ulcers
Coffee causes acid production in your stomach. If you have stomach ulcers, it would be wise to keep off coffee. This also applies to tea. The stimulants cause an acid surge in your stomach messing it up further.

The Bottom Line
Coffee is both a good beverage as well as a risk poser. Do you still feel the need to quit your coffee addiction? If you are not a coffee person, do you wish to start? It’s important to understand that we play a great role in our lives. What we consume will either benefit us or destroy us especially if consumed in excessive amounts. Let us know what you think in the comments section. And remember to share this informative post with your friends; especially the die-hard coffee fans.

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Interview: So Whipped, September Cafe of the Month Winner

Tuesday, 10 October, 2017
Congratulations to So Whipped for winning the first Month of our Selati Cafe of the Month Awards! They walk away with R2000 worth of Selati Sugar products for their cafe! (Find out more details about how we're celebrating cafes in partnership with Selati here.)

We caught up with Candice Courtney, the owner of So Whipped to hear a bit about their cafe story.

How did a passion for cupcakes lead you to So Whipped and a passion for coffee?

So Whipped started with just making cupcakes from home as I had just had my first child and didn’t want be away from my newborn. It immediately took off and we were getting orders from day one. A couple years later we were asked by Gateway to open a bakery/boutique cafe. At the time I had no idea about coffee. I didn’t even drink the stuff! We started with some of the best beans we could get our hands on and bought one of the best machines in the world too. We employed a barista who was so passionate and in love with coffee that that love spread. Within a few days of setting up store I was hooked. Coffee that I had previously experienced was always bitter and burnt, I hadn’t tasted how it was meant to be made, different flavour notes, the caramels, the fruit, chocolate etc It was exciting. I haven’t had a cup of tea since!
The LOVE for coffee has just grown and grown, we now even offer Barista courses to previously disadvantaged. A really good Barista can get a job anywhere in the world.

What coffee is in your hopper at the moment and why did you choose it?

We’ve tried some really top coffees, we’ve decided to choose a local brand. Right now we’re using Science of Coffee. Sandro and his team are fantastic, the guy pretty much is my go to guy regarding anything in coffee. Did you know that he even has a PHD in coffee? They’re amazing!

What is your favourite part of running a cafe?

The people. Knowing that we are able to make a difference environmentally and with people who we employ. All of our staff are previously disadvantaged, most are the sole breadwinners in their families, single moms and single parents.
And of course, the customers, we try to make the cafe a safe place, feeding moms often come and sit and feed their babies, business men work because it’s quiet and there’s WiFi, students come and study and often people come and sit and read books and chill out. There’s community, people get together over coffee and food. I LOVE it! That was the heart behind us starting up. It’s really great to see things become a reality.

What would you say is the one sweet treat on you menu that people HAVE to try when they come visit you?

The WoahNut!!! It’s our own little creation. It’s as if a waffle and a doughnut had a baby. Dusted in cinnamon sugar, served with ice cream, our homemade salted caramel/Bar-one sauce/lemon curd & meringues . Delicious!

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Build up to WBC Seoul: Catch up with Winston Thomas

Friday, 13 October, 2017
Our South African Barista Champion is gearing up for Worlds. He’s got an incredible coffee, support from all corners and he’s feeling good. We are excited for Seoul!



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Terbo Treats by Terbodore Coffee

Wednesday, 4 October, 2017
We love this new series from Terbodore Coffee Roasters. Only problem is, it makes us very, very hungry!!! We look forward to more culinary adventures with the Terbo Treats crew! 

You can find the full recipe here.

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Rosetta Roastery in the Silo District

Thursday, 5 October, 2017
Rosetta at The Yard
Silo District, next to Zeitz MOCAA

The second iteration of Rosetta Roastery at the Silo District complex at V&A Waterfront is as beautiful as it is delicious.

Situated inside The Yard, next door to the new Zeitz MOCAA museum (well worth a visit alone), the Rosetta brew bar is a compact, raised square of no more than 3 square metres, a shrine to coffee efficiency and ergonomics. The coffee itself? Simple incredible. Rob is apparently the brains behind the design which includes a milk tap (what?! Cold milk on tap? Amazing.) and has everything the talented barista could need including a Puq Press, two Mythos Grinders for espresso, a Mahlkonig EK43 for pour overs. 

Ollie, the long time barista from Rosetta HQ has been called back from his own endeavour (Ollie's) to lend a hand as Rosetta spreads its wings. He was behind the bar, running the show and directing the traffic. The new custom Kees Van der Western Spirit facing the incoming onslaught of coffee-seeking tourists and visitors. The baristas, all 3 of them, stationed in position and moving the orders down the line to their enthusiastic recipients.

We enjoyed a Kenyan AB pourover, perfectly brewed and expertly served in gorgeous cups. We bumped into familiar faces and friends, and we enjoyed wandering around the larger spaces inside and outside the Silos precinct.

This new offering from the old guard of specialty coffee in CT, is certainly worth the visit.

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Finding the Art in Coffee: Our 21st Edition

Wednesday, 4 October, 2017
Spring has brought with it Issue 21, our official 5th anniversary edition. With this we wanted to celebrate the art that we continue to find in coffee. Our cover feature 'Finding the Art in Coffee' is written by Nina Rimpl, WBC Judge, Swiss Barista Champion and Art Historian, who explores the love affair that famous artists through the ages have had with coffee, as well as finding the art in your everyday brew. With beautiful typography by the talented Fathima Kathrada of Fathima Studio's we are sure that you will have a new appreciation for your cup of coffee after perusing this piece.

The other highlights are:

Taste: Flavour Balance versus Interesting Flavour 
What do you want from your coffee? Has quality coffee (and the people who serve it) lost its way? Scott Rao travels the world helping people build their coffee businesses and he muses on what the majority of people want from their cup of coffee: interesting flavour or flavour balance?

Brew: How to Taste Espresso 

And make it taste better. Top tips from US coffee legend Meister. Change your espresso life today!

Discover: Caffeine Fuelled - The Garage Forecourt Wars 

Because fuel is so strictly regulated in South Africa, petrol stations are looking for other ways to stand out. The battle for the forecourt is on, and coffee is at its very heart. Nick Dall catches up with some of the key players.

Lifestyle: Nurture and Nature 
Used coffee can be beneficial for your skin and your garden! In the age of reuse and recycle, used coffee has incredible benefits beyond being delicious. We focus on two areas to utilise your spent coffee grounds that are simple and easy: your body and your garden.

Travel: Coffee in Paradise 
An Introduction to coffee in Bali. This beautiful island is not all surfing and yoga, the coffee culture is booming along with the tourism trade.

Community: A Sign of the Times 
A look back at the world’s first Deaf Barista Competition and how you can get involved. A truly inspiring event.

Kick: The Artful Dodger
We chat to Wesley van Eeden, local South African artist who works as Resoborg. He has a special connection to coffee. He drinks a lot of it, yes, but he has also been commissioned to create numerous murals for coffee-centric spaces.


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