We last caught up with Stephan Brits in 2012 in Interview with a Barista. Now with The Magnificent Barista Boys, who serve up memorable coffee experiences at events, we chatted to Stephan to find out how life has changed since 2012…
“Wow, 2013 is when we just started, with a focus on coffee for events. Since then we’ve added a couple more services to our range including our In-Office service which caters for workspaces, Coffee Equipment sales, as well as Bean Sales and our Monthly Coffee Club.”
What made you decide to go into business?
“Before starting Magnificent Barista Boys, I was a regional manager for the Woolies Cafés; my focus was mainly in the coffee side of the business, which was amazing to do. Over time I had quite a few requests from people wanting a great specialty coffee solution for their event, which is something Woolies of course does not do. I saw an opportunity to do something a little unique in the event and mobile coffee scene and just went with it!”
What made you want to get into roasting and selling coffee?
“Coffee is such a beautifully complex and versatile product – when you work on a new blend, it’s quite personal, the flavour notes really appeals to you alone at first and it’s a beautiful thing to see people truly enjoy your coffee.”
You’ve been with Magnificent Barista Boys for nearly 6 years now? What’s that journey been like? Any highlights?
“It’s been absolutely amazing to create a brand and steer it; I love the creative side of that. And this will sound geeky, but I don’t get a lot of time behind the espresso machine anymore (except at home of course thanks to my wife!), but I still love making a customer an exceptionally beautiful coffee, seeing their face light up as they appreciate it and then talking about that experience and coffee with them.”
Tell us a bit about your beans and blends?
“Our Bohemian Blend, with origins from Burundi, Guatemala, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is a medium roast and my daily go-to coffee – super versatile, great as an espresso, flat white, pour over and pretty much every brew method I’ve tried.
The Nomad Blend is darker and from Tanzanian, Brazilian and Ugandan origins. Perfect for when you feel like intense and bolder flavors.
The Himalayan Single Estate is from Mon, India; a fairly new coffee region and this amazing coffee has remarkable almond, chocolate and pineapple tones worth exploring.
The above blends and more are available from our site. If you join our Monthly Coffee Club, your preferred coffee gets delivered to you automatically every month. We’ve also recently prepared two exclusive blends for the @Home stores countrywide – look out for the Original and the Dark Horse, launching this April.”
What is your coffee of choice these days?
“I’m a flat white in the morning and an Americano in the afternoon type of guy. And I do sneak in an espresso or two some days.”
What does your average day look like?
“I don’t think I have such a thing as an average day at the moment. My days can vary drastically, but usually I am either overseeing an event, checking on one of our ‘In-Office’ sites, working on a blend and label design, and can easily spend all day behind my laptop working at my to-do list.”
What are you most looking forward to over the next few months and years?
“There is a lot going on behind the scenes and I’m super excited to see where The Magnificent Barista Boys will go over the next 5 years. At some point, I’d also like to open a coffee shop, definitely as a passion project.”
How do you see the coffee scene growing/changing in South Africa?
“I got into the coffee scene in 2006 and since then I’ve seen the industry grow and refine exponentially, and I think that process will simply continue as more and more people are exposed to really good coffee. We’ve had the privilege of witnessing a revolution in coffee quality – what a time to be alive!”