Reserve Release from Rosetta Roastery is one you don't want to miss

Thursday, 21 January, 2021

We were delighted to receive the very special package below from Rosetta Roastery this week. As part of their 10 year anniversary celebrations, they have released this extra special coffee from Hacienda La Esmeralda, Panama. They first bought coffee from this farm 10 years ago in 2011, so it is only fitting that this coffee features as part of the celebrations.

What can we say about this exceptional coffee? In a word: elegant.

But we can't limit ourselves to just one word. It is the kind of coffee that you want to savour. The Geisha varietal is revered in the specialty coffee industry for its floral aromatics and natural sweetness and this offering from Hacienda La Esmeralda is the epitome of these characteristics. Balanced, sweet, delicate, but distinctive. It is an evolved coffee, one could say. Much of the high-end coffee we taste is distinctive because experimental processing in very much on trend and creates some startling and other-worldly coffee experiences. But this coffee. This is a coffee that is refined, a coffee that through years of experience and hard work, is pure and simple elegance.

We would highly recommend that you take the plunge and get your hands on some of this exceptional coffee.

We feature a long-form read on Rosetta's journey so far in the Summer 2021 Edition of the Print Magazine. You can find it at one of our wonderful distributors or you can order it to be delivered straight to your door as part of our subscription.

We followed the recommended brewing instructions that come in the artfully produced information booklet that accompanies the coffee delivery.

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Cafe of the Week: Lineage Coffee (New Location)

Thursday, 21 January, 2021

Lineage Coffee

Shop 11, Hillcrest Centre, Old Main Road, Hillcrest

The Lineage Team has settled in to their new location rather nicely! It is a warm and welcoming cafe and it was pumping, which is just so lovely to see in these trying times. The team was firing on all cylinders, going the extra mile to get the coffee to the people!

Craig Charity, Boss Man of Lineage, always has a few projects on the go (understatement!). We loved seeing his grinder on the counter (of his own design and build) and the new coffee tins they are using for their retail beans. They also have a LaMarzocco Linea 4-group machine sitting pretty on the counter (with a few Craig tweaks).

In the workshop in the back we got a peek at the vintage La Pavoni that he has been refurbishing and the Apollo Coffee Machine that will be installed this week at the Hillcrest Hospital ICU funded by donations from the community to help the ICU staff through this hugely stressful and busy time. Great initiative from Craig and the Lineage Team.

We sampled the Fingerprint Blend as a cortado and it was chocolatey, smooth and delicious. A comforting cup that keeps you wanting more!

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INNOVATION: New 100% recyclable packaging from Terbodore + Cold Brew in a Can

Friday, 22 January, 2021

While the stunning new range of packaging from Terbodore Coffee is so very pretty, that isn't the most amazing thing about it. The most amazing thing about it, is the fact that the bags are 100% recyclable. 

You can see the full super colourful range here.

This is quite a thing in the coffee world, as majority of coffee bags (while they might look like kraft on the outside) have either a foil or non-recyclable plastic lining on the inside of the bags to keep things fresh and stop any oils from destroying the bags. Only a handful of companies in SA have so far made the move to a bag with a plant-based plastic-like lining, as the cost is generally quite prohibitive. But the more it happens, the better the price point becomes for us down here on the Southern tip of Africa, so kudos to the companies that are charging forward.

We are still a bit bewildered that on-the-go cold coffee in cans has yet to really take off here. This is BIG business in South East Asian and US markets and with a steamy climate like ours, we thought the trend would make its way here faster. But it still hasn't quite caught on. Terbodore is a bit ahead of the curve in this regard. We have long been fans of their sparkling cold brew and look forward to when we can pair these delicious flavours with gin again ;) But just look how gorgeous the new cans are! A very stylish way to rock up with a six-pack indeed. Our current favourite flavour is the Honeybush and Orange. Yum!!!

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Support Small Business: 4 New Joburg Cafes to Visit!

Thursday, 17 December, 2020

If you're considering heading out safely for a delicious cup of coffee, why not try these gems in Joburg for something new.

Morning Glory

Park Corner, 146 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg

Serving up delicious beans from Bean There Coffee Company and winning attitudes courtesy of the lovely team, this street-side cafe is a feast for the eyes. It was a scorcher on the day we visited so we sampled their blended iced coffee, that was made using Ethiopia Sidamo beans (from a co-op we have had the privilege of visiting, what a treat!).

Vintage Coffee 

Inside Parks Centre. Wells Ave, Parkwood, Johannesburg, 2193

The Vintage crew have made the move into Joburg! And the coffee community is better for it. Serving up The Pedlar's Blend roasted by Bishops Coffee, the new spot is located in a very convenient little centre and also has access from the road side. Modise, the barista, will serve you up some goodness!

Doubleshot Coffee & Tea 

Shop 4, Ground Floor, 199 Oxford Parks, Dunkeld , JHB, 2196

A long time Joburg favourite has found a new home in Rosebank and the new digs are beautiful. You can still get all the old favourites that you've come to know and love at the Braamfontein location and they have an excellent selection of freshly roasted coffee beans and beautiful bespoke teas.

Fingers Crossed

2A 5th Avenue, Emmarentia

Wesley Booth, who we met through Creative Coffee Week, has opened up this sweet spot near Emmarentia Dam, so while you get your steps in, take the family for a walk or head to the dam for some peace and quiet, why not take a coffee with you? Thy also have some lovely food options if you'd like to stay a while. The coffee is roasted by the team and you can also buy beans.

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Roaster Focus: How to Choose the Right Size Roaster for your operation

Friday, 15 January, 2021

Every month we will be featuring an exclusive blog from Neil Maree, owner of Genio Coffee Roasters to expand your knowledge of these machines and give you some insight into the coffee industry. We already learnt so much from this first piece! Take it away Neil...

Coffee roasting is as much a science as it is an art.

I am Neil Maree. I am an engineer and the founder of Genio Coffee Roasters.

My passion for engineering and the love of coffee was cultivated at the University of the North-West, South Africa, where my final year engineering project ultimately led to me to build a coffee roaster. I started developing machines full time and Genio Coffee Roasters was founded in 2011. At Genio we are now celebrating our first 10 years in the coffee roasting industry.

My topic for today is how to decide what size of roaster you need to buy to suit your roasting needs. This decision requires a balanced approach as there are many variables to consider. In my experience, prospective buyers often ask for the incorrect size because they have not carefully considered their target market nor have they done a forecast of what they will be able to sell. 

Investing in a roaster which is too big can be as counter-productive as investing in a roaster which is too small. As much as you need time to roast, you need time to sell and you have to be able to sell what you have roasted. As a commercial coffee roaster, you are in business to make money and to serve your customer base at a sustainable level. This is where you need to hit the sweet spot in order for your business to turn over. Always remember that selling equals making money!

Pictured here are (from left to right) examples of a 3kg, 6kg and 15kg roaster set up. The cyclindrical piece of equipment in the centre is a de-stoner.

Here goes the math behind the roasting! I have devised a calculator to aid you in making an informed decision when you consider the size of the coffee roaster you are planning to buy. My calculations are based on the 1kg, 3kg, 6kg, 15kg and 30kg roaster sizes – the micro roaster (1kg to 3kg), small commercial roaster (5kg to 15kg) and the medium commercial roaster (15kg to 30kg).

 {Ed's Note: Current Exchange Rate is $1 = R15,18}

In Table 1, you can see that a 1kg machine is totally inadequate to earn a salary of 3000 USD per month.  A 6kg roaster will work, but you’d need to sell 2600x 16oz bags (1190x 1kg bags) to make your salary, which leaves you with only 88 hours per month to do active selling.  With a 15kg machine, you’ll have 128 hours left (16 days out of the month if you actively sell for 7 hours per day).  This is quite easy to achieve and your business will grow quickly since you are spending 2 weeks out of every month actively selling and promoting your brand.  So, in this scenario, a 6-15kg will be sufficient given your expected salary income.

I have put together further scenarios to illustrate the math:

Scenario 1: I want to roast for my own coffee shop that consumes 20lb of coffee per day.  I also sell a few bags retail to my walk-in patrons.  I previously bought roasted coffee at $18/lb.  What size roaster do I need to buy?

Recommendation:  With a 6kg machine I’d need to roast for 59 hours per month.  I’d rather get a 15kg machine and only roast every Monday for 6 hours.  Then my coffee will be degassed by Friday, ready for the weekend rush.  Yes, the capital expense is more.  But do I really have another 59 hours to spend away from the shop, busy roasting?  Probably not.

Scenario 2:  I used to earn 4000 USD per month at my corporate job.  I now want to have my own business.  How much coffee do I need to sell to sustain my lifestyle?

Recommendation:  This is a new business and I can invest all of my time into it.  A 6kg machine will be adequate as I’ll still have 66 hours (8 days) per month left to sell.

Scenario 3:  I currently have a 6kg machine roasting, but I’m just too busy.  I’m making good money, but I spend most of my time behind the machine.  If I upgraded to a 15kg machine, how much more time will I have per month in order to run and grow my business?

Recommendation:  Upgrading my 6kg to a 15kg machine is the perfect solution.  I currently only have 22 hours per month for selling my coffee.  With a 15kg machine, I can increase that up to 101 hours!  Alternatively, I can employ a roasting operator who can work 7 hours per day on the machine, leaving me with my full 154 hours per month to sell and grow the business.  But this operator would increase my expenses with another $3000.  So, I’d need to sell more…?

Scott Rao, coffee consultant and author, also emphasises the importance of looking towards the future when considering the capacity of your coffee roaster -- you need to know how much coffee you anticipate to roast every week for the next two years. Scott explains the crucial marker is the weekly amount of coffee you plan to roast at a point two years from the day you purchase your new coffee roaster. Scott’s recommendation is to buy a roaster size big enough to roast that amount of coffee in no more than 25 hours (

The magical art of roasting coffee

I trust that these calculations have sparked your interest and have made you more aware of the variables you need to consider when deciding on a roaster size.  We all have our own unique set of circumstances driven by our own budget and our own business plan. I have made several assumptions in my calculations which may well differ from one situation to another. I am therefore inviting you to contact me for a one-on-one consultation about your specific coffee roasting needs (

All of the best in coffee.


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This Subscription Coffee Offer from Kauai will blow your mind!

Thursday, 14 January, 2021

When the below Press Release from Kauai made its way to our inbox, we did a double-take at the crazy info it contained. But you can believe it because it is true! And if you have a Kauai near you and you're needing a bit more coffee than usual to get you through January, then you're about to feel real lucky. 

Kauai uses an organic espresso blend that is roasted and blended in South Africa exclusively for them. A blend of three 100% Arabica organic coffees to be precise:

  • Honduras - Organic SHB EP (Fully Washed) 
  • Colombia - Organic Excelso (Fully Washed)
  • Uganda - Sipi Falls Organic AA (Fully washed) 

Tasting notes:

  • As an espresso: Smooth yet full body, notes of stone fruit, warm spice. A mellow acidity.
  • As a cappuccino: Notes of caramel sweetness with a milk chocolate finish, subtle light body.

Cash-strapped South Africans can enjoy their favourite coffee or smoothie through a new subscription service that can save them up to 70% while enjoying the convenience of ordering via an app for home delivery or contactless in store collection.

Healthy natural foods specialist Kauai today launched subscription offers for unlimited organic coffee for a month as well as a daily smoothie for either 15 or 30 days, available in its 150 stores nationwide.

“Innovation is a central tenet of our business, so we are thrilled to be the first restaurant group to bring this subscription service to South Africa and one of only a handful offering this type of subscription programme worldwide. We also understand that South Africans are looking for value during these tough economic times, so have designed our subscriptions to offer exceptional value on our organic coffees and smoothies,” says Dean Kowarski, CEO of Kauai’s parent company Real Foods.

The unlimited organic coffee subscription allows customers to redeem any short hot drink every two hours for 30 days (up to 240 coffees over the 30 days) for a subscription of R299. A subscription for one small daily smoothie for 15 days costs R199, while a 30-day smoothie package costs R375, all available on Kauai’s app.

How it works

The subscriptions are purchased on the Kauai app, which can be downloaded from the Apple and Android app stores. Customers receive a subscription voucher in the app, which indicates how many coffees / smoothies have been redeemed, and how many remain. Orders can be placed at any of Kauai’s 150 stores, with customers simply scanning the app to redeem their drink. Customers can also order on the app for delivery or for contactless collection in store, to help maintain social distancing. 

The launch subscriptions are available until 28 February 2021 and further subscriptions are expected to be launched soon.

Subscription benefits

Kowarski says that the novel subscription service builds on Kauai’s strengths and reputation for great dining experiences, healthy food and honest ingredients. “Customers get their favourite drink at a lower price, allowing them to enjoy the luxury of organic coffee every 2 hours or daily smoothies at significantly better value. It’s also more convenient, as they buy once, and then simply scan the app to redeem their drink at their next order,” says Kowarski.

The subscription model also makes business sense. “Subscriptions create recurring revenue by offering customers another reason to visit Kauai and build loyalty by nurturing long-term relationships with customers. We anticipate new customer acquisition to be fuelled by subscriptions,” he says.

Leading US fast casual restaurant brands like Panera Bread have also launched highly successful subscriptions, with the chain reporting 850,000 customers signing on within the first few months. Pret a Manger recently launched a similar product in the UK.

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New Year, New Dreams: Special Offer on WIKARCS

Thursday, 14 January, 2021

In clearing out our office this week, we found a sneaky box of the amazing What I Know About Running Coffee Shops (WIKARCS) by the inimitable Colin Harmon.

If you have ever considered starting your own cafe, this is considered essential reading, from the trial and error experience of the 3FE founder and owner.

Maybe 2021 is your year?

We're doing an epic special bundle, WIKARCS + Issue 34 of the The Coffee Magazine + shipping all for only R350. Now that is a deal! The books normally goes for around R500 so you really want to jump on this bandwagon while stocks last!

"Colin Harmon is a four-time Irish Barista Champion and owner of Dublin's 3fe Coffee, one of the world's most innovative and progressive speciality coffee shops. His work in coffee has extended to roasting, training and consultancy work, as well as developing coffee equipment for the speciality market and beyond.

What I Know About Running Coffee Shops is drawn from Colin's experience in building 3fe from a one man cart in a nightclub lobby to the internationally renowned business it is today. The lessons, stories and guidelines offer a unique and honest insight into the day to day realities of what many people see as their dream job."

Order yours now! Fill in the form below and you will be redirected to Payfast to make payment.

What I Know About Running Coffee Shops + The Coffee Magazine Issue 34 + shipping - all for R350:

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* Cell Number

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Goodies from The Coffee Magazine Office - Giveaway Time!

Thursday, 14 January, 2021

We are really lucky coffee humans. We are always surrounded by a plethora of exciting coffees and coffee gadgets, more than two magazine publishers, and all the people in our office and friend groups, could ever get the most out of. So as we start the new year, we have done a spring clean of our office and found some items that deserve to find new homes where they will be used and loved!

The first of these is the nifty little manual home roaster from Coffee-Tech. It is so much fun to play around with! All you need is a heat source and some patience and voila! Fresh roasted coffee at home!

So if you're looking for an exciting new hobby, why not throw your name into the ring to start off your home roasting journey.

So yes, it has been used a couple of times, but that just means it is ready for action!!!

Home Roaster giveaway

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