Roaster Focus: Let's Turn Up the Heat!

Thursday, 10 June, 2021

Let’s turn up the heat: How heat application impacts the taste of coffee

Roasting speciality coffee is simple math: We apply heat to green coffee beans to develop the tastes and flavours. Or is it?

Different roasting methods transfer heat in different ways. The specific heat transfer method as a function of time determines which flavours, aromas and unique attributes are developed.

Let us explore these differences by discussing the types of coffee roasters available, how heat is transferred, and what the roasting process does to the bean.

Coffee roasters: drum, electric and fluid bed roasters

Drum Roasters

This type of coffee roaster consists of a rotating drum that agitates the coffee beans. The drum rotates while the beans inside are heated, typically by means of a gas burner, while a fan draws hot air through the beans. Drum roasters with thin-walled drums may supply more heat to the beans that may distort the taste, whereas a double-walled drum may result in a more softer, more even application of conduction heat to the beans. In most drum roasters, around 30% of the energy is transferred via conduction heating (more in single-walled drums), while the remainder and majority of the energy is transferred to the beans by means of convection heating. 

Significant to note, is that the cooling-down process is quick and controlled though a dedicated fan and a stirring motion of specially designed agitators. 

Electric Roasters

Electric roasters are not typically suited as industrial machines. They are more focused on home or sample roaster machines.

From a practical standpoint, getting an electric roaster up and running can be quite easy. You do not require a gas fitter and permits. when you have the ventilation done and sorted, it is plug and play. The key benefit with an electric roaster is obviously not having to have a gas installation.  

Another major difference is the heating and cooling time of an electrical roaster: on an electric roaster the heating element needs time to cool down when you lower the temperature. This is because the electric supply to the heating element is cut, but the element itself is still hot. The same goes for the increase in temperature; an electric element needs time to heat up to reach your temperature setpoint.  

Electric roasters therefore is slow to respond to inputs, making them less ideal for profile roasting.  More often than not, electric roasters have a 30 minute batch turn-around time from start to finish, while gas-powered roasters should be able to roast a batch in less than half that.

Fluid-bed roasters

Fluid-bed roasters relies on large fans to suspend the beans in a stream of hot air. Even though air roasting methods have been around since the 1970s, only a small percentage of coffee served around the world today is air roasted. 

As the hot air flows through the roaster, the force lifts the beans into the air, causing them to “float”. This effectively means the coffee beans are resting on a “bed” of heated air, which is where fluid-bed roasting gets its name from.

Since the hot air is blowing from beneath, there is no direct heating of metal. However, the beans have to be in some form of container, and its sides will get as warm as the circulating air. Therefore, it is not purely convection roasting, but it is definitely more convection heating compared to drum roasting. Air roasters can use electric elements or gas for heating the air.

According to an article from “Air roasters require a high-pressure flow of air…In air roasters, the air has to physically lift the coffee to get through. This means that air roasters require blowers that can deliver high pressure. “The result, a very loud roasting environment not suitable for in-shop roasting. Operators often work with ear protection to prevent damaging their ears from the noise of the roaster.

Heat transfer and getting to the umph!

Electricity or gas

As previously mentioned, electric roasters are slow responding systems; they take longer to heat up or cool down and have limited controllability during roasting. Think about an electric stove plate: it takes a while for it to heat up, and when you turn it off, it takes a while for it to cooldown. The distinct benefit of roasting with gas is therefore the amount of control it offers the roast master.

Having said that, there are all kinds of new roasters coming out with halogen lamps which are much better faster responding. Halogen lamps give you instant heat output, whereas electrical elements do not achieve that. With a bigger coffee roaster, you will also need 3-phase electricity supply.

If anyone tells you that electric roasters do not produce smoke, think again! It is not the element that produces smoke, but rather the coffee beans. Green beans contain 11-14% moisture and, when roasted, create significant amounts of visible smoke, odour and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).  As with a gas stove, the burner itself produces almost no emissions and most professional machines will have low NOX burners to boot.  

Convection versus conduction heat

In the roasting process, convection heat is from air to bean, and conduction heat is from surface to bean. 

For example, if you fry meat in a pan, your meat will become crispy on the surface with a smoky, robust taste. This is an example of conduction heat transfer: you have a high heat transfer in a short period of time as the heat is directly transferred from the hot pan to the meat. 

On the other hand, if you cook that same meat in your convection oven, it will have to stay in the oven for longer because convection heat is a softer, more even application of heat. This results in more evenly cooked food with no burnt spots as we see when grilling meat in a pan. 

We already know that air is a bad heat conductor. To illustrate this, think about the difference between putting your hand into a convection over for one second vs touching a hot pan on a stove top for the same period of time (kids, do not try this at home). The pan is far hotter to the touch because heat is transferred via conduction. 

Now, let us apply this theory to coffee roasting: even though air may not be a good heat conductor, it envelops the entire bean surface, as it roasts the bean from all sides at the same time. It

At Genio, we use the best of both worlds and combination of convection and conduction heat in our coffee roasting process to achieve a more layered coffee profile in a shorter time frame.

Acidity-Body Curve

Back in the 1980s, they used ultra-fast roasting, sometimes within a few minutes only, to roast coffee beans from green to brown. This practice was driven by the concept of the industrialisation of processes, where they wanted to finish the roast as quick as possible. Quality took a back seat during this era. The result: a bitter cup with high solubility but little flavour or aromas because the Maillard Reaction had no time to develop flavours and aromas. The industry soon came to realise that the taste did not appeal to coffee drinkers and this method of roasting fell away.

Refer to the Acidity-Body Curve (Figure 1). The curve explains that the roast will first peak for acidity and thereafter it will peak for body. When you light-roast beans you have a more acidic coffee, and when you dark-roast beans you have more body.

Remember that, in the coffee world, acidity is not bad. According to numerous sources acidity is not a sour sensation, which is a taste defect, nor should it be excessively drying or astringent. “At best it (acidity) is a sweetly tart vibrancy that lifts the coffee and pleasurably stretches its range and dimension. Acidity can be delicate and crisp, lush and rich, powerfully tart but sweet, or backgrounded but vibrant, to cite only a few positive ways to characterise it” (source: Interpret Coffee).

The holy grail is to get that combination of acidity and body. Because, even the most delicate beans also need some form of body. One solution is to blend coffees with more body together with coffees with floral notes so to get the best-of-both worlds. As a footnote, there is nothing wrong with blending as long as you do it for the right reasons – another story for another day.

The best way to achieve the balance between acidity and body is to have more control over your heat transfer, both convection and conduction heating. Using sensitive heat and sensors positioned in critical areas inside the roaster’s drum, the roast master takes back the control of the profile roasting and achieve a more desired end product.

Profile roasting: proof is in the cupping

So, what is the difference between fluid-bed roasting and drum roasting?  Which one is better, and can you tell the difference?  The answer is: quite likely yes, you will taste the difference.  Depending on the temperature profile, the flavours will be different in the cup because the heat transfer profile is different.  And, ultimately, the cup profile is the only real proof of the best roasting style for your preference. In my experience, most people prefer a more balanced cup with acidic, more fruity flavours as well as body present in the cup.  Drum roasters will always have a more balanced cup because of the fact that both convection and conduction heat transfer was used to develop the flavour profile.  Don’t believe me?  Try it for yourself by contacting Genio Roasters for a demo!



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Taste a delicious coffee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and support communities in need after the devastating volcanic eruption.

Tuesday, 8 June, 2021

"Saturday the 22nd of May, Nyiragongo, an active volcano near Goma in the DR Congo, erupted and spilled lava into the surrounding communities, leaving a wake of destruction. While the lava mostly moved away from densely populated areas, the lava poured into an area called Buhene destroying everything in its path.

Although our DRC coffee production and communities are not directly affected by the eruption we discovered that a number of schools built by @lovedoes @justice_rising and @lauren_daigle’s foundation were destroyed. We have therefore decided that R20 from each kg of DRC coffee sold during the month of June will go towards rebuilding the schools affected.

This eruption has been devastating, not only for the physical destruction of property, but for the students, families and teachers who are weathering a civil war and will now likely face further disruption to their learning."

You can also donate here.

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Coffee is a Lifestyle: Discovering Delta Cafe, Craighall Park

Thursday, 3 June, 2021

Pizza must be one of the foods that South Africans feel strongest about, you know, after the braai and chicken. Everyone has their favourite and they are steadfastly loyal to that pizza and the place that makes their favourite cheese topped dough.

Neopolitan style pizza at Delta Cafe

In large part, South Africans are used to (and prefer) a thinner, crispy base. Now me, I love some dough. Light but some chew to it. And after a recent holiday that involved everything being cooked in a pizza oven for 4 days straight (bliss!), I am now a Neopolitan pizza-style devotee. Crispy underneath but some chewy dough on the crust. Basically, I am ruined for anything other than wood-fired sourdough, slow proved pizza. 

You're thinking, cool, but what does that have to do with coffee?

The Autumn issue of The Coffee Magazine celebrates that when you head down a journey of flavour, it affects all the parts of life and pizza is one of those more recently effected parts of my life. 

More importantly, people have an impact on these choices and in a recent, business meeting turned pizza journey, we were treated to an array of Italian treats to impress even the Roman among us. If you live in Johannesburg, make your way to the wonderful Delta Cafe in Delta Park run by the pizza genius, Daniel Basch! Thank you for the introduction Alessandro!

Their pizza oven is a beaut, covered in old SA copper coins and the setting is perfect for long lunches and sundowners. Also open for brunches and great coffee for all the active humans taking advantage of the park, with facilities to lock up your bikes. We had a wonderful experience all round and I am still dreaming of that pizza, man. Bellissimo!

A work of art!

What is your favourite pizza place? And what style pizza do they serve?

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SA Aeropress Championship 2021 - Coffee Announced!

Thursday, 3 June, 2021

8 coffees went head-to-head in a blind tasting to determine which coffee would be chosen as the SA AeroPress Championship 2021 competition coffee and in the end there could be only one! 

It was an extremely tough choice for the panel to decide which coffee would test the competitors, be complex enough to shine in the cup and be an overall delicious and diverse coffee for both competitors and judges.  In the end it was.... Volcán Azul from Bluebird Coffee Roastery that took the top honour. Thank you so much to all the wonderful roasteries that put their coffees forward, we had such a great time tasting them! We have so many talented roasters in this country.

Business Time!

Amy (Humble Coffee) and Mel  (Coffee Mag) set about tasting  the AeroPress brews.

A winning WAC AeroPress recipe was used to brew the 8 coffees supplied. The new WAC rules state that only up to 18g can be used per brew so we went back to 2014 to find this one!

Volcán Azul is produced by Alejo Castro in West Valley, Costa Rica. This particular lot has distinct milk chocolate and red fruits flavours and was a very clean and complex coffee when brewed through the aeropress.

"So cool that our coffee stood out on the table" says Dario Scilipoti from Bluebird Coffee Roastery. "I know Alejo will be stoked and we are excited to be involved in such a cool event."

Country: Costa Rica

Region: West Valley

Altitude: 1600 – 1700 masl

Farmer: Alejo Castro

Variety: Caturra

Processing: Natural

This means each competitor will be receiving this coffee to brew with courtey of Bluebird!

You can enter the SA AeroPress Champs 2021 here.

Places are limited to the first 50 people to sign up, and we've already got 22 on board so get going!

The 2021 trophies are signed by Alan Adler, inventor of the AeroPress.

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A History of the Espresso Machine

Thursday, 3 June, 2021

A look back at how the espresso machine came to prominence and remains integral in our coffee lives. We have had the opportunity to meet the wonderful Henk Langkemper from the Netherlands who has amassed one of the best vintage espresso machine collections in the world. So beautiful! We tasked Anastasia with the wonderful job of picking his brain about the rise of the espresso machine.

Words By: Anastasia Prikhodko

The beginning of the espresso machine takes place in France – not Italy, like many would assume. It was 1822, and a French man named Louis Bernard Rabaut presented a device that used steam to drive boiling water through finely-ground coffee. Although the result remains unknown, the experiment was proven by the drawings he sent to the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. 

Following Rabaut was Edward Loysel de Santais who in 1843 introduced the first steam coffee machine, and this model was produced for commercial use. Such a device made it possible to prepare vast amounts of coffee at once. “The Italians claim that they invented [the first coffee machine], but that’s not true,” confirms Henk Langkemper, whose coffee machine collection spans 30 odd years. 

Langkemper is a coffee machine entrepreneur and the founder of Espresso Service West, a distributor of numerous espresso machine brands in The Hague, The Netherlands. A selection of his vintage espresso machines collection will be on display at World of Coffee Warsaw in October this year. “I own about 130 machines and 125 coffee grinders. They’re all beautiful,” he enthuses. The history of Italy’s coffee sits in Langkemper’s office. 

Research also suggests that at the beginning of the 20th century, Milanese Luigi Bezzera patented a machine that used the strength of captured vapour to force water through ground coffee. The Bezzera machine distributed the brewed coffee through more than one water and steam groups into the cup. 

According to the Coffee Review, the Bezzera machines decreased the size of the strainer that held the coffee but increased the number of valves, allowing for several cups of coffee to be produced simultaneously. Back then and much like it is now, the espresso operator packed a few teaspoons of finely ground, dark-roast coffee into a small metal filter. The filter was fixed into a vessel called ‘the group’, which protruded from the side of the machine. When the operator opened the valve, hot water was forced through the coffee and into the cup.

“My collection starts in 1936 with a beautiful Snider and a Universal machine,” says Langkemper. “Then, the lever collection starts in 1948 with the Gaggia.” Achille Gaggia introduced the first modern espresso machine where the water tank was laid on its side and hidden inside a streamlined metal cabinet. The valve of the old days was replaced with a spring-powered piston that allowed for pressure profiling; thus, Caffé con Crema was born.

“Gaggia built his business with machine builder Ernesto Valente, and together they produced the first Gaggia machines,” Langkemper explains. This partnership then led Valente to build machines for himself, and open a coffee machine factory in Milan called ‘Factory Electro-Mechanical and Associated Equipment’ otherwise known as FAEMA. 

“A big change in the market came in 1957 when FAEMA built a machine called FAEMA Tartaruga, which had a group with a heat exchanger, and a pump out of the machine,” Langkemper relays. “Although the pump didn’t work well and made a lot of noise. The Tartaruga was in the market for about three years, when someone from FAEMA went to the United States and got in contact with Procon Pumps. “FAEMA then got the rights to the Procon pump for Europe for one year. And then in November 1961, they launched the FAEMA E61.”

That was the beginning of the next revolution. Valente’s E61 surpassed Gaggia’s piston machine. The device, homage to the solar eclipse that occurred in Italy the same year, immediately became a performance and style icon. FAEMA describes the E61 as the first machine to use a volumetric pump to give the water the ideal 9-atmosphere pressure. The pump also kept the pressure constant during the extraction process, unlike lever machines.

“The FAEMA E61 machine was much easier to handle,” Langkemper explains. “It was silent, you didn’t break your arm making coffee, and the temperature control was much better.” It completely revolutionised the market. “You saw all the brands change their machines to be like that,” Langkemper reflects. 

Around the 1970s, Kent Bakke (former La Marzocco International CEO and current board member and advisor) was working in Seattle as a distributor for Franke Coffee Systems. A few friends of his approached him with the idea of opening three espresso bars in Seattle. Packing their bags, the duo travelled to Italy in to look for espresso machine suppliers. 

Shortly after their arrival, a visit to La Marzocco sealed the deal. Bakke began importing La Marzocco machines to the US and eventually become instrumental in the company’s rise to prominence. In 1994, those three espresso bars were sold and renamed Starbucks. 

The 1970s also introduced some beautiful machines. Langkemper explains that this era was all about the “retro look”. Each device had its own personality, look and feel. “Every Italian has their view on making the best coffee machine,” he notes. 

When looking at the history of the espresso machine, it is also necessary to acknowledge where it came from. “Only then can we understand that country’s coffee market,” Langkemper stresses. “Without the history, you cannot understand why the coffee is made the way it is,” he notes. While adding that when people buy an espresso machine, it’s not just a machine being purchased, they are essentially becoming part of the family. “You have to give her a name and a baby shower when you get the machine. You clean her every day and are good to her. Then when you train the people to work with the machine, they get good, and that helps the coffee market.”

The espresso machine is continuing to change -- slowly. Langkemper further adds that when looking at the history of coffee, a small percentage of inventions change the world. “It always takes time because people are not always open-minded to change. They know what they have, and if you are trying to fix their garden again, they don’t like that.” 

Looking at Langkemper’s collection, it is evident that much has happened in the past 30 years in terms of design, size, automation and modernisation. “But when putting my FAEMA Tartaruga on the workbench you’d say: “What the f*ck happened in 50 years?” The answer is nothing. That machine is already so great at making coffee.”  

Technology to help make the experience better is a place where inroads are still being made. A taste of the future came in early March with La Marzocco Home launching an all-new app to pair with the kitchen-sized Linea Mini and GS3 machine. The mobile application connects the home machine and the home barista. The app allows the user to adjust parameters such as temperature and pre-brewing. It can also be used as a remote control for on or off activations and weekly scheduling for the Linea Mini and the GS3. 

On the subject of the future, James Hoffman hopes that there is more of a move towards automation. “There are several parts of the coffee-making process that require the specific skills of a person,” he says. “Several parts are unpleasant and tedious and that I’d be more than happy to hand back to the machine. As long as the barista is engaged in the process, then I think we’ll be ok. I think machines will definitely get a bit smaller and more efficient, but no less powerful.”

Hoffman is the co-founder of Square Mile Coffee Roasters and the Managing Director. Since 2003, he has worked in coffee as a barista, barista trainer and as a speaker and consultant. Hoffman was also the World Barista Champion in 2007 and author of The World Atlas Of Coffee. He says that in the past five years, the espresso machine has evolved comparatively slowly. 

“I don’t think much has changed,” he notes. “What I’m starting to see, and certainly working on myself, is a push towards energy efficiency and less waste.” Hoffman adds that historically espresso machines consumed vast amounts of energy and, it turns out, they didn’t need to. His work on the Victoria Arduino White Eagle was an exercise in creating a machine that aspires to this efficiency.

Looking at the history of the espresso machine opens up a whole story of the country, its people and its coffee drinking habits. Langkemper puts it nicely by saying: 

“The machine is not only a coffee machine, but it also symbolises status. Having an espresso machine in an Italian bar meant that you could provide for your family your whole life. People are proud of their machine and to drink a cup of coffee from a machine like that – it is really something special.”

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Gino Caffe - A most entertaining coffee!

Wednesday, 26 May, 2021

Gino Fabbri is one of South Africa's most loved entertainers. Hailing from Gqebs (PE!) he is  a musician, comedian, actor and all-round entertainer.  He is also an avid coffee lover, so much so that he's launched his own range of coffee! We caught up with the legend himself to get all the news behind his coffee - Gino Caffe.

Gino - Rockin out at the local Spar with his new brand Gino Caffe - ©Mike Holmes

Gino, The Coffee Magazine first met you back in 2014 when you were roped into MC’ing the PE Regional barista comp and it’s been downhill ever since then!

Gino: Yes you have  a great memory! I was co-opted as the only comedian/MC in the vicinity by Angeline and Don McLagan (super champ cup taster and barista and roaster!). It was the SCASA compo I think and I was literally blown away by the quality and passion of these young guys and girls doing so much in so little time .. with so much calm, deliberate skill!! I was mesmerised! And of course meeting you guys at the Coffee Mag too, you were most patient with me and my silly questions!

 I would never have  thought I'd get into it in such a big way. I am still in touch with quite a few of the judges and even some of the entrants that day who are all still very successfully navigating the coffee business! Apart from Angie ( who eventually trained me too ) I have made fast friends from that chance meeting .. Karen Esterhuizen from East London was a judge, Shaun Aupiais was there setting the grinders, Alessandro was doing the beautiful Simonelli machines … all these people and others have helped me so generously along my journey!

Tell us firstly, about what you NORMALLY do for a living, for those who don’t know…….

Gino: Well, I'm a muso and a comedian and entertainer!! I have done comedy for about 20 years now and before that played in a pile of bands as a drummer. The last time I came to Durban I was with Ian Von Memerty at the Sneddon and we got held hostage by rioting students!! Quite an ordeal! I have done many shows in all the main centres and many not so main centres too .. From Splashy fen to Oppiekoppie to Sun City, the Baxter, Namibia and beyond!  

"My Cuuuuzzziiin"... Bary Hilton, and Gino. Recognize the suit? ©Gino

……and now a little about your journey into coffee?  

Gino: Since that fateful few days in 2014 Ive been fascinated by the coffee business. I never looked at coffee in the same way after that. I completed a barista course at Ciro with Angie and Pika and then started messing with latte art. In order to get that right I had to look at my machine and how I was brewing. Once I researched that a bit I started looking at the roasting - such fun! My brother was making us coffee tin roasters with long handles to put in the fire!! Different types, with "agitators" in the tin to keep the beans moving ! What a hoot! Then the kind sisters from Sumatran here organised me a small roaster (these ladies are bloomin marvelous!)… it was pretty much a barrel with a blowtorch and it allowed me to control my small roasts and get a feel for the single origins. It was small, but it taught me how the process works. I got myself a nice little Wega Mini Nova and an industrial grinder and started experimenting!

Then a few years later, entertainer that you are, you popped up again and entered the Coffee Magazine’s Latte Art Video Challenge!  How was that experience? Can you still do any decent latte art?  

Gino: Hey yes ! That was fun! I think I won my section!! I've still got the kit! :) It was latte art with almond milk! Quite tricky but it was fun to do the video and have a lark!! My latte art is best when nobody watches!!

Now you’ve launched Gino Caffe. Tell us EVERYTHING!

Gino: So I was happily roasting beans and  in a state of coffee drinker subsistence.. roasting for myself and family. Lockdown hit and my online show was born - Gino's Spot ( Saturdays and Tuesdays every week at 18h30!)
Doing these shows during this ridiculous time has really made me re-access whats important to me, plus my wife Philippa is a crazy entrepreneur so I started posturing on what I really loved, what my interests are .. I love history, design, music , ...and  coffee.
I decided that one of my shows had to be a coffee show and I had to include all the coffee peeps in PE (Gqebs) - and it was a great show, I loved it .. but it helped me to reconnect with Shaun Aupiais whom I’d met in 2014 and with whom I'd stayed in touch. He's so passionate about his coffee that I don’t think he actually EVER talks about anything else! :)
He told me he was starting to roast and he'd got a really nice roaster.
It took me about a month or 3 but I realised that I had a lot of contacts in retail with my shows and they'd be keen to help me start something, so I dived in .. head first!!!

Obviously it’s music inspired! Tell us how.

Gino: This is going to be the culmination of ALL the things I love, carefully and lovingly placed together in one bag!

1 - Great blends of top quality beans - using the beans that I've tried and tested ..   

2 - Art Deco, Bauhaus, brutalist, moderne, art nouveau and all the schools of design - I LOVE the art of design - how things look and  how it makes you feel!

3 - Music - particularly guitar sounds. The old amps and how they were used in the various forms of rock and roll! The 50s, when they had beautiful valve amps that they turned to optimum volume and got a warm yet full bodied sound. Think the shadows, early Elvis and chuck berry. The 70s where they realised that they could overdrive those same amps - and get a smooth and warm distortion out of it .. think ZZ top and Boston! Then the 80s and back to electronica, the 80s moved solidly in transistor amps  and the guitar sound for me is clear, with chorus, reverb and delay.. atmospheric - think the the intro to Purple Rain! These 3 sounds are captured in my coffees. It sounds a little over the top but I wanted to sit down, have my 70s blend, check out the 70s packaging that reminds me of my moms 70s lounge suite and listen to some Boston. Somehow it all fits together, taste, ears, and eyes!
I've also used images of my (Italian) grandfathers old radios ( I inherited a couple of dozen beautiful old radios), as they seem to encapsulate all the visual elements I love.

Who are the team behind the coffee - Roasters, packaging designers, distributors…who’s responsible for this mayhem!!!!

Gino:  Ha! this is the kicker!! My oldest coffee mate, Shaun Aupiais along with his roasting partner Ryan MacGeoghegan (Brew the Bean)  - these two genius roasters have come to the party with absolutely top class blends. They work on that stuff with such gusto and energy that I really get inspired every time we roast. Now that the blends have settled and the tasting is done,  I’ve taken on the marketing and packaging and these two legends are handling the production side. I trust them implicitly and they have taken on the task - working to their strengths. Ryan with the tech side and Shaun on the tasting. I would be hard pressed to find two guys more skilled at this to back my brand.

During lockdown you really pivoted to the Online Platforms for your art. Tell us how that happened and who was your favourite guest during 2020? Tell us a funny story :)

Gino: I did indeed, and our online show has grown from strength to strength! I have learned that online and live are two different art-forms, live stuff will always be my best! But the online show has allowed a worldwide audience and that’s been marvellous!! I have, to date, thoroughly enjoyed every single show and ALL the guests have been fun! Funny stories abound, and they usually involve tech issues!! We have had to learn the hard way that EVERYTHING needs a backup plan for online shows. Chef Ralf was on as a guest when I got loadshedded and he had to handle the show on his own for about 3 minutes!!  Have you ever heard of a show, where the guest gets left to fend for himself!! Lordy! So we now have backup batteries and  internet. I've had guests get on their plonk too - one too many whiskies - but it all adds to the excitement!!! :)

Gino Caffe can be contacted at and @ginocaffeSA on FB and the products are available in most Eastern Cape Spars in Gqeberha, East London and St Francis. 

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Coastal Coffee: Authentic Durban style

Monday, 24 May, 2021

Coastal Coffee Roasters

Unit 11, 123 Old North Coast Rd, Glen Anil, Durban, 4051

We've been meaning to get around to visit this crew for AGES and this week we made a promise (between a Chelsea fan and a Man City fan!!!), so it had to be honoured.

What an absolute delight.

Just look at this team...

From left to right: Leon, Jeff, Cherval and head honcho, Craig

A proudly Durban team, they do things with such a great sense of humour, you can't help but leave this roastery with a huge smile on your face. Since we met Craig Sampson on the SCASA competition circuit way back when, he has always had big dreams and we're so proud to see how far he has come.

He was in coffee for 10 years before he started his own business., learning from some of the best so when he launched Coastal Coffee Roasters he was off to a flying start.

"We pride ourselves on giving every person who walks through our doors, the best possible customer service," says Craig. "We have built our business on relationships."

After beginning with roasting partners, they acquired a fluid bed roaster and now Leon makes sure every roast is consistently excellent. When asked why he chose a fluid bed roaster compared to a drum roaster, popular with majority of roasters, that's what Craig says it comes down to.

"Consistency is key for us and we felt we could achieve that better on a fluid bed roaster."

There are less fluctuations in all the variables to consider when you're roasting. Well, it certainly keeps the production line moving! The team are moving volume and they encourage people to walk in for a tour and to take some yummy coffee home with them. We tried the coffee on bar, which is a new blend, and it was delicious!

Mural by That Damn Vandal. An homage to Durbs by the sea.

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WIN Coffee for a Year with @Home and The Magnificent Barista Boys!

Thursday, 20 May, 2021

Heads up for this incredible competition from @Home and The Magnificent Barista Boys!

Get your entries in at the link below to win coffee from this wonderful crew.

So do you want to win this incredible prize? Enter here.


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