What’s brewing in 2020 for coffee lovers?
If you thought 2019 was the year for coffee, 2020 is going to surprise you. The South African coffee landscape continues to boom as more and more consumers are turning to coffee to please their caffeine craving. According to Stacey Moss, Director at Avanti Coffee Company, a leading coffee supplier, this year will see the rebirth of past trends, while new developments will pique the interest of coffee enthusiasts. “It is important for us to keep tabs on international trends in tastes, flavours and formats, and then to work carefully with our customers to ensure that they remain relevant and on-trend,” Moss says.
So – what’s in store for the year ahead?
“South African consumers typically enjoy their coffee with milk, making cappuccino and lattes firm favourites amongst coffee lovers,” Moss explains. “With that being said, we foresee that the popularity of Banting, plant based diets and healthy eating plans will continue to gain traction in 2020, making milk alternative beverages more popular than ever before.”
While almond milk dominated the non-dairy space in 2019, Moss believes that 2020 will see coconut, rice, macadamia, cashew, hazelnut and oat milk options take their place at coffee spots nationwide.
“While majority of the population opt to drink their coffee with milk, we are noticing a steady rise in black coffee. People are also starting to get to know and understand coffee and so consumers are expanding their knowledge about flavour profiles and coffee origins, helping them to determine the taste they want to get from their cup of coffee.
Furthermore, coffee enthusiasts are exploring alternative brewing methods and are starting to truly appreciate the glorious taste of coffee in its purest form,” Moss continues.
This popular beverage is making a comeback in 2020! “In the past, iced coffee drinks were geared at a younger audience and were packed with sugars. The fad was also less focussed on the coffee aspect and more on the combination of coffee with flavours such as caramel or hazelnut,” Moss says.
Fast forward to 2020, the popularity of unsweetened iced coffee varieties is expected to explode. Globally, the cold brew method is turning into a mainstream hit because of its various serving options and its smooth profile. “This is certainly an interesting space to watch,” adds Moss.
South Africa’s love for takeaway coffee contributes to the 54,2 million tons of general waste per year. “In 2019, the demand for biodegradable and reusable cups was high and it’s showing no signs of slowing down as consumers become more environmentally conscious and the drive for responsible sourcing increases. At the end of the day, the future depends on the sustainable work we do now and so we are constantly looking at new ways to help our customers provide the best sustainable solutions.”
Appearance is everything
Social media plays a big part in the visual representation of beverages and so South African’s have become more aware of the way in which they want to receive their coffee. One of the baristas key skills is the ability to create latte art. The scope for creativity has become more evident with the rise of barista competitions and overall presentation is playing a big part in the judging process.
“Developing a good coffee is as much about the taste as it is about the beautiful art and the glass or mug it’s presented in. Making a coffee that not only hits the spot but, that looks good, makes it a memorable experience, worth coming back for more (and photographing for social sharing)!”
South Africans are expecting higher standards from their coffee and so it is important for coffee experts to work together to help respond to the evolving tastes and demands of consumers in a sustainable way. “2020 is going to be an exciting year for us all and we are looking forward to creating coffee experiences that people will not only taste but feel,” concludes Moss.
What do you know about olives? I did not know much. In my mind there were maybe three varieties; the green ones (with the pit or with the red thing in the middle), the purple ones and the black ones. How foolish of me, when I know that coffee has the reputation of being 'simple' and yet has so many amazing layers to it, from all the different cultivars, to all the ways you can process and brew it. Olives, as it turns out, are no different.
On a recent visit to Tulbagh, my mind was blown at Oakhurst Olives. They grow 16 different kinds of olives on the farm. SIXTEEN. Wait, there's more. There are more than 150 olive farms in South Africa. WHAT?! They have prestigious awards in the Olive Oil category and everything. Pretty incredible.
So, olive oil. Ever done an olive oil tasting? Me neither. There's a first time for everything! Tastes like oil right? Wrong! I mean, yes, it's an oil, but the depth of flavour in the three options they have at Oakhurst? YUM. "You should smell cut grass and avocado skin in our Delicate option." And I DID.
There’s a specific way to taste the olive oils. You heat them up a little in your hands, sip and hold in your mouth rolling the oil around your tongue, inhale a little air and then swallow. Their Medium EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) has a delightful peppery kick that took my quite by surprise as it crept up my throat. Unusual and exciting.
The tasting room is quite magnificent and for R30 you get the full tasting experience, winning!
The only table olives they produce are of the Kalamata varietal (the purple ones). They invite you to look behind a little white door to see where the olives are kept in brine for 8 months until they're ready for consumption. They are basically inedible before they get in the brine. They have to be squished real hard to get the oil out of these bad boys and to eat them right off the tree is a non-starter. I am grateful to the clever little humans who decided to soak them in the first place (This is an enjoyable read on the olive tree and her bitter fruit). Then once they've been soaked and are all squishy the possibilities are endless. The team at Oakhurst make tapenade (with capers not anchovies-genius!), and a couple of scrumptious jams. Perfect for any cheeseboard!
Well worth the visit for a new flavour experience. Highly recommended.
You don't have to wonder, I ate all the bread. I ate everything. The little corkscrew doohickey is an olive pitter. Best gadget you never knew you needed, but once you try will be unable to live without.
Eating direct from tree not advised. Even though they look pretty good.
It's not a terrible place to taste olives.
Love these matte black bottles. The olive oil inside is also grand.
I had the whole place to myself! Larney!
Olive trees for days! There are 33 000 and some change on this farm.
The curing of the olives.
5 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Point Waterfront, Durban
A beautiful new venue is hiding at the end of Mahatma Gandhi Road in Durban. It boasts a chef that has held a Michelin star in his career, sumptuous decor, coffee roasted in KZN and a very cute, resident doggo (who goes by the name of Daisy). Welcome to the world, Maha Cafe.
The decor is understated elegance, keeping it simple with a few good pieces of furniture and beautiful matte black and gold La Marzocco GB5 on the counter. We were greeted by the very friendly team and ordered a cortado and a beetroot/cacao latte. The cortado made using Terbodore beans (fitting, as they also have a dog as their mascot) was extracted well and hit the spot (Thanks Siya!). The beetroot latte (from Red Espresso) was given a tasty twist with the cacao but the milk was just a bit too hot. With so many delicious brekkie options we ordered three things off the menu between the two of us. The rarebit, the bacon buttie and the salmon number.
Look, we’re coffee people, not food critics, so if you want to know exactly what went in them, go see for yourself! They were delicious! I would ask for a few less capers on the salmon dish, but that’s just a preference thing. Next time I’m going for the fresh baked focaccia that I have since seen on Instagram and I feel my life would be complete with a slice.
They weren’t there when I visited by word on the street is that Dustin Hayman is a co-owner and Mo Therese, two legends of the Durban hospitality scene make up part of the team too, which means the abundance of talented people in this space is unreal! I look forward to visiting again soon.
Photos below from their Instagram page, give them a follow to find out what's cooking/baking daily.
An English widower embarks on a late-in-life voyage of self-discovery, plus a practical guide for anyone who wants to thrive in a create-on-demand world, and the aftermath of a national tragedy told through three women’s secrets and lies . . . here are my top reads for the month of February!
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
by Phaedra Patrick
Arthur Pepper is a 69-year-old widower whose simple life is turned upside down when, on the first anniversary of his wife’s death, he discovers that he didn’t know Miriam as well as he thought he did. This discovery launches him on a series of adventures to find out more about his wife’s secret life before him, taking the mild-mannered pensioner farther and farther from his comfort zone as he finds that life still has a lot to offer after death. As he traces the story of his wife’s life before she married him, Arthur finds hope and healing in the most unexpected places. This is a joyful read, full of lovable characters and poignant encounters that remind us that life is short, but also long, and the journey of self-discovery can happen at any age.
The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice
by Todd Henry
“Working harder and staring more intently at the problem to achieve better ideas is like trying to control the weather by staring at the clouds. Rather, you need to incorporate practices that instil a sense of structure, rhythm, and purpose into your life.”
Business creativity expert, Todd Henry, explains how to unleash your creative potential, whether you’re ‘a creative’ by trade, or someone who solves problems and develops strategies for a living. The rapidly accelerating pace of work today leads to a lot of stress and burnout when we face escalating expectations and a continual squeeze to do more with less. We feel like we’re “always on” and are asked to produce an ever-increasing amount of brilliance in an ever-shrinking amount of time.
The Accidental Creative is Todd Henry’s answer for anyone looking to do their best creative work. It’s a practical guide which offers practices that require dedication and discipline to implement, but will reward you with exactly what it says on the cover: brilliant ideas at a moment’s notice. It’s an inspiring read – definitely a book to keep close as a reference when you need fuel for your creative fire.
The Good Liar
by Catherine McKenzie
When an explosion rips apart a Chicago building, the lives of three women are changed forever. Cecily was supposed to be in the building that went down with her husband inside, but now she’s the ‘face’ of the tragedy. Kate survived the explosion and fled, leaving her whole life behind. Franny tracked down her birth mother, only to lose her in the explosion, and now she’s involved in the compensation fund for victims’ families. As the anniversary of the explosion approaches, these women’s secrets threaten the lives they’ve so carefully built in the aftermath of a national tragedy.
The Good Liar is a thought-provoking psychological thriller with twists and turns that won’t let you put the book down – trust me, I tried! It’s a mesmerising read that keeps your guessing – the way the three women’s stories are woven together is masterful and a definite must-read.
Kenyan café owner, Pete Owiti, is a passionate coffee entrepreneur who took a bold step in 2005, starting his own business. Pete’s Café has grown in leaps and bounds, from a small concession in Nairobi’s iHub, a co-working space for tech entrepreneurs, to three stores and a fourth in the works. I chatted to Pete about his entrepreneurial journey and he shared some advice on what it takes to succeed…
How did you get into the coffee industry?
“The journey started way back in the year 2000, as a barista with Nairobi’s biggest coffee chain called Java House, with their first store in Adams Arcade. They now have over 60 stores across Kenya and East Africa!”
What made you decide to open your own business?
“I developed passion for the business by my employment with the two coffee industry leaders in Kenya (Java House and Dormans Coffee). I was in charge of opening new café locations hence I gained the experience and courage to start my own café. I resigned from a good position as the Business Development Manager for Dormans Coffee, bought a 2 Group Espresso Machine and started off at one the International Schools in Kenya with a small coffee counter serving the students and teaching community.”
You’ve been running Pete’s Café for many years now – what’s this journey been like for you?
“After starting off with a small coffee counter, we moved to Kisumu town and it was an election year in 2007 – the country was in chaos due to disputed results. I had just invested in a new location there and run the business for only three months before violence erupted in the whole country and that particular town was a hotspot. I lost my entire investment; I was shattered. I didn’t know what to do to look for a new job to be employed again.
I came back to the city and got a new lease on life when a new innovation centre for the Tech Community was opening and they needed a café to run within their space. As they say, the rest is now history – we have been able to open three stores, with a fourth one on the line. Truly the secrets of men are in their stories!”
So, what do people need to know about Pete’s Café?
“This is a locally-owned business and home to Nairobi’s best coffee! The place is warm and very comfortable. As you walk in our café, you will smell the aroma of coffee brewing complimented by fresh pastries. Our coffees are hand roasted and delivered to our cafés in small batches to ensure freshness and quality. The coffees are sourced from local farms that we work with closely. After cupping, we roast them in Medium to Dark to ensure we have a balance of acidity and body. We prefer a Kenyan Coffee any day, but we keep rotation with other east African coffees just to offer variety to our customers.”
What do you think makes Kenya’s coffee unique?
“Kenyan Coffee is unique to other coffees in the world due to its special cup qualities – it’s very aromatic, with a lively, bright acidity and smooth floral undertones.”
How has the coffee scene changed in Nairobi over the last few years?
“The introduction of coffee shops has changed the city of Nairobi over the past 20 years. Now we can enjoy specialty coffees in the cafés as this was not the case before. We have new coffee shops opening every other day and Kenyans are now spoilt for choice. The quality of coffees in cafés and hotels has gone up.”
What does your average day look like?
“I am not a very early riser – I wake up like 6am in the morning, pray and read my morning devotion before I set out for the day. My duty is to ensure that I visit the three locations that we currently have at least each day. Some days I work till the end of the closing shift just to ensure I have a handle on what happens daily.”
What do you like best about your line of work?
“I enjoy that I get to meet people from all walks of life at the café, and also provide a space for people to connect and reconnect.”
From being a start-up to running a successful business, what do you think it takes to succeed?
“Success is a product of diligence and hard work – it doesn’t come easy. Put your heart into it and follow it through…
What has been the highlight of your business journey?
“My highlight has been the ability to reach rock bottom in business with patience and determination, and still be able to bounce back again. I also enjoy hearing customers affirm to us that we are doing a great job and are proud of us.”
We're big fans of all the efforts to reduce waste within the coffee space and Ecoffee Cup SA has collaborated with local artists to make that choice even easier with these beautiful designs. We chatted to Carike Greffrath, Co-Founder Wanderland Collective, to find out more about the project.
Tell us a bit more about what the Wanderland Collective is all about?
Wanderland is a place where art meets beautiful product design. We believe that the strength of the brand lies in the collective of local talent. It is when the works of these very diverse artists are showcased alongside one another that a distinctly South African and authentic narrative starts to show itself! Just look at the diverse styles and mediums of the three artists that we worked with to create the Wanderland Ecoffee Cup range.
What motivated the collaboration with each artist?
Aureum Design's Nicole Levenberg- for its strong finely drawn and detailed depictions of African landscapes, elegance and sophistication of more traditional textile design, unusual sense of colouration
Faatimah Mohamed-Luke- her playful approach to exploring cultural pattern applications through the colourful and fun medium of plastic building blocks- we love the tactility and 3 dimensionality of her almost sculptural medium and how it translates so boldly onto flat surfaces
Zhi Zulu- her overwhelming enthusiasm and energy as an up and coming illustrator- her unique and beautiful use of colour- her contemporary and often amusing approach to traditional narratives in Zulu culture
“Coffee smells like hope, you know. When I was starting this journey, I kept a bag of beans by my bed and in the morning I would squeeze the bag a little and that smell would keep me going. You just know you can get things done.”
Sibongile Mbatsane-Rakgatjane throws out this pearler phrase as our visit to Mamelodi is coming to an end and we’re driving back to her business, Mo’s Bakery and Cafe. “Oh I should’ve told you, keep right, the taxis stop in the left lane.” While stuck behind a taxi, Momo, as she is affectionately known, points out other local businesses and stories of Mamelodi. Momo is passionate about her community. It has been a joyful experience to spend time with someone so actively using her business to make a difference in people’s lives. We pull up outside Mo’s, the dust lingers in the dry air as we step out. The first coffee shop in the township of Mamelodi.
In a vibrant strip of local businesses at a busy roundabout in Mamelodi West it stands. A hair salon, a health shop for medical supplies, Connie’s Jazz Bar. Momo exudes a quiet confidence in her classic Converse and her bright red African continent earrings. It’s relatively quiet at midday around here.
“We’re not too busy during the day, so I mostly focus on the cakes then. You know, people in the townships have to go to work in the day! So we’re busy early morning and late afternoon.”
“I wanted to create a space where people can come to work and read. There was no where to do that in our community, so I thought someone’s got to do it and it might as well be me. We have a Children’s Story time on some weekends for the same reason, I wanted somewhere to take my daughter on weekend that was here, in Mamelodi. If I was feeling that way, then others were too.”
She left a job with Microsoft to pursue her dream of being a baker and the café followed on as an extension of that idea. At the beginning of August 2019, Mo had to expand her operation to move the bakery offsite to a bigger premises. The woman is an incredibly talented baker and cake decorator. Self-taught, she has a dazzling array of designs in her portfolio. Momo has been very realistic about the trajectory of the business and knows that it’s still early days, but she’s optimistic. In the process, she found something strange was beginning to happen, her tea drinking ways were beginning to change…
“Coffee has got me! You know I used to look at coffee as just an add on to my cake business, but I can feel myself getting sucked in deeper and deeper to this coffee thing. In the baking industry people are not so open to collaboration, not so open to sharing and getting together, but the coffee industry is different. Also a huge turning point was discovering that I’m lactose-intolerant so I’ve switched to a lactose-free option and can now enjoy a delicious cappuccino without any concerns about how it affects me!”
Mo’s Bakery pours TriBeCa’s espresso blend and the support she has received from them has been wonderful. “You know, I’m a small customer. I don’t go through a lot of coffee in a month, but everyone in the coffee industry has been so generous with their time and their help. Harry (Mole, current SA Barista Champion) gave me advise on equipment when I was starting up and directed me to Koldserve. I was expecting to have to hustle to get them to come help me in Mamelodi, but the Koldserve team were so professional and helpful, they sorted out my coffee set up within my budget. Recently the whole crew from TriBeCa came through to do a tour of the township, now Matt(Carter) just pops in sometimes, he loves the food just down the road!”
Every day is an education of converting people to try their first cappuccino, but the ritual is starting to stick. Momo is also dedicated to continuing her own education, she is a regular at coffee shops around Pretoria like Afro-Boer and Red Truck Coffee Roastery and she loves to try all the new places. “I’ve got trips planned to Cape Town to check out what’s going on down there and I’m visiting a friend in Spain next year, I’ve already told them we will doing a coffee shop tour.”
“And I strongly believe the township market is catching on to the coffee scene. It’s my goal for our Financial Year 2019/2020 to at least get to a standard where we can make a sizeable contribution in the coffee space from a township perspective. We need to be more intentional on buying black. More buying and less talk. We are busy transforming our business processes and buying black is at the top of the agenda.”
“We stock coffee from Jabulani Thumbuni on our shelves, he does all our barista training too. These earrings [pointing to the ones she’s wearing] are from a local jewellery designer which we sell here, the art on the walls is all from Mamelodi artists.”
She offers a book exchange platform, where regulars can take a new book and leave one on the shelf in return and she is holding events more and more often, like Brews&Tunes and Coffees of the World, a coffee tasting event.
“You know, the interesting thing about the townships is that here, people have money, they may not have a lot of it, but they have disposable income to spend and maybe if we give them more spaces that are not Taverns, but are also fun places to spend their time, we can change the culture. A second coffee shop has just recently opened up. We’ll go visit them.”
Our mini road trip to the second official coffee shop in Mamelodi takes us past the government building that was supposed to be the site of Mo’s, now abandoned after it was declared structurally unsound. We also pass a massive construction site that will be the new shopping centre and touted to one day be a Gautrain station stop. Big things are happening here.
The Good African Bistro is set up in a container on one of the busiest streets in the township. “We were doing events, moving around a lot and we thought it might be a good idea to have a base of some kind and why not have they base in the place where we live? So here we are!” Dumisani Mpangani tells us. The team are supported by roasters, Doubleshot in Braamfontein, but in the heat of the day Dumisani instead offers us his homemade ginger beer. It is crisp and stings the back of the throat, the sign of a good ginger beer.
Local entrepreneurs investing back into their community. So is there enough space in the township for more than one coffee shop?
Mo and Dumisani share a laugh at my ignorant question, “Have you noticed how many people live here? We’re not competition to each other, we’re neighbours, it’s a community. People come to me if they want to work, meet and feel inspired in a calm, cosy space and people, including myself, come to The Good African Bistro when they want to listen to great music, chat, watch the busy street traffic.”
So the future looks bright for coffee in Mamelodi with people like Momo leading the charge. Coffee smells like hope. We couldn’t agree more.
We love innovation. We love it even more when it's local. 4WKS pods are both innovative and local and so when our friends at Rosetta Roastery sent Lulu Larché of this new business our way, we were delighted!
Arriving in glass container with a beautiful wooden lid we were gifted a selection of some top notch Cape Town coffee houses in a capsule, the likes of which we have never seen before. Almost fabric-like, these little guys are made out of sugar cane pulp. This material is not quite airtight like the plastic and aluminium products available from the big brands, but that's actually their main selling point. These pods are not supposed to have a shelf life of many months (and more likely years!), they are meant to be used within 4 weeks. That's right, they're fresh! And the capsule is completely compostable, so the entire thing starts to break down in 4 weeks on the compost heap and in two months it's gone. That's pretty fantastic news, because a capsule machine is helluva convenient.
Opening the jar, I was met with the gorgeous aroma of fresh roasted coffee. The instructions are to just tap the back a little once the capsule is in the slot, so that it is slightly tilting and to use the short shot function. I had a smooth experience on my first try (and every try after that!). My personal recommendation would be to stop the short shot by pushing the button again when the shot starts to blonde (change to white in colour). All the different roasteries (Deluxe, Naked, Rosetta and Terbodore) had distinctive and wonderful flavours.
So the other thing that they mention in the instructions is to pop the pod out straight away after extracting and I learned why the morning after my experimenting. Excited to have a quick and easy morning coffee, I opened the hatch to a little surprise. The pod I had left in there the day before already started to break down! Which is pretty damn amazing! I mean, it was a messy mistake to make (haha!) but it also proved that the sugar cane material really will break down and that made me kinda happy to scoop the coffee grounds out my machine. And I learned my lesson, follow the instructions!
We wish this new business all the best and we highly recommend you try them out. Give them a follow on Instagram to see where you can get your hands on some!