WIN a Weekend for 2 at a Luxury Game Reserve Valued at R30,000

Thursday, 9 July, 2020

One of Coffee Magazine's advertising Partners, Cape Cup have brought out a really cool new B2B portal for the Food & Beverage industry called Bio-Africa and to launch the website they are running an incredible competition! 

All you need to do to enter is fill in the entry form here and cross your fingers ;) Head on over to their website and see all they have to offer while you're there!

The competition is a chance to win a luxury weekend away for two people at Botlierskop Game Reserve The prize includes flights in South Africa, Stay in Luxury Tented Suite, All Meals, All Drinks + Alcoholic Drinks*, Spa Treatment, Game Drives, Bush Walks, Horseback Safaris, Tennis, Canoeing and Fishing (Terms & Conditions apply).

Just 4.5 hours’ drive from Cape Town, it’s midway between Mossel Bay and George, on South Africa’s scenic Garden Route. Come and share the bounty and breathtaking beauty this 4,200 hectare reserve has to offer. Botlierskop Game Reserve will ensure you enjoy a uniquely South African Safari Experience, with a range of luxury accommodation from sumptuous tented lodges and stately manor suites to spectacular, self-catering villas and an entire village built with children in mind. This gracious family-owned and privately-operated game reserve is malaria-free and home to four of the Big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo and rhino) as well as a host of antelope, including rare black impala, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, hippo and more. Spend a memorable day – or come and stay. Day visitors are as welcome as overnight guests at Botlierskop with a range of activities from safari game drives, horseback safaris, pampering spa therapies, restaurant options, children’s activities, spacious decks and swimming pools, there truly is something for everyone. All this and a very warm welcome awaits you. 

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Coffee in Kimberly? Bliss Coffee forges a path

Friday, 10 July, 2020

Bliss Coffee is forging a path of coffee culture in the Northern Cape. We caught up with Andre Smith to learn more about this fantastic cafe and roastery based in Kimberly!

What was it like putting together your beautiful cafe and roastery?

We started very small back in 2017, actually sooner than that, I started roasting coffee in a pan back in 2014. I would visit some of the best roasteries in SA and just dream about what I would like ours to look like. Setting up our roastery was hard work, but it was a dream come true, we’ve been sitting on ideas for years and we finally got to put it in practice. 

Who are the key players in your team? And can you tell us a little about each of them

We are very blessed to have a great team. I’m the roaster, barista, trainer and I run the day to day things at the roastery. My wife Reshelle is the creative one, she comes up with all the crazy ideas, ideas like painting a 2.75 x 1.6m world map out of coffee. Jacques and Henk and Danie are my partners in crime, you won’t see them at the shop every day, they are always out there selling more coffee, getting more good coffee out there for people to enjoy. Yvonne, Jacques wife is also very creative, she also helps a lot tying loose ends and is always there to help wherever she is needed.

What is the ethos of your business?

First of all  we see ourselves as a part of the global coffee community that advocates good, ethical coffee with excellence. We also want to see a coffee culture grow in the Northern Cape where it hasn’t expanded to yet.

What do you love most about being in the coffee industry?

What I love most about the coffee industry is the people, the relationships that is built and the experience of meeting new people. Another thing that I love is the high level of excellence and passion I see in people in the industry.

How important are regulars to the fabric of day cafe life?

Regulars plays a crucial role at our shop. They are the ones promoting us on the outside. We always make sure to engage with them and give the a special experience that they will remember and tell other people about.

Name one menu item that we would never expect or have heard of before - a uniquely Bliss creation! (food or beverage)

We make a beverage we call Kaffé Bliss. It’s a blend of Cold brew coffee, lemonade and one other secret ingredient 😉

How can people get coffee from you during this time? 

If people are interested in buying coffee from us they can contact us by calling us, whatsapp, Facebook messenger or they can send us a DM on Instagram . We are almost ready to launch our website as well.

What have you learned about yourselves and others that you didn’t know before this? 

What I have learned about myself during this time is that hard work and patience always pays off, impatience is the killer of creativity. I’ve also learned that people support a place or person when they see passion. Lastly I’ve also learned and appreciate the openness of the coffee community in South Africa. 

What would you like to tell everyone in your community at this moment. 

If I can say one thing to my community it is to stand together and help each other to further spread the coffee culture in our city and province, we all want food coffee and if we all work together then we can put the Northern Cape on the map with coffee, I know our people, we are creative and hard working.

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Roastery Focus: Clay Pigeon Trading

Tuesday, 7 July, 2020

Recently nominated for Best New Roastery in The Coffee Magazine Awards, we caught up with the couple behind Clay Pigeon Trading as they navigate these new waters.

Tell us about the changes for Clay Pigeon Trading during this period?

Like many of our fellow roasteries and restauranteers, we were forced to close our store during level 5 and 4 lockdown. This severely impacted our business, and as a consequence, resulted in the permanent closure of our brand new store. Naturally, this was devastating, as we had spent the better part of a decade working towards this life-long dream. That said, with every dark cloud there's a silver lining. The lockdown forced us to finally get our online store up and running. With no web or eCommerce experience, we had to up-skill - FAST. But this wasn't our greatest challenge. The most difficult part of migrating to a purely online/digital platform is bringing across the personal café experience that our fans have come to know and trust. How do you effectively instill the "feeling" of drinking coffee at your favourite coffee bar through a static digital lense? After some careful thinking, and a boost of creativity, we re-skinned our digital touchpoints, offering our fans a kind of "coffee escapism" through the use of engaging imagery that's atypical to the traditional coffee scene. Together with our live latte art throwdowns, YouTube series, and weekly podcasts, we've managed to find new and creative ways to engage with our local fans, and welcomed some new global fans to the Clay Pigeon Fam too. This experience has opened our eyes to a world of opportunity as we begin to extend our offering to a more global audience. What hasn't changed is our commitment to procuring only specialty q/grade transparent coffee from the African continent, helping African farmers profit first, and promoting ethical and sustainable supply chains. This is who we are, and it's what drives our passion, and keeps us motivated in even the most unforgiving circumstances. 

How do you feel about how all that’s going on with COVID-19 and do you have any advice for other business owners out there

We came across a Quartz article that advocated that the advent of COVID-19 leveled out the playing field for small and large businesses alike. After all, we are all in the same boat. We tend to disagree. While this may be true for first world countries, living and operating a business in a third world country is a whole different ball game. When compared to global markets, eCommerce is still in its infancy in SA (albeit growing fast). Simply migrating to an online platform overnight is not going to cut it. Geographically, we are also at a disadvantage when it comes to logistics, particularly in the coffee industry. This is part of the reason why sourcing transparent coffee is not financially feasible for roasteries operating on scalable business models. Then there's also the challenge of competing in an already flooded digital marketplace. And don't get me started on the "pivot" fiends. Food and beverage retailers were also competing against companies that had no previous offering in the food and beverage sector, who quickly "pivoted" into food and beverage retail, which of course made it even more challenging. That said, operating as a micro business has its advantages too. We are agile, flexible, quick to change, and adapt. It's not easy. It's not comfortable. But if there is a will, there's a way. Our advice is to always trust your gut instinct, and don't let your ego determine your choices. We could have stood proud, and borrowed funds just to "save face" and keep our store open. Instead, we stood in the face of failure and accepted our circumstances. As the French put it, “Reculer pour mieux sauter.” – Sometimes we need to take a step back in order to take greater strides forward. 

You’ve been on a journey with sourcing your coffee that is very close to your hearts, can you explain what transparency in coffee means and how you put it into practice in your business?

Transparency is at the core of our business. We are the first (and currently the only) transparent specialty coffee roastery in South Africa (and Africa) to sign the Transparency Pledge. To qualify, you must be able to disclose (to the cent) what farmers are paid in hand for the coffee they produce. It's the reason Clay Pigeon Trading exists. We are delighted to see that more and more coffee roasters are disclosing their FOB price. This is the Free On Board price. This is the price that the trader pays for the green processed coffee that is ready for export. But this is not to be confused with transparency. While disclosing the FOB price is a great start, it does not disclose what farmers receive in hand. This is important for both roasteries and consumers to understand. Becoming a transparent coffee roastery is not easy. There is a lot of red tape and misinformation. And for this reason, many roasters who want to follow this route are often paralyzed by the process. But as we've shown, it is achievable. It took a lot of blood, sweat, and more tears than we had anticipated. But it is doable. And if our small team of two can do this (without any investor or third-party financial backing by the way), there's no excuse for bigger roasteries who have the capital, human resources, and customer reach to follow suit. Our vision is that this becomes a common practice for all roasteries big and small.

How can people get their hands on your coffee?

You can purchase our Cape Classic Single Origin Rwanda on our online store, along with other coffee equipment and accessories.

What exciting things do you have lined up? 

For the past year, we have been working very closely with various stakeholders and scientists to develop an incredible fully natural and FDA certified organic preservative, specifically designed to preserve cold brew and roasted coffee beans for up to 6 months. We are in the process of publishing white papers, and the product will soon be available for purchase. We will be launching this product at Host Milan 2021. For more information, email info@claypigeontrading.com.

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GIVEAWAY: 3 lucky readers will win 2x Hydroflasks!

Thursday, 2 July, 2020

Last week we chased some swell down the KZN South Coast and at the same time got to put our new Hydroflasks to the test!  Read our review here (and see Iain about to get crunched by a monster wave! Ha ha!!).

The good news is that the flasks worked amazing! The even better news is that we have 6 more Hydroflasks to giveaway!  So we decided that 3 lucky winners will win 2 Hydroflasks each.

All you need to do is fill in the form below and write a little description of your favourite coffee-fuelled adventure. We will choose the 3 most descriptive and fun-sounding adventures as the winners (and by short we mean 50 words or less!)

Have fun!

Win a set of Hydroflasks!

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Introducing Alpro to South Africa! (And you can get some free stock!)

Thursday, 11 June, 2020

We are incredibly excited to formally introduce Alpro to the South African coffee market! The brand has long been on the supermarket shelves and is well known the world over, but as the demand for delicious and nutritious plant-based alternatives grows, so has Alpro's range and quality. And the application when it comes to coffee is very exciting.

This International brand is a market leader in Europe and all around the world in plant-based products and we are thrilled to see them becoming more active in South Africa and investing particularly in the coffee community.

We first heard about Alpro two years ago at the Coffee Leaders Summit in Cape Town, where it was clear that trends towards healthy, plant-based alternatives was a huge trend overseas and it would be a matter of time before the same trends hit our shores. Well that time is here!

We are also thrilled to announce that not only is Alpro helping South Africans to take the first steps towards a healthy, alternative and more sustainable diet but baristas are also at the core of their focus.  The brand has done amazing work overseas during COVID-19 helping cafes and baristas get back to work, and the local team here in SA headed up by Danone, has committed to do it's part by offering Alpro product to help cafes get back in business!

https://www.alpro.com/uk/barista/free-stock-initiative/

Check out this link above to see how Alpro are helping coffee businesses get back on their feet after lockdown.

If you are a Cafe Owner or barista in South Africa that would like to find out how you can apply for some free Alpro stock, scroll right to the bottom of this page and fill in the form.

The Alpro almond milk and soya milk range is 100% plant-based, lactose free and contains vitamins and calcium. It is the perfect partner to your coffee, morning cereal or smoothie. We know, we've tried it! See our taste test below!

The full Alpro range is available in Spar and Checkers, with Pick 'n Pay carrying two of the flavours. If you'd like to find out more email us iain@coffeemagazine.co.za and we'll try steer you in the right direction.

So, how does it taste? We tried out all 5 of the Alpro flavours at the Coffee Magazine HQ and below are our results!

Alpro - Barista and Coffee Shop relief stock initiative! Fill in this form if you'd like free stock delivered to your Cafe!

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Meet Sanele. Incredible story from Mr Price on an amazing coffee professional

Thursday, 2 July, 2020

Beautiful video from the team at Mr Price. We were thrilled to hear how featuring in The Coffee Magazine impacted on the wonderful Sanele Gasa. You can read the original short interview that appeared in our print edition below. What an awesome human.


Interview for The Coffee Magazine by Meegan Rourke-McGill

Sans On The Go Café

Hey Durban, if you’re in need of an on-the-move coffee provider, look no further than Sans On The Go, aka Sanele Gasa, the founder of this mobile coffee service that brings caffeinated goodness to weddings, markets, concerts, events and corporate functions all over Durbs. Sanele trained as a Barista at Columbo Coffee and believes a good cup of coffee can set anyone up for a great work day. I can personally vouch for this, having gone back for three cappuccinos within the space of an hour… Sanele took his love of coffee and passion for small business, and formed Sans On The Go Café in 2016. We chatted to Sanele to find out more about his coffee journey…

What inspired you to get started in the coffee industry?

“I never thought that I would love coffee as I do now. I saw that there is a huge percentage of unemployment in our country and I better use my gift to create job opportunities for the youth and to earn a living too.”

What’s been the highlight of your business journey?

“I have so many highlights, the biggest one is that the young man who is working for me, who matriculated in 2018. He once said to me, ‘Thank you so much for employing me because the money that I will earn monthly I want to save it just to be able to further my studies and get a driving licence’.”

What’s the most popular drink on your menu?

“Cappuccino. I can say we live in a society where people struggle to live without coffee!”

Where can people find you?

“If you have an event please feel free to contact me on sansonthegocafe@gmail.com, or visit the website at http://sansonthego.co.za.

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Itching for adventure? Take your coffee with you in this flask

Thursday, 25 June, 2020

Winter on the South Coast of KZN is a magical time. While the rest of South Africa endures freezing cold, sleeting storms and frost that turns any body of water to ice in the interior, KZN basks in the warm winter sun, the offshore breeze fans the sea into a glassy, warm playground for anyone who loves the ocean. The sardine run flashes its way up the coast, fishermen and their entire families spends hours on the golden sands and surfers revel in the perfect waves.

The best time to be on the beach is early. For some, this means pre-dawn, for others it means just at that moment when the orange glow of the horizon lights up the silver ocean. But one thing is certain - coffee is essential and it needs to travel!

The Hydroflask - a perfect way for your coffee to adventure with you!

It is safe to say we have tried a greater than average amount of the reusable coffee cup options out there. We love the reusable cups for cafe visits, but for missions down the coast  - a flask is essential. We recently discovered these flasks by Hydroflask. There are really effective at keeping your coffee hot for up to 8 hours. As you can see from the images, there is nothing quite as satisfying as a coffee while searching for waves  - it adds to the the adrenaline of finding a perfect spot to surf!

The best waves always take a little bit of extra effort to find, and that means a bit of early-morning caffeine-fuelled roadtripping!

A perfect spot for a post-surf coffee on a perfect winters morning. And yes. Those are boardshorts.

There are a few things about the Hydroflask that we like  - firstly, they come in a range of really cool colours and you can have them customized like we did!  Secondly, they come in a range of sizes - perfect for coffee or for cold beverages. We use one for coffee and one for cold water as you never really know if there is water available at the more remote spots.  The food grade stainless steel is hard working and tough. But I think the best feature of the Hydroflask is the lid.

The lid is made up of 4 parts that easily dis-asemble and this means simple to clean. There is nothing worse than the smell of stale, old coffee and milk that you can't get out of those hard to reach places, which will definitely end up ruining your next coffee, especially if you use it every day like we do and there is a chance of residue building up.  Having a clean flask to start with is crucial. The lid has a twist-to-lock function and a handle so you can easily carry it around. 

Red means locked.

Top tip: I always fill the flask with boiling water while I brew my coffee, this lets the flask heat up nicely so you can seal your coffee in nice and hot without losing anything to the flask.

So far, we have literally used our Hydroflask, every single day since we got them and we are really loving how effective they are in allowing us to take our coffee and cold drinking water on our daily adventures to the beach and down the coast!

Hydroflasks are available form most leading sports and adventure retailers like Sportsmans Warehouse, Outdoor Warehouse and at online stores like Takealot.com 

Next week we will be running a special Coffee Mag and Hydroflask adventure competition where you can WIN a few hydroflasks for yourself! Stay tuned!

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What does 'Advanced' level 3 mean specifically for coffee shops?

Thursday, 25 June, 2020

UPDATED 29 June 2020

The Gazetted regulations are due to be released any minute now, but there was further clarification on Friday after our newsletter was sent out.

As we guessed practicing of 1.5m social distancing at all times is required. For cafes with a small floor space this poses a challenge and many cafes and small restaurants will be weighing up the costs it takes to re-open for sit down under the strict guidelines. We assume that people living in the same household will be allowed to share a table. This will obviously be difficult to manage so please be responsible consumers. 

With regards to masks. Service providers will be able to refuse entry to patrons who are not wearing masks. Please try to be considerate to others when you have any feelings of inconvenience or have read an article that says masks don't work. The point is to try do everything we can to protect each other and it is seriously not that hard to wear a mask when you're placing an order for your coffee. So just do it.

The consumption of alcohol on site at restaurants or cafes with liquor licenses will not be allowed, but it can be purchased and taken home. This is an intriguing decision but is in place to encourage safe behaviour and we know that after a few toots, our inhibitions are definitely lessened so it does make sense.

For more in depth info from a restaurant side as we wait for the official gazetted instructions, this guide from Eat Out is pretty comprehensive.

Some established and some new stars of the cafe scene have not made it through this gruelling 3 month period of almost no trade and we wish them well on their future journeys and re-imagined coffee businesses.

Urban Espress run by the McLagan's in Port Elizabeth has closed their cafe and will be focusing on their roasting business Cabal Coffee, so be sure to keep supporting them.

Dear Maria, Coffee Magazine Award Best New Cafe Winner in 2018 has sadly shut it's doors for good. What a pity to see this cafe go.

Clay Pigeon Trading has had to close their physical store but they continue to do bespoke coffee experiences.

Coocoocachoo has halted operations. We first met Karel Viviers when he competed in our Home Barista Jam at Coffee & Chocolate Expo in 2013 and we hope that this has not dampened his love of coffee or this industry.


25 June 2020

Well, no one really knows, even 9 days after it was announced by President Ramaphosa. What is clear, is that the hospitality industry is champing a the bit to get things started, in fact depending on where you live in the country you may have seen sit down start to happen regardless of the fact that no directives are yet in place.

The desperation to re-open is of course understandable after the crippling lockdown closure, but we urge people to still remain vigilant in the preventative measures available to us. The COVID wards around the country are starting to fill up and while it is certain COVID will be around for a while and we need to learn to live through it, we still don't have to be reckless or foolish or unkind, when the rules are eventually released.

Many of your favourite coffee shops survive by serving delicious meals to pair with your coffee.

Wendy Alberts, chairperson of RASA, has apparently said they were calling on restaurants to be returned to 70% capacity, with liquor sales seven days a week until 21:00. This seems to us a bit like wishful thinking, but who knows?

According to models in other countries, what are things we can expect?

Well social distancing is the big one. Spaces between tables will be increased to at least 1,5m. In most restaurants and coffee shops, space is at a premium already so this will severely reduce the turnover capabilities. 

Everyone could be temperature tested before entering. Although if you are feeling at all unwell, please try practice consideration and keep yourself at home.

The restaurant staff will all wear masks constantly. Please respect this even if you do not *agree* with it. It is for their protection, they will be exposed to many people throughout the course of a shift so they need to take measures to stay safe. Rules about the customer wearing masks may vary, certainly you should wear them on entry until you are at your own table.

It will not immediately be the coffee shop and restaurant experience we loved pre-COVID, but please above all else, remember to be kind as a consumer. 

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