Chocolate Eggs and Espresso?! We're in!

Wednesday, 31 March, 2021

This tasty little morsel might give you a new perspective on espresso as the chocolate melts gently against rich espresso! Delicious!

But where can we find them you ask?! Don't worry you don't need to hunt too hard!


Motherland Coffee Company - Link to find them in JHB & Cape Town

These caffeine slingers are ready to make your long weekend super sweet with your favourite white eggs and their freshly roasted beans. 


Flamme Rouge Cycle Cafe - Nottingham Road, KZN

What is a long weekend for if not meandering and indulging and this gorgeous spot in the KZN Midlands provides both, pouring yummy espresso from Bluebird Coffee Roastery.


Do it yourself!

If the white candy-coated eggs aren't sold out everywhere yet, steal a couple from the Easter Egg hunt you have planned for the kids, grab your coffee weapon of choice and get busy!

Fire up your Breville Barista Express with your favourite local beans and go get some easter eggs!!!

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New Kid on the Block: Urban Brew Coffee Bar

Wednesday, 31 March, 2021

We catch up with Stevo Kühn on the opening of his world class new coffee bar in Bloemfontein. There's even a coffee freezer!

Congratulations on your new coffee bar inside Jack&Jill Food Co! It is spectacular! Tell us about the inspiration behind it?

Thank you. Traveling around the country running barista courses are really my passion, as you know, but I have felt the need to bring the education back to the consumer too. The bar really is built on this premise. Educating the consumer with some really exceptional specialty coffee from roasteries around the country (hopefully some international ones too).

There’s a lot of great equipment on that bar, tell us about all the gadgets?

Yeah, we’re really fortunate to have some solid tools that make life and workflow a dream. 

We’re making use of the Nuova Simonelli Mythos 1 for our blend (roasted by the legends, Bluebird Coffee Roastery). We also serve single origin specialty that we rotate often. Currently we are serving Father Coffee on bar through the EK43 and some filter goodness with a Comandante C40.

At the moment we’re using the Nuova Simonelli Appia II to extract goodness from these amazing coffees.

For consistency and workflow we use the PUQ press with 58.3mm base. Our view is that technology doesn’t take away from our responsibility as baristas, but actually help us with efficiency and free us up to serve customers with excellence. We’re also using multiple scales on bar...dosing, yields, filters etc, all to keep that consistency while providing an amazing customer experience!

What coffee are you serving on bar this weekend?

We have the Friendly Blend from Bluebird Coffee Roastery in the Mythos, Alko Kerinci Natural from Father Coffee on EK and then on our frozen coffees menu we have the likes of Norma Iris, Kamwangi AB, Diego’s Hyperprocessed Geisha & Pink Bourbon...to name a few.

Were there any hiccups along the way? All good spaces need good origin stories ;)

Yeah, definitely!

Mid way we realised that our water filtration needs a serious revamp...we had to upgrade and ended up switching to a Reverse Osmosis system thanks to the legends at Ultimate Water. Our freezer with “experience side bar” also gave us headaches. Getting a front facing freezer turned out to be more challenging than anticipated, but all turned out well.

The benefit of freezing already roasted coffee means that you retain the freshness and lower coffee wastage. You can read more about that, here.

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Off the Beaten Track: Green Bean Coffee Roastery, Rietfontein

Thursday, 25 March, 2021

We met the wonderful women behind Green Bean Coffee Roastery what seems like eons ago at the Coffee&Chocolate Expo 2013. Iris McCallum and Lee Anderson started the business in 2007 and it has been going strong ever since! But this past weekend was the first opportunity I had to actually visit their space!

I found myself in this particular neck of the woods, because I was being a tourist in Joburg with my friend who has just moved up there. We went to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, a beautiful piece of biodiversity in Muldersdrift. It plays host to a famous family of Verreaux's Eagles who have called the Witpoortjie Falls home for the last 60-70 years! After an enlightening stroll around the gardens we were hungry and decaffeinated.

We had heard of Casalinga Organic Farm and my ears perked up, because my only reference to that place was Green Bean Coffee! So we decided to give it a try. A short drive later and we arrived at the truly lovely Casalinga plot.

It's an idyllic location below beautiful big trees, with tables set up in the garden for you to eat and drink and be merry. There were kids and dogs frolicking all over.

The Green Bean team have recently expanded beyond their roasting space and into a new retail and cafe space as well. They have a wide range of blends and single origins on offer and the team will whip you up a satisfying coffee, we had a single origin Uganda Sipi Falls that was in the hopper that day. You can get your bag of beans freshly ground on your way should you need to.

So happy that we finally got the opportunity to visit this spot! It may be a bit out of the way, but it is well worth a day trip to this peaceful farm outside the bustle of Joburg.

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Red Truck Restoration Project

Thursday, 25 March, 2021

Recently, my godson got me hooked on a car restoration show on Netflix and honestly, I would never have picked it, but gosh, those cars are beautiful and I got completely sucked in to the rag tag group of mechanics making their vintage car dreams come true! And not a week later Dewet Beukes, of Red Truck Coffee Roastery, approached us with a mission to restore their iconic 1946 Chevy Pickup. Ah the fates! We chatted to Dewet about the project and about how you can get involved! We are hoping they will be able to drive it to our next Creative Coffee Week!

"Red Truck Coffee Roastery's name actually came from the iconic 1946 Chevy Pickup truck that has been part of Red Truck Coffee Roastery since the beginning. 

We decided that after 5 years that it is time to make a plan to get this truck in working condition and start to become a regular sight in the streets of Gauteng. 

We have started a donation program where anybody can Donate to this project, and to the companies or people who donate more than R1000, we will add their logo or signature into the truck as a remembrance of everyone who has participated in this project. The project has started an instagram page and an Facebook page where progress reports will be posted regularly to see how the project is going.

This is a community project to save a beautiful vintage truck and the response has blown our minds.

Account Name: Red Truck Coffee

FNB

Acc Number: 62809435119

Branch code: 250655

Reference: Truck Donation

In the first 24 hours, the project already received R3000! Join the project and get you name/company logo on the truck."

What the truck looks like now:

What the finished product will look like:

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Investing in African Coffee

Friday, 26 March, 2021

Words By Anastasia Prikhodko

Anastasia Prikhodko investigates why you should make your next cup of coffee using beans from one of the many origin countries in Africa. Rich, complex and rewarding like the land they were grown on, every cup holds a story and international interest in this incredible crop is steadily on the rise.

Consumption of African coffees is changing. The rise in consumer income has helped to increase coffee drinking habits while the demand for speciality and origin-specific coffees is surging. These industry changes present an opportunity for the African coffee market to further expand and export its coffee production.

“Everyone at ONA Coffee has always loved African coffee,” says Sasa Sestic, Barista and Founder of Australian-based coffee institution. “Most of us had our first ‘Wow’ coffee experience with an African coffee.” For Sestic it was a natural processed heirloom coffee from Beloya, Ethiopia. The narrative of coffee coming from Africa is known across the world. Still, it is only in recent years that it started to gain the recognition it deserves. “There’s a certain reverence of coffee from Africa,” he says.  

But ONA isn’t just about coffee. “We want to ensure that we are engaging with the right people and the right communities,” says Sestic. “We are adding value to their lives and business by engaging and seeing what their needs are. It’s always a collaboration and a conversation.”

ONA, which started in Australia’s capital city, works closely with regions including Guji, Kochere and Haru Suke in Ethiopia. Through its green bean partner Project Origin, the company is also doing experiments and improving infrastructure in Kenya.

“We’ve helped to build the first well and purchase and construct drying beds through the proceeds generated from the sale of my book,” says Sestic. “We have also funded the building of a bridge in Ethiopia.” 

In the past few years, demand to understand and learn African coffee has risen, confirms Sestic. “There are a lot of great practices that African producers and experts have, such as screen grading. I have noticed there are more direct relationships happening, and they are having a positive effect on both ends of the coffee supply chain.”

To continue serving high-quality African coffees in the future, investments and relationships in Africa need to ensure that everyone is benefiting. Or that nothing is being done at the expense of anyone else. 

“Our philosophy is that everyone has to win, or come out happier and better off than when you started,” he says. “There’s no point entering a relationship and trying to build infrastructure, then walking away within one to two years. It needs to be a long-term and meaningful relationship - otherwise, you risk taking advantage of people.”

The former barista champion has also picked up on a few trends as investment and collaboration with African countries grows. “The processing experiments we have done with partners in Ethiopia are influencing the way we approach processing and fermentation with other coffees across the globe,” he says. 

“When we worked with Agnieszka Rojewska in 2018, the coffee we sourced and roasted for her was an experimental lot from Guji, Ethiopia,” he says. “It was the first time an African coffee has been used to win the World Barista Championships. Straight afterwards the demand from our customers for more of this coffee and others like it was insane.”

All of the coffee that ONA Coffee uses is sourced through Project Origin. Originally founded as a division of ONA Coffee, it has since become an independent business that works in 12 coffee-producing countries around the world, three of which are in Africa. 

“Ethiopia is the second biggest country we work with. It is most certainly the favourite of many customers of ONA Coffee,” he says.  

But Africa’s coffee industry growth isn’t only about exporting. Locals are also interested in coffee. And the more that locals buy African coffee, the more the region is safe from changes in the global market.

“Africa is where my heart is,” says Jonathan Robinson. Robinson is the founder of South Africa’s first roaster of certified fair trade coffee. “I love this continent. I wanted to make sure that African coffee got the exposure it deserves in South Africa.” 

East Africa’s coffee industry expects to go through 7.5% market growth from 2019 to 2024. Being the birthplace of Arabica coffee and the largest coffee producer in Africa, Ethiopia has a significant hold on the sector. The country supplied 6,943 60-kg bags of Arabica coffee production in 2016-2017

Passion influenced Robinson to start Bean There Coffee Company in 2005 in his garage. “We were the first to bring in coffee from the DRC,” he says. “We were [also] the first to bring in coffee from Rwanda.” His vision proved successful as the company grew to three sites: two roasteries in Johannesburg and a cafe in Cape Town. “When I started, most of the coffee in South Africa was either South American or Italian blends,” he says. 

Robinson took it upon himself to introduce South Africans to the joy of African coffee. “We live on a continent which is the birthplace of coffee,” he says. “We have the finest coffee on the planet. But we were bringing in coffee from South America, as well as imported coffees from Italy.”

In 2005, African coffee was hard to come by. The widespread of it is often attributed to changing coffee trends. And according to Robinson, it’s also because consumers realised that “African coffee is the finest on the planet.” This rise in consumption of African coffee influenced a surge in the price of African coffee, he says. 

Keeping close relationships with farmers is a primary focus for Bean There. The company works to build long-term partnerships with farmers through “thick and thin.” Robinson adds that the prices to the farmer have not come down when the coffee price comes down. 

“Funding, work with agronomists, and trying to get farmers to increase their yields is how we’re helping grow communities,” he says.

Investing in African coffee also poses several challenges. One of those is the government. Robinson explains that changes have had to be made in Tanzania because of government intervention. Dealing with cooperatives is another obstacle because of varying levels of financial literacy.

He says there have been incidents where cooperative leaders overpaid for the coffee cherry to the co-ops. “They put their own cooperatives under financial pressure,” says Robinson. Adding, “In any business, you can encounter dishonesty and some fraud.”

Another challenge is price. African coffee is expensive. So when things are tough customers start buying cheaper. “You can buy a Brazil coffee for a third of the price of a good Ethiopian,” he says. 

Despite investment in African coffee on a healthy trajectory, Robinson says there is still a long way to go. “As roasters worldwide, we need to be asking the hard questions. We need to ask importers, ‘What are farmers earning?’ He also believes roasters need to ask: ‘What do the farmers get paid out of the FOB price?’ 

“Sometimes the answer would frighten you,” he says. 

Sander Reuderink is the Commercial Director at Trabocca, a Dutch green coffee importer. The company is an Ethiopia specialist. Its founder Menno Simons in 2000 invited the first organic certifiers to the region. “Most coffee in Ethiopia is grown organic by default. But until we certified the coffee the producers never received the premiums for its organic status,” says Reuderink. 

“The climate [in Ethiopia] is perfect for producing the highest quality coffee – if the infrastructure is there,” he says. 

To build this infrastructure, Trabocca invested in seven eco-pulpers. These were installed at coffee farms with the most potential. The machines are also 10% of the water-footprint of conventional disk pulpers. 

“We invested in quality control, fermentation trials and waste-water treatments. Anything that makes coffee better and improves our environmental footprint,” explains Reuderink.

Coffee generates around 60% of foreign income in the region in Ethiopia. Approximately 15 million Ethiopians rely on coffee production for their livelihood. Trabocca, recognising the social impact of coffee, is at the forefront of pushing for an increase in pay. This year, the company says it finally saw sustainability experts agreeing on the need for a living income for farmers. “If we pay farmers the right price and help them with productivity improvements, then we can end poverty from the coffee sector,” says Reuderink. 

For the upcoming Ethiopian harvest, Trabocca is launching a trial, where the farmer’s income will not be a result of price and cost of production, but the starting point. “We’re collecting payment details all the way up to the small scale farmer,” he says. “This is to prove that our producers have generated a living income from their coffee sales.” 

 In support of better pay, the company has a new initiative, which has “broken open the Kenyan coffee market” and “almost doubled farmer’s incomes.” The enterprise is between the people of Ndaroini Coffee Ltd in Kenya and Trabocca. The two communities have come together to set up a new supply chain and reward the smallholders. 

According to the Trabocca website, instead of paying 55 Kenyan shillings per kilo cherries (which is the industry standard), it paid Ksh 100 per kg cherries. And an extra Ksh 21 to the factory for quality improvements. 

Coffee is and will continue to be one of the major global exports. It is the primary source of income for Burundi, Rwanda and Ethiopia. And for years, coffee has been a significant earner of foreign exchange and pivotal to the growth of the economy for African countries. 

Thus, investing in African coffee, strengthening the quality, yields, and increasing appreciation of African coffee worldwide will only continue to add value to the region.  

“The future looks bright for African coffees,” says Sasa Sestic. “We just need to make sure we’re taking care of everyone along the way and creating a sustainable future.” 

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


One Love: Finding common ground through coffee culture

Thursday, 18 March, 2021

Words by John McCarthy

Find an ocean adventure with this wonderful waterman here.


This lockdown did strange things to people. As an addicted surfer I lasted about two weeks before paddling out alone on a full moon just to get my fix. I returned to shore shortly before sunrise and felt reborn. Normally I have my coffee before I go surfing, but in that case my post surf coffee was, in a word… biblical. 

I’m a shameless coffee snob and have been for years. My preferred way to make coffee is with a moka pot. The beans usually come from Ethiopia and are ground finely to release the flavour as the steam pushes through. I only ever drink my coffee black, no sugar, no milk, sometimes half a teaspoon of coconut oil. I drink three coffees every day of my life. One shortly after waking. The second after breakfast and the third after lunch. 

Thank god coffee sales weren’t locked down along with cigarettes and booze or I’d have been in real trouble. As it was I was having a tedious time feeding my surfing addiction while dodging law enforcement. The ‘stolen’ sessions at out of the way back beaches were exhausting. Clearly some high ranking official on the upper south coast had decided that surfing was a serious NO NO. One morning we had four vehicles on the beach with Metro Police, SAPS, Ezemvelo and the Toti lifeguards as surfers scattered into the bushes around Greenpoint. I’m approaching 50, and there I was running away from the cops like I was sixteen! We all have our vices, I guess. 

Heavy police presence at a quiet South Coast spot. 

After some soul searching and making my peace with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to surf my favoured home pointbreak for a while, I decided to venture a little further south into the tribal trust areas around Mtwalume and Mfasazane. This was like falling through a trapdoor into the parallel universe. The lockdown hadn’t affected these self-sufficient towns with no contact to the spreading virus and best of all, no one was even trying to enforce it. You could wander around, stroll into a spaza shop buy two Styvie Red Loose, wander a little further down the road to the shebeen and buy an ice cold quart of Carling Black Label and then watch a full game of soccer on the field in front of the surf spot, which had eager fishermen all over the rocks. 

"Sibhekolwandle" - We watch the sea.

As lockdown ground on, I quickly fell into a routine and my trips to the parallel universe became a very important part of my day. As fate would have it, the surf cooked and I drank deeply from the big blue cup. I started to engage with the local fishermen and some of the soccer players. With nowhere to go in a hurry with my work on hold like millions of others, I lingered and had conversations about the fishing or which soccer team would win tomorrow’s game. I found myself enjoying more and more my time with both the people and the place. I parked my car at one of the local’s houses. Gogo Ncube is the wife of my late friend Roy. I know the family historically as I’ve been parking there for years, but with this unexpected time on my hands I really got to know them well. I had conversations with Gogo, and her daughter, Yvonne and Yvonne’s two boys Wandile and Thuba. Wandile is the same age as my daughter, Jessica and Thuba is the same age as my son, Guy. We spoke about school and careers. Wandile is a great baker, but he wants to study engineering and Thuba is an amazing composer who is known in music circles as ‘Slaggy T’. My kids love his music. 

One day the surf was really good. I’m talking one of the best days we’ll have all year. I surfed from first light until after midday.

One of those better days! The author slots into a good one. 

I left the water exhausted. I was chaffed but stoked. I was also starving. I had got into the habit of enjoying a post surf sandwich and coffee on the viewing deck, while soaking in the glorious KZN winter sun. On this day in my rush to get to the waves, I’d forgotten my carefully prepared flask and lunch box at home. Co-incidentally Yvonne wandered past and saw me without my customary refreshments. 

“Would you like a coffee, John?” She asked. 

“Gosh Yvonne, thank you, that would be lekker!” I replied. 

A short while later Yvonne reappeared with a tray which she gently laid on the tailgate of my bakkie. On it was a beautifully prepared wrap along with a jar of Jacobs Kronung instant coffee. As previously mentioned, I’m a bit of a coffee snob. I haven’t tasted instant coffee in fifteen years at least. I don’t even consider instant coffee to be coffee, rather just a bitter tasting brown drink.  I opted for the wrap first. It was delicious. Chicken, salad, cheese and mayo. My body cried out for the nourishment after so much exertion.  I tried not to inhale it all at once while pondering my coffee options. 

Post surf munchies - a dilemma.

To not drink the coffee I’d been offered would be disrespectful. Yvonne and her family had been so hospitable to me over this period especially, I just couldn’t do that to them. I carefully placed two teaspoons of coffee into the cup and filled it with hot water. I stirred it, then sniffed it. Before I even tasted it, I put it back down and added two teaspoons of sugar and a wallop of milk for good measure. Then I strolled over to the viewing deck. 

Far out in the ocean the first Humpback whales of the season were jumping creating blazing smears of white on the blue ocean. Perfect waves ran down the point unridden as the warm winter sun shone on my bare back. I felt a deep sense of contentment from my time in the surf. My belly was full with the thoughtfully prepared meal and I was humbled at the generosity of Yvonne’s family. Through my mind ran the lyrics of Bob Marley and the Wailers song, ‘One Love.’

One love, one heart
Let's get together and feel all right

As it was in the beginning
So shall it be in the end
Let's get together and feel all right…

As I took my first sip of the coffee and the creamy sweetness flowed around my mouth I savoured the taste. As long as I live, I’ll now associate the taste of instant coffee, two sugars and milk as the taste of freedom. 

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


Pop.Law: Law for Everyone (including baristas and entrepreneurs)

Thursday, 18 March, 2021

We are always so excited to find people within our network that are doing incredible things. Sinal Govender, for example, was a year below me (Mel Winter) at Maris Stella, we were in the same school plays and we loved a bit of fun,  and when I saw her new venture through social media, I knew that it had the capacity to help many people in the coffee industry. Introducing pop.law!


What was the inspiration behind the start of pop.law?

I ran on the corporate big law hamster wheel for 8.5 years and knew for most of that time that I didn’t want to be running that race forever. Towards the end of my corporate life, I was able to work with many start-ups and creatives on a pro bono basis and this is what really started to excite me. Apart from being quite frustrated by living life one billable hour to the next, I also wanted to use my skills as a lawyer to help businesses that were just starting out and perhaps not able to afford the legal services they needed. I also became aware of how tough the legal system can be to navigate without a formal education in the law, notwithstanding that the law affects everyone. This all culminated in leaving my job and starting my own legal consultancy in 2017. After a couple of very exciting but lonely years on my own, I came across an Instagram account that was speaking about the legal aspects of death in a very honest, brazen, and somehow entertaining way and found Claire on the other side of that.

I sent a message to Claire and we met for a half priced breakfast the next morning a few hours before I flew back to Joburg (Claire is in Cape Town).  We chatted for hours over multiple cups of coffee and realised quite quickly that we were both trying to solve the same problem - making the law more accessible to everyday South Africans. We decided to combine Claire’s design skills with my legal knowledge and started pop.law together on the first day of lockdown. 

In the age of the social network, you guys actually only met recently on the Gram, how amazing! What makes your team operate successfully if you started the business before you even really knew each other?

We love our story, and take some creative liberties when we tell it, but in reality we had a lot of common ground before we met. Claire and I have a very close mutual friend who had shared Claire’s Instagram post on her stories, which is how I came across her page, so there was at least some mitigation of stranger danger. 

After that first breakfast together, it became quite clear that our unique combination of skills could really make the law easier for people to navigate. We worked together as client and lawyer for a few weeks (I think this was Claire’s very clever way to interview her future business partner) and then took a leap of faith to go into business together. I guess in some ways not really knowing each other when we started was part of why we worked so well. We were both motivated to solve a big problem and focussed on that exclusively. There was no space for egos and we were able to communicate well and make decisions fast. Being in different cities also meant that we had to try extra hard to motivate each other. Also - starting a business long-distance with sketchy Internet really reveals one’s true personality so we got to see the best and worst versions of each other very quickly.

What have you learnt through the process of building pop.law? (From the perspective of how lay people view the law and also how easy/hard it is to build something from the ground up)

The start of lockdown was a difficult time for everyone (and still is today). I particularly had quite a struggle when we first started - both because I realised even more acutely what a privilege it is to have a legal background and also because we were starting to grow a wonderful business while many of our clients, friends and family were closing theirs.  When we first started, we had thousands of people download our Covered-19 pack of free legal documents to help people navigate the hard parts that come with illness and death. This reinforced the understanding that everyone was anxious about this virus. The feedback we received was overwhelming from the point of view that so many people didn’t understand just how important having a will in place was until we shared our guides with them. We then started putting out more free documents and articles and every time one of these gets downloaded, or we speak to a new client, we are reminded just how important it is to have access to friendly, approachable legal help.

Claire and I both had experience in starting businesses before pop.law so many of the start-up lessons were already learnt by the time we got together. One of the lessons that came up again though was that it’s a really hard game to play no matter how much experience you have before. 

With only two people in our business, we had to rely on each other, back ourselves, and trust that work done with the right intention would inevitably be successful. We have always been open to learning from others in the start-up space and have met a wonderful group of other entrepreneurs who have generously shared their golden nuggets of advice with us. 

We are also constantly pivoting our business based on the feedback we get and looking for new ways to close the access to justice gap.  This is partly why we want to try to do bigger things to help more people and why we are now in the middle of building tools that combine legal, design and technology to make the law even easier to navigate. Watch this space!

In the coffee industry, there are a lot of start ups and entrepreneurs, as well as influencers. I was once one of those people starting a cafe and I wish I had had access to some reasonably priced legal advice at that point, there are a lot of simple but intimidating steps we could have taken to make our business more secure at the get go. Tell us about what you can offer small business owners or passionate people with a dream?

We love helping other small businesses! Legal help shouldn’t feel out of reach or unaffordable so we have structured the help we can offer in a few options. In addition to our free guides and legal documents, we offer a Whatsapp voice note micro consultation, a 30 minute virtual chat, and document review and drafting.  Probably one of our most common requests from small businesses is to help them with contracts with their suppliers and clients. Many businesses took a massive hit this past year, and a lot of this had to do with not having a clear understanding of who was responsible for what. We also help start-ups with protecting their brands and making sure they are acting as responsible employers and employees.

With the CCMA being largely out of commission/backlogged with COVID related dismissals, is labour law advice for baristas something you can offer? Which method would be best for baristas to get in touch with you?

Definitely! We are all about empowering people to understand their jobs and what is legally fair and acceptable.  The easiest way to get some help is to book a chat with us through our website at www.poplaw.co.za.

So, do you guys even drink coffee?! Tell us everything. Your favourites. Your pet peeves. Your level of addiction.

In the shortest modern love story, the answer is simply “yes”. Claire is more a quality over quantity coffee drinker, opting for a very classy black filter coffee or well poured flat white (must be the Cape Town influence). I am partial to any well made cuppa.  At home, it’s a filter coffee for two (I drink both in back to back succession), and in the outside world it’s a short cappuccino or flat white.  While in Cape Town I do like to sometimes say they’re the same thing just to see how many concerned people turn around. Neither of us put sugar in our coffees, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s a pet peeve or that I judge those who do (after all we’re not Truth). I can however say without reservation that some of the best I have ever had is pour over coffee in Vietnam where it’s served standard with condensed milk. It’s honestly what dreams are made of.

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


Do you want to do the SCA Roasters course? Online learning info is here!

Wednesday, 17 March, 2021

The SCA Roasting (Foundation and Intermediate Combo) Course has become a fast favourite and it has been decided that this is the best way to handle the theory for the course, at the same time respecting social distancing and minimising travel and accommodation expenditure for the students.

Donovan McLagan from Cabal Coffee Roasters in Port Elizabeth is an AST accredited with the SCA and has a huge passion and interest in roasting coffee.

This course is on offer to anyone that should be interested. It is best to have a roaster on which to practice before embarking on this course.

To find out more you can visit the SCA website.

Donovan will host future theory training via Microsoft Teams (a web based or downloadable application). If there is load shedding in your area or you cannot connect to the live theory session/s, Donovan will provide a recording, you are then welcomed to send your questions if they have not been addressed during the recording.

The theory is covered over four days followed by one mandatory practical day practical to be hosted at Sevenoaks Trading in Johannesburg, Cabal Coffee Roasters in Port Elizabeth or at an affiliate in Kynsna and is limited to 4 students at a time.

Next SCA Online Theory Training

16h00 to 18h00 Monday, 12th April 2021

16h00 to 18h00 Wednesday, 14th April 2021

16h00 to 18h00 Monday, 19th April 2021

16h00 to 18h00 Wednesday, 21st April 2021

Practical dates will be discussed and agreed to during the training.

The cost is R8,500.00 (incl VAT) and entails an online exam within 21 days of registering online and upon passing your receive the international certification, which is a great plus for contract roasters.

To register, contact Paulien on paulien@sevenoakstrading.co.za

Students can take advantage of learning through three stages of knowledge and skills in each module.

Learn about the roasting process, including roast cycle, roast levels, identifying defects, the physical changes that beans undergo during the roasting process, as well as workspace management and lean production.

The Foundation level provides a first taste of a specific coffee discipline and is a great way to get insight into a module to help you decide if you want to go on to learn more. The Foundation level requires no previous experience. 

The Intermediate level is suitable if you are already part of the industry, working in the field covered by the module, and have a firm knowledge of the basic skills and access to a roaster. Experience working in the field is recommended for this level.

In order to undertake the Professional Level (on a separate occasions) there needs to be a minimum timeframe of 3 months between completing intermediate before undertaking Professional to ensure that enough time has passed to gain the proficiency needed in the areas you’ve been trained in.

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!