Special Edition DGC Box: A Shot in the Dark Top 6!

Friday, 17 July, 2020

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Cafe Focus: Home of the Bean

Tuesday, 14 July, 2020

This beautiful cafe in Maboneng is a community favourite! We caught up with them to learn a bit more about this dynamic team. Say hello to Home of The Bean!

What was it like putting together your beautiful cafe?

It was exciting. We've had designs in mind for a while but had to work around the budget so we took a little bit of this and a little of that. Our space is quite small but we made the most out of it, we've kept it minimal and homey. Our most unique pieces we had made and love are the counter and our coffee table. When we started our intention was having art rotate on our walls to have different pieces at a time giving the space a unique feel each time someone walked in. It's definitely still a work in progress and always looking to remove what no longer fits and adding something new. 

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

We have 3 Baristas: Katlego Panama, Tshepiso Matotola, and Katlego Modise. They are an amazing team, they keep the train moving. You walk in and you're guaranteed warmth and a vibe, always ready to serve and to make sure everyone gets their fix just the way they like it. With a smile. Katlego P (an interior designer at heart) is our manager at the Maboneng shop, very welcoming, loves to engage with people, and also the guy responsible for the great jams you hear at the shop. Katlego M (an amazing graphic design and accountant) who works with Kat M, welcomes you with a smile, loves his coffee, plants and mostly in his Sunday best. Tshepiso is our most humblest yet observant player always early to make sure the machine is set before any orders. He is managing the Newtown Office kiosk and doing great at it. 

What is the ethos of your business?

We love our community and the people in it and have dedicated and committed our hearts to reaching out and stretching our hands to the service of others. Helping people, inspiring people and giving them a place or sense of belonging is core aim of our business. In any way we can we want to help, even if it means doing it through or over a cup of coffee, one bean at a time. We are a Home and all our people are family

Tell us what makes your space special to you?

The people and the coffee. How it has become a connecting spot for people from all spheres. It has become a help for young creators to meet and connect. Allows us to recognize upcoming creatives, for one our walls are open for rising artists to hang some art they're selling. It's the creation of community and a helping hand.

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

To be part of one of the most loved beverages in world is crazy amazing. 

The community that exists between the owners of different cafes is inspiring, everyone going in one direction but in their own way. We found the community welcoming and willing to share information, experiences and advice. Everyone's drive makes you want to strive even more and push harder. There's always something to learn. 

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

They are important because as a business you have a minimum target per day you need to reach. Regulars make it possible for one to help meet that target and sometimes exceed it. Most importantly we get to build a relationship, again back to community which is what coffee is. We get to share deeper conversations, the highs and the lows. They are our special people of the day that keep our flame lit, we appreciate them. 

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

We have a signature treat and a fave sandwich. Our Brownies are our signature treat, soft and heart warming. Our toasted biltong-Avo sandwich is also a fave. 

How can people get coffee from you during this time? 

We are open during level 3 for deliveries and collections around Maboneng. We also allow only a few sitting customers. Observing all guidelines :all customers with masks, we have sanitizers at our entry point and clean the tables after every customer. All baristas behind the machines with their masks on and gloves available for handling orders. 

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

We have learned that there is so much to be Greatful for because one moment you have this and the next you may not. Living in the present has seemed to be all we have and helps to reduce pressure and stress. We've learned that there is a lot of good out there, seeing people come together to lend a helping hand, we have experienced this first hand. We can't thank our family (customers) enough for their continued support, it's been so overwhelming.

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

It is a tough season but let's work together through this season. Let's adhere to the guidelines, protect ourselves and others by wearing masks, washing of hands and not forgetting to be kind. We all have something we can give to those who are not coping or less fortunate, so let's lend a helping hand. Find out how you can help small businesses, whether by donating, ordering online, or even checking up on them. A little goes a long way and it will take all of us to fight this. We may never be the same but we will overcome. 

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New Kid on the Block: A secret treat in the Tokai forest

Friday, 17 July, 2020

With sitting inside cafes a little bit iffy at the moment in the current COVID way of life, we've never appreciated the safety of wide open spaces more and when we can get great coffee in the great outdoors, all the better!

At the edge of the Tokai forest, one such oasis has appeared. The beautiful Deluxe Coffeeworks trailer has found a temporary-permanent home while The Secret Forest Cafe puts down roots.

After the wild, stormy weather of the last few weeks, don't you just feel like you need to get out there?!

With freshly baked croissants every morning and incredible Deluxe coffee in the hopper, how can you go wrong? Go get active in the crisp, Winter air and explore the forest with some deliciousness in hand. PS. All furry friends are welcome, yay!

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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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