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Friday, 30 November, 2018

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Healthy Coffee: Work out while you wait for your brew!

Friday, 30 November, 2018

Healthy Summer: Work out while waiting for your coffee

That first cup of coffee in the morning is always worth the wait, but wellness expert, Lisa Raleigh, has some tips for how to make the most of your time spent waiting for your coffee to brew! If you’ve got five minutes to brew, you’ve got five minutes to move!

The Full Body Resistance Band Workout requires just one piece of equipment: a resistance band. Resistance bands are a great training tool, allowing you to add resistance to your workout, wherever you are. The non-gravitational resistance of the band also allows you to protect your joints as you train. And you can do all these exercises in the comfort of your own home while waiting for that caffeine kick – the perfect time to sneak in an upper body workout…

Lunge with Bicep Curl

Stand with your left leg in front of you and right leg behind you. Secure the band under your front foot, holding an edge in each hand. Sink down until both knees bend to 90 degrees, keeping elbows at your sides as you pull hands up to your shoulders. Pause for a moment then rise up to your starting position. Perform the number of advised reps then repeat with the opposite leg. 

Standing Fly

Stand with feet apart. Hold the ends of the band in each hand, loop it behind your back and stretch arms out to form a T-shape. Keeping a slight bend in your arms, draw hands together in front of your chest. Pause for a moment then stretch back out to your starting position.

Single-Arm Shoulder Press

Stand with one end of your band secured under your feet and the other in your hand, held at shoulder height. Push up above your head until your arm is straight, hold for a moment, then return to your starting position. Perform the number of advised reps then repeat with the opposite arm.

Oblique Side Reach

Stand with feet wide apart. Secure a band under your feet, holding an end in each hand. Lean down to the one side, pulling up the edge of the resistance band on the other side as you move. Straighten back up, then lean to the opposite side.

Two sets of 6–10 reps of these exercises should be enough to let your French Press steep. If you’re feeling energetic, download Lisa Raleigh’s Full Body Resistance Band Workout as a PDF. You can also purchase more of Lisa Raleigh’s workout programmes on her website, for around R20 per programme. They’re great to take to the gym if you’re not sure what to do, or for working out at home!

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Healthy Coffee: Tips for keeping focused through the work day!

Friday, 30 November, 2018

Healthy Summer: Fit more movement into your day

Sitting too long is bad for your health and your mental focus, we all know that, but what are you supposed to do when you have a desk job? According to health and wellness expert, Lisa Raleigh, it’s how you sit and for how long that really has an impact on your health and overall wellbeing.

Make some changes

To fit more movement into your day, here is Lisa Raleigh’s advice:

1. Set an alarm on your phone to vibrate every hour and remind you to get up and get moving – even if it’s to walk to the bathroom or make yourself coffee.

2. If you’re mostly office- or desk-bound, then utilise your smaller space to move. March on the spot, do jumping jacks, and focus on a few key stretches to alleviate pressure in your neck, back and shoulders. 

3. Deep breathing is also excellent as it boosts the brain and stimulates blood flow and oxygen throughout the body.

4. Of course, the most ideal thing would be to have a rebounder in your office and bounce for 2 minutes every hour. This would add up to 20 minutes of exercise if you’re at the office for 10 hours. Rebounding is excellent for boosting the metabolism, burning calories, and detoxing the body through accelerated lymph drainage – which happens with every bounce. It also relieves stress and encourages deep breathing. 

5. Consider your set up at work. Is it designed to support your body ergonomically? I recently invested in an innovative sit/stand desk which allows you to sit or stand whenever you need to and change positions frequently at work. It’s great because you can keep moving, support your body and get your work done! See my recent blog post, Sitting is not the new smoking

6. Finally, consider having standing or walking meetings rather than seated meetings. There’s nothing better than walking and chatting with a coffee in-hand!

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The Sexy Ugly Beautifuls

Thursday, 22 November, 2018

At the Coffee Magazine, the ocean and surfing are as much a part of our daily routine as coffee, believe it or not! So when friend and Ocean Child, John McCarthy invited me to be on the editing team for his book, The Sexy Ugly Beautifuls, I jumped at the opportunity. John has lived an unconventional and ocean-centred life and is an incredible story teller. Very proud of him for sticking to his guns and making this long time dream a reality. The official launch was last night in Durban and a wave of support turned out to celebrate this great read. Check the dates above if you'd like to meet the author and sample some rather delicious cannabis lager from Poison City.

An excellent read for any ocean lover (and there's a tiny part about coffee too!) and just in time for Christmas ;)

The film John produced with Like Giants recently won an International award and is a beautiful way to illustrate what you're get into when you read The Sexy Ugly Beautifuls.

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#12daysofcoffeechristmas: The Build Up Begins

Thursday, 22 November, 2018

We have gathered a host of sensational prizes for the Coffee Magazine's annual #12daysofcoffeechristmas! Last year we had 15 lucky prize winners, will you be one of them this year?

It all begins on the 5th December, it happens across Facebook, Instagram and you can enter directly on our website.

How does it work you ask?

Well if you haven't participated before, each day from 5th-16th December we post a new coffee product up for grabs. The mechanism to win each day is slightly different, but you only have 24 hours to get your name in the draw!

Follow us on Instagram or Facebook if you don't already to keep up with the pace :)

*Please note the list below is subject to change and the value and exactly what is available each day will be revealed on the day!

#12daysofcoffeechristmas

Day One : Sponsored by Tognana & Classic Homeware

Day Two: Sponsored by Moreflavour

Day Three: Sponsored by Handpresso South Africa

Day Four: Sponsored by Mastertons Coffee

Day Five: Sponsored by Bialetti South Africa

Day Six: Sponsored by Bru Coffee Roastery

Day Seven: Sponsored by Sea Dog Cold Brew

Day Eight: Sponsored by Equipment Cafe & Hario

Day Nine: Sponsored by Lizzard Flasks

Day Ten: Sponsored by Bean There Coffee and Stanley

Day Eleven: Sponsored by Nespresso

Day Twelve: Sponsored by @Home 

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Roaster Feature: BlueBird Roastery

Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Where did your love for coffee come from?

I actually hated coffee until I was about 23. I’m not exaggerating. The only time I made coffee was to dunk a rusk. When I was done, I tossed the coffee. Then one fateful night one of my best mates forced a Turkish coffee on me. Of all the ways to introduce someone to coffee, this dark, bitter sludgy drink would not be my first choice. But I loved it! The next step was a Breville Café Roma from a friend, then an AeroPress and Porlex Mini for Christmas and into the rabbit hole I went.

What is BlueBird Coffee Roastery’s origin story’? How did you come up with the name?

BlueBird is a full on passion project turned business… After tasting some delicious coffee roasted by a friend at his home, I had to try roasting for myself! What I have learned is that coffee is part nature, part science, part art. And yet it’s all about people. The name BlueBird, for me, represents happiness, fun and approachability. As a consumer, I found the world of specialty coffee to be very intimidating. I so badly want BlueBird to be inclusive and inviting. Whether you only drink 88 plus coffees through your R100k setup or you just learned that ground filter coffee is not the same as instant, I hope you’ll feel comfortable interacting with us!

What is your vision for the company?

We have made the decision to purchase, roast and sell specialty coffee only. We have about 40kgs of commodity left and then its done. No more. Big, scary, challenging decision but I feel that it’s the right thing to do. There are two simple reasons for this choice. Firstly, specialty coffee is flipping delicious and our customers deserve delicious! Secondly, with commodity coffee prices as low as they were in the 1980’s, it’s logical that not enough money is making it back to the people farming and producing our coffee. We are either fuelling the problem or funding the solution. 

How do you source your coffee beans?

There are a handful of passionate green coffee buyers who focus on specialty coffees in South Africa. I cup samples of everything I buy. The number one criteria is taste… delicious only. We are a growing business but we look forward to buying whole micro lots from the same farmers year after year. These things keep me up at night!

What has been the highlight of your business journey, or your favourite moments?

There have been a few already. Watching our customers growing and learning in coffee is awesome. Seeing someone who only drinks coffee with milk and sugar smile after his or her first sip of one of our coffees served black. Sweet and delicious.

Meeting awesome roasters and café owners in Istanbul, Barcelona and Rome on a recent holiday was eye opening and hugely educational.

But honestly, I got a simple email from someone I respect the most in SA coffee. He liked my Kenyan PB. I was so chuffed. It’s the small things…

What do you like best about your line of work? 

I guess it’s that moment when you cup a new coffee for the first time and it feels like gentle sunshine on your face, angels singing from above and all is right with the world. If you haven’t had that moment, you’re drinking the wrong coffee.

What is your coffee of choice these days?

Generally I’m a sucker for a good funky natural. And peaberries. But my favorite coffee at the moment is neither. It is a fully washed coffee from Rwanda. I love it because it is delicious, but more so because of the way it was produced and bought. Knowing that the wash station is empowering the woman in the community and that a serious premium was paid makes the marmalade sweetness even sweeter!

As far as brew methods go, I love espresso but I spend most of my time geeking out over V60 or AeroPress.

What does your average day look like?

Wake up next to the woman of my dreams, head out for a surf, do some work and drink some coffee. Lex and I run a couple of exciting businesses together, we have a baby on the way and we enjoy our sport. So life is busy in all the best ways!

What are you most looking forward to over the next few months and years?

I am fired up for our new 10kg roaster to arrive in the next few days. I am thrilled at the prospect of meeting as many like minded coffee friends as possible and growing a large community of home baristas. I’m excited to partner with café owners who care about the quality of their coffee and introducing as many people to specialty coffee as possible.

How do you see the coffee scene growing/changing in South Africa?

I’m not sure that I am qualified to answer this question. I just hope that we are moving towards quality and transparency. All I know is that to see any real change, we need to focus on the elements within our control. What I can do is buy great coffee. I can build my business in such a way that these great coffees remain affordable.  I can continue to obsess over quality. I can do my best to connect with our customers and create an inclusive community of people who get it. I love people who get it. French press and blade grinder or GS3 and EK43… at the end of the day its about passion and happiness. I love coffee!

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Coffee Advent Calendar, yum!

Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Count down to Christmas with coffee

This is the countdown to Christmas that every coffee fanatic needs in their life! Yawn Coffee Co has created a Coffee Advent Calendar – 24 sachets of specialty coffees for every day of December until Christmas Eve. Who needs a tiny piece of chocolate when you could start each day with a different craft coffee? Each sachet contains just enough ground or whole bean coffee for one magical cup (around 9 grams), suitable for French press, filter, Chemex, percolator, and even cold brew.

Yawn Coffee Co have lovingly crafted the coffee selections and deliver them in a beautifully designed box. The 24 sachets feature blends from different countries, all roasted in different ways. They wanted an exciting, unexpected, and delicious selection, and it certainly sounds like they’ve achieved it…

The ultimate coffee selection

Yawn has specially selected responsibly sourced beans from India, Costa Rica, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Sumatra, Columbia, Ethiopia, Java, Mexico and Brazil. Each coffee comes individually numbered with its own unique design, and features blends and roasts like Indian Tiger, Bourbon Daterra, Kenya Blue, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Brazilian Santos, Mexican Maraopgye, Indian Monsooned Malabar, Costa Rica Tarrazu, Kenya AA, Papua New Guinea Sigri, Indian Mysore, Sumatra Lintong, Old Java Java and Sweet Yellow Daterra.

Yawn Coffee Co works with local experts to roast the beans, and each sachet has its own valve to let out the CO2 gas produced after roasting, and is shipped as soon as possible to maintain the freshness of the coffee.

24 days of amazing coffee

The Coffee Advent Calendar actually launched as a Kickstarter campaign by Tea Revv, a UK-based tea company, in September 2018. The original goal was £4,000 – but they over-achieved to the total of £22,425 when the campaign closed at the end of October! Coffee enthusiasts leaped at the chance to get their daily Christmas countdown fix.

Now sold on Etsy, the Advent Calendar retails for US $29.07, and even ships to South Africa (for US $11.89). You’d be looking at about R570 in total, depending on the exchange rate and whether customs get involved. But that sounds pretty reasonable for a daily cup of amazing coffee. It’s definitely the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life – if not a generous gift from you to yourself. With a cup of specialty coffee every day, this will definitely be a happy holiday!

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Firelighters made from Used Coffee?

Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Say hello to FireFly Biofuel – the new kid on the environmentally friendly block, and the perfect Christmas gift for braai masters with an eco-friendly agenda! You might have spotted them as the official sponsors of DStv’s Laat die Potte Prut (season 8), Kom ons Kamp (season 2), Kom ons Braai (season 12), and Kom ons Braai Familie & Vriende (season 6). We chatted to Mariska van der Heide of FireFly Biofuel to find out more…

How did Firefly Biofuel come to be? 

“We’d love to say over a cup of coffee but alas...over a couple of drinks at a friend’s house. Friends of ours have a furniture company and they were complaining about having to pay someone to remove their off-cut wood pieces and sawdust. 

My husband, Kai, volunteered to design a press for them in order to utilise the sawdust and make wood logs to use in their fireplace for the house. They said that they didn’t have time and asked Kai if he wanted to play with it. Since this was a labour of love, we set the standards ridiculously high – toxin-free, petroleum-free, smoke-free, odourless… From there, Kai started experimenting with different molds and ingredients. 

Over the space of 18 months, and hundreds of failed formulae and designs, we felt that we had achieved our targets and started giving out the FireSparks to our family and friends. It was then that our friends and family insisted that we do something with this product and that was when FireFly was conceived!”

What was your background before FireFly? 

“We both come from the oilfield. Kai has over 20 years’ experience as a Liner Hanger Engineer and Operational Manager, and I have more than 10 working with Logistics and as a Supply Chain Supervisor.”

Where did the idea for firelighters made from coffee waste come from? 

“During the research phase, it was a natural evolution. We tried to find a resource that could replace petroleum as an accelerant and came across multiple articles relating to uses of waste coffee. The reason why coffee is so good for composting and worm farms is the high nitrogen content and calorie count (when decomposing and burnt), and from there the experiments began. 

Coffee is an amazing resource that stretches from the morning cup of Java that kickstarts your day, through to fertilizsing the land where your fruits and vegetables are grown, along with mushroom farms all the way through to (now) the firelighter that starts your braai. Not to mention the fact that coffee is the world’s second largest traded commodity besides oil so it was readily available, and the uses of coffee from the bean to the fire is almost limitless.”

What is your vision for FireFly Biofuel? 

“We are driving toward becoming a leader in utilising coffee waste in many of our products moving forward, thereby reducing the volume of methane, a major greenhouse gas, from decomposing coffee disposed in landfill. Our aim is to produce high quality recycled products that won’t break the bank, create jobs, and educate the public that there’s a better and more efficient way, at the same time reducing the strain on the environment and planet in general.”

Those are some big goals! What made you want to create a product that’s eco-friendly? 

“I’m the resident Eco Warrior in the family and the company, and drive us all forward when it comes to recycling and saving the planet one plastic bag at a time. Although Kai may have designed the FireSpark, I set in place the standards and ridiculously high targets (sometimes much to Kai’s frustration)! I’ve insisted that if we’re going to do this, it will be done with the highest possible standards to incorporate everything that everyone has always complained about. We’re all about family, the two legged and the four, so we made a product that is safe, green, recycled, and outperforms anything that is on the market to date.”

Where do you get all of your coffee waste from? 

“We collect our coffee from local coffee shops (independents and corporate) in an effort to assist in reducing their waste to zero and removing coffee from the methane cycle. We cover all levels of supplier from the one-person machine to large corporate entities. We supply a food grade container that is airtight and hygienic and replace them on a regular schedule as per the supplier needs.”

And where can people find the Firefly FireSpark? 

“We’re available at 98 independent retailers that can be found on our website, including Faithful to Nature. We’re also very proud to say that we’re on all Pick n Pay (PnP) Hypermarket shelves and PnP franchise stores can order the product to be available at their outlets. Basically, we urge consumers to request for it by name if they don’t see it on the shelves.”

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