Month: January 2016

Humans of coffee: Mikal Strøm

Who is Mikal Strøm? I have no idea who Mikal Strøm is, until this christmas I would have said that you have to ask everyone that has ever met me and put all the answers into a blender and I would be a slightly confusing smoothie. Is a person the sum of his environment or is he something more? If you strip away everything else, family, friends, enemies, geography, culture, language etc. Is there anything left? And what is it? I’m figuring this out. Ask me again in 2017. What is your best childhood memory? I guess the best memories are not a specific memory. I remember the safety that facilitated the freedom to go to the ice skating rink and play hockey all day long. Or walking over to the local snowboard slope without a care in the world. The freedom to live in the moment I guess. Just doing fun stuff and coming home to a warm home with a nice dinner on the table. If you had a chance for a “do-over” in …

Ever wondered what your barista is really thinking? Wonder no more.

For the past 8 years I have, as most of you know, been involved in coffee. In the last year I have been more involved with the front of house operations of coffee. Physically… Day in and day out… Serving coffee to people. Now I use the term people… Very loosly here. I have met some gems of the human species. I’m gonna mention a few situations, and I promise a lot of you may go. Uh no… There’s no ways people are that crap? So here are a few of my “observations” as a barista on the front line. 1. It’s ok to greet people I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have said “Hello” or “How are you?”, with a genuine tone and smile to only have returned. “2 coffees”. People… It’s ok to say hello. I’m not a robot. Nor am I a begger. I’m here to help, and most importantly. I am a human being. 2. “2 coffee’s” Do you remember when you were young, and your old …

Humans of coffee: Brett Rogers

Who is Brett Rogers? Thats a strong philosophical start to this interview! I’m not sure we have enough time for me to self analyse. 🙂 That said, I’m a good guy who was raised right. I have strong opinions with the strength of character to stand behind them, as well as being humble enough to listen to differing views. I have great friends, great family, and a killer music collection. I swear a lot, I cant resist sparkling wine, I adore art and anything aesthetically pleasing. I’m a person who wants to do things, so generally I say yes to things and give a solid account of myself. My chameleonic talents allow for me to learn quickly. I’m terrible at maths, remembering faces. I cant make rice, but make a mean spaghetti Aglio e Olio. I love fashion, the colour black, conversations and debates. I prefer consciousness over blind happiness. What is your best childhood memory? My family holidays in Knysna are some of my happiest. I have an incredibly large family and we all used to congregate over December at my …

There’s a brand new coffee flavor wheel and it’s made me really happy

Not too long ago I did this post about a coffee flavour wheel I discovered. A great infographic that helps you identify the flavors in a coffee. It’s helped me appreciate coffee more than I have before and, more importantly, sound like an expert when debating with real coffee snobs. So I was very happy (like Pharrell-level happy) when the Speciality Coffee Association of America released an update last night. I love it. Check it out, go forth and conquer.

Humans of coffee: Jenna Echakowitz

Who is Jenna Echakowitz? I am known by (and as) many things – freelance photographer, writer, bookworm, car fanatic, pop culture enthusiast, animal rights activist – but simply put, I am a creative. I am a person who is constantly inspired by the world (and the people) around me. Sometimes I am completely besotted with everything in existence, and other times I loath the very world in which I live – I am a person of extremes (also, one who tends to be overly dramatic). I also have a chip on my shoulder about standing only 5″1′ tall. What is your best childhood memory? Learning how to work a camera for the first time – it was grade four, I was young and inexperienced, and it involved a disposable film camera from a Wimpy kiddie’s meal. It was cheap, plastic, rattled a bit when you moved, and bright red. Most of the shots from it were unfocused and shaky at best, but I enjoyed the action of taking an image so much that I was …

Humans of coffee: Kamini Pather

Who is Kamini Pather? I’m just a girl, standing in front of the world, asking it to feed me. To be fair, my entire life, up until now, has been a glorious web of beautiful accidents. Granted, I have hustled my way into most spaces but opportunities don’t just happen, you need to push, to annoy, to provoke them into existence. And thankfully, I am ballsy enough to do that and to face rejection. It’s really part of the deal to having a life that is designed by and for you. I forget who said this and I’m sure that I paraphrase but the sentiment is correct – “nothing worth having was easy to get”. But who am I? Isn’t that the eternal question that plagues us all? I think I’m at a point where I know what I am not which then defines who I am a little better. So… I am not trendy or a slave to fashion. I wear what I like and like what I wear. I try to keep things …

Matt Preston does a delicious tour of Cape Town food & coffee spots

  Without a doubt, my favorite of the Masterchef franchise is Masterchef Australia. It’s where I was introduced to Matt Preston – who has done as much for the Australia food scene as he has done for the humble cravat. I came across this piece he did for Delicious.com.au about the food & coffee scene in Cape Town. It was written in November but still very relevant. It’s making my mouth water for another trip to Cape Town. While we’re on the topic, here’s my idea of how to spend the perfect weekend in Cape Town.

My tasting notes on Lineage Coffee’s Uganda Sipi Falls

I’m just back from Durban. And, as per usual, I trek out to Hillcrest with for one reason and one reason only: Lineage Coffee. Don’t get me wrong, Hillcrest is a beautiful part of KZN. I’d love to live there. With my lovely wife. 2 kids. A dog. And a white picket fence. But with limited time I needed to make careful decisions about how to spend it. And Lineage Coffee is the only thing that makes sense to me in that part of the world. I picked up 3 bags. I’ll tell you about one today (I want to keep you in suspense). The Uganda Sipi Falls. According to the pack, it was roasted on the 22nd December. It’s from Uganda, the Mt. Elgin Region in Eastern Uganda. From the Sipi Falls farm. It was hand picked, fully washed & sun dried on African raised beds at an altitude of 1,500 – 2,500 MASL. And was harvested from August – December 2014. I could say it has a lemony acidity, creamy mouthfeel and caramel …

Humans of coffee: Duan Wanty

Who is Duan Wanty? I am a dreamer. A romanticist. A seeker of truth in all things. I yearn for beautiful human connections and I ask the questions that I never get answers for. I believe that we live two lives; a spiritual one and a human one, and the ultimate goal is to find the balance. I freakin’ love life; the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. I am 29 [so close to 30], I studied BA Drama at the University of Pretoria so by profession; I am an actor but I have now decided to call myself a ‘creative freelancer’ [for lack of a better title]. What this basically means is that I am still working on what I believe is my calling; which is telling stories, but that I have the desire to develop as many other skills as I can. I’m still in my twenties for a few more days, I am allowed to say: “Im still figuring it all out.” What is your best childhood memory? I was …

Humans of coffee: Shmuel Montrose

What a great time to be posting this. Because Joziblue just celebrated their 3rd birthday. I first visited Joziblue a little over a year ago. And I was so glad I did. I wrote about it here. Who is Shmuel Montrose? I am a father (of 2 beautiful girls), Husband, Uncle and a son and an Owner of JoziBlue. I have so many roles in life and they all blend beautifully together like the perfect coffee blend. I love to compare a coffee bean to a human being. Just like every bean has their own special story on how they came to being, so too every human has their own story. My life story is a blend of all the different experiences I have experienced with all the people that I have interacted with, and how I have reacted and internalised these experiences. This is what has made me, me. And going forward, the amazing family and friends that I have, and the awesome customers that I have, all help me in defining who I …