Humans of coffee: Dan Erasmus

Who is Daniel Erasmus?

If you asked me this at seventeen I had the answer waxed, “soon to be rockstar/pro surfer and downhill skater”. Life changes your goals and values very quickly, at least it should. Maybe my defining characteristics are my unrealistic optimism, and belief in myself and my ability to do anything. These traits have put me into roles that I felt highly under qualified for, but are the same traits that have helped me always conquer those challenges, and succeed. I value honesty and integrity very highly, both in myself, and others. I hope and strive to be the type of person that others are proud to know.

I am interested in way too many things. I have a millions thoughts and project on the go all the time which isn’t always great for focus and progress, but also leads me into so much opportunity, I don’t think I will change. I like breakfast foods, land cruisers, travel, and power tools. I love to be outdoors; I love animals, growing plants and exercise. I love new experiences and old friends. I am a universal man and I am very happy with the person I am.

What is your best childhood memory?

Anything that involved nature. I wonder at the intricacies of plants, animals, and the environments they inhabit. Growing up I spent a lot of time on farms, in the bush, and on the beach. Those are still my favourite places to be. Sadly a lot of the places I used to treasure have been destroyed by humans, and I wonder if I will get to see much of the world’s natural beauty before it disappears. I think it is really important for all of us to do our part in conserving and caring for our mother earth.


If you had a chance for a “do over” in life, what would you do differently?

I don’t think I would change anything I have done, either good or bad (you know, the whole “its made me who I am” speel), but I would try do it all a bit faster/waste less time. I’m not content, and do want more from life, but at the same time I am very happy where I am now. I think If I had done things differently and ended up somewhere else in life I would be just as happy. Happiness is more a state of mind isn’t it?

What do you feel most proud of?

I make the best popcorn you have ever had in your entire life. This is no joke, and I can do it with any tools, under any conditions, with minimal effort. I don’t like to boast but I have been told this by so many people, that I think it is now time to let the world know.


If you could keep three possessions, what would they be, and why?

My Opinel No.8 knife. Because I use it all the time. My guitar, because what is a life without music? My Aeropress, because at this point coffee has become a need. I don’t like ‘’stuff’’, I try to live as simply as possible.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I don’t want a tombstone, I want to be given back to the ocean. I believe legacies are written in life, not in marble.


What is Firebird Coffee?

Firebird is a speciality café and roaster focussed on creating and serving the closest to perfect cup of coffee that we can. Firebird enables me to make a living without having to sit at a desk every day. Firebird is also a way to express myself and my aesthetic through the café and the coffee.

What is your favourite kind of coffee?

My absolute favourite coffee comes from Long Miles Coffee in Burundi. I like it roasted by me, and brewed by me, usually in an Aeropress. It should be light, fruity, ridiculously sweet, and extremely satisfying.

In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?

Ones with the best Wifi ha ha! I don’t really go to coffee shops, and when I do it is hardly ever for the coffee. Unfortunately the coffee that is served in 99% of coffee shops in South Africa is well below par. We have a bad habit of not saying what we really feel about our peer’s coffee for fear of offending them, and this means our standard has stayed horribly low. I have been guilty of this in the past and have promised myself that I will be more honest in offering constructive criticism (in the least ego bruising way possible) for the sake of the coffee scene in SA, and for the sake of those few who really do put in the extra effort to make truly exceptional coffee.


What does a perfect day look like?

At this point in my life I wish I could wake up in a new city every day and go explore with @girlonyourmind. However I do have a romantic vision of the far future, and it looks something like this:

Wake up really early on my island in Indo and spend some time in the ocean, spearfishing, surfing, rowing, whatever the sea decides. The more time I spend away from the ocean, the more I realise I need it to stay sane. Come home to the love and light of my life and have great coffee with something incredible for breakfast (my favourite meal of the day). Spend the day working with my hands, farming, building, creating beautiful things, and definitely being surrounded by animals. End my day bodily exhausted, but leave enough time for reading and studying, good food and drink, and much joy with the woman I love.

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Andy loves coffee, has a global community of followers that loves coffee and talks about himself in the third person.

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