All posts tagged: barista life

Here’s the best advice if you’re thinking about getting into speciality coffee

I had a serious bout of cabin fever a few nights back. I needed to get out. So I grabbed my camera and laptop and headed to a coffee shop. The plan was to blog. When I ordered a cappuccino the barista asked me if I’d like to try their festive season blend. And after describing it to me I asked him if a cappuccino was the best way to appreciate the work that went into it. His eyes lit up and he asked if he could prepare it in a chemex. He was super excited about the idea. I listened carefully as he described each step in the brewing process. Why he was wetting the filter paper. Why he chose the grind size he did. Why he let the coffee bloom. Why the pour was a slow, circular exercise. Why he was watching the timer. And why he really appreciated me giving him the chance to brew me a chemex. We tasted the coffee together. He complimented my slurp. We talked about the tasting …

How to make your coffeeshop a catalyst for change

“Learn to make coffee, make coffee, chat, drink coffee, chat, change the world.” That pretty much sums up what it’s like to be a Green Bean at Vintage Coffee. But it is so much more that! Green Beans are an important part of who we are and what we do at Vintage. Vintage Coffee is driven by a simple, yet radical mission: to add value to our city one cup of quality coffee at a time. We actively do this by, firstly, giving a portion of our profits to different non-profit organisations every month and, secondly, by supporting four orphans by means of an established trust fund. Vintage Coffee started because we saw a need in our community and wanted our business to be a catalyst for change.  Consequently, we are a for-profit business that benefits non-profit organisations in and around our city. Vintage Coffee has found a way to give back to the community in the hopes that the profit donated will add value to the non-profit organisations, which will, in turn, add value …

My Top 5 Travel Tips

I travel a bit. For Work (and pleasure, of course). And stay in hotels. I’ve been doing it for a while now. And have picked up a few tricks along the way to make my trips as comfortable as possible. I want to share some of those with you now. 1.  Don’t fly the airline, fly the loyalty program Do the research and find out which airlines belong to which loyalty programs. Then stay under that umbrella. I fly SAA whenever I can. SAA belongs to the Star Alliance program. So when I can’t fly SAA, I’ll fly with one of the partner airlines. For one simple reason: miles. Life is expensive. Might as well get something for free. I have enough air miles today for a great overseas holiday with the wife this year. 2.  Forget taxis, get a driver Truth be told, I think this makes most sense in Africa (where most of my travel is to these days). Reliable, safe, formal taxies are stupidly expensive. I’ve done the math and have saved …

Unsung heroes

  I read an awesome article this weekend. About this dapper fella, John Bannister Goodenough. John is a Mechanical Engineering professor at the University of Texas in Austin. And if it wasn’t for John, there would be no Apple, no Samsung, no Tesla. Because John developed the lithium-ion rechargeable battery. John’s never won the Nobel prize. He’s not famous by any definition. Yet he keeps working hard. At age 92 John is still at the office every day. Says there’s so much evolution left for the battery he introduced to the world at age 57. If you’re reading this in South Africa, let me bring it closer to home for you. If it wasn’t for John I wouldn’t be able to write this post in the middle of loadshedding. John Bannister Goodenough defines the term unsung hero. I did a barista course at Origin a while back. Took a few days off work, flew down to Cape Town and spent 3 days trying to master the art of making coffee. Because that’s what I concluded after …