Humans of coffee: Katya Katkova

Who is Katya Katkova?

A marketer turned a barista and then a coffee-shop owner turned a coffee-obsessed blogger. Also one of those thirty something millennials who can’t function without a new project in mind.

What is your favourite childhood memory?

Once my dad was teaching me to ride a bicycle. I couldn’t keep the balance and he would support me holding the boot. As I was focusing on pedalling suddenly realised that I’m riding on my own and my dad is far behind. I will always remember that amazing feeling of euphoria mixed with a reverent fear!


If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently?

I’d definitely move to London much earlier. This is my happy place and I don’t understand how I lived without these messy streets, polluted capital air and weekend markets in my early twenties.

What do you feel most proud of?

I would love to think (and be proud of) that I played my part in gentrification of East London. Although it’s a mixed feelings term I’m happy to be an early ambassador of this part of the town coffee scene. Publishing a coffee-shop guide to Hackney at the time when all tourist maps were geographically limited by the first zone of London was a big step for me.


If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?

Been practicing to be unattached to things for a while now, so could easily let go of all things material. Experiences are so much more important, therefore would hold on to my passport for travelling. Would also keep my iPhone and Macbook for work.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Life is too shot to get offended, assume the best and move on. That is my motto right now and hope will stay relevant for a while.

What is the East London Mornings?

East London Mornings started off as a publishing project in 2010. After releasing the sold-out guide to East London’s coffee shops, the project was adapted into an Instagram version of it with a stronger focus on lifestyle and food culture. Exploring hidden corners of Hackney, the project gained thousands of followers very quickly and is loved by locals as well as visitors.


What is your favorite kind of coffee?

Seriously enjoying Biftu Gudina from Ethiopia as writing this.

I drink a lot of coffee during the day. I’d start with a flat white, following by a V60 and probably mocha to wrap the day up.

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

Climpson & Sons if I found a spare hour before heading to work, Morty & Bobs if I need a quiet coffee & wifi moment and most likely Ozone if I have a meeting.

What does a perfect day look like?

That would be Sunday. I wake up later than usual but early enough to have that pleasant feeling of achievement by midday. I’d head to Columbia Road Flower Market for a catch up with friends over the breakfast in Campania & Jones. Then visit one of the latest exhibitions in Tate following by a brunch somewhere back in the East of the town. In the evening I’d head back home for some book or Instagram time in a bubble bath and an early night.

Humans of coffee: Bastiaan Roozendaal

Who is Bastiaan Roozendaal?

I am 31 years old at the moment. I am a coffee lover, no I am not an expert. I am an entrepeneur, a father, a boyfriend and love to take on new things. I am from the Netherlands – no, I do not wear wooden shoes!

What is your favorite childhood memory?

That probably is the freedom you have as a kid. Not a care in the world only caring about that kickflip I need to land or the next fun thing I was going to do. I grew up in a small village with a lot of open land and farms, so that’s a lot of fun as a kid.


If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently?

My shool! I didn’t feel the urge to do my best in that time so I finished shool but I could have done so much more.

What do you feel most proud of?

My son, my grilfriend and my 2nd son that will come in July!!


If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?

My Chemex, my snowboard and my camera.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Probably my name! It’s not for me what’s on there so I have a hard time answering this question.

ILCWlogoblack (2)

What is I Love Coffee Wear?

I Love Coffee has been an idea of mine for a while now and I started it up in January this year. It is fashionable coffee fashion. I do not want to do too much cheezy coffee slogans. I like to keep it as clean as a cup of Chemex brew.

What is your favorite kind brew method  of coffee?

That’s the Chemex by far. Love the subtle tastes and the clearity in a cup. Combining it with a fruity Yirgacheffe rocks my world!!!


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

Not really, I am really a lonley home barista. My girlfriend doesn’t even drink coffee.

What does a perfect day look like?

That changes but now probably, get up just before my son does. Breakfast, COFFEE! then snowboarding all day or being in the mountains, coming home to a nice fireplace and good COFFEE again! And that with familly is perfect

Humans of coffee: Radhika Valjee

Who is Radhika Valjee?

Radhika Valjee is a creative. A creative whose life revolves around creating – creating art, photography, videos, food and ideas.  She wants to share with the world her passion for creating and hopefully inspire those around her. She is currently studying architecture but her lifelong dream is to have her own coffee shop one day- one that is inspired by her favourite things (architecture, art and photography). In the mean time she plans to keep pushing herself creatively, keep learning and fill her soul with adventures.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

To be honest, I don’t remember much of my childhood but the memories I do recall all involve my grandfather. I grew up living with my grandparents and so they hold a very special place in my heart. I’ve always loved art, since childhood, and my grandfather is an incredible artist. I remember I would sit with him every night and ask him to draw my favourite story book characters. And after spending a good few minutes sketching them out I would then ask for him to colour them in with my crayons. And after all that, I would ask him to read the story book (it was always The Little Red Riding Hood) to me as I fell off to sleep and he never refused to do any of those things for me, he always made time for me.

If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently?

If there’s anything I could do differently that would be to be more self-confident. A lot of the times I knew in my gut what to say or do but I didn’t because I was afraid. I feel that I missed a lot of good opportunities that came my way due to this lack of confidence. However, all that I have experienced and haven’t experienced have made me the person I am today and I wouldn’t want to change that.


What do you feel most proud of?

I am most proud of my work ethic and moral grounding. It’s easy to stray off path and follow what others are doing. It’s so easy to lose yourself, there have been many times where I nearly did but I am proud of each time I managed to stay grounded and remain true to myself. I think that each time life knocks you down and every time you stand back up you should be proud of yourself.

If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?

My camera, to capture all awe-inspiring moments life has to offer, my copy of The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak to remind me how the love within you will always win and probably a sketchbook because drawing and writing is for the soul.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I don’t believe in tombstones (being buried) but if I had to choose something to be remembered by I would like to be remembered for loving and inspiring people.


What is RAD.?

RAD. is a YouTube channel that I have started in hopes to share my creativity in the form of videos and in this way inspire others and send thought provoking messages. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to showcase but for now it’s a reflection of moments and topics that have inspired me to create.

What is your favorite kind of coffee?

I love a good old cappuccino. I enjoy a light to medium roast and Ethiopia is probably my favourite origin!

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

Bean There and Flynn Coffee in Johannesburg and Vintage Coffee in Pretoria.

What does a perfect day look like?

I am happiest when I’m near the ocean so the perfect day for me would involve a day near the ocean, with the right company or alone, a good book, the weather not too warm and not too cold, just right. And of course, a goof cup of coffee.

Humans of coffee: Tyrone Watson

Who is Tyrone Watson?

A handsome spiritual cowboy and aspiring beam of light. At least, that’s what my Instagram bio says. I’d say that I’m a twenty-something year old who hasn’t got it all figured out just yet. I’m a human being, yogi and extremely passionate young dude who can sing along to any musical at the drop of a hat. But more than that, l love coffee so, so much that I packed up my desk at a corporate job to jump head-first into the coffee industry with nothing but my background as a volunteer barista, my relentless optimism and my desire to learn.

One day I’m hoping to include coffee professional, barista trainer and Batman.

Tyrone feels so formal. Just Ty is perfect.

What is your favourite childhood memory?

I’d probably say it’s all the simple stuff. I’m an empathetic person so how things feel is so important to me. Getting picked up from school in the afternoon, falling asleep in the back of the car and adventuring down to the coast during December. As I get older those really ordinary moments become more and more special.

Photograph by Lianri Malan

If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently?

I’m here to learn as much as possible, so I don’t make a habit of spending a lot of time looking behind me because it always served a purpose. If I had to give my younger self some advice: Listen less, feel more and don’t take anything too seriously.

And buy more Bitcoin. Or sell more Bitcoin. I’m still not sure exactly what Bitcoin is.

What do you feel most proud of?

Always having a sense of humour. Life is tough whether you laugh or not, but it’s way more fun if you do. Falling in love with coffee and leaving my corporate job when I recognised that it wasn’t right for me makes me feel good, too.

Photograph by Lianri Malan

If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?

  • My iPhone. It’s such a convenient camera and learning tool.
  • A yoga mat to practice anywhere.
  • Birkenstocks. There’s a line in Will & Grace where Will says, “And by the way some sandals can be very dressy.” I’m both horrified and impressed at how often I hear myself saying the same thing.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

The same thing as my high school year book: “So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

What is @boymeetsbean?

Boy meets bean actually started with some advice from Shan Venter (@pretoriacoffeegirl) during a long chat about getting started in the coffee industry.

Technically, it’s an Instagram-based photo blog that explores coffee, coffee culture and coffee people in South Africa. More than that, it was a way of filling my time when I left my job by forcing me to adventure to different coffee shops and engage with the people behind the counter to learn as much as I can about coffee.

I’m an incredibly visual person and I love taking photos. Instagram is such an easy, accessible way to explore and express that creativity.

Photograph by Lianri Malan

What is your favorite kind of coffee?

At home, I love a French Press. Otherwise, a single cortado is my go-to. A real favourite at the moment is a Konga Natural from Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia.

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

Spout Coffee in Pretoria, especially over weekends. During the week I’m usually at Vintage Coffee in Menlo Park, or out and about in Joburg. I’m in love with Dear Maria.

What does a perfect day look like?

Early morning. Black coffee. Good music. Better people.

Coffee syrup

If, like me, you’ve had a lingering suspicion that something’s missing from your life, it’s because something is. And it’s this: Angie Batis & Nicole van den Berg’s recipe for coffee syrup.


  1. 1 cup coconut sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. a double shot of strong espresso or 80mls of strong black coffee
  4. 1 x teaspoon cinnamon
  5. a pinch of nutmeg
  6. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  7. 1/2 cup almond milk
  8. crushed ice


  1. Add all the ingredients except for the two milks and crushed ice into a pot and bring to the boil.
  2. Turn the heat down to a medium temperature and let the mixture boil slowly for about 10 minutes.
  3. In a jar or drinking glass add crushed ice and the coconut and almond milk, then about a double shot of this coffee syrup (you can make it more or less sweet if you’d like just by adding more or less syrup).







By Angie Batis & Nicole van den Berg

Angie runs a beautiful blog called Lucky Pony while Nicole has one of the most beautiful food pages on Instagram.


How I spent 48 hours in Amsterdam: Little Collins

Brunch isn’t really a thing in Amsterdam. But it is in Melbourne. So Little Collins‘ Australian-born owners brought a slice Melbourne to Amsterdam’s De Pijp neighbourhood.

I could write a book about how good my breakfast waffle was. And turn that book into a best seller by including images of my perfectly prepared flat white. Instead I’ll leave you with this – the most important piece of advice you’ll ever hear about this spot:

Go early.







Wholewheat & Oat Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Brownie Cookies 2

Here’s a chocolate chip cookie recipe gone healthier, yet still deeply satisfying. This is not your everyday quintessential chocolate chip cookie. This one is better. Deep dark chocolaty + chewy + fudgy = comfort food!

Makes 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cookies


  1. 125g dark couverture chocolate {I used 72%}
  2. 50g unsalted butter
  3. 30g good quality cocoa powder
  4. 1 egg
  5. 100g brown vanilla sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. pinch salt
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 15ml yogurt {1tbsp}
  10. 80g oats
  11. 75g wholewheat flour
  12. 50g dark chocolate chips


  1. Line two cookie trays with parchment paper and preheat your oven at 180C.
  2. In a heatproof bowl or in microwave or using double boiler method melt chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth.
  3. Stir in cocoa powder.
  4. Combine egg, yogurt and brown sugar in a large bowl and whisk till fluffy.
  5. Beat by adding vanilla extract, salt and baking soda.
  6. Mix in melted chocolate.
  7. Into this, fold in the oats, whole wheat flour and chocolate chips.
  8. Let it sit for 5 minutes for oats to absorb moisture. If the dough looks little ‘loose’, then add in 1-2 extra spoons of oats.
  9. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, drop the dough onto pre-arranged tray, by keeping at least an inch gap.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top feels set for a fudgy soft cookie. Bake for another 5 minutes for firmer cookies.
  11. Cool on tray for 5-10 minutes. Transfer on to wire rack to cool completely.

By Deeba Rajpal

Deeba Rajpal is a food writer, recipe developer and food stylist I met on Instagram when I featured her work on my food page, @foodfluffer. She runs a beautiful food blog called Passionate About Baking, because that’s exactly what she is. You can follow her adventures in the kitchen on Twitter , Facebook ,Pinterest and, of course, Instagram.