All posts tagged: specialty coffee

From a farm in Ethiopia to a Rocky Mountain bike trail

I’m sitting on a summit 6500′ above sea level where the Rocky Mountains of Canada meet the Columbia range. Surrounded by postcard views and staggering cliffs, I take in the crisp alpine air and turn my attention to the bag of carefully roasted beans I had stashed in my pack. Coffee is beautiful. I am reminded of this every time I open a new bag. These beans are more than vessels for caffeine, they have a story, and a purpose. The label on the bag can tell me where they came from, but how did they end up here? As I run my fingers over their smooth, chocolatey skin I like to think about all the hands involved in bringing these beans to my cup. I try to picture the faces of the people who planted the seeds and watched them grow into trees, then carefully harvested, sorting through rows upon rows of plants using calloused and cracked fingers to delicately select only the ripest cherries. For the farmers growing coffee, these beans are more …

How I spent 48 hours in Amsterdam: Bocca

Many great businesses started in a garage. Amazon. Apple. Disney. Google. And Bocca. Menno & Tewis Simons first started roasting coffee in a garage in the Jordaan neighbourhood in 2001. And today they’ve come a long way. A kilometer to be exact. To their flagship store in Spiegelkwartier. It was a busy day in Amsterdam. The sun was out. And so were all the tourists. I needed a break. And was happy that I found myself near Bocca. The space is surprisingly big. For Amsterdam. For any European city. Well, for any city that’s been around since the 12th century. Finding a spot to sit, charge my iPhone and hop on the wifi was easy. Coffee was awesome. Service even more so. And, as you’ll see from my photographs, easily one of my favourite spaces in Amsterdam.

How one man went from instant to grinding beans at home

Just over a year ago I was talking to a friend of mine about coffee. At this point in my life I enjoyed a coffee from @homecoffeesouth. The coffee is always of great quality and the staff are always on hand to talk about the one thing they love the most… COFFEE !! As my friend and I continued to talk, we agreed on one thing… how difficult it can be to enjoy quality coffee at home. We all have a jar of instant coffee at home but I wanted something better, something special, made with love and on a daily basis. This is where my coffee journey began. My friend recommended an online coffee company called @pactcoffee. Now, they are one of many companies offering coffee delivered to your door but I can only talk about these guys. They trade directly with farmers all over the world. That means they source the best coffee in the world while ensuring unbeatable pay for their farmers. I started with a different bag of ground coffee being …

Humans of coffee: Charlie Wade

Who is Charlie Wade? A guy pretty much obsessed with all things coffee. It started at a young age, copying my father’s morning routine of a strong black coffee with one sugar. Little did I know that many years later, while studying music, my part time barista job would pull my life in a different direction as coffee took over my world. Born Wade Ruiters in Kokstad South Africa, my family moved to Auckland, New Zealand at the age of 11 and towards the end of 2017 I decided to move to Melbourne, Australia, planting my roots in Brunswick, a suburb in Melbourne’s North. Charlie become a workplace nickname at my first barista job and has stuck for the subsequent five years. Charlie, Charlie Wade or Wade: take your pick! What is your favourite childhood memory? Family trips to East London’s Orient Beach swimming pools feel crystal clear in my mind. We would spend hours there on hot summer days, and then head up the road to the Windmill Roadhouse for hotdogs and a strawberry …

Humans of coffee: Tim Wendelboe

Who is Tim Wendelboe? I am a young (at least at mind) person who likes to work hard and do things my way and what I feel is the right way. I grew up in a very safe and suburban area outside of Oslo in Norway but never felt that I fit in 100%. In my late teenage years I had my rebellious years where I got tired of school and wanted to do the opposite of what everyone else around me was doing. So when most of my class mates signed up for the university to go and study, I decided I was going to take a year off and work to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. That is how I ended up in coffee as a couple of months after high school I started working at Stockfleth’s in Oslo. After running the company for some years with my friend Alex, I finally had the courage to leave the company to start my own roastery and espresso bar. It …

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 …

Humans of coffee: Kelsey van der Merwe

Who is Kelsey van der Merwe? I think I have spent most of my twenties trying to figure that out. I grew up being told I could be whoever I wanted to be, but I have found that there is something so beautiful about becoming who we were created to be. So if I had to describe myself today…I am a coffee loving, aspiring writer who loves to teach and dabbles in Marketing to make a living. What is your best childhood memory? I think it’s difficult to pick just one. But my favourite childhood memories would have to be family dinners. I absolutely love food and my fondest memories involve food and family. We would always eat together at the table. My dad and grandfather were master storytellers and we’d spend hours after dinner listening to them. It always involved a lot of laughter and, very often, a few exaggerated stories. That was part of what made these moments so precious. An equally fond memory are conversations with my Grandmother. She was an incredible woman with a …

Humans of coffee: Danilo Acquisto

Who is Danilo Acquisto? Danilo is a dynamic, you-can’t-put-me-in-a-box, energetic, humorous, faithful and kind entrepreneur and jack of all trades who happens to at this present moment find himself on TV and Radio. Well that’s what I am known for, at least. What is your best childhood memory? I will never forget being woken up on my birthday every year by my mother, father and brother with a specialised and designed kiddies cake a presents and I would sit on my bed with all this love being showered over me and just feeling bewildered. I missed that moment when I moved out of home. Just the sheer joy of waking up before they got to the room and pretending to sleep like you weren’t expecting it and being so excited to know what gifts I got. It was always a highlight of a year.   If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently? I think if I look way back with current knowledge I would have been less stubborn …

How does an Aeropress champion brew an Aeropress?

Dan Erasmus runs one of the latest and most exciting additions to the Johannesburg speciality coffee scene, Firebird. And he won the 2013 South Africa Aeropress championship with this recipe. Ingredients: Coffee: Long Miles Coffee Gaharo Hill Peaberry Coffee dose: 17.5g Coffee grind: medium-coarse Water weight: 220g Water temperature: 94 degrees celsius 1.  Bloom for 25 seconds.   2.  Fill to 220g. 3.  Steep for one minute.   4.  Then stir, put on filter cap, flip, and slowly press. Champion tip: let it cool a lot before drinking it, the flavour will be much more intense and the sweetness will grow. Photography by Creative Wei