Common Ground: Hey Brew!

Wednesday, 16 October, 2013
Interview by Mel Winter

I began Rocking the Daisies with every intention of AeroPressing my way to good coffee every morning. I started off so well...

Complete with tea cosy beanie and iProduct, my efforts were even instagrammed. My coffee snobbery had reached new levels.

But when the late nights and general fatigue associated with any sort of festival set in, Hey Brew came to my rescue. I wasn't alone in my gratitude. When I chatted to the owner Sebastian, his quote was classic: "It feels like we're the 300 Persian soldiers holding the line against the thousands attacking us. We're supposed to be mobile but no one will let us leave this spot." Yes festival goers who have just woken up are a particularly scary bunch. We caught up with Sebastian when the madness of RTD was over.

"Hey Brew, how's about a coffee?"

What is your background in coffee?

I grew up in the land of Chicory and Pineapples in the Makana district van die Oos Kaap. I can safely say that i have been converted from Chicory to instant to high quality filter coffee and am now through and through a coffee snob! I never studied roasting, nor preparation techniques other than on google and you tube. I am a self taught coffee man.


How does the mobile pack work and how do you filter the coffee?

We prepare our coffee through a process called Percolation. We use industrial sized percolators and can produce up to 400 cups of high quality filter coffee per hour with our current systems. We then dispense the coffee through a modified beer dispensing system fitted into specially designed backpack that is able insulate the coffee for up to 4 hours. Our backpacks are self designed and all parts are outsourced and assembled here in Cape Town.

Tell us about the environmentally friendly aspect of your business.

We use only compostable cups, cardboard insulators and wooden stirrers. We are also developing a stand alone (without the use of electricity or gas) percolator Urn that will allow us to make large amounts of high quality filter coffee in remote locations.

Spotted at RTD, Hey Brew in a compostable cup by EcoPack.

Which beans are you currently using?

At the moment we are partnered with Tribe coffee, a local roastery here in Woodstock who source their medium roast beans from Malawi. So our coffee is African through and through.

Do you have something against girl baristas? (said in a very light hearted way:) )

No I have nothing against Girl Baristas, in fact i think the Caffeine Queen is a highly underrated force. If there are any lovely ladies that could carry a 15 - 20kg backpack around for 4.5 per day then step forward we'd love to get you involved with Hey Brew Coffee.
(That sounds like a challenge ladies!)

Albert has obviously already had his fix and greets everyone with a smile and delightful attitude. I, however, can't even wait to pose for a photo at this point. As soon as the coffee was in the cup it went in my mouth.

Do you only work events? If so, what's your day job? If not, where do people find you during the week?

Essentially we have 2 aspects of the business. Eventing is the first and more obvious space we operate in but i am incredibly passionate about the other side of it. We operate daily within the CBD. At the moment we are trying to establish a brand presence through repeating daily routes throughout the CBD. Currently we have 3 vendors roaming the streets of Cape Town from about 7am till 13:30. We are trying to establish ourselves along these routes so that people will know exactly when they can get a cup of coffee from one of the Brews. If there are any businesses, groups or area's people would like to put forward we can always come and deliver a high quality hot cup of coffee right at your desk. Feel free to tweet, e-mail or ring us and we'll try develop you into our daily route. And at R12 per cup you can't go wrong!

What was your favourite act at this year's RTD?
Must have been Toby 2 Shoes. I love me a bit of Electro swing.

When you're not on the go, where is your favourite cafe to sit and have a cup of coffee?
Field Office

So look out for a member of the brew-therhood near you if you're in the CT City Bowl. Follow them on FB to find out exactly where

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