Baristas be Jammin'!

Tuesday, 31 January, 2017
Words by Sinjon Wicks, Terbodore Coffee

Coffee brings people together. This isn’t really a new concept, for hundreds of years, people have used coffee as a social lubricant, as a device for which to find common ground, bridge cultural gaps and even brainstorm some pretty lucrative business ideas (International insurance firm Lloyds of London started in a coffee shop). Once again, coffee worked its magic and brought together baristas, roasters and café owners at Terbodore’s Midlands roastery on Friday the 27th of January.

A few years ago, we had the idea of starting a social event based around coffee, where we would get industry professionals, members of the public, and general coffee aficionados all into one room to share ideas, learn from each other, share stories and drink far too much espresso. Unfortunately, the rigours of café and roastery lifestyle prohibited us from giving this effort the focus it really needed, and after a few well attended meetings, we unfortunately never got around to planning anymore.

Since our last meeting, coffee culture in the Midlands has been exploding, with new roasteries like Steampunk and Ground Coffeehouse producing exceptional coffees as well as independent cafes taking the business of espresso very seriously, the coffee scene in the area has never been greater. So, in the interests of learning and fostering a little healthy competition Matt (Terbodore Sales Wunderkind) and I set up a very light-hearted meeting and barista jam between some of these great places. We had 12 competitors with much different experience levels, and although there was a little bit of a competitive edge, the whole idea is to learn from each other and grow as a unity. Among the competitors was Oliver, Colin and Michael from Steampunk Coffee, Craig Smith (Ground Coffeehouse), Con Malherbe (Coffeeberry), Greg Oosthuizen (Sagewood) as well as SCASA judge and general coffee guy, Dave Balance raising the bar for the rest of us. At the end of the evening, It would be Colin from Steampunk who took the top spot and walked away with R500 and one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen.

The greater idea behind these evenings is that each café and roastery will have an opportunity to host a meeting, create content for said meeting, and provide all of us, as well as the general public and invited guests an opportunity to share ideas and new ways of creating amazing coffee. Stay tuned for more.

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