Cafe Focus: Jameth Coffee

Thursday, 16 March, 2023

James Viljoen stands behind the coffee bar, making coffee and chatting to one of the locals when we walk in. It’s an average Wednesday morning in Kloof, KZN - the sun is shining, but there are dark storm clouds blowing in from the South West.

The chatter in the cafe is typical locals banter - we find a comfy couch in the corner and settle in, listening and taking in the vibe. The shop is small, cosy but open on three sides, sunlight filling the deck and the front area, there is a counter for the laptop workers and the feature wall is adorned with a mural epitomising the ethos of the brand.

Jameth - the name comes from the nickname of James, a name his coffee business partner, Stephen Tedder, calls him, and it just stuck. We enjoyed a cortado, a flat white and a cappuccino - expertly made using coffee from a local Kloof Roastery, Craneflower.

It is a community vibe at Jameth - James tells us about his journey into coffee and how the business runs - after studying for four years in operations, James did a year working in Burundi at GreenCo Coffee Company - and then returned to SA to start his auditing articles - but of course, coffee took him on his current journey.

James is hands on behind bar at Jameth, Hillcrest.

“I used to drink instant coffee with sugar and about 400mls of milk” he jokes. He then started to make coffee with his university friends who owned a French press and a hand grinder. From there, there was no turning back.

Locals come and go as we sit and sip our coffee - a friend pops in for a visit, a supplier drops off goods, two local business owners come in and chat about mutual people and the latest politics of the area.

It’s a perfect microcosm of the glue that coffee spaces are in communities!  There are two stores currently - Linkhills Waterfall and Heritage Market, Hillcrest.  

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