Issue 45: Seeing Coffee Differently!

Friday, 22 September, 2023

One of my favourite pastimes is snorkelling. It’s a calming, gentle activity and I find myself breathing much deeper, both during and after. But more than that, it’s a freaking spectacular wonderland under there when you stick your masked face just below the surface of the water. The ocean has many charming attributes when experienced from above: the crash of the waves breaking, the sparkle of light on the ever moving mass, the change in colour and mood, the thrill of watching a lucky surfer get barrelled, the effervescent sting of salt on your skin when you dip in. But snorkelling, well now, put your seatbelts on folks! It’s a riot down there, a veritable whole new world (Aladdin reference very much intentional)! Colours like you cannot imagine, that no photos in any field guide can ever capture. Every size and hilarious shape when it comes to fish, snails/moving shells, coral, sea plants and crustaceans. I could float (and kick occasionally) for hours.

The thing is, you need the right tools to achieve my kind of snorkelling zen. 

When I started out, I had a toy-store style mask and snorkel, some flippers from there too (but that’s mostly because my feet are a size 3) and I went in my swimming costume. Result? Misty vision, a squashed nose and forehead, constantly having to empty my snorkel, sore ankles from ill-fitting fins, shivering half to death and a really bad suntan (read: sunburn). 

But I got enough of a taste to know that this was something worth pursuing, so over the next while I built up my equipment. I invested in a mask that didn’t hurt my face and now that it’s seasoned, gives me perfect underwater vision. I bought little neoprene socks so that I can scuttle over sharp rocks and my feet fit comfortably in my flippers, so no more sore ankles! I’ve got a wetsuit, long arm, long leg, which means long time in the ocean and zero sun burn! 

You’ve now heard me drone on about a very specific interest that excites me to no end. It got me thinking about how in each special interest, there is surface level and then there’s what lies beneath. And I think with this publication we are always aiming to inspire and entertain you with how much there is beneath your favourite cup of coffee.

The theme of this magazine is ‘Seeing Coffee Differently.’ And you may look at a couple of the articles in the contents page or even the cover, and think, what in the heck are these guys on about?! But give us a chance! We’re beneath the surface here, we’re equipping you with the right tools to experience a far deeper side of coffee than you ever thought you’d be interested in. So look beyond the latte art, turn your thinking about coffee upside down and have fun! But, please guys, do not put your face into any kind of coffee, mask or not, there are no colourful fish there.

The depths of coffee are encapsulated in the first article, getting to visit the people who run the washing stations and grow the coffee we have been so privileged to drink. It is just a wildly joyful experience.  And from there we plunge you into the wonders of travel in Rwanda (coffee made us do it!); the competitive sports side of coffee with World Barista Champion, Boram Um of Brazil; a coffee species that could contribute to the survival of coffee for future generations; a beautiful and award-winning roastery; how your wine knowledge can help with your coffee knowledge; how that knowledge should help you to actually *want* to pay more for your coffee; alternatively, the cool AF non-alcoholic beverage revolution and finally, why in the name of summer heat are you not drinking more cold coffee? 

Think about it differently, it’s a whole new world.

Love, Mel & Iain 

Thank you to our Brand Partners without whom this publication would not be possible. We appreciate you!

Genio Roasters, Morrico Import & Export, Equipment Cafe,  Red Espresso, Eversys/Legacy Commerce, IMA Group, BWT water+more, Bialetti South Africa, CIRO Beverage Solutions, Dartpac, Adriatic Coffee Supply, Green Coffee Supply, Electrical Industries, Woodlands Dairy, Jonsson Workwear, Barista Attitude.

What is in Issue 45?

Origin: To Rwanda, with Love

Our goal in visiting Rwanda was to get experience at various coffee washing stations, each of which have produced some of our favourite coffees over the years. But what we found went so much deeper than the way coffee is processed.

Travel: Land of a Thousand Hills

The main reason tourists travel to Rwanda is for the incredibly rich wildlife experiences that are on offer. We couldn’t leave without soaking up the culture and getting in touch with the wild side of this bountiful country.

Brew: Teamwork makes the Dream Work

Boram Julio Um has achieved the title of The Best Barista in the World, but like any sporting Champion, there is an enormous support network that led to this historic victory for the producing country, Brazil.

Discover: Forging a Path for the Future of Coffee

It is not dramatic to say that discoveries and coffee species cultivation in South Africa will play a big part in the global future of our favourite beverage. This is thanks to a few key players that have persevered in getting Coffea Racemosa to the international research community.

Culture: What’s Wine Got to do With It

Learning about specialty coffee doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, you might already have the tools in your belt to get you off to an accelerated start. Yes, we’re talking about wine!

Opinion: Shrinking your Way to Greatness?

David Donde laments the price crisis in coffee and how we can make it better.

Roast: Fresh is Best

When it comes to both artisanal breads and delicious coffee beans, Baard&Co are striving for, and consistently achieving, fresh excellence. We hear about their journey to becoming a successful cafe and bakery.

Innovation: On the Flip Side

Exploring the expanding world of non-alcoholic (a.k.a dry) beverage options, a category that coffee has a leading role in. Written by Wayne Oberholzer based in an epicentre of this movement, Dubai.

Kick: Give Cold Brew a Chance

Cold coffee gets a bad rap in a lot of specialty circles, but one cold brew loving coffee drinker is determined to find out why, and maybe change a few minds in the process. Nicole Siegenthaler reports from the US of A.

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