New Kids on the Block: Yaawk Coffee

Friday, 20 October, 2023

Words by Ayanda Dlamini

Yaawk Coffee is more than just a coffee brand; it’s a testament to the pursuit of greatness. Founded by SA Rowers who have represented SA at an Olympic level and continue to race competitively, Sandro Torrente & Henry Torr, a duo who certainly understand the value of discipline and hard work. Now they’ve transitioned that sporting discipline into crafting exceptional coffee. With a focus on quality bean sourcing, Yaawk Coffee delivers a brew that’s not only delicious but also a symbol of dedication and achievement.

Sandro and Henry with their brand new Giesen Roaster. Follow them on Insta

Yaawk Coffee stood out to me because of its unique blend of aesthetics. I love the cafe's sense of a muted colour palette and its strategically placed greenery. For me, it created a serene and inviting atmosphere that encourages a relaxed morning routine and meaningful conversations. It’s the perfect backdrop for savouring a cup of coffee. 

Another variable that drew my attention was its distinctive name,“Yaawk”. It’s an unusual and memorable choice that piqued my curiosity and really stood out. So naturally, I planned an early morning visit to the Cafe, because I just had to know more. On arrival, I had the pleasure of meeting Sandro who humorously shared with me, “the cafe’s name has nothing to do with New York”, and the reason they chose it was because “it sounds familiar, looks unfamiliar, and we just like the way it sounded and the abstract look of it”.

I also had the pleasure of meeting David, their Barista who had a wide range of coffee knowledge and industry knowledge. I enjoyed his humble sense of wisdom about coffee, and his passion for the space he’s working in. I was in the mood for a black Americano; drinking it was satisfying and an indication that the person making it understood the craft of coffee.

My coffee communicated a symphony of flavours, a harmonious blend of three distinct coffee regions - Brazil, Columbia and Honduras beans, this blend is known as their, “Timeless Blend”. True to its name, this coffee is not just a drink; it’s a journey through history, culture, and the enduring beauty of a world connected by the love of this timeless brew.

Yaawk’s unwavering commitment to good coffee took them on a journey of craftsmanship. I thoroughly enjoy the elements of their story that narrate the pioneering days of Yaawk Coffee. It all really started with two bold and ambitious athletes, who one day ventured into the art of coffee roasting. They boldly decided to learn an entirely new skill from scratch, where they turned to none other than the vast realm of YouTube. 

Sandro elaborated on how in the beginning, “I actually didn't have any roasting experience, just a lot of tutorials and seminars through YouTube platforms and Giesen forums. I now plan to expand the teams roasting certification and knowledge through courses”. 

Whether you’re a seasoned coffee connoisseur or just starting your coffee journey, you’ll find something to love here. In a nutshell, Yaawk Coffee in Wendywood, Johannesburg, has emerged as a hidden gem. Yaawk Coffee is yet another inspiring story in the fiercely competitive world of coffee, reminding us that dedication, innovation, and a genuine love for the craft can carve a unique path to success.

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