DRINK IT IN - Issue 46: December to February

Thursday, 14 December, 2023

Well hello gorgeous! Issue 46 has made the beginning of the southern Summer a little brighter.


A word from Editor, Melanie Winter

Electrical storms are, in my opinion, one of the few saving graces of an African summer.

The anticipation as you feel the pressure build. The way the colours change just before it breaks. The smell as the cold rain hits hot asphalt. The low frequency rumble that you can feel. A few degrees relief in temperature.  And if it's happened early enough in the evening, the sun streaming through with its last rays in an eerie and magical spotlight. And then it’s all done. Almost as if it never happened. It’s so hot that the evidence of wet immediately evaporates, humidity squashing any relief that had been felt.

But they do have an impact. Despite the brevity, a really good Summer storm has the ability to make me pause, take a breath. And on long, hot days, I find myself looking longingly forward to the next one.

Now, at the risk of getting all philosophical in a magazine about coffee, I’ve been confronted by a question while working on this Edition and being romanced by storms:

What does it mean to build a legacy? 

It’s a question that preoccupies humans a fair amount, constantly fighting against our impermanence by creating significant connections and experiences. Recently, a member of the global coffee community passed away and the outpouring of love for his support and kindness over the years has been immense. That’s the thing the thing that has struck me, that he will be remembered most for acts of kindness. So simple. So fleeting. Like a cooling rain in the harsh heat of daily life. Something we are all capable of, but that often falls by the way.

Gianni Cassatini was a regular and memorable feature at coffee events around the world through his work with Nuova Simonelli, most notably at the World Barista Champs. He loved to give out amazing hugs and he could often be seen whispering encouragement to baristas from under his trademark Borsalino hat. Both Gianni and that hat, Italian icons. Back when I went to my first few WBCs, Gianni always remembered me and made me feel that I was part of the community, even though I was still so fresh and feeling pretty insecure about my position in the whole global set up. And there are thousands of coffee professionals he gave the same encouragement, for over 40 years Gianni spread his love for the coffee community around the world. He used to love saying “Coffee is in my DNA.” But really, it was the coffee people that Gianni lived for and he will always be remembered by them.

Loss makes one appreciate what we have, and also gives us some perspective on how we hope to be remembered. But we shouldn’t only appreciate people when they’re gone. This magazine aims to celebrate big achievements, small victories and the building of legacies, happening right now. Shining a light on the people who work so tirelessly in the community to ensure that we end up better than how we started. We are so thrilled to feature amazing humans of coffee in this edition, who have created incredible spaces, both physical and emotional, for coffee culture and community to thrive.

Take a moment to think about your best coffee a couple years ago and compare it to your most recent: the coffee is better than it was, the baristas are more highly skilled, the cafe spaces are more thoughtful and inviting than they were. By holding a mirror up to the coffee community we can take stock of where we are and push ourselves beyond where we ever believed possible, like the people and places in these pages.

A legacy is built by a lot of small moments, quick flashes of lightning, however humble or seemingly simple, that have a lasting impact. Sometimes all it takes is making a cup of coffee for someone you love to change the course of a day. Be like Gianni, be kind.

What's in Issue 46?

Cover Story: Eye of the Beholder

A thoughtfully designed cafe has the ability to take you to another place and to make your coffee taste that much better. Lani Kingston, author of new coffee table book, Designing Coffee: New Coffee Places and Branding, shows us some of the most beautiful cafes in the world.

Roast: Blank Canvas - The Cedar Coffee Story begins

There are some great expectations on the shoulders of Leigh Wentzel and Winston Thomas, the duo from Cape Town behind Cedar Coffee Roastery, but they’re up to the challenge.

Brew: Play the Game

With an aura of kindness and calm, you might think of Matt Winton as an unlikely contender. In fact, he thrives with a new challenge at his fingertips and has the Big Match Temperament to go all the way as evidenced by his World Brewers Cup win in 2021. We had the opportunity to chat with him about his roastery, his competitive career and of course, sport! Includes this go-to pour over method.

Origin: Coffee Chronicles - Colombia 

Direct from the producers, we learn about navigating challenges, innovations at farm level, and the way forward in Specialty Coffee Farming in this rich and diverse coffee region. It is an incredible privilege to have access to these different perspectives and to appreciate what coffee producers around the world face.

Discover: Full Circle

A meeting in the producing region of Minas Gerais, Brazil, brings 20 years of a coffee relationship to an emotional climax. To separate the emotion from coffee would be to deny yourself the full beauty of this fascinating beverage, so much more than a mere commodity, produced by passionate and warm humans around the world

Culture: The Nunchi of Coffee - An ode to being a savvy cafe patron 

Having an amazing cafe experience is largely up to the attitude you bring to the party. Nicole Siegenthaler unlocks expert level with her characteristic charm in this edition.

Innovation: Tip of the Iceberg 

Frozen coffee, golden spheres and contactless thermometers - we explore the relationship between temperature and coffee and offer some practical advice on how to use temperature to its best advantage at home.

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