2023 was a big year for moving and shaking things up within the South African industry, but none were bigger than the merger of three Cape Town roasters, who had all blossomed out from Origin Coffee Roasting started in 2005. In the coming weeks, we'll get to know a little more about the humans behind the brand and how they see their roles within the new framework.
The merger has happened on the wholesale sides of these businesses. The collaboration will mean access to better green coffee more consistently and more variety across style and price point.
You can still visit Origin Coffee Roasting on Hudson Street and Truth Coffee on Buitenkant, serving up their unique cafe experiences.
We wish this incredible team the best, there are more announcements to come in 2024!
In the beginning there was Origin.
From a humble start in late 2005, there was a dream of lifting the quality of coffee in South Africa to the level of the best in the world. Hard to believe now, but when it all started, many people said that no one would be interested in high quality, locally roasted coffee. Nevertheless, we believed that in coffee - in Africa and from Africa - there was no reason for us to be anything less than extraordinary.
In Truth nothing had changed.
Sure, we had gone our separate ways when Truth was started in 2009 and then Tribe in 2011 and we fiercely competed with each other. Time has changed our perspectives, and over the months of getting to know each other again, we discovered that we remained remarkably aligned and it became clear to us that it was time to come back together.
We realised that we are all one Tribe.
By bringing together our people, our passion, our collective skills, our experience, our drive, and some hard-won wisdom, we can achieve more for coffee, for our teams, for our fans and our customers.
This coming together will not change who we are: passionately run, local roasters. You will still be dealing with the same people you have come to know over our many years in coffee. We are and will always be a relationship business. We remain passionate and committed to the personal relationships we have with the customers in our flagship cafés, and with the baristas and business owners who pour and serve our coffees for locals and visitors to our beautiful country and continent.
The essence of the three well-loved brands – Origin, Truth, and Tribe – will not change. Our coffees will continue to get better and more diverse. Our roasting and blending styles are different, and may appeal to different people, at different times or in different moods. But if you love coffee, you will find joy in discovering and experiencing the many blends, single origins, and reserve coffees that we release. Only by building a culture of the appreciation of extraordinary coffee, driven by skilled coffee professionals and passionate owners, using coffee sourced from quality-focused producers, can we hope to achieve our common dreams for coffee in Africa.
We believe in how great coffee and cafés can become a meaningful part of peoples’ everyday lives. Think about how far South African coffee culture has come over the last two decades. An incredible journey which we feel is still only just beginning.
We believe coffee can help transform the lives of the people in our teams – those who started with us, those who left to go on their own journeys, those more recently arrived, and the many yet to come. We remain committed to helping our people grow and thrive. Since the beginning, we have been developing amazing coffee people and we have no intention of stopping now.
We believe in the power of coffee to transform the lives of baristas and café employees. To empower them with a profession, employable skills, and a dignified and rewarding way for them to support themselves, their families, and their own dreams. Great baristas have been at the root of creating the amazing coffee culture we now have.
We believe that extraordinary coffee can transform café and restaurant owners’ businesses by helping them to exceed their customers’ expectations. With innovation, new ideas, and new technology, we want to be even better at helping those who pour our coffee to deliver the most in every cup. The growth of café culture is another critical driver of growing the appreciation and understanding of extraordinary coffee.
We believe that it is possible to have a positive impact on the lives of producers. It all starts with them. And it will all end with them if they can’t afford to continue to produce the amazing coffee that we all love. We need them to stay focused on working hard and dealing with the many challenges ahead. The key to improving the lives of growers and local coffee professionals, to improving coffee quality and maintaining quantity, is to get everyone, no matter at what level they buy, to drink better coffee. The race to the bottom benefits no one – not grower, nor consumer, nor hospitality business owner, nor coffee professional.
After more than 17 years, we have never believed more strongly – that we can serve the best coffee and deliver the most extraordinary coffee experiences in the world – right here in Africa, the birthplace of coffee. We may not yet know where this journey will take us (thankfully!). We do know that it is time to join together as we take the next steps to build a greater future together. We hope you will join all of us, in service to the extraordinary cups of coffee that bring us together, in so many profound ways, and that give us all so much joy.
From all of us at Truth, Origin and Tribe