We think that all of the roasters that we work with are pretty unique - in fact, we’ve selected them specifically because they have something special to offer, but it’s hard to argue that in the world of South African coffee, Tribe has a particularly unique personality! You only need to visit their headquarters in Woodstock and have a look around to realise that Tribe does things its own way, and that way is attracting more and more fans every day.
As is fitting, Tribe wasn’t born in a typical way. A collaboration between a few industry veterans, Tribe actually started as what you might call a guerilla roasting operation. Initially they were focused primarily on contract roasting for other businesses, leasing time on other roasters and tactically buying green coffee to meet demand, they quickly realised that they needed their own brand and their own roaster to develop a business that was already showing signs of potential.
In 2011, Bertha, the affectionately named Probat roaster which is still the centre of their operation was purchased. Bertha’s first home was in a small industrial park, where she would work her magic primarily at night, as other park-residents weren’t thrilled with the smoke she produced, and day-times were focused on working with customers.
Despite this atypical start, people quickly took notice of what Tribe was doing, and as the customer base grew, it became clear that this tribe was destined for great things. In 2013, Bertha moved into the Foundry in Woodstock which is still her home. Today, Bertha occupies a larger part of the Foundry, with a beautiful and quirky café, and serves those customers, as well as a new collaborative café space with BMW in the Cape Town CBD which opened in 2015.
What Tribe Coffee’s All About
Whether you’re drinking their coffee or hanging out in one of their buzzing spaces, it’s not hard to understand what Tribe’s all about. Their goal is to bring good quality, affordable coffee to everyone, and to have fun doing it.
It’s amazing to observe the extent to which all members of the growing Tribe team seem to have the same outgoing spirit. They take their coffee seriously, but not too seriously, and they take pride in doing things their own way. If you ever have the chance, you should definitely take the opportunity to visit their recently expanded mothership in Woodstock, and, if you can’t, let us deliver a little bit of Tribal coffee goodness directly to your door!