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Tribe Coffee - Roasting To The Beat Of Their Own Drum

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.

Tribe Latte ArtTribe Coffee Flavour WheelTribe Breakfast

Tribe’s Beginnings

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.

Tribe's Probat Roaster BerthaTribe BMW CafeTribe Coffee Sign On Wall

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!

Legado Coffee Roasters - Stellenbosch's Speciality Coffee Legacy

While Legado Coffee Roasters was established in 2010, the idea to set up a roastery had been in the making for the better part of a decade at that point. Legado's founders knew they wanted to get into speciality coffee, but they decided to bide their time to find the right moment, set of circumstances and business model.

Legado Coffee Roasters Logo

That moment eventually arrived when they tracked down what may have been the first Diedrich roaster in South Africa. Not only did they convince the long-time owner to sell it to them, but along the way, they also managed to get him to intensively train them on how to get the best out of the machine.

Armed with this inherited wisdom and precision tool, they set about constructing their business, roasting for their own customers right away but also doing a large amount of contract roasting that helped them hone their skills quickly. Fast forward just 6 years, and Legado has helped to transform the Cape Winelands coffee landscape and made an indelible mark on the speciality coffee scene of South Africa as a whole.

Legado's Approach

When you've had the privilege of working with Legado for a while, you come to realise that their founding story epitomises their way of operating. They are focused, meticulous and quality driven. They take their time to prepare well for whatever they're going to do, but when it's time to move, they move quickly.

There's an essence of professionalism that pervades their approach in everything from administration to the aesthetics of their brand. Much to the delight of our, and many of our customers' taste buds, this also translates directly into the cups of coffee brewed from their carefully selected & occasionally blended coffee beans.

Legado's selection of coffees is always varied & delicious - they make a point of ensuring they can offer their customers a really diverse set of origins and flavours. Their roast style honours the natural characteristics of the coffees they source, tending towards the lighter side but always well developed.

Leaving a Legacy

Legado is actually the Portuguese word for legacy, and the name was selected with the same care and thought that they have put into every other aspect of their venture. It is in fact their goal - to honour the legacy of the other parts of the coffee industry they work with, with special focus on the farmers, and to help create a legacy of speciality coffee in their corner of the country and beyond.

Bean There - SA's Direct Fair Trade African Coffee Roasters

Bean There may be one of South Africa's best known coffee brands. With roasteries in both Cape Town & Johannesburg, a network of its own shops and dozens of independent cafés across the country using its beans, lots of South Africans know and love Bean There's delicious coffee.

But Bean There is more than just a brand or even just a coffee roaster. It's an important part of South Africa's speciality coffee heritage, as well as a uniquely specialised importer of some of the best African coffees. They have been roasting coffee since 2005 in Johannesburg, and in the Cape Town branch that we work with since 2011.

Temba from Bean There Brewing A Chemex

African Single Origin Specialists

Some people don't even realise, but one of the things that makes Bean There special is the fact that they only import, roast & sell African coffees. In fact, one of the driving forces behind Bean There's creation was the desire of its founders - brother & sister, Jonathan & Sarah Robinson - to showcase some of the best coffee the continent has to offer.

This focus allows them to provide a unique variety and quality of African coffee beans throughout the year, which in itself is a great reason to get to know them and their coffees. However, it's not only what coffees they source, but how they source them that makes them particularly special.

Supporting Farmers Through Direct Fair Trade

Bean There are pioneers in direct fair trade in South Africa, and in fact, they were the first roasters of Fairtrade Certified coffee in the country. They have personally developed relationships with the people that grow and process the coffees they roast which helps them to ensure that their purchases are benefiting the communities that the coffees come from, while also maintaining a very high standard of quality.

Bean There actually pays a premium, above market price for the coffees they buy, as a way of ensuring that the producers of the coffee are fairly rewarded for their work. This represents part of their commitment to supporting African coffee farmers.

Barista Bar at Bean There Cape Town

A Coffee & People Culture

One of the things that we love about Bean There is their culture, which seems to shine through in every member of their team that we've met. From founder Jonathan Robinson, to Rojeanne who leads the Cape Town roastery, to their baristas, packers and admin staff, they all have an uncannily similar warmth and kindness about them, as well as smiles that seem to reveal a genuine love for what they do.

If you're in Cape Town, be sure to pay them a visit at 58 Wale Street, and if you're in Joburg, take the opportunity to visit Bean There's original home at 44 Stanley. We're also thrilled to be able to offer all of their African fair trade coffees for delivery anywhere in South Africa, right here at Cape Coffee Beans.

Origin - The Grand Daddy of Cape Town Coffee

Whenever you walk into Origin Coffee Roasting's HQ on Hudson street, it's always bustling. Despite having one of the larger cafés in Cape Town, the tables always seem to be full and there are usually people queuing for takeaway coffees as well. You might wonder how this can be, in a city so spoiled for choice when it comes to coffee, but it only takes a couple of visits to understand.

Origin Coffee Logo

The thing is, a good number of the people you'll find in the café have been coming to Origin for the better part of a decade. They don't just love Origin's coffee, they learned to love coffee at Origin. That's true for many of the newcomers as well as the old-timers. You'll often see them perched at the manual brew bar asking questions of the many knowledgeable and helpful members of the Origin team.

A Place To Learn About Coffee

It's perhaps this element of education and exposure that makes Origin so special. It seems to play an important role in many of the things they do. You can visit Origin and watch a talented coffee professional brew you a coffee in pretty much any method you'd like, from espresso to an Aeropress. If you're so inclined, you can even take a course, from short introductions to full professional training, while learning from people who really know their coffee. This is why you'll find many people who came through Origin in other coffee businesses here in Cape Town.

Perhaps even more importantly for us, Origin also provides wonderful opportunities to learn through the coffee itself...

Origin's Coffee

Having been established in 2005, back when Cape Town didn't have a speciality coffee industry, Origin has had the time to build scale, deep experience and important sourcing relationships. These resources allow them to bring in an unmatched variety of coffees from around the world, while still maintaining the highest standards of quality. This means that every couple of months, there's an entirely new batch of single origin beans to try, each having been carefully profiled and skilfully roasted by Origin's roasting team. Origin also undertakes to create a new espresso blend for each season, made up of some of the fantastic coffees they have found.

You can learn a lot about coffee just by making sure you try every one of Origin's offerings for a year - we certainly have learned a lot that way. In addition to the sheer variety of aromas, flavours & bodies, you'll also get to learn a little about the coffee's origins, processing and roast - information that we do our best to share in detail on each Origin coffee's product page here on the site.

With all this knowledge and experience to share, it's not surprising that some people (including us) like to call Origin the 'Grand Daddy' of speciality coffee in Cape Town.

Quaffee - Constantia's Hidden Coffee Gem

We learned of Quaffee in the best way possible - through another coffee roaster. It was a bit of a surprise to hear that there was an artisanal coffee roaster nestled away at the back of Buitenverwachting Wine Farm but it certainly sounded worth investigating. It quickly became clear that Quaffee is nothing short of a hidden gem, flying under the radar but roasting some truly fantastic coffees.

Quaffee is the passion project of Warren, the owner and founder, who began exploring his love for coffee in a personal capacity more than two decades ago. As a friend of some of the pioneers of small-scale roasting in South Africa, Warren got to know the industry from the outside and luckily for us, in 2006 he decided to start his own roasting business - what better way to pursue the world's finest coffees?!

Why Quaffee?

The name succinctly captures what Quaffee is all about. To quaff means to drink with enthusiasm, something that Warren, the rest of the team and Quaffee's customers definitely do with their coffee. Quaffee's focus is also very much on quality coffee - so the name is also an abbreviated conjunction of those two words.

What's with the frog?

You can learn a lot about Quaffee through the story of the Frog Quaffer. In the early days, Warren was working on potential designs for a logo and in one sketch, he made an attempt to put some eyes on a coffee bean. His daughter, who was two years old at the time, saw the picture and remarked that it looked like a frog. Tickled by this, Warren decided to pursue that direction and Frog Quaffer was born.

Mzukisi in front of the roaster

Today, the logo serves as a reminder to Warren and the entire Quaffee team of what they stand for - the pursuit of great coffee before commercial gain and respect for future generations through a focus on sustainability. You can see these principles in everything they do, from the use of recycled packaging to the supply of great coffees at fantastic prices.

Quaffee today

While Quaffee remains small and focused, Warren has picked up some collaborators over the years including Mzukisi (pictured). Mzukisi was originally hired as a driver for Quaffee but Warren quickly recognised that he had an aptitude for doing a lot more. He decided to invest in flying Mzukisi to the US to train with Stephen Diedrich, the maker of Quaffee's roaster, and the rest is history. Mzukisi's talents have flourished and he now does most of the roasting for Quaffee. He and Warren are joined by Maya and Sino, and together this small team supplies a dedicated base of customers with some truly exceptional coffee beans.

All of this makes Quaffee a very unique roasting business. It's small and understated but punches significantly above its weight in the variety, quality and rarity of the coffees that it roasts. We'd highly encourage you to explore what Frog Quaffer has to offer!